Friday, December 4, 2009

Transnationalism and McDonalds

This weeks reading discussed transnationalism and post nationalism. Globalization is a key feature of transnationalism. It helps aid in capitalism and other things. Globalization permits goods to be marketed from country to country but the product can still be of its original culture/domain. We also heard alot about the biggest fast food chain in the world, McDonalds. They use catchy slogans to promote their food. Depending on which country their in, the way they promote their food by commercial or billboards is unique to that country. I know from experience, in Chile they sell guacamole along with the rest of the regular menu. The sale of the countries cultural food allows for the consumer to feel at home and which will better sell their products. .
I really enjoyed this article because it was cool to see McDonalds in different countries and how far they will go, just to sell more double cheesburgers or double stacks.(lol) I also liked how they were talking about how film helps aid in the loss of culture.
I would like to further investigate how far McDonalds and other fast food stores go in promoting their products in other countries. I also want to know if you think it is a good thing or a bda thing that McDonalds does this? Do you find it disrespectful?

Nationalism and Patriotism

This week we talked about nationalism and patriotism. In a sense these two go hand in hand. Nationalism is associated with ones loyalty and devotion to a nation. The thought of being united, "One nation under god." Where as patriotism is associated with one's love or devotion to a country. In simpler terms, this is how proud a person is to be apart of their country. In this case this would be how proud we are to be Americans. To use the United States as an example, patriotism and nationalism are connected because the idea of nationalism creates patriotism. Without nationalism, I would not be proud to be an American.


This we we needed to reading "Apprehending Transnationalism," by Randall Halle. The article is basically about globalizations and how it is effected in the modern day. The world around us is losing the cultures that made it so great and diverse. There are no ancient cities that are exactly the same as they were thousands of years ago, obviously, but the people that live in the cities do not hold their cultures as high any more. People all around the world are drawn to these, new "things," such as the internet for example as Halle states, and this makes the distinct cultures less distinct.
The way that countries are competing now to have the most advanced new technologies come to their countries is really blending all of us together. We can walk to Japan, Milan, New York, and London and see basically the same setting anywhere.
Halle comes across at making this negative, but is it really that bad? The world is uniting on a different level, the cultures are not so separated. Perhaps one day, social life can be like this where races and people from the same background do not just "naturally" group together, because the cultural divider just disappears.

Bamyeh's Postnationalism

Most people seem to have viewed Bamyeh's essays souly as descriptive and disecting text. I took them more of a reflection on the way in which we view our country and how others. These view points affect the way in which the country is run. The rise of imperialism was mainly fostered by the potential for capitalistic gains; however, without the nationalistic mentality ideas like the "white man's burden" and "saving the savages" would not have arisen.

It is not necessary for a country to assume superiority to trade and function with a different country, but that feeling is more often there. I wonder what the age of imperialism would have been like if the more technologically advanced countries hadn't assumed superiority. What would have been different in Africa? Would the indigenious tribes of the South Pacific be thriving instead of being morphed into a bastardization of their former culture represented as the tropical oasis for honeymooners? Even America. Nationalism is a dangerous tool in the hands of a greedy or even just a onesided individual. If you are looking at the benefit for your people alone, you may kill off thousands by introducing small pox into their lives, or you may kill of individuals based entirely on their religion. To me there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. The difference to me is that nationalism is a broader idea. Nationalism describes more of an ethnic pride. While patriotism to me refers to the sense of pride and loyalty one has for a country or government. Patriotism can exist regardless of whether the country is still in existance or if the idea is still in development. Patriotism is unique to each individual. It never takes on the same connotation. They are both equally powerful as they are dangerous.

My question is do you think it is possible to foster a feeling of nationalistic or patriotic pride on a global level? Or is the lack of opposition or otherness preventing the formation of such an ideology?


I found this week's readings particularly interesting and brought into perspective many things I had not thought about before. The main topics were nationalism, postnationalism, transnationalism and internationalism and how each was affecting globalization, and vice versa. Postnationalism was particularly interesting to me, and Bamyeh enforced that "it reintroduces into the world alternative modes of conglomeration and solidarity" (Bamyeh 2) During the earlier periods of history, separate countries were not at all nationalistic and did not have much nationalistic pride. Only relatively recently in the span of history did heavy nationalism appear, and now it's interesting that it is not being taken to another level with postnationalism. The article also bring film into the whole equation, introducing arguments on both side of the equation. Some critics say that film is completely nationalistic but I beg to differ. Film is actually something that crosses boundaries. It's not like people in America only watch American-made films, while people in France watch only French films.

