Globalization And Its Uneven Modernities

The concept of “deterritorialization” forms the structure which ties Chapter Three of Arjan Appadurai’s Modernity at Large together; it is the idea that “transnational corporations, ethnic groups [and] political formations” can all cross the boundaries of nationalism, connected in various ways (-scapes) that “transcend traditional boundaries and identities” (p.49).

Appadurai also links deterritorialization to the imagination, to the fabricated ideas of one’s home or homeland they carry with them in their travels, which therefore influence their opinions and perspectives on their surrounding current environments. Appadurai believes that this subjective tailoring of life experiences, largely accelerated by the recent increase in the transmission of new lifestyle possibilities through new media presents “an ever-changing store of possible lives (p.53)”, both for good and bad… the breakdown and splintering of “small ‘c’ culture”.

“Imagination has now acquired a singular new power in social life (p.53)”, where every person is in essence the head designer of their own life (lecture). Therefore, “artists are increasingly willing to place high stakes on their sense of the boundaries between their art and the politics of public opinion (p.54).”

The quicker availability of life choices has made its way from macro to microculture; as one approaches local culture, “[they cannot] assume they approach something more elementary, more contingent, and thus more real than life seen in larger scale perspectives (p. 54)”. The multiplicity of choice has seeped into all areas of culture yielding both positive and negative effects.

“Partly Imagined Lives”

“Selective Culture”



“Subjective Memory”

“High Stakes…Boundaries”


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