The ethnography of the global after globalization

Daromir Rudnyckyj, Jerome Whitington


This collection of essays seeks to reinvigorate ethnographic investigation of the contemporary global. At a moment afflicted by transnational pandemic, political chauvinism, and disciplinary retrenchment, they offer a model for reengagement with the global. Critical work in anthropology over a decade ago was published when optimism over a “borderless world” still held sway. In the intervening years, globalization has bequeathed a world of viral contagion, authoritarian nationalism, immigration backlash, sclerotic trade regimes, and intensifying ecological crisis. Nonetheless, if the promise of globalization appears to have evaporated, global problems have redoubled in their importance for an engaged anthropology, as both the recent resurgence of nationalism and the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate. This collection of essays features research and reflection that address the global as a problem space through middle-range analysis. Inspired by the landmark work of Aihwa Ong, the essays embody a distinctive form of ethnographic engagement with the contemporary global.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/712095