Either way, I think nationalism in general is a result of globalization because without worldwide knowledge, worldwide appreciation is not possible. And with the expansion of trade and all the different advances of technology, it is very possible the there will be another branch of nationalism besides the one already mentioned in the future.

Bamyeh's nationalism

This week we talked about nationalism, postnationalism, transnationalism, and internationalism. One idea that I will talk about is nationalism verses postnationalism. Bamyeh’s idea that we are living in a postnationalistic world that started after WWII happened because people could see themselves becoming more and more independent. He goes on to say that it doesn’t get any better because the wars that are fought after WWII, i.e. the cold war, were fought not on the bases of nationalism but on the bases of keeping America strong in the economic pull in the world.

This is interesting topic because it questions the idea of whether America or any other country for that matter has become less nationalistic and if we are living in a postnationalistic world. This brings up a good point about even today’s war in Iraq. There is not enough wide spread support which could have something to do with the postnationalistic world we live in.

I do believe that we are living in a postnationalism world for many reasons. One, I believe that if America was to go into a war in these times, for any reason, that there would not be enough support and seen as a way to gain on another countries resources. The same thing happened in Iraq when there were large claims of going into Iraq because of their vast oil resources. I am not saying for or against this, I am just stating fact. Everyone in the world is concerned with themselves which leaves a lot of nationalism out in the cold. This is do not necessarily view this as bad just a different direction of our country.

Nationalism vs Patriotism (Extra Credit) ShaqSmith

The key to understanding the terms is to know the difference. Though they are similar, Nationalism is having pride in your nation and patriotism is implementing actions that showcase your nationalism. For example, I have a strong nationalism for the United States. I am proud of my country, respect the men and women that protect us through the armed services, and I have a strong pride for the U.S. However, I am not so patriotic. I say that because I would never volunteer myself for war. therefore, I do not showcase my nationalism by doing patriotic actions. Thus, I am a strong nationalism belief but I do not prove it by acting upon my nationalism.

-Shaq Smith


This weeks reading was primarily based on transnationalism and post nationalism. I was a little fuzzy about post nationalism and understand transnationalism way better since its some what involved in capitalism. Globalization is also a main factor in transnationalism and it helps to aid in capitalism and other qualities. Globalization allows for goods to be marketed from country to country but the product is still able to keep its original culture or domain. In this reading Americanization is also touched upon along with McDonald's. McDonald's is a widely known fast food chain that has store all around the world. They use catchy slogans and commercials that suit the country their in to better sell their products. As an outside example; in China they sell spring rolls as their McDonald's along with the average menu. The sale of a cultural food allows for the consumer to feel at home and which will better sell their products. A main point from this article though is culture is being lost through Globalization. The media and film are a huge cause of this since many people have access too view other peoples cultures.
I really enjoyed this article because i thought a lot of key points about globalization were being asked and i enjoyed learning about how film affects culture spread. Also i really enjoyed how they touched on the Hollywood film studio and how they occasionally depict history that other cultures have banned.
I would like to learn more about how chain food stores or restaurants market their product to better suit their surrounding. It was really cool to think about McDonald's selling certain products to better market themselves and i wonder what they're selling in another remote part of the world.

Nationalism vs. Patriotism- extra credit

The entire debate in class between Nationalism and Patriotism is about the understanding of each of these terms. I feel that both are closely related to one another. To me, it’s like the theme song to Married with Children. “Love and Marriage… you can’t have one with out the other”. I feel that you might as well replace love and marriage with Nationalism and Patriotism. Nationalism is the idea of the nation as a whole complete unit, such as “We the people of the United States” being that we all belong to the United States. While Patriotism would be our love or honor of the United States, like the song “I’m proud to be an American”. Obviously you can’t be proud to be something unless that something tangibly exists even as an idea. That is, I can’t be proud of America until the idea of a national common identity exists.


From the reading this week, the Halle article briefly mentioned Westernization or McDonaldization. While I think McDonalds is primarily McCrap, I think it is important that other countries desire to be like the West. That is not to say that they want to be completel the same. I read somewhere that in Japan they actually offer different items Like the Teriyaki McBurger and Ebi Filet-O (Shrimp burger). Also, one website claims that “french fries can be purchased in barbecue, seaweed, and Italian basil flavor”. These items suggest that while Japan adopts Western culture, like McDonalds, it does so but with its own ideas and unique items.
Also I feel like we, the West, adopt culture from other countries however it is to a much lesser extent. Suddenly Indian culture is gaining in popularity here. Movies like “Slumdog Millionaire”, belly-dancing, Eastern religion (Buddhism) are popular in America.
So while I feel like the United States is criticized for Westernizing the rest of the world, I feel that we should be cut some lack.


