Globalization and its Historic Significance

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Course Title

Globalization and its Historic Significance

Institution Where Taught

University of Pennslyvania

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Course Description

This course describes and analyses the current state of globalization and sets it in historical perspective. It applies the concepts and methods of anthropology, history, political economy and sociology to the analysis and interpretation of what is actually happening in the course of the semester that relates to the progress of globalization. We focus on a series of questions not only about what is happening but about the growing awareness of it and the consequences of the increasing awareness. In answering these questions we distinguish between active campaigns to cover the world (e.g. Christian and Muslim proselytism, free-trade agreements, democratization) and the unplanned diffusion of new ways of organizing trade, capital flows, tourism and remote interaction via the Internet. The body of the course deals with particular dimensions of globalization, reviewing both the early and recent history of each. The overall approach is historical and comparative, setting globalization on the larger stage of the economic, political and cultural development of various parts of the modern world. The course is taught collaboratively by an anthropologist, an historian, and a sociologist, offering the opportunity to compare and contrast distinct disciplinary approaches. It seeks to develop a general social-science-based theoretical understanding of the various historical dimensions of globalization: economic, political, social and cultural.

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Also Offered As: HIST 012, SOCI 012


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