Globalism And Modernity


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Globalism And Modernity

  1. 1. LL306: Globalism and Modernity
  2. 2. LL306: Globalism and Modernity <ul><li>In these lectures we examine the terms globalism and modernity within the context of the colonial/postcolonial. </li></ul><ul><li>This will provide us the means to link these with the later studies of the Pacific diaspora and postcolonialism in this unit. </li></ul><ul><li>We will look at the theoretical works of Arjun Appadurai in particular his use of ‘scapes’ as a means of analysing globalism from his article “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy”. </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization as a process was facilitated by the liberalization of transborder transactions by the devolution of state sovereignty. </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization was mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility of labor, ideas, capital, technology and profits can move across borders with minimal governmental interference. </li></ul><ul><li>Above all, globalization was a sense of profound optimism that the world was inevitable heading towards greater and greater prosperity for greater and greater numbers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Introduction Globalism has become a catch-phrase in recent times. It assumes that we have reached a stage of international development that means that the world is now one. This is a fairly vague assertion given force by the interconnected nature of the digital world. It is important to remember that not everyone is part of this connectivity, digital or otherwise. Not everyone has access to computers or the internet. Not everyone can use them. Not everyone wants to use them. How does this assertion of the global world connect the scattered islands of the Pacific and how does it make better their lives?
  4. 4. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Associated phrases like the “Global Village” give the sense of a world that is now totally connected and in tune with each other. As we have learnt from our study of colonialism and postcolonialism such catch-phrases do little beyond offering convenient definitions. And for the colonized or those who still part of the “third-world” or the world of postcolonial underdeveloped globalism means more dependence, and in real terms a continuation of the poverty of life and lived spaces that began with imperialism/colonialism.
  5. 6. LL306: Globalism and Modernity <ul><li>Arjun Appadurai uses five scapes to discuss issues of globalism and modernity that can be used as the basis of inquiry and analysis on the post-postcolonial world that we now inhabit. </li></ul><ul><li>Appadurai outlines the following five dimensions of global cultural flow: </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnoscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Mediascapes </li></ul><ul><li>Technoscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Finanscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Ideoscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Appadurai’s scapes are valuable tools to examine issues in globalization and modernity. They are particularly useful too as determinants of identity and representation. </li></ul><ul><li>The scapes are utilised as theoretical constructs that are relevant and reflect more accurately the place of change, transition, plurality, ambivalence, hybridity, mimicry, history, memory, performance, lived experiences, the everyday space that among other factors contribute to the exterior reality of a people, their lives, past, present and future. </li></ul>
  6. 7. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The five scapes is used in this to formulate specific, what Appadurai calls ‘perspectival constructs’, that explores ideas of identity, difference, popular culture, literary culture, literature and other narratives in an examination of identities and representations. These constructs become important to the study of postcolonialism as they point out the general direction of the mostly postcolonial world that is around us with its concerns on nationalism, diaspora, globalism and the creation of new identities and modes of representations within this. This is used deal with multiplicity’s of self and Other from ideas such as ‘…nation states, multinationals, diasporic communities, as well as sub-national groupings and movements (whether religious, political or economic), and even intimate face-to-face groups such as villages, neighbourhoods and families.’ (222) Appadurai’s contention that ‘…the individual actor is the last locus of this perspectival set landscapes…’(222) brings in the individual and the everyday as dimensions missing from much of existing critical literary (as well as historical, sociological and anthropological studies) of postcolonialism. These areas touched upon by Said, Bhabha and Spivak and provided the basis of the experiments in subaltern studies.