In this week's readings, we were introduced to various aspects of nationalism. The four aspects were nationalism, internationalism, transnationalism, and postnationalism. The readings of this week were really interesting and brought back a lot of interesting memories from the beginning of the course. I was highly intrigued by Mohammed A Bamyeh's essay entitled Postnationalism.

Bamyeh's essay describes and argues the idea of the reduction in the cultural occupancy within a nation. The three common features of a postnational culture are very important to the specific nation at hand. Postnationalism describes the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to supranational and global entities. There are several factors that contribute to aspects of postnationalism, including economic, political, and cultural elements.

Postnationalism occurs in the Americas, Europe, as well as in the media and in sports. In economic terms there are factors that increase globalnationalism. For example, the expansion of international trade with raw materials, manufactured goods, and services, and the importance of multinational corporations and internationalization of financial markets. Political power wthin these unions include the United Nations, European Union, the North American Free trade Afreement, and the NATO.

My idea of the nationalism idea is that it is important for someone to have strong feelings for the Nation for the one they live. Recently, President Barack Obama just approved the sending of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. I believe that this transition is a test of nationalism for the United States and other countries involved. I believe that the United States congress should be forced to urge one family member to join the armed forces and fight for the country. I say that because they are the ones who vote for the bill to be passed, thus, I feel that they should be forced to fight because they want the war. I am proud to be an American, however, it isn't fair for those who are sent to war.

God Bless America!

-Shaquel Smith

A Nationalist World? A Post-Nationalist World? An Internationalist…

This week, we discussed the difference between nationalism, post-nationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism.  One thing that seemed to lack from that classroom discussion, though, is which ideology our contemporary world most resembles.  Super optimists would likely say we live in a transnational world, driven mainly by the internet.  No one will dispute the importance of the internet, but optimists to a slightly lesser degree will claim we live more in a post-nationalist world, and that, again, primarily through the internet and globalization, the concept of the individual nation has become less important, but the expansion outward hasn’t been fully completed.  A pessimist would argue that nationalism still exists, and use current affairs and events such as Pakistan and India, or Switzerland’s ban on minarets as an example.  I personally feel that our world can currently be best described as international.  Nations still play a key role, and nationalism is still very present in many forms (see Pakistan – involvement in Afghanistan, or pins, flag), yet the rest of the world is also becoming crucially important.  It is very important to have a broader view and to understand other nations and their cultures.  Yet most people today still identify themselves primarily with a national identity (though there is certainly a considerable minority that will use an ethnic identity).  The world is currently in a state where you need to be able to understand and work with other national cultures, but those are all viewed through your own national perspective, and your own personal national identity is still paramount.  This is just my opinion, I may be sort of right, or very very wrong (and I doubt anywhere in between, or beyond those), so let me know what you think…

Second to last blog

Of the two readings assigned for this week I found Halle's "Apprehending Transnationalism" to be the most relevant and interesting. Transnationalism is all about globalization. And globalization is creating a more global community...or society... as in the name of this course. I for one love taking note of any change in culture across communities that may reflect globalization and the way this article takes into account the realm of cinema and modern media in the world of globalization is very interesting to me. The way one looks at and interprets a film largely depends on your culture context. As the article mentioned movies made by crews of a certain nationality that speak of other cultures it is interesting to note that the cultures depicted in the movies often find fault with these portrayals and are nearly offended. Specific examples of this phenomena include: the German reaction to "Schindler's List" or the British reaction to "The Patriot".

I found this article to be interesting in subject matter but hard to plod through. I enjoy looking into culture change and how people view each other and each other's cultures. I specifically enjoyed how the use of film, something else that interests me greatly, can demonstrate a trend of transnationalism and globalization.

My only question really has nothing to do with the subject matter itself but rather how it is presented. Do you think there are other ways of demonstrating transnationalism that would catch a readers attention rather than film?


Of the readings this week, I found Bamyeh’s article the most interesting. He addressed globalization and its effect on nationalism. Globalization has become so evident that nationalism has generally given way to post nationalism, in which individual nations begin to identify on a global scale as opposed to separate entities. Post nationalism rose after the Second World War. Nationalism was pretty new to the 20th century, but as Bamyeh noticed, was one of the most devastating ideas humanity had faced due to all the destruction and war it caused. But with the rise of post nationalism, the globalized world has progressed and established multinational economies and organizations.
The most interesting part of Bamyeh’s article was his analysis of the contrast between American and Europe in regards to post nationalism. It is clear that America is still very nationalistic and asserts its own power in all parts of the world (as well as integrating itself into the global society) while Europe has dropped such strong nationalism and embraced post nationalism. It is interesting to follow the nationalistic development of these two regions. While Europe established transnational institutions after WWII which later evolved into the European Union, America persisted with their military after the Cold War and became a more hegemonic power. Why did Europe and America share such different fates? Do you think it's more geographic or because of their foreign affairs?

