Lewellen gives us the first analytic overview of an important new subject area in a field that has long been identified with the study of relatively bounded communities. Globalization refers to the increasing flows of trade, finance, culture, ideas, and people brought about by the sophisticated technology of communications and travel and by the worldwide spread of neoliberal capitalism. Unlike dependency theory and world systems analysis, which tended to assume a bird's-eye perspective, globalization offers a down-and-dirty, ground-up approach in which ethnographic research is not marginal but essential.
Through multiple examples, selected from the latest ethnographic research from all over the world, Lewellen examines the ways that globalization impacts migrants and stay-at-homes, peasants and tribal peoples, men and women. A crucial theme is that the global/local nexus is one of unpredictable interaction and creative adaptation, not of top-down determinism. Theoretically, globalization studies have become the focal point for the convergence of interpretive anthropology, critical anthropology, postmodernism, and poststructuralism, which are combined with a tough empiricism. For the casual reader or the classroom, this work draws together the ethnographic studies and cutting-edge theories that comprise the anthropology of globalization.