Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger - Public Planet Books (Hardback)Arjun Appadurai (author)
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Fear of Small Numbers is Arjun Appadurai's answer to that question. A leading theorist of globalization, Appadurai turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary "war on terror." Providing a conceptually innovative framework for understanding sources of global violence, he describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile, slippery relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference.
Appadurai analyzes the darker side of globalization: suicide bombings; anti-Americanism; the surplus of rage manifest in televised beheadings; the clash of global ideologies; and the difficulties that flexible, cellular organizations such as Al-Qaeda present to centralized, "vertebrate" structures such as national governments. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions: 207 x 144 x 17 mm
"In this book, Appadurai follows up Modernity at Large with a look into the seamy side of globalization. Analyzing the growing inequalities and endemic violence of the past decade, he still sees signs of hope in less noticed trends of `globalization from below.' These are important new thoughts from an influential thinker of our times."-Partha Chatterjee, Director, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York
"Fear of Small Numbers makes engaging reading. . . . The book provides a fine introduction to the conjunction of globalization, violence, and identity politics. Not overburdened with jargon or scholarly references, the book is accessible to readers both within and outside of academia and to an undergraduate audience. It will interest anthropologists, political scientists, policymakers, and students of conflict resolution and globalization." -- Michelle Ruth Gamburd * American Anthropologist *
"Appadurai's Fear of Small Numbers is an important contribution to the study of one of the most harmful aspects of modernity, violence against minorities. . . . "[It is] groundbreaking both for social theory and for political action. Even its questionable assertions inspire reflection on important issues. I highly recommend this book to all people interested in the fate of the contemporary world." -- Laura Pearl, Comparative Studies in Society and History