Trans Nationalism

Throughout this weeks readings we encounter transnationalism and post nationalism. The focus of my writing will be on transnationalism as I feel i have a better understanding. Transnationalism incorporates capitalism. In other words it follows the potential to find non exploited markets for sources of economic wealth. This draws on inter dependence of people from across the world, although not equally. A key aspect in transnationalism is globalization. Globalization has many advantageous qualities. Globalization allows for goods from one state or country to marketed in others while still retaining it's own natural "feel" or cultural domain. The article goes on to discuss Americanization, the film industry, and cultural imperialism like McDonald's who have restaurants locations all over the world, which use catchy commercial and advertisements to apparently distract the consumer from their true wants. The one view that is however left out is not commonly looked at is what it provides instead. The cultural aspect may be distorted in Capitalism, but it also bring together people from everywhere, and encourages growth as if one major producer of a product would fall another would rise to take it's place. One main point of the article is that so to say the antiquity of culture is being lost in globalization as displayed as examples given through media and film. They use such references as Hollywood to distort and portray a different history in which some nations reject, yet as many are lured into as a false truth. I found this article particularly interesting because I feel the question really being addressed here is change and globalization upon a free market centuries after the making. It has both its good and bad connotations, but at this point we need to focus on the good and improvements, any thoughts. This article was fairly difficult to piece together at certain points, so I may have misinterpreted a little.


While I found Bamyeh’s article, “Postnationalism” interesting, of the two readings for this week Halle’s article, “Apprehending Transnationalism” more intriguing. The arguments and examples in Halle’s article were just more detailed and interesting to me than those in Bamyeh’s. Halle goes into detail about how the world is losing its different cultures, how “the hand-carved gods of ritual practices” have gone from a part of a countries culture to “shower curtain motifs for ‘African’ or ‘South Sea’ style bathrooms” (14-15). Halle spoke of globalization in a way that no other article or book we have read has really touched on, he focused a lot on the arts. Transnationalism (globalization) began mainly after the spread of the Internet, and through the Internet cultures borders are becoming more and more hazy. He spent a good amount of time writing on “the consumer [being] lured by clever advertising” and go see the movie, read the book, or buy the item without knowing its actual quality (17). This is something that interests me because everyone says to read the twilight series, but in the same sentence they mention that the writing is terrible. Why would I buy the book if I know the writing is bad? Because of advertising. Also, in Entourage, the team is able to convince people to buy a movie solely based on the trailer. I find the power of advertising to be astonishing.

One of the most interesting sentences in the article was about how the world is now “colonized.” Halle’s example was that there is “no need...anymore to justify the opening of another McDonald’s in Beijing as an act of civilization” (13). Another aspect of Halle’s article that I thought was positive was how he took into account what types of films were being compared. He mentions a writing of Kerry Seagrave that had major bias because it compared “American popular film to French art film,” instead of comparing Hollywood movies to French popular films (16). I thought it made Halle’s statements more viable that he took the initiative to compare correctly.

Do you agree with Halle’s statements in this article? Is the world growing continually more and more similar? Or do you believe that there will be some sort of cultural revival? I would also like to know if you have seen films from other countries, such as Amèlie, or if you stick with American made films.

2nd to last

In this week’s reading for global societies Bamyeh describes what he believes is post-nationalism. He starts the article by saying that you must pick a side when talking about nationalism itself, for either good or evil and there is no way of evaluating nationalism without some sort of moral judgment. He then dives into the first post-nationalism, which began in Europe after WWII. He says this starts because people finally start to believe in interdependentence and that there needs to be a dilution of sovereignty that so many Europeans held so high. They thought that they had also embodied the nationalism spirit in all Europeans, that they need to take this out of culture until is dissolved into nothing. After talking about Europe, Bamyeh shifts gears to the “American path” in which America has the right idea about post-nationalism until the end of the cold war in which American found themselves with a lot of money and toys in the military to use. They almost went backwards in time. The east coast started a new imperialism in which they used what is called six major irrational features. Also, American did not fight nationalism or against anyone else as the fought against socialism and communism to keep there capitalist economy. So in a sense they did not fight against anyone but on the type of government they wanted. He then talks about the four types of post national solidarity, material, humanistic and life emancipatory solidarities.
I enjoyed this article however I wish he would go into more of where the Middle East is. I think America and Europe are interesting places, but where does the rest of the world lie, or where are they now?
One Discussion I wanted to bring up was one that happened in class on Monday, which was having a global power. In class I was adamant that this could not happen. After thinking about it I retract my statement. I think it is possible, if you look at the global economy and how long it has taken for it to prosper, why it can’t happen with government. I think we are still some 700-1000 years from this, but it is still possible right?

