Arjun Appadurai

Arjun Appadurai
New York University | NYU · Department of Media, Culture, and Communication

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157
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (157)
Article
We would be wrong to imagine that Trump belongs in the long tradition of American politicians who are deeply concerned with managing their images. The idea of the image as a central feature of American life has been a popular axiom of the last seven decades and has not been adequately rethought. Trump has successfully found a following that likes h...
Article
Full-text available
This essay argues that the phenomenon of repeat viewing of films by Bollywood audiences is worthy of being treated as an unusual cultural practice in which repetition and difference support and reinforce each other in the manner suggested by Gilles Deleuze. This relationship is particularly enabled by the relationship of music to plot in these film...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the work of an alliance formed by three civic organisations in Mumbai to address poverty—the NGO SPARC, the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan, a cooperative representing women’s savings groups.* It highlights key features of their work which include putting the knowledge and capacity of the poor and the savings...
Article
The argument of this essay is that migrants, especially refugees, in the contemporary globalized world are inevitably second-class citizens because their stories do not fit the narrative requirements of modern nation-states. As a result, there is no easy way for them to fit either their memories or their aspirations into acceptable forms that fit t...
Article
This essay argues that the phenomenon of repeat viewing of films by Bollywood audiences is worthy of being treated as an unusual cultural practice in which repetition and difference support and reinforce each other in the manner suggested by Gilles Deleuze. This relationship is particularly enabled by the relationship of music to plot in these film...
Article
Comment on Ortner, Sherry. 2016. “Dark anthropology and its others: Theory since the eighties.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6 (1): 47–73.
Article
Full-text available
CARGC Paper 4 reprinted Appadurai’s October 2015 Distinguished Lecture at PARGC. In it, he warned against the dangers of “knowledge-based imperialism and scholarly apartheid” and offered possible ways to avoid them. Appadurai identified a growing rift between media studies and communication studies, with scholars concerned with institutions, power,...
Article
For the former colony, decolonization is a dialogue with the colonial past, and not a simple dismantling of colonial habits and modes of life. Nowhere are the complexities and ambiguities of this dialogue more evident than in the vicissitudes of cricket in those countries that were once part of the British Empire. In the Indian case, the cultural a...
Chapter
This essay describes the field of social and cultural anthropology. The central concern of this subfield of anthropology is the study of human variations as a defining feature of the evolution of human societies and cultures. It stands in contrast to the development of other social and behavioral science disciplines that are based on evolutionism a...
Article
This essay outlines a new approach to the problem of mediation, materiality, and the distribution of agency across human and nonhuman entities by moving the focus away from Bruno Latour’s “actants” to a class of agentive entities called “mediants.”
Chapter
This article examines the anthropological interest in globalization from two perspectives. First, in conversation with other social sciences and second, to reexamine classical questions of diffusion, identification, comparison from within the discipline itself. Central to this analysis is the idea of "flow" that places objects, ideologies, technolo...
Article
Capitalism, normally considered the zenith of scientism, techno-rationality, and calculative reason, can fruitfully be seen as just the opposite of these things. It can be considered the dreamwork of industrial modernity, its magical, spiritual, and utopian horizon, in which all that is solid melts into money. Speculation is the motor of this dream...
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Full-text available
I see this new phase in the history of a well-established scholarly journal as offering a major opportunity. That opportunity needs to be placed in a context. There are three key elements to this context, from the point of view of the American research university and the geographies of the rest of the world. First, globalization has encouraged grea...
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Full-text available
This major collection of essays, a sequel to Modernity at Large (1996), is the product of ten years' research and writing, constituting an important contribution to globalization studies. Appadurai takes a broad analytical look at the genealogies of the present era of globalization through essays on violence, commodification, nationalism, terror an...
Article
Enumerations of informal settlements undertaken by their own community organizations have become increasingly common. These help urban poor communities to mobilize knowledge about themselves – knowledge that is valuable for their own discussions, that helps develop better relations with local governments. This commentary discusses why it is importa...
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This paper is built on a close reading of the use of the term 'calculation' by Max Weber. On the basis of this reading, I argue for a deeper understanding of Weber's views on uncertainty in the Calvinist ethos, and for a new approach to some key issues in the moral and discursive world of nancial capital today, in which accounting, accountability a...
