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4 - Considering the Subjective Dimensions of Globalization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2019

Manfred B. Steger
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Paul James
Affiliation:
Western Sydney University
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Summary

Objective phenomena of globalization have been studied in extraordinary detail. Scholarly publications abound describing the flows of global financial interchange, the movement of goods and people, and even the empirical spread of global culture. By comparison, the subjective dimensions of globalization have barely received any attention. Seeking to rectify this neglect, this chapter explores how various ideological articulations of globalization have shaped its material designs and instantiations. We suggest that the thickening of global consciousness can be conceptualized along four interrelated dimensions or layers: ideas, ideologies, imaginaries, and ontologies. Each of these layers is, as we show, constituted in practice at an ever-greater generality, durability, and depth. In this period of the Great Unsettling, normative contestations have intensified, but they tend to have a common global point of reference. Putting an analytical spotlight on such subjective dimensions not only yields a better understanding of the changing ideological landscape of our time, but also helps us make sense of the profound and multidimensional processes that go by the name of globalization.

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Chapter
Information
Globalization Matters
Engaging the Global in Unsettled Times
, pp. 78 - 105
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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