Attempting to Apprehend "Apprehening Transnationalism"

According to Randall Halle, capitalism caused a significant shift in global trade as it existed previously and whoever aims to analyze globalization must also analyze capitalism. Not only did capitalism rapidly increase global productivity and expand the number of regions to which goods could be distributed, but also lead to inequality within this system. As capitalism continuously opens up new markets, it globalization cosmopolitanizes the world as distant and different people are drawn into these.

During the colonial era the nation-state effectively facilitated the spread of capitalism as expansion was justified as civilizing and/or simply forced onto foreign peoples. Now, however, nationalism isn't necessary or especially useful to capitalism. Instead, the common denominators amongst peoples are overshadowing the specificity of cultures--representations of aspects of cultures become divorced from their origin and function--to create a cosmopolitan, globalized community.

Not everything is negative, though. Halle makes a point to shed a hopeful light on the process of globalization by adding that when cultural production is something more than a context-less symbol on a shower curtain, cultural specificity is still maintained even it is just "as local color, a whiff of exoticism." The local, the places of cultural origin, after all, continue to exist and, with the process of globalization, are able to speak to an audience beyond the specific.

While this last thought is an interesting and appreciated attempt of Halle to remain hopeful in the face of the seemingly destructive force of globalization, I am afraid that it remains a dim outlook for me. I see a present and a future in which stylistic representations of different regions and cultures find their ways into furniture and decorations and this is the extent of cultural contact or understanding for most people, which robs the rich meaning and integrity of cultures from which such things are extracted. Transnationalism refers literally to going across nations, so what is crossing nations today? Is it really just the most superficial representations of cultures that create vague impressions rather than understanding or appreciation?

National Cinema

In Halle’s article about transnationalism is included a section on debates within the film industry. At the center of the debate are the term “national cinema” and its transformations in a time of globalization, as movies are viewable across the world no matter where they are made. Postnationalists argue against the term, citing that, for example, the British do not only watch British films. Further, they pose that many state-sponsored films actually have little to do with the culture of that nation. Transnationalists argue, on the other hand, that it is impossible to ignore the influence of national cultural and political affiliations within cinema. Proponents of this side of the debate provide the examples of Schindler’s List and The Patriot as American films that were perceived as very pro-American by German and British critics, respectively. Not only did Germany and Britain think that the film was excessive in its negative portrayal of their actions and history, but they also objected, especially in the case of Schindler’s List, to having an American director telling “their” story.

Two other examples that I can think of that relate to this topic are Slumdog Millionaire and Band of Brothers. Slumdog Millionaire is heavily rooted in Indian culture, as it details the past experiences of the main character as an orphaned child. Ironically, the plot is driven by his participation in an originally American game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” The movie was directed by Danny Boyle, who is British. I wonder what the reaction to this movie was within the general Indian population, as it was heavily decorated and acclaimed by American critics and the American public alike. The article brings up an interesting point in cinema’s role in globalization, both positively and negatively. While films are an outlet of other cultures, as seen in Slumdog (I for one had never seen Indian culture in as much detail), they may also be biased and not accurately portray the true makeup of a culture. Having just recently completed watching the Band of Brothers series and having also watched most famous World War II movies, I can say that Band of Brothers was the most objective and accurate out of the group. Rather than glorifying war, the directors utilized interviews of veterans portrayed in the movie and realistic physical and emotional costs to accurately display the true psychology of war. As I watched it, I did not bask in American victory and rather thought of how the toughest soldiers were crushed by losses and driven to insanity, tears, and hopelessness in many cases. There is an even a scene in the last episode that displays a surrendered German general addressing his troops and complimenting their strength and fortitude, effectively demonstrating that Germans and Americans were not all different and endured the same ups and downs of war. I certainly view the war effort much differently than I did before the series, showing the influence that cinema can have, whether it is nationally biased or not.

