Global Ethnography

Gille, Zsuzsa and O Riain, Sean (2002) Global Ethnography. Annual Review of Sociology, 28. pp. 271-295.

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Globalization poses a challenge to existing social scientific methods of inquiry and units of analysis by destabilizing the embeddedness of social relations in particular communities and places. Ethnographic sites are globalized by means of various external connections across multiple spatial scales and porous and contested boundaries. Global ethnographers must begin their analysis by seeking out 'placemaking projects' that seek to define new kinds of places, with new definitions of social relations and their boundaries. Existing ethnographic studies of global processes tend to cluster under one of three slices of globalization 'global forces, connections, or imaginations' each defined by a different kind of place-making project. The extension of the site in time and space poses practical and conceptual problems for ethnographers, but also political ones. Nonetheless, by locating themselves firmly within the time and space of social actors 'living the global', ethnographers can reveal howglobal processes are collectively and politically constructed, demonstrating the variety of ways in which globalization is grounded in the local.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Globalization; Transnationalism; Local-global relations;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 225
Depositing User: Prof. Sean O Riain
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2005
Journal or Publication Title: Annual Review of Sociology
Publisher: Annual Reviews
Refereed: Yes

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