Thursday, September 27, 2012

Appadurai, Flows, Cognitive Mapping

Appadurai’s complication of the narratives of globalization as a process of homogenization obviously centers largely around the sense of a “social imaginaire” as well as “constructed ethnicities.” Sleep Dealer showed us an example of how flows through Appadurai’s different –scapes can work to create a situation for an imagining that attempted to subvert the “imagined world of the official mind” (as Appadurai would say). The film seems almost too easily tied to Appadurai’s points—the notions of “flow” and movement are tropes (beginning with the water, and then obviously labor and physical movement, etc).
Perhaps I am too stuck on Jameson, but I really like thinking about Appadurai’s riff on Anderson, the “imagined world,” as yet another way of cognitive mapping. This is most salient in terms of the constructed ethnicities, where people are actually making decisions regarding the imagined space of their migrated ethnic communities—they have to decide what parts will be significant in order to map out these identities. 

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