Tag Archives: globalization

Augé, M. (1995). _Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity_. London and New York: Verso.

French anthropologist Marc Augé has had a career in three stages, moving from African research, to European, then global. This particular book, first an essay, describes first “place” in the anthropological sense — it is the link between space and social organization. “Place” gives us context (Dourish, 2001), and so long as a social connection can be made there, a space becomes place.

Augé’s non-places, by contrast, are the places where people move (highways), wait to move (airline terminals), or stay as they move (hotel rooms) around the world in this globalized world. These are the places people flow through as they operate on behalf of Castells’ (1989, 1996) spaces of flows, and, per Castells, these places often look like each other on purpose. One’s stay is too quick, too ephemeral, the purpose too uni-functional, and the place really too generic for any substantive experience to take place. Individuals may travel the globe via these non-places, but they don’t really see it.

“A paradox of non-place: a foreigner lost in a country he does not know (a ‘passing stranger’) can feel at home there only in the anonymity of motorways, service stations, big stores or hotel chains” (106).

Not exactly non-places, but similar, are Walzer’s (1986) “single-minded spaces.” In “Pleasures and Costs of Urbanity,” Walzer explains single-minded spaces are those design by city planners or entrepreneurial corporatists with a single thing in mind, “and used by similarly single-minded citizens” (ibid, 470). However, his condemnation, like Augé’s, is not absolute. These places serve purposes. However, the problem for Walzer is that “open-minded spaces,” those designed for multiple uses, anticipated and impromptu, and which contribute to culture-making, lose ground to the single-minded ones. Like Augé, he wants us to notice the difference.

“In the concrete reality of today’s world, places and spaces, places and non-places intertwine and tangle together. The possibility of non-place is never absent from any place. Place becomes a refuge to the habitué of non-places (who may dream, for example, of owning a second home rooted in the depths of the countryside). Places and non-places are opposed (or attracted) like the words and notions that enable us to describe them. But the fashionable worlds — those that did not exist thirty years ago — are associated with non-places” (107).

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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Community Development, Major Field, Planning Theory, Public Space, Research Fields

Castells, M. (1996). _The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, Volume I_. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Written with the aim of understanding better the economic, political, and social implications of globalization, the first (and necessarily most abstract) volume of Castells’ trilogy proposes we are in a network society. Here capital and information have collapsed into one another and become the same thing, spurring a transformation from modern capitalism into informational capitalism. In contradistinction to modern capitalism, informational capitalism’s production is knowledge-based productivity, wherein the mounting interdependence of economies and companies reflects the need for international and inter-corporate collaboration in order to stay competitive in the same global market.

The rise of the informational economy “is characterized by the development of a new organizational logic which is related to the current progress of technological change, but not dependent on it” (152). Indeed, corporations did not embrace information technology to advance their standing in the market but to copewith the meteoric changes and increase overall productivity. Labor’s role in this transition to the informational society underscores the shift from the industrial economy, as well as the fact that there is no one model of the informational society. Castells hypothesizes: “as the process of globalization progresses, organizational forms evolve from multi-national entities to [increasingly decentralized] international networks” (192).

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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Community Development, Major Field, Research Fields

About/By/In Out the Window

Out the Window is the first of its kind participatory learning experience for young people and the Los Angeles Metro ridership. A collaboration among four of Los Angeles’ media arts organizations – LA Freewaves, Echo Park Film Center, Public Matters, and UCLA REMAP (Center for Research in Engineering, Media, and Performance) – and Transit TV, the project engages youth and community-based artists in producing relevant and meaningful videos about their neighborhoods and lives. The project is divided into two phases: the first involves the work of students from East Los Angeles, Echo Park, and Historic Filipinotown, and the second adds videos by LA artists, activists, and storytellers. All work aims to engage and inspire the LA Metro ridership.

I hope this is a representative, if not comprehensive, report of the works achieved and things learned over the course of Out the Window’s implementation.

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Filed under Out the Window, Presentations

About this time, two summers ago, in winter

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All photos by Colin Peeples.

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Filed under Travels

Nobody walks in LA

I wonder how long ago this happened and yet I also know it doesn’t much matter. I also don’t agree with my post title, but see tags. Photo by Colin Peeples.

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June 15, 2012 · 3:51 pm