Disjuncture And Difference In The Global Cultural Economy, The Author Arjun Appadurai

1174 words - 5 pages

In the article “ Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy”, the author Arjun Appadurai mainly concerning on the global culture issues from two perspectives. In the first part, Appadurai reconstructs the history of cultural interactions and comes to the cultural globalization. Then he focuses on the current central problem of global culture in the second part by describing the complicated relationship between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization. And as well in the second part, Appadurai builds his own model to explore cultural disjuncture among five dimensions of global cultural flows: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes (Appadurai, 2012, p.98).
In the history part, Appadurai starts with two main obstacles against the cultural interactions before the late 1800s: the objective facts and the subjective active resistance (Appadurai, 2012, p.95). The objective facts contain geographical and ecological factors (Appadurai, 2012, p.95), for example: high mountains, deserts, tropical climate and so on. Those factors blocked people’s communication in that time including the cultural interactions, because it was hard for people to conquer nature with such limited knowledge and tools. And the subjective active resistance to interactions, according to Appadurai, means the seclusion policies especially in Chinese and Japanese history (Appadurai, 2012, p.95). Those two countries’ government had chosen to close their door to the others for a certain period, which restricted the cultural interactions among nations.
Conversely, in this article, there are two main forces for sustained cultural interaction prior to the late 1800s: One was the warfare; the other was the religion of conversion (Appadurai, 2012, p.95). Appadurai mentions “cultural dealings have been bridged at great cost and sustained over time only with great effort (Appadurai, 2012, p.95)”. The warfare meets the condition with its great cost, for the command of resources, and always overcomes the barrier from the nation policies. Also in that time the warfare forced the migration of people officially, which caused direct communications between different cultures. For the religions of conversion, the pilgrims with their strong faith contributed to the cultural interactions. Hsuan-tsang (or Xuan Tsang) is one Buddhist pilgrim famous in China. He traveled over land toward India for Sacred Books in the 7th century, crossing deserts and mountain ranges, which sustained the cultural interaction between China and many countries along the Silk Road (Marx, n.d.).
Then Appadurai sets the late 1800s as the turning point, since which two main developments have facilitated greater interaction between different cultures: One is that “congeries of money, commerce, conquest, and migration began to create durable cross-societal bonds (Appadurai, 2012, p.96)”, especially with the technology transfers and innovations of that time; One is the...

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