Article
The dialogue begins with a discussion of the development of processes of globalisation in recent years, offering a critique of some of the more hyperbolic claims about the death of geography. The discussion then moves to the question of the new conditions for the production of localities, and the role of new technologies in these developments. Furt...
Article
This essay lays out an argument that leads back from some debates in contemporary social studies of finance to arguments that have not been fully developed in some classic writings of Marcel Mauss (1990 [1954]) and Max Weber (2009 [1920]). My starting point is Jacques Derrida’s (1994) famous argument about the “impossibility” of the gift, which ann...
Chapter
The Double Genealogy of Non-Violence in India This paper begins and ends with reflection on India, and on the place of Gandhian ideas about non-violence as a form of political action. The literature on Gandhi and on his place in the study of non-violence is voluminous. One among the many questions that remain open about Gandhian thought and action...
Article
Cultural objects move with increasing speed across regional and national boundaries resulting in an ever faster, volatile traffic in commodities, styles and information. This essay explores the resulting global cultural flows and networks that develop in these accelerated circumstances, creating often worrisome dynamics on a global and local level....
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Jerome Mintz Retrospective: 1968–1986 The Shoemaker. 1978, black‐and‐white, 34 minutes. Pepe's Family. 1978, black‐and‐white, 41 minutes. Perico the Bowlmaker. 1978, black‐and‐white, 45 minutes. The Shepherd's Family. 1978, black‐and‐white, 22 minutes. All produced, directed, and edited by Jerome Mintz; Camera and Sound: Jerome Mintz; Narration: Ru...
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Full-text available
Fluid Signs: Being a Person the Tamil Way. E. VALENTINE DANIEL.The Untouchable as Himself: Ideology, Identity and Pragmatism among the Lucknow Chamars. RAVINDRA S. KHARE.The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism. ASHIS NANDY.
Article
The full impact of the current recession on American higher education remains uncertain, but drops in applications, faculty autonomy and job security, frozen salaries and hiring processes, and scaling back of new facilities and programs are already being seen. American colleges face tough times ahead for teaching, research, and capital projects acr...
Chapter
Cities and Citizenship is a prize-winning collection of essays that considers the importance of cities in the making of modern citizens. For most of the modern era the nation and not the city has been the principal domain of citizenship. This volume demonstrates, however, that cities are especially salient sites for examining the current renegotiat...
Article
Democracy rests on a vision. And all visions require hope. But it is not clear whether there is any deep or inherent affinity between the politics of democracy and the politics of hope. This is puzzling since in today’s world, the hope of becoming democratic is offered to many societies, even if this requires them to be invaded and remade at high c...
Conference Paper
Anderson describes "The Long Tail" in online retailing and Silverstein and Fiske describe "Trading Up" to luxury goods. A more complete explanation of consumer behavior is based on informedness and pursuit of products that truly meet individual ...
Article
This paper argues that research be recognised as a right of a special kind - that it be regarded as a more universal and elementary ability. It suggests that research is a specialised name for a generalised capacity to make disciplined inquires into those things we need to know, but do not know yet. I maintain that knowledge is both more valuable a...
Article
This article addresses the relationship between globalization and current forms of critical knowledge, especially as these forms have come to be organized by the social sciences in the West. Globalization as an uneven economic process creates a fragmented and uneven distribution of those resources for learning, teaching and cultural criticism that...
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Full-text available
Public Culture 14.1 (2002) 21-47 Post-1989, the world seems marked by the global victory of some version of neoliberalism, backed by the ubiquitous presence of the United States and sustained by the common openness to market processes of regimes otherwise varied in their political, religious, and historical traditions. At the same time, more than a...
Article
lobalization is certainly a source of anxiety in the U.S. academic world. And the sources of this anxiety are many: Social scientists (especially economists) worry about whether markets and deregulation produce greater wealth at the price of increased inequality. Political scientists worry that their field might vanish along with their favorite obj...
Article
This paper explores the links between circulation as a biographical fact, as a condition of anthropological knowledge and as a problem of contemporary global interaction, The links also illuminate the dialogue between the contingencies of a scholarly career and the conditions of production of a critical internationalist social science. It also offe...
Article
Public Culture 12.3 (2000) 627-651 Cities like Bombay -- now Mumbai -- have no clear place in the stories told so far that link late capitalism, globalization, post-Fordism, and the growing dematerialization of capital. Their history is uneven -- in the sense made commonsensical by a certain critical tradition in Marxism. It is also characterized b...

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