The world is flat? Maybe not, says this paradigm-shifting
study of globalism's impact on a region legendarily resistant to
change. The U.S. South, long defined in terms of its differences
with the U.S. North, is moving out of this national and
oppositional frame of reference into one that is more international
and integrative. Likewise, as the South (home to UPS, CNN, KFC, and
other international brands) goes global, people are emigrating
there from countries like India, Mexico, and Vietnam--and becoming
southerners. Much has been made of the demographic and economic
aspects of this shift. Until now, though, no one has systematically
shown what globalism means to the southern sense of self.
Anthropologist James L. Peacock looks at the South of both the
present and the past to develop the idea of "grounded globalism,"
in which global forces and local cultures rooted in history,
tradition, and place reverberate against each other in mutually
sustaining and energizing ways. Peacock's focus is on a particular
part of the world; however, his model is widely relevant: "Some
kind of grounding in locale is necessary to human beings."
Grounded Globalism draws on perspectives from fields as
diverse as ecology, anthropology, religion, and history to move us
beyond the model, advanced by such scholars as C. Vann Woodward,
that depicts the South as a region paralyzed by the burden of its
past. Peacock notes that, while globalism may lift old burdens, it
may at the same time impose new ones. He also maintains that
earlier regional identities have not been replaced by the rootless
cosmopolitanism of cyberspace or other abstracted systems.
Attachments to place remain, even as worldwide markets erase
boundaries and flatten out differences and distinctions among
nations. Those attachments exert their own pressures back on
globalism, says Peacock, with subtle strengths we should not
Subjects: Anthropology, History, Business
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