  7. 8. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai insists, ‘…landscapes thus, are the building blocks of what, extending Benedict Anderson, I would call ‘imagined world’, that is, the multiple worlds which are constituted by the historically situated imaginations of persons and groups spread around the globe’. (222) Appadurai’s work finds currency and relevance to the particular concerns of this thesis with the world/worlds lived in and imagined in by the postcolonial world, especially in the Pacific with its growing diaspora in their expressions in popular culture and literature as well the lived everyday life. An important part of this ‘imagined world’ is the fact that the process of migrations, dispersals, locations and re-locations during colonialism led not only to cultural transformations and associations but also to crisis of identity that lingers in their present everyday. Appadurai’s recognises that: An important fact of the world we live in today is that many persons on the globe live in such imagined ‘worlds’ and not just in imagined communities and are thus able to contest and sometimes even subvert the ‘imagined worlds’ of the official mind and of the entrepreneurial mentality that surrounds them. (222)
  8. 9. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai’s construct of the ‘imagined’ becomes important in our study of globalism and diaspora. Just as we once lived under the imagined construct of “Queen” and “Country” under British imperialism in countries like Fiji, now we live under the various imagined constructs of the “Global” as “World” or previously popularized as “Global Village” Appadurai extends this outline so that ‘…suffix scape also allows us to point to the fluid, irregular shapes of these landscapes, shapes which characterize international capital as deeply as they do international clothing styles.’ (222) The idea of fluidity/ irregularity of landscapes sustains arguments earlier made on imperialism, colonialism, anti-colonialism and postcolonialism. Overall the application of Appadurai and his scapes provide heterogeneous alternatives that better help us understand concerns on identity and representation of the postcolonial world under globalisation and modernism.
  9. 11. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The “Call Centre”, fast becoming one of the iconic instances of the digital global tentacle of multinational capitalism, provides a multiple metaphor for the linguistic, economic, cultural-popular and otherwise sleights possible in the imagined worlds today. Fiji, far behind India as the call-centre capital of the world, also finds a growing industry in this masquerade of voices on imagined nuances to bring brilliantly into play the idea of fluidity and irregularity that is characteristic of much of the world, imagined or otherwise. This ‘scape’ linked to Appadurai’s idea of “technoscape” is relevant in the examination of technology such as that used in call centres as the basis of terms like globalism. The inter-connected nature of the World Wide Web, for example, becomes the metaphor for the global village. That we are not connected by culture, tradition or the share communal village green or rara , but instead we are connected by PC’s and optic fibres so we can interact on Face Book and upload our lives on You Tube.
  10. 12. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The postcolonial identity of diasporic groups can be seen in their usage of this digital world as well as their instances of popular culture. For example, the Indo-Fijian diaspora from Fiji would have relied on Bollywood films, Popular Hindi music and social, cultural and religious realisation of India and Hinduism/Islam as part of their recognition of identity. Initially they had relied on Indian spiritual leaders and religion during the indenture period. As part of the colonial/postcolonial experience the Indo-Fijian diaspora created new identities and continues to evolve as part of their second shift diasporic movements to countries like Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada. Tacked on to this was their Oceanic identity of learning new dialects and languages (Fijian), ways of behaviour – following protocols such observance of hierarchy during kava ceremonies to inviting people to share their meals, or inclusions of concepts such as Din Maaro or Moku Siga to their work habits. The inclusion and borrowings of the Fijian language into the evolution of Fiji-Hindi/Fiji-English is another example of the postcolonial determination of identity. Fiji-English becomes a national example of the transformations under colonialism/postcolonialism/globalism that always speaks back to our history and origins.
  11. 13. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The forces of history under colonialism created the conditions for these transformations in identity and how people are represented or how they represent themselves by taking on or performing particular identities. Now, we can place these transformations on the world wide effects of the internet on the Indo-Fijian diaspora. For example. Indo-Fijian websites such as,, Fiji among others exemplify the creation of the global digital world of the Indo-Fijian diaspora who share and interacts on areas of common interest. On these sites Fiji, India, soccer, Bollywood, matrimonials, Fiji Day and other cultural festivals, religion are among scapes that find currency in the everyday and lived space of the individuals and communities.
  12. 14. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai’s “ethnoscape” deals with the: … landscape of persons who constitute the shifting world in which we live: tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guestworkers and other moving groups and persons constitute an essential feature of the world, and appear to affect the politics of and between nations to a hitherto unprecedented degree. (222) Colonialism, postcolonialism, and globalism are all connected with the classical notion of diaspora as simple dispersal of persons from their original homelands or the notion of a homogenous “ideology or consciousness” as the basis of identity. As it is connected with newer diaspora’s and dispersals under what is sometimes called the diaspora of economic migration or labour diaspora. “ Ethnoscape” as outlined by Appadurai relates to our concerns on globalisation, and the place of postcolonialism in the dislocations and displacements of the diaspora. Appadurai’s insists that such movement does not mean ‘…that there are not anywhere relatively stable communities and networks of, of kinship, of friendship, of work and leisure, as well as of birth, residence and other filiative forms.’ (223)
  13. 15. LL306: Globalism and Modernity These networks and the shared sense of a diaspora account for the heterogeneous formations of identity and representations. Such communities and networks and their expressions in filial relationships and forms of leisure are found in entertainment, for the Indo-Fijian diaspora in Fiji -Bollywood/Indian satellite TV, Hindi/remix/fusion/bhangra music/dance, sports, particularly soccer, and the everyday space of city, home, garage, and suburbia in their second shift homelands in Australia, NZ, US or Canada. Appadurai’s contention that such instances of stability is undercut by the ‘…woof of human emotion, as more persons and groups deal with the realities of having to move, or the fantasies of wanting to move.’ (222) becomes central to our understanding of diaspora within the context of globalism. This is closely tied in to the economics of migration and movement that is responsible for the creation of the new diaspora’s as it was for that of the old diaspora through slavery and indenture.
