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5 - Outlining an Engaged Theory 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

This chapter begins by outlining some of the principles that guide the work of engaged theory. We then elaborate these principles to show how engaged theory can be understood as a form of critical theory. Engaged theory is critical, but not for criticism’s sake. It is committed to making a positive difference in the world. By mapping the complexity of our world—locally and globally—our approach is intended to contribute to the process of engaging sensitively and practically with that world. By recognizing the messiness of that world while drawing out broad patterns of practice and meaning, it provides a new way of understanding that complexity. The chapter shows how our approach works across different levels of analysis to discern patterns of practice and meaning. It responds to five key questions. First, how should globalization be conceptualized? Second, should globalization be equated with material interconnectivity? Third, what dominant forms has globalization assumed throughout history? Fourth, what is the relationship between globalization and relations of power, domination, and subjection? And fifth, what is the relationship of globalization theory to social practice?

Type
Chapter
Information
Globalization Matters
Engaging the Global in Unsettled Times
, pp. 106 - 136
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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