The Study of Modernism and Globalization

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Many authors have tried to understand the world as it is today, through the study of modernity and globalisation. Appadurai, an Indian sociologist, has defined globalisation as “a new industrial revolution driven by powerful information and communication technologies which has barely begun” (2006:35). Its effects are dramatically different depending on geopolitical situations, peoples and countries. For the wealthiest countries it is a source of an ever increasing profit, whether it is culturally, economically, or financially speaking. On the contrary, for the rest of the world, and interestingly enough the largest part of it, “it is a source of worry about inclusion, jobs, and deeper marginalisation” (2006:35) and through this feeling of marginalisation is the great fear of being excluded from History itself. Globalisation has begun to exacerbate the differences between rich and poor, developed and less developed countries, while blurring geographical borders. Along with the study of modernism and globalisation, some theorists have raised the question of the new forms of modern violence and its plausible relation to modernity and globalisation.

In Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (2006), Arjun Appadurai presents a number of key explanations as to how high-scale violence has increased in a global world, based on cultural motives, considering that “leaky financial frontiers, mobile identities, and fast moving technologies of communication and transaction together produce debates, both within and across national boundaries that hold new potentials for violence” (2006:37)
The author offers a range of explanations as to the appearance of new, modern forms of violence. The main difference with violence from t...

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...es is paradoxical. Even though the obsession for security is mostly noticeable in Europe and the United States (that is, in nearly all of the most developed countries) and can be explained by both economic deregulation and the rise of individualism, those are still the safest societies that can be found. Thus, Bauman suggests the existence of a dynamic of fear, by which fear would be an inner process, meaning that it needs almost no external factors in order to grow. It seems that the more precautions are taken by those states against uncertainties, the more their vision of the outside world is darken, seeming always more threatening and dangerous, leading them to take more and more defensive measures (2007:22).

Works Cited

Bauman Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty 2007
Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (2006), Arjun Appadurai

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