Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality

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Duke University Press, 1999 - Social Science - 322 pages
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Few recent phenomena have proved as emblematic of our era, and as little understood, as globalization. Are nation-states being transformed by globalization into a single globalized 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 transnational Chinese public, Aihwa Ong argues that previous studies have mistakenly viewed transnationality 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 transnational subjects have come to symbolize 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 civilizations,” Ong presents a clear account of the cultural logics of globalization and an incisive contribution to the anthropology of Asia-Pacific modernity and its links to global social change.
This pioneering investigation of transnational cultural forms will appeal to those in anthropology, globalization studies, postcolonial studies, history, Asian studies, Marxist theory, and cultural studies.


 

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Contents

Flexible Citizenship The Cultural Logics of Transnationality
1
Emerging Modernities
27
The Geopolitics of Cultural Knowledge
29
A Momentary Glow of Fraternity
55
Regimes and Strategies
85
Fengshui and the Limits to Cultural Accumulation
87
The Pacific Shuttle Family Citizenship and Capital Circuits
110
Translocal Publics
137
A Better Tomorrow? The Struggle for Global Visibility
158
Global Futures
183
Saying No to the West Liberal Reasoning in Asia
185
Zones of New Sovereignty
214
An Anthropology of Transnationality
240
Notes
245
Bibliography
293
Index
315

The Family Romance of Mandarin Capital
139

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Global Civil Society?
John Keane
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1999)

Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. She is author and coeditor of several books, including Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia and Ungrounded Empires: The Cultural Politics of Modern Chinese Transnationalism.

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