The article’s added dimension of entertainment into the globalization argument is just another layer in the debate we have been having all semester. While it seems that there are many ways in which the world is more global today than it ever has been, there are still so many aspects of society and culture that remain nationalistic and maintain boundaries between cultures. I think that gaining historical background on more than just our native country is essential in continuing to break down cultural gaps, as we have discussed. It seems that an effort to eliminate ignorance is essential. I wonder if Hollywood will ever look to globalization as a driving cause within its productions, or if it will cater to American tastes as a business decision. At the same time, I wonder if American tastes will change to want to accommodate a more global perspective, driving directors to include cultural accuracy and remove cultural bias.

Variations of Nationalism

This week's readings were very heavy in detail, terms and opinions. I found the two readings of this week to be some of the more difficult ones to get through (especially Apprehending Transnationalism). The first reading was mainly about postnationalism. The author described the differences between postnationalism in Europe and that in the United States - which he argues is really a quasi-superimperialism rather than postnationalism in its true state. He also gave six qualities that characterized the postnational state with details on how they were missing in the United States. The one I found striking was the sense of interdependence which was certainly there in Europe, but for all intents and purposes absent in the United States. The second reading was about transnationalism and as I mentioned I had a hard time getting through it and understanding the content and arguments. I did find the author's approach of using media and films very unique and eye-opening.

The thing I found most interesting was in the second reading. The idea that just because something becomes "global" doesn't mean that it losing all character and uniqueness. I think sometimes we underestimate the uniqueness something in global society still has. For example, I do not think that specific places lose their local color just because something they do is adopted elsewhere.

I still don't understand the concrete difference between globalization, internationalism, and transnationalism; and why they are terms used only in academia with little practical purpose (as per our discussion).


I chose to blog about Mohammed Bamyeh’s Postnationalism. In his article he tries to argue globalization has caused the decline of national ideology’s claims of providing such values and reasons for existence. In its place, social networks centered around common values have replaced the need for an increased nationalism.
Baymeh goes on to discuss the existence of a postnational culture. This culture has three distinct characteristics. Nationalism is wholistic whereas postnationalism is fragmented. Postnationalism, is not necessarily aligned with state ideology. Finally, postnationalism emphasizes the importance of involvement in world affairs.
I found it interesting how the benefits reaped from strong nationalism could be found in other ways. Smaller social networks took the place of what nationalism used to provide. I do think that although nationalism has had a diminished role in civilization today that it still plays a bigger part than Baymeh describes.

Post-, Inter-, & Trans-

(This post is for extra credit.)

This week we were introduced (as well as reintroduced) to several terms: nationalism, postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Personally, I had a difficult time distinguishing between postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Nationalism is easy to define because we have already learned about it in Hobsbawm's Age of Empire as well as Piotr's lectures. Nationalism is characteristic of a society or culture who closely identifies itself with the nation that governs it. Such a society exhbits immense pride and favor of itself and its nation.

Postnationalism is used to describe the mentality of societies and cultures that have moved away from (if they were originally in), or do not exhibit, a nationalistic mentality. Instead, a society that exhibits a postnationalistic mentality would be a society where national pride is relatively weak or non-existent. Such a society may have lost its nationalistic mentality in favor of international "solidarities", as Bamyeh calls them. These solidarities are causes and identities that link groups together. Global solidarities are necessarily related to postnationalism.

Internationalism is (according to my reading) a semi-nationalism at the international level. That is, an internationalistic society/nation, or an internationalistic world system that still has some characteristics of nationalism, but they/it see(s) the importance and benefits of a world system for its (i.e. respective nations) own good.

Transnationalism is (again, according to my humble reading) closer to postnationalism, as internationalism is to nationalism. A transnational world system would mean that borders and cleavages between nations are loose and relatively unimportant. It is often said that globalization is closely related to transnationalism, because the globalization of capitalism knows no (or at least finds ways to flow through) borders.

-Stefan Larson

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This weeks reading on Post nationalism was pretty interesting. It was written by Herein Bamyeh. In this article he talks about how globalization is related to and affected by the types of nationalism; post/trans/nationalism. However, he also spent some time focusing on art and culture. He connects nationalism with globalization or at least the modern day globalization because he says it is affected by what people are interested in. This really is nationalism because what people are most interested in usually has to do with their own country.

Bamyeh also discusses how the US does not follow this idea. He says that the United States has formed a new type of imperialism. This is true because the imperial attitude of the United States has been kept strong over the years even when the globalization period faltered and split other nations. The United States has continued to expand is large markets and grown in military. Also, the idea of how people are is beginning to change. I think this idea is interesting however very confusing. Also, I fear this idea relies too much on money and economic wealth. I think we were most nationalistic when we came together and made the United States back when all of the states were technically all different countries. I liked this reading but I think Baymeh could be slightly more clear on topics.

