An Anthropological Assessment of Globalization Defined as Deterritorialization

Professor Kenneth Skinner
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Numerous definitions of globalization have been put forward. These include definitions emphasizing increasing internationalization, liberalization of laws governing movements of products and people among countries and corporations, an emerging world-wide synthesis of cultural patterns, and expansive westernisation or modernization. In a attempt to establish a more distinctive definition of globalization, some authors have stressed the concept of deterritorialization; that is, the movement away from social forms based wholly or partially on spatial or geographic entities.

Because anthropologists have focused on the long-term evolution of social structures and relationships in human societies, they have a basis for evaluating whether such deterritorialization is taking place, and if so, whether it is something new or has precedents. The paper will review what an anthropological perspective can contribute to an assessment of deterritorialization as the centerpiece of globalization. The question anthropologists are in a position to explore is whether the attachment between social forms and geography has increased, decreased, or fluctuated over time. This can help us understand whether the contemporary phenomena labeled globalization differs from earlier epochs in human history primarily in scale or also in content, and therefore whether the concept of deterritorialization is helpful in establishing globalization as a distinctive event.

Keywords: Globalization, Deterritorialization, Anthropology
Stream: Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Anthropological Assessment of Globalization Defined as Deterritorialization, An

Professor Kenneth Skinner

Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

BA in political science from Stanford University. PhD in anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Doctoral dissertation on career strategies in a public corporation in Japan. Former Peace Corps Volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia. Former training staff member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers. Former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania. Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.

Ref: H05P0231