  14. 17. LL306: Globalism and Modernity And their shifts are shadowed not only by their realities and fantasies but also by the larger spectre created as: … international capital shifts its needs, as production and technology generate different needs, as nation states shift their policies on refugee populations, these moving groups can never afford to let their imagination rest too long, even if they wished to.” (222) Appadurai defines ‘technoscape’ as ‘…the global configuration, also ever fluid, of technology, and of the fact that technology, both high and low, both mechanical and informational, now moves at high speeds across various kinds of previously impervious boundaries.’ (222) This is an increasingly important area in the study of the diaspora relating to ideas on globalisation and modernity. The temporal and spatial realities in the digital world have a real place in accessing past temporalities and spaces, evident in diaspora based websites. The movement defines and re-defines the diaspora as the digital technoscape that makes movement between the everyday narratives of past and present diasporas in ever increasing flows of information. The internet/digital information highways as technoscape for diasporic communities influences, their definition of past, present and the links and continuities between the two and their futures .
  15. 18. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai’s work on the technoscape become relevant in the study of globalisation and our increasing dependence on technology, especially digital information networks on the internet, telephone-mobile and landlines, and satellite television. Appadurai points out the ‘…complicated technoscapes (and the shifting ethnoscapes)’ (223) which underlie traditional economic indicators or comparisons makes it difficult to provide comfortable grids of inquiry into the diversity and multiplicity of labour, markets and economies that determine identity and diaspora. Appadurai finds it … useful to “speak as well of ‘finanscapes’, since the disposition of global capital is now a more mysterious, rapid and difficult landscape to follow than ever before as currency markets, national stock exchanges, and commodity speculations move mega-money through national turnstiles at blinding speeds, with vast absolute implications for small differences in percentage points and time units. (223) Global capital markets and movements for better or worse affects every person on earth and plays its own role in determining identity and representation for all of us.
  16. 19. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The increasingly important area of remittances from the Pacific diaspora is documented as an important source of national income for many island countries. Currency fluctuations linked to the complex global money and investment traffic have an immediate effect on such transactions involving the diaspora. Appadurai sees ethnoscapes, technoscapes and finanscapes as related concepts that he calls ‘…disjunctives (which hardly form a simple, mechanical global ‘infrastructure’ in any case) are what I have called ‘mediascapes’ and ‘ideoscapes’ though the latter two are closely related landscapes of images.’ (223) Appadurai’s “mediascapes” relate directly to the creation of images through ‘…electronic capabilities to produce and disseminate information…’ (223). This formation of ‘disjunctives’ is a used for inquiry into the creation of images/narratives/texts on the diaspora as well the images of the diaspora that creates in its own sense of identity and fissures, by expressions in popular culture and in the everyday as a lived space.
  17. 20. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The ‘disjunctives’ and relationships between the scapes and its particular deployment in this research require some further clarifications on the formulations presented by Appadurai. Appadurai in discussing ‘mediascape’ states ‘These images of the world involve many complicated inflections, depending on their mode (documentary or entertainment), their hardware (electronic or pre-electronic), their audiences (local, national, transnational) and the interests of those who own and control them.’ (223) The complicated relationships of consumer/consumption/expression/control/production of popular culture forms such as films, television, websites as instances of mediascapes provides it own modalities of creating/presenting identity and representation For the Indo-Fijian diaspora these representations in film, for example, are various constructs of India, from the mythological dramas of the 1940’s to the socialist inscriptions of the 1950’s to the increasing glamour of the Indian middle class and their sojourns in the Alps in the 1960’s and so on. Bollywood films increasingly cater for the Non Resident Indian market by including the locales and often glossed over lives of the diaspora, by including them, invariably as stereotypes. Each of these filmic inscriptions carry with it definitions of India, that invariably influences the diaspora, mostly as fads and fashion, rather than as a centre to think/write/emote back to.
