Appadurai, Arjun “Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,”

In “Modernity at Large:  Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,” Arjun Appadurai argues that intellectuals in the academy need to begin thinking postnationally about contemporary national crises–a claim that ultimately stimulates questions about the future of patriotism.  Appadurai’s thesis rests on the claim that study of discourse in the Western academy is divorced from other institutional forms while the study of literary discourses is divorced from the discourse of other social organizations such as armies, corporations, bureaucracies, etc. (159).  Appadurai calls for a journey to the space of postcolony, which in America is “marked by whiteness but marked too by its uneasy engagement with diasporic people, mobile technologies, and queer nationalities” (159).


Appurudai suggest that we need to study the organizations, movements, ideologies, and networks which comprise postnational social formations.  We need to begin studying the permanent frameworks such as refugee camps that emerge in the postnational order of the world. We need to study the local but with the awareness that the local is the global.  We can’t view local as static, homogeneous; it is always changing, interacting, creating new global realities.  Nation is unstable entity.  where it was once formed by identity, ethnicity, race; today, nation is an interaction of flows of values, cultures, movements, facilitated by different medias and technologies.  Nation is hence unstable.


Cultures and nations today is always an interaction of local and global; a collective of cross-cultural relations.  Comparative rhetoric is impossible because there is no static entities to compare.   



Filed under cultural rhetorics exam

2 responses to “Appadurai, Arjun “Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,”

  1. Great, helped me with my literature paper. Thanks.

  2. My thanks go to the writer of such a self-explanatory summary.

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