IW05
Local encounters with the global: diversity of anthropological fieldwork approaches in globalization studies

Convenors:
Regina Römhild (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Vintila Mihailescu (National School of Political and Administrative Studies)
Location:
302
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The local is no more the place of anthropological fieldwork. How to place then the anthropological investigations in our global world and in the field of globalization studies? The panel is addressing the conceptual and methodological issues of this main problem of present anthropology.

Long abstract:

The local is no more the very place of anthropological fieldwork as it used to be at the time of Malinowski and his followers. Anthropological concepts of "the local" have been fundamentally affected by "the global", perceived as "a planetary network of connected points". And, following James Ferguson, this local is affected even more - and in a more sophisticated way - by the "mondial" as world system of differences and inequalities and "place-in-the-world" of each "local" entity. The global and the mondial are in-forming each local space and social existence. The shadow of the mondial is thus present even in the most peripheral local community. Some even conclude that, in a way, the local does not exist any more. In fact, there seems to be a need for reconsidering, if not for overcoming, the spatially bounded concepts traditionally associated with ethnographical fieldwork. At the same time, however, it also seems that the specific focus on "the local" in anthropology is an important and diverse contribution to the interdisciplinary field of globalization studies. To recapture the local in new terms, then, may well lead to a genuinely anthropological approach towards studying and theorizing the global. The panel is addressing the conceptual and methodological issues of this main problem of present anthropology by pinpointing the diversity of anthropological fieldwork approaches in present globalization studies.