  18. 21. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai expands the idea of mediascapes by asserting that: What is most important about these mediascapes is that they provide (especially in their television, film and cassette forms) large and complex repertoires of images, narratives and ‘ethnoscapes’ to viewers throughout the world, in which the world of commodities and the world of ‘news’ and politics are profoundly mixed. (223) This mixing of ‘worlds’ forms an integral part of the textual readings afforded to instances of the Pacific diaspora and their popular culture consumption of ‘television, film, cassette’ dvd forms of mediascapes and their constructs of their home islands, or sometimes of a generic Pacific identity. We can see some of these in the popularity of the “Laughing Samoans” show or TV programs like “Bro Town” and you can see this realised in the film “Sione’s Wedding” as well. These mediascapes inhabit the space between reality and fantasy in much the same way as the distinction blurs between the addresser and addressee in the closed confines of a cinema. Enthralled in the melodramatic melodies and populist appeal of the formula masala (lit. &quot;mixed spice&quot;) films from Bollywood of the Indian diaspora from Houston to London to Auckland to Sydney to Suva. It is this function of the Bollywood dream factory that provides the illusion of India in all its types and formulaic presentations of generational, filial, gender, mytho-religious, musical, universalities that becomes real.
  19. 23. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai explains: ‘ Mediascapes’, whether produced by private or state interests, tend to be image-centred, narrative-based accounts of strips of reality, and what they offer to those who experience and transform them in a series of elements (such as characters, plots and textual forms) out of which scripts can be formed of imagined lives, their own as well of those of others in other places. (224) Appadurai outlines his ‘ideoscapes’ as ‘…also concatenations of images, but they are often directly political and frequently have to do with the ideologies of state and the counter ideologies of movements explicitly orientated to capturing state power or a piece of it.’ (224) The idea of counter ideologies or the idea of a movement aimed at capturing state power or bits can be related to the growing role of the diasporic communities and the appeals made to it by local political groups for support. And as part of this ideology they are the composition as Appadurai puts it of ‘…elements of the Enlightenment world-view which consists of a concatenation of ideas, terms and images, including ‘freedom’, ‘welfare’, ‘rights’, ‘sovereignty’, ‘representation’, and the master term ‘democracy’.’ (224)
  20. 24. LL306: Globalism and Modernity These ‘ideas, terms and images’ in the political context of the Pacific under globalism and modernity are often examined in terms of the effects of colonialism/postcolonialism in leaving behind or creating “unstable or failed” democracies. The construction of a homeland, real and imagined, beginning from our colonial past and its traces towards the Pacific diaspora and its evolution remains very much part of the colonial/postcolonial experience. Appadurai outlines the ‘…internal coherence which held these terms and images together in a Euro-American master-narrative and provided instead a loosely structured synopticon of politics, in which different nation states, as part of their evolution, have organised their political cultures around different ‘keywords’.’ (224) Some of these ‘keywords’ and their place in ‘master-narratives’ and ‘counter-narratives’, for example, democracy, human rights, indigenous rights, affirmative action, among other narrations help define the reality of the Pacific under globalism and modernity. It is evident that these narrations are never far removed from the colonial/postcolonial past.
