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Friction : An Ethnography of Global Connection - Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing


An Ethnography of Global Connection

Paperback Published: 8th November 2004
ISBN: 9780691120652
Number Of Pages: 344

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A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world.

She focuses on one particular "zone of awkward engagement"--the rainforests of Indonesia--where in the 1980s and the 1990s capitalist interests increasingly reshaped the landscape not so much through corporate design as through awkward chains of legal and illegal entrepreneurs that wrested the land from previous claimants, creating resources for distant markets. In response, environmental movements arose to defend the rainforests and the communities of people who live in them. Not confined to a village, a province, or a nation, the social drama of the Indonesian rainforest includes local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others--all combining in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out.

Providing a portfolio of methods to study global interconnections, Tsing shows how curious and creative cultural differences are in the grip of worldly encounter, and how much is overlooked in contemporary theories of the global.

Industry Reviews

Co-Winner of the 2005 Senior Book Prize, American Ethnological Association "Friction is an original, nuanced, and elegant work of ethnography and a significant contribution to the areas of globalization; environment and natural resource wars; the politics of indigenous peoples, NGOs, and development; and the sociology of expert versus local knowledge."--Michael Goldman, American Journal of Sociology "By providing generous anecdotes and personal reflections amid more complex, insightful political commentary and social theory, [Tsing] achieves a writing style that is both pleasurable and informative."--Laura L B Graham, Environment & Planning

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
"Better you had brought me a bomb, so I could blow this place up"p. 21
Frontiers of Capitalismp. 27
"They communicate only in sign language"p. 51
The Economy of Appearancesp. 55
"Let a new Asia and a new Africa be born"p. 81
Natural Universals and the Global Scalep. 88
"Dark rays"p. 113
Nature Lovingp. 121
"This earth, this island Borneo"p. 155
A History of Weedinessp. 171
"A hair in the flour"p. 205
Movementsp. 213
"Facilities and incentives"p. 239
The Forest of Collaborationsp. 245
Codap. 269
Notesp. 273
Referencesp. 297
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691120652
ISBN-10: 069112065X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 8th November 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.48