Global Cultural Politics Essay

2643 words - 11 pages

Global Cultural PoliticsGlobal cultural politics is the tensions created within and across cultures of nation-states, created primarily by the effect of a politics of difference. Relatedly, a politics of recognition surfaces as a defining element of global cultural politics, that is, as nation-states struggle for national and/or cultural identity as a nation-state, amidst the shifting of global boundaries and political alliances, political tensions emerge in response.Global cultural politics is characterized by the struggle implied in the concept of the governing of culture. By this term is meant the struggle over the control, regulation, and distribution of resources that mediate the range of capacities and possibilities that enable individuals and social groups to choose, inhabit, and transform particular notions of identity, desire, and agency. Cultural politics is in part about the regulation and distribution of resources. But our capacity to think about politics is also mediated by the ways in which culture actually governs; the ways in which it actually shapes our conduct, social action, and human practices; and concomitantly the way people act within institutions and in the larger society.Global cultural politics, as an evolution of a politics of difference, may be further explicated through culture, which enables a critical reading of the world from a position of agency, although within unequal relations of power. Global changes in the past two decades, for example, in the Middle East, Europe, Third World developing nations, and so on, have contributed to the politics of diaspora, immigration, identity politics, multiculturalism, and postcolonialism. It is helpful to conceptualize the world, and its many nation-states, in terms of "political space." Space in this sense is where the tensions of a culture play out in patterns of human activity. Cultural space is the effect produced by the actions of individuals within the culture that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual patterns or negotiated boundaries. Within and across nation-states, culture, which is socially produced as both precondition and the outcome of social action, is made political as different actions are accepted and others are prohibited. Culture is made political space as patterns are shifted or boundaries violated, either by forces internal or external to the culture, which sets in motion political tensions. Political space may be either national or global. Discourses, policies (national or international), and political ideologies (i.e., neoliberalism, liberal democracy, globalism) each contribute to a "politics of difference," which is a defining hallmark of cultural politics in general and global cultural politics in particular. Contemporary global cultural politics is part of the ever-increasing process of extending abstract space into all spheres of human life. Globalization represents a "re-scaling" of social...

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