  21. 25. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai states: As a result of the differential diaspora of these keywords, the political narratives that govern communication between elites and followings in different parts of the world involve problems of both a semantic and a pragmatic nature: semantic to the extent that words (and their lexical equivalents) require careful translation from context to context in their global movements; and pragmatic to the extent that the use of these words by political actors and their audiences may be subject to very different sets of contextual conventions that mediate their translation into public politics. (224) Again this contextualisation, both the semantic and pragmatic of the ‘keywords’ forms an important marker for the Indo-Fijian. Appadurai expands on ‘contextualisation’ by arguing that, These conventions also involve the far more subtle question of what sets of communicative genres are valued in what way (newspapers versus cinema for example) and what sorts of pragmatic genre conventions that govern the collective ‘readings’ of different kinds of text. (224) Appadurai’s next qualifier of the fluidity of processes and relationship of reading to hearing and seeing is also central to the ‘readings’ of a diasporic people in this thesis in order to ‘…determine the morphology of these different ‘ideoscapes’ as they shape themselves in different national and transnational contexts.’ (224)
  22. 26. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Appadurai sees ‘democracy’ as a ‘master-term’ that ‘creates every new terminological kaleidoscopes, as states (and the groups that seek to capture them) seek to pacify populations whose own ethnoscapes are in motion, and whose mediascapes may create severe problems for the ideoscapes with which they are presented’. (225) In the context of tracing our place in globalisation from colonialism/postcolonialism we need to pay particular attention to as Appadurai’s contention of complication of the fluidity of ideoscapes ‘ by the growing diasporas (both voluntary and involuntary) of intellectuals who continuously inject new meaning-streams into the discourse of democracy in different parts of the world. (225) Appadurai’s next concept is that of ‘Deterritorialization’. He describes it as ‘…one of the central forces of the modern world, since it brings labouring populations into lower-class sectors and spaces of relatively wealthy societies, while sometimes creating exaggerated and intensified senses of criticism or attachment to politics in the home state.’ (225) In this speeded up movement of people, space and place Appadurai’s contends that while some ‘…guestworker groups maintain continuous contact with their home, like the Turks, but others, like high-level South Asian migrants, tend to desire lives in their new homes raising anew the problem of reproduction in a deterritorialized context.’ (225)
  23. 27. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Deterritorialization and Appadurai’s outline of this concept in action finds qualified for our purposes. Of more relevance is the core of Appadurai’s model ‘… about the conditions under which current global flows occur: they occur in and through the growing disjunctures between ethnoscapes, technoscapes, finanscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes .’ (225) Appadurai explains this formulation as: First, people, machinery, money, images, and ideas now follow increasingly non-isormorphic paths: of course, at all periods in human history, there have been some disjunctures between the flows of these things, but the sheer speed, scale, volume, of each of these flows is now so great that the disjunctures have become central to the politics of global culture. (225).
  24. 28. LL306: Globalism and Modernity This idea of ‘problems and possibilities’ of reproduction is related to a whole range of popular culture instances and icons in the ‘deterritorialized context’ of the Pacific diaspora. Cities like Auckland, Sydney or LA can be ‘derritorialized’ scape that evolves into a ‘territorialized’ scape, for example, by the populating of areas by substantial numbers of Pacific people. Northumberland Street in the city centre of Liverpool, in Sydney Australia, is dominated by commercial and professional concerns run by the Indo-Fijian diaspora, catering mainly for their specific needs of consumption or services. “ Derritorialization” as used by Appadurrai is also applied to ‘money and finance’ and the consequences of such movements on national boundaries and impact on consumerism and commodities. Appadurai’s states: Deterritorialization, in general, is one of the central forces of the modern world, since it brings labouring populations into the lower-class sectors and spaces of relatively wealthy societies, while sometimes creating exaggerated and intensified senses of criticism or attachment to politics in the home state. (225) These constructs of class shifts and displacement can be applied to a whole range of Pacific examples. These range from the movement of people from the former Trust territories of New Zealand, like the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Tuvalu to more recent political upheavals in Fiji, Tonga, PNG, and the Solomon Islands.
  25. 29. LL306: Globalism and Modernity At another level Appadurai’s concept of ‘derritorialization’ can be applied in more direct terms from his description of its impact on consumerism and commodities and its particular examples in the postcolonial Pacific world. Appadurai remarks that his role is on “in which, money, commodities and persons are involved in ceaselessly chasing each other around the world, that the mediascapes and ideoscapes of the modern world find their fractured and fragmented counterpart. For the ideas and images produced by mass media often are only partial guides to the goods and experiences that derritorialized populations transfer to one another’. (226) Appadurai presents instances of the ‘multiple loops of his idea of fractured deterritorialization’ in his examples of the cabaret dancers, prostitutes, pornographic films in India and makes a qualified statement on: …‘ the tragedies of displacement’ which tie together fantasies about the other, the convenience and seduction of travel, the economics of global trade and the brutal mobility fantasies that dominate gender politics in many parts of Asia and the world at large.’ (226)
  26. 30. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Instances of this ‘brutal mobility fantasies’ are highlighted in this thesis to be found in the narratives practices of ‘marriages of convenience’ and mail order brides. In Australia, for example, Appadurai’s description of ‘mobility fantasies’ finds currency in the underground trade in brides, sex workers, drugs from Asia and outbound sex tours to Asia and related movements of people and ‘fantasies’. Appadurai looks at the ‘ role of the nation state in the disjunctive global economy of culture today’ after expressing the possibilities that ‘far more could be said about the cultural politics of deterritorialization and the larger sociology of displacement that it expresses.’ (227) We can examine the the cultural politics of deterritorialization and its instances in various ways among the Pacific diaspora. Original displacement and subsequent placements and displacements of a people ‘without land’ are ‘tragedies’ of deterritorialization.
