Globalization and Fiction

In “Disjuncture and Difference, Arjun Appadurai starts with the idea that “The central problem of today’s global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization” (28), but then goes further to note that “The new global cultural economy has to be seen as a complex, overlapping, disjunctive order that cannot any longer be understood in terms of existing center-periphery models (even those that might account for multiple centers and peripheries)” (29). Similarly, in “Globalist Fantasies,” Anna Tsing sets up her essay by suggesting “approaches to the study of the global that seem to me to hold onto the excitement of this endorsement of planetary interconnection without trading our critical stance for globalist wishes and fantasies” (51); to do this, she warns at the end of her piece (among other things) that “we must stop making a distinction between ‘global’ forces and ‘local’ places” (60). How are these stresses – global/local, homogenizing/heterogenizing, center/periphery – challenged or exemplified through fiction? Extend your understanding of both Tsing and Appadurai by briefly going moreinto depth with their work, then demonstrating (through specific references) how two (or more) of our fictional texts engage with these ideas.

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