Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality (Paperback)

by Aihwa Ong

Format: Paperback 272 pages

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Few recent phenomena have proved as emblematic of our era, and as little understood, as globalisation. Are nation-states being transformed by globalisation into a single globalised economy? Do global cultural forces herald a postnational millennium? Tying ethnography to structural analysis, Flexible Citizenship explores such questions with a focus on the links between the cultural logics of human action and on economic and political processes within the Asia-Pacific, including the impact of these forces on women and family life. Explaining how intensified travel, communications, and mass media have created a trans-national Chinese public, Aihwa Ong argues that previous studies have mistakenly viewed trans-nationality as necessarily detrimental to the nation-state and have ignored individual agency in the large-scale flow of people, images, and cultural forces across borders. She describes how political upheavals and global markets have induced Asian investors, in particular, to blend strategies of migration and of capital accumulation and how these trans-national subjects have come to symbolise both the fluidity of capital and the tension between national and personal identities. Refuting claims about the end of the nation-state and about "the clash of civilisations," Ong presents a clear account of the cultural logics of globalisation and an incisive contribution to the anthropology of Asia-Pacific modernity and its links to global social change. This pioneering investigation of trans-national cultural forms will appeal to those in anthropology, globalisation studies, postcolonial studies, history, Asian studies, Marxist theory, and cultural studies.

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Duke University Press


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