  27. 31. LL306: Globalism and Modernity
  28. 32. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The Pacific in the age of globalism modernity has to be seen in the context of their dependence as island state economies on their traditional aid donors. Many of the issues and concerns in the postcolonial Pacific world are directly related to political activity that sometimes struggles to reconcile the legacies and habits of colonialism with the challenges of globalism and modernity. The struggle continues towards what Appadurai points out is the aim of protecting group rights through ‘ new ethnoscapes, mediascapes and eventually ideoscapes, such as ‘democracy’. (228) The proliferation of diasporic websites and linkage of electronic and digital mail brings in a new dimension to Appadurai’s return to ‘ethnoscapes’. He sees it as ‘the central paradox of ethnic politics in today’s world is that primordia (whether language or skin colour or neighbourhood or kinship) have become globalized.” (228) This study of identity and representation of Indo-Fijian diaspora, for example, finds similar grounds or a locality, such as Liverpool as city, Northumberland Street as a marker of a staging ground of identity along the lines of Appadurai’s contention: Sentiments whose greatest force is their ability to ignite intimacy into a political sentiment and turn locality into a staging ground for identity, have become spread over vast and irregular spaces, as groups move, yet stay linked to one another through sophisticated media capabilities. (228).
  29. 33. LL306: Globalism and Modernity Globalism and modernity within the context or because of colonialism/postcolonialism can be found in Appadurai’s contention that: This is not deny that such primordia are often the product of invented traditions (Hobsbawn and Ranger 1983) or retrospective affiliations but to emphasize that because of the disjunctive and unstable interplay of commerce, media, national politics and consumer fantasies, ethnicity, once a genie contained in the bottle of some sort of locality (however large) has now become a global force, forever slipping in and through the cracks between states and borders. (228). This definition of globalisation becomes important in our study of postcolonialism. Appadurai’s conclusion deploys the markers on the global as a ‘deeper change, itself driven by the disjunctures’ between all the landscapes discussed and their continuously fluid and uncertain interplay, which concerns the ‘…relationship between production and consumption in today’s global economy.’ (229). He goes on to construct and explain his twin ‘mutually supportive descendents’ that he calls ‘ production fetishism’ and ‘fetishism of the consumer’. This is outlined in terms of the transformation of the forces of production to one of: …‘ alienation’ in complicated spatial dynamic which is increasingly dynamic’ and consumption where the consumer is transformed through commodity flows (and mediascapes, especially of advertising, that accompany them) so that the they are ‘helped to believe that he or she is an actor, where in fact he or she is at best a chooser.’ (229)
  30. 34. LL306: Globalism and Modernity The distinction between ‘actor’ and ‘chooser’ is used to discuss forces that determine movement of people and their “sites” in new places of living. The performance of identities whether as ‘actor’ or ‘chooser’ is an integral part of the arguments sustaining heterogeneity and a plurality of identities and representations, in the individual as well as the diaspora. According to Appadurai, the forces of ‘global advertising’ and: ‘… globalization of culture is the same as its homogenisation, but globalization involves the use of a variety of instruments of homogenisation (armaments, advertising techniques, language hegemonies, clothing style and the like), which are absorbed into local political and cultural economies, only to be repatriated as heterogeneous dialogues of national sovereignty, free enterprise, fundamentalism etc. (229) Questions of heterogeneity arise in these ‘instruments of homogenization’ as core questions on Pacific diasporic identities/representations, for example language hegemonies sustained by terms like ‘islander’. In this instance the impact is not on nation states as Appadurai uses it, but as markers of identity and representation in determination of individual and diasporic scapes within the larger globalised hegemonies of definitions of people sustained in homogenising terms such as the ‘global village’. Appadurai’s concludes with the remark: Thus the central feature of global culture today is the politics of the mutual effect of same and difference to cannibalise one another and thus to proclaim their successful hijacking of the twin enlightenment ideas of the triumphantly universal and the resiliently particular. (229-30)