--- Dorothy Smith

transnationalism- blog 12

In this week’s blog I will be discussing Randall Halle’s Apprehending Transnationalism. I found both of the readings this week to be extremely boring and mundane, yet I found the Transnationalism article slightly more interesting in the way the arts were incorporated into a predominantly economic topic. The essay emphasized capitalism in the U.S. and globally, it also related this theory to film making. Transnationalism has brought together many countries in the production process. This is done by producing any one product as cheaply as possible, using up to several different countries in order to keep costs down to a low. Outsourcing and international companies are examples of transnationalism. The relationship with the film industry was clever and interesting to me. Halle’s thesis is that there is a loss of culture in capitalism at a global level. The most common technique used in capitalism is to make the production costs as low as possible by outsourcing to the cheapest labor markets. By finding the cheapest labor, companies are risking quality over quantity. Halle then explains how the loss of quality also brings a loss of culture to the country. Halle then equates this with Hollywood. Hollywood has been the reigning hegemony in movie making for a long period of time. Hollywood has basically ceased to make good, quality movies in order to insure their profits. This loss of culture and quality in the name of money is a shame, but who can be blamed for wanting to maximize profits?

Transnationalism, banal massification, zombies

Halle says, "Goods, people, and ideas follow the paths opened up by the global capital, drawing disparate people into greater contact with each other, expanding productive capacity to satisfy their material needs, and thereby universalizing their human interdependence. Yet this cosmopolitan form and its commodity relations threaten to reduce specificity, and the human interdependence instead of universal elevation threatens to become a banal massification addressing the needs of the least common denominator."

"Banal massification"? Interesting wording. "No need exists anymore," Halle continues, "to justify the opening of another McDonald's in Beijing as an act of civilization."

This is a pretty negative view of globalization, and one I might be inclined to agree with. But isn't this an Americanized cynicism, saying that humans can't retain any semblance of individuality because of all the Wal-marts and McDonald's everywhere? I don't know if Halle is actually American but this seems like a thoroughly American viewpoint, that mass global capitalism, the oppressive sameness of Wal-mart, can consume us so thoroughly that we no longer retain our individuality, our "specificity."

Halle later states that "a culture industry, and specifically the American culture industry, is blamed for diverting individuals away from their real, 'authentic' interests." His suspiciously passive voice and later arguments make it unclear if he supports this view or not, but he seems to be exerting a gleeful malevolence regarding the whole consumer-zombies thing:

"This culture industry 'deals' with consumers' needs," he says, "producing them, controlling them, disciplining them, and as it creates needs and directs desires, it also appears to rise up and to stand against the interests of cultures, effacing difference, leaving only a totalized homogeneous, consuming mass behind: McWorld."

Ouch. Dawn of the Dead, anyone? Surely it's not that bad. I think this analysis is underestimating the power of a strong family-centered and tradition-centered ethnic culture, the likes of which white people in America, unfortunately, are severely lacking. You can put another McDonald's in Beijing but anyone who's ever met someone from China or studied China at all can tell you that China holds a fiercely nationalist and family-based culture, holding sometimes thousand-year old unique traditions in the highest regard (certainly above McDonald's and Wal-Mart).

And China's just one example. Plenty of other cultures have very rich and vibrant cultures that do not seem at any risk to be consumed by McDonald's. Only white people in America are so empty and unfulfilled in their lack of strong ethnic or cultural identity that we seem to be at risk of Wal-Mart zombieism.

-katie dempsey

Mohammed Bamyeh's "Postnationalism" Blog

Mohammed Bamyeh’s “Postnationalism” begins by defining nationalism, postnationalism, and transnationalism. He asserts that the difference between nationalism and postnationalism is that nationalism must be viewed as either good or evil whereas postnationalism can be amoral, and nationalism was based in Europe whereas postnationalism cannot be based in any particular area of the world. On the other hand, the purpose of transnationalism is to support national sovereignty. It continues to identify groups of people mostly by their nationality, whereas postnationalism does not have the necessity to be the same as the ideology of the state. Postnationalism also does not seek to give identity but rather to encompass identity. Bamyeh then describes how nationalism was born and how it inadvertently caused both World Wars. However, after World War II, postnationalism began to take root, mostly in Europe, through the ideas of the interdependence of nations, the dilution of sovereignty, and the withdrawal of an imposed national culture following the relaxation of the imposed idea of a strong nation state. However, following the Cold War, Bamyeh concludes that the United States developed a new kind of imperialism which is used to justify its global magnitude. He also believes that imperial or overdeveloped states will not be able to deal with the adverse affects of globalization, whereas postnational states are more equipped to do so. Bamyeh’s point is that postnationalism accepts fragmented perspectives, and its culture is not the same as state ideology but emphasizes expansive action in the world. His main thesis is that political, cultural, and economic practices and beliefs are currently no longer totally linked. Therefore, Bamyeh believes that the goal of the nations should be to create political structures that facilitate the further development of a postnational culture. He defines postnational culture as the means through which people are connected above and beyond the nation. These means include spiritual solidarities, material solidarities, humanist solidarities, and life-emancipatory solidarities.

