The Study of Modernism and Globalization

1744 WordsJun 15, 20187 Pages
Many authors have tried to understand the world as it is today, through the study of modernity and globalisation. Appadurai, an Indian sociologist, has defined globalisation as “a new industrial revolution driven by powerful information and communication technologies which has barely begun” (2006:35). Its effects are dramatically different depending on geopolitical situations, peoples and countries. For the wealthiest countries it is a source of an ever increasing profit, whether it is culturally, economically, or financially speaking. On the contrary, for the rest of the world, and interestingly enough the largest part of it, “it is a source of worry about inclusion, jobs, and deeper marginalisation” (2006:35) and through this feeling of…show more content…
The fact that these points of reference were rattled over a rather short period of time has created doubt where as what constitutes “us” and “them” (2006:5). This idea is linked to the notion of anxiety of incompleteness, which, as Appadurai states it, “has much to do with the strange inner reciprocity of the categories of “majority” and “minority” in liberal thought” (2006:8). It is triggered by the imagined obstacles to a nation as a perfect space without the impurity that minorities represent. While acknowledging that this uncertainty and anxiety are not the direct consequences of globalization, Appadurai considers that the absence of defined barriers to the circulation of goods and ideas in our modern era has enabled the rise of such a disturbed vision of a nation by its people. From those theories, Appadurai puts forward the idea of the “fear of the small numbers”, his main argument after which the book was named. Indeed, the smaller the number, the weaker the minority, and the deeper the anger that is triggered by its capacity of making the majority feel that it is only a majority rather than a national ethnos commonly accepted as such and never disputed (2006:53). The author justifies the fear of the small numbers, that is fear of minorities, by explaining that “small numbers represent a tiny obstacle between majority and totality or total purity” (2006:53) hence they tend to become the focus of hatred and increases
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