United in Discontent

United in Discontent: Local Responses to Cosmopolitanism and Globalization

Dimitrios Theodossopoulos
Elisabeth Kirtsoglou
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 194
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qcrqj
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  • Book Info
    United in Discontent
    Book Description:

    Cosmopolitanism is often discussed in a critical and disapproving manner: as a concept complicit with the interests of the powerful, or as a notion related to Western political supremacy, the ills of globalization, inequality, and capitalist economic penetration. Seen as the moral justification for embracing or tolerating cultural difference, ethnically and socially diverse communities unenthusiastic with change, develop an acknowledgement of their common position vis-a-vis a western, "universal" political point of view. By means of exploring the idiosyncratic form of political intimacy generated by anti-cosmopolitanism, and assuming an analytical and critical stance towards the concepts of parochialism and localism, this volume examines the political consciousness of such negatively predisposed actors, and it attempts to explain their reservation towards the sincerity of international politics, their reliance on conspiracy theories or nationalist narratives, their introversion.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-965-9
    Subjects: Political Science, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Dimitrios Theodossopoulos and Elisabeth Kirtsoglou
  4. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION: UNITED IN DISCONTENT
    (pp. 1-19)
    Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

    In the minds of most people who do not profess to be specialists in academic epistemology, globalization – like the concept ‘society’ – has been broadly discussed as a reified entity: as a super-organic creature that grows and expands (often in an insatiable manner); one that is hungry and very much alive; and, more conveniently, one that can be addressed in local conversation, criticized, condemned and convicted as the guilty party responsible for global disparity and injustice. This lay ‘organic analogy’ – the conceptualization of globalization as a living thing – allows us to confront the monster face to face,¹ to give it an...

  5. Chapter 2 SHIFTING CENTRES, TENSE PERIPHERIES: INDIGENOUS COSMOPOLITANISMS
    (pp. 20-44)
    Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart

    Cosmopolitanism as a term of topical analysis in anthropology is in the air as we write this chapter (January 2007). Volume 47 (5) for May 2006 of the American Anthropological Association’sAnthropology News(AN) has pieces on a cluster of themes under the heading of ‘Global Networks’: human rights, vernacular cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitanism and being digital, reimagining globality, neoliberalism, diasporic practices and the transnationalizing of care for refugee youths. A great mixture of issues is found together here, but the overall focus is on movement, change, the crossing of boundaries and the opportunities and dilemmas these crossings produce. Pnina Werbner, in...

  6. Chapter 3 SABILI AND INDONESIAN MUSLIM RESISTANCE TO COSMOPOLITANISM
    (pp. 45-63)
    C.W. Watson

    Most anthropologists would agree that one of the most depressing features of media coverage of global conflict is the way in which journalistic simplification leads to black and white characterizations of other cultures and a consequent bias against understanding in relation to all those issues – ethnicity, religious belief, nationalism, communal identity, not to mention ‘culture’ in its various manifestations – that we have been so painstakingly describing, analysing and defining for over fifty years. It is as though we had never written. This despair of ours is nowhere more apparent than in relation to controversies over the clash of civilizations and...

  7. Chapter 4 THE COSMOPOLITAN AND THE NOUMENAL: A CASE STUDY OF ISLAMIC JIHADIST NIGHT DREAMS AS REPORTED SOURCES OF SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL INSPIRATION
    (pp. 64-82)
    Iain Edgar and David Henig

    The convergence of peoples and markets in ‘real-world’ cosmopolitanism is significantly challenged and indeed fractured in emerging apparent differences as to the ontological status of inner worlds. On the one hand, the Western secular, liberal, post-Christian capitalist ideology and world view ‘see’ inner worlds, usually, as reflective but not primarily constitutive or generative of outer world dynamics. The Freudian notion of the personal unconscious is emblematic of such a paradigm. The Western psychoanalytical paradigm, however is radically different from that of many societies studied by social anthropologists, notably shamanic cultures. Strongly religious cultures share a differing and variant paradigm as...

  8. Chapter 5 INTIMACIES OF ANTI-GLOBALIZATION: IMAGINING UNHAPPY OTHERS AS ONESELF IN GREECE
    (pp. 83-102)
    Elisabeth Kirtsoglou and Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

    This chapter examines an ethnographic paradox. Anti-globalization rhetoric in Greece is predominantly articulated in terms of conspiracy theory, mistrust of other cultures and strong nationalist feelings. The same rhetoric, however, reflects a strong empathy with people and nations that are imagined to be deprived of power, and communicates a global awareness of an imagined community in discontent. In other words, popular antiglobalization in Greece, despite its mistrust of multiculturalism and non-Greek cultural expressions, is paradoxically cosmopolitan with respect to its allegiance to what is perceived to be a community of the non-powerful in the world. To shed some light on...

  9. Chapter 6 ESCAPING THE ‘MODERN’ EXCESSES OF JAPANESE LIFE: CRITICAL VOICES ON JAPANESE RURAL COSMOPOLITANISM
    (pp. 103-123)
    Àngels Trias i Valls

    This chapter focuses on Japan, in the global economic context vis-à-vis discourses about modernity, nationalism and social exclusion, which have become significant focuses of interest in Japanese ethnographies (Ivy 1995; Robertson 1998; Goldstein-Gidoni 2001). My ethnographic context is a small town in southern Japan, a non-metropolitan location, that in Japanese is called bothmachi(a town) andfurosato(the native place).¹ My attempt here is to draw special attention to indigenous notions of cosmopolitanism (sekaijin), which are loosely connected to ideas such as multiculturalism and globalization and emerge in everyday practice in places that are seemingly non-metropolitan. In doing so,...

  10. Chapter 7 TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN? WORLD CITIZENSHIP AND LOCAL CRISIS IN ARGENTINA
    (pp. 124-147)
    Victoria Goddard

    On 24 December 1927, a bomb exploded in the large hall of the Buenos Aires branch of the City Bank of New York. The blast left one man dead and twenty-three people wounded. One of the wounded, a young woman employed by the bank, was to die soon afterwards. The first victim of the blast was a salesman of contraband goods. On that morning, when the banks were due to close early because of the holiday and people were preparing to celebrate Christmas Eve, he found that a number of bank personnel were interested in the French champagne he had...

  11. Chapter 8 HEGEMONIC, SUBALTERN AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL COSMOPOLITICS
    (pp. 148-167)
    John Gledhill

    Anthropologists often claim that one of our discipline’s virtues is its cosmopolitanism, while at least some of the forms of cosmopolitanism that exist in the world today seem inimical to the sensibilities of most anthropologists. The anthropological dilemma lies, in the first instance, in the way our mainstream disciplinary cosmopolitics (Vincent 1990; Ribeiro 2006), founded on the North Atlantic colonial metropolitan regions, have been critiqued by scholars speaking in the name of the colonial subject. Yet, valid or otherwise, this critique is to some extent yesterday’s challenge. Today’s lies, first, in the violent reassertion of claims to a global civilizing...

  12. Chapter 9 CONCLUSION: UNITED IN DISCONTENT
    (pp. 168-180)
    Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

    Globalization and cosmopolitanism are terms with a certain theoretical and analytical attraction. Their appeal – much like the appeal of the term postmodernism in previous decades – relates to a certain extent to their all-encompassing character. To borrow a pertinent notion from Theodossopoulos (2007), all three concepts can be seen as ‘hollow categories’ in the sense that they can be filled with distinct meanings. They are shifting but catchy idioms because they can signify many different things while saying nothing in particular that is necessarily new. This observation concerns, of course, academics and informants alike. For it seems that we all use...

  13. NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 181-184)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 185-186)