I thought it was very interesting that Bamyeh blamed World War II and other violent events on nationalism. That was a cause and effect that never really occurred to me, but it does make sense. Since nationalism promotes the banding together of the people of a country through the idea that their country is awesome, it should naturally follow that the people would then view their country as superior to others. If they believe that, then a war based on this concept does seem to be the rational outcome. Although other political events instigated the conflicts, Bamyeh’s point that those turned into wars because of nationalism seems to be valid.

One issue with this article is that I disagree with a couple of Bamyeh’s “irrational features” of what he calls new imperialism. First, although a global society is continuing to develop, that does not mean that the need for coercion in order to integrate peoples has disappeared. Thus, it is not irrational for new imperialism to still have an aspect of coercion, even if that is not the best policy. He then asserts that capitalism “no longer identifies itself with the welfare of any specific country,” which I think is a false claim (5). Although I agree that new imperialism continues to encourage a common national interest, I think that capitalism has not yet disentangled itself from the self-interests of nations. The economy may be more global, but that does not mean that any country would sacrifice advantages for itself in order to benefit the whole, which is greatly propagated by capitalism. I still think that Bamyeh believes the world to be more advanced than it really is. I have hope, for example, that globalization will win out over imperialism, but I still think that the transition will be more difficult and is not as far along as Bamyeh expects.

Postnationalism: Europe vs. America

Of the two readings this week, what I found most interesting was Bamyeh’s contrast of European and American attitudes towards postnationalism. While Europe gradually embraced the idea after WWII, America continues to resist and assert its own power.

Nationalism, Bamyeh says, only produced violence, isolation, and expense, and it “by far the most destructive ideology ever experienced by humanity.” Europeans learned this from the destruction of conflict and adjusted accordingly to achieve peace. But while Europeans took such steps as to ensure interdependence and reduce sovereignty, America believed the failure of peace after WWI was due to their own failure to establish hegemony at the end of WWI. While European nations practiced decolonization in favor of commonwealth systems, America developed “new imperialism.”

It is interesting to compare the patterns that Europe and America followed several decades apart. In Europe, transnational institutions such as the UN, NATO, and the Warsaw pact lessened the importance of sovereignty, paving the way to future postnationalism embodied in the European Union. At the end of the Cold War however, America stubbornly refused to relinquish its military power. Instead the US claimed that the fall of the Soviet Union created a “power void”, justifying their hegemonic behavior and backwards “irrational” new form of imperialism.

While Bamyeh made some very good arguments, he presented them in a very clearly biased way, blatantly favoring the European attitude over the American response to postnationalism. And while the European Union was an excellent example of how postnationalism has become very important in Europe, he failed to give supportive examples of his argument regarding the United States. Where, when, and over whom did America exert this new imperialism? He claimed that the still-nationalistic United States uses capitalism as an excuse to impose itself on weaker nations, but he does not name a single occurrence of this.

Blog Post – Bamyeh

The essay is basically about the effect of globalization on the world we live in and its effect on nationalism. Because of the increasing global state of our world community, we live in a primarily post national world; our new creative expression exists in a place that does not even exist in our old conceptions of how the world works. Now, it seems as if the prevailing mindset among the global citizens is not one of hostility and separation, but instead one of singularity. This singularity is defined by four central human values: interests, universality, freedom, and deep meaning. While nationalism may claim to provide for these values, growing globalization has caused for the increasing fragmentation of these values and a reformation under new social networks formed on the basis of these values alone.

I found the article interesting, especially the historical background given, with the explanation of European society from the post WWII until now. It seems as if the world wars were such an extreme form of nationalism there was no path except for a post-nationalist state. Now the European Union has joined Europe together in a way that no one saw possible in the 1940s.

The only question I have about the article is about its ending. It ended quite abruptly, and although it brings up new points right before its end, it goes ends quickly after that, without addressing any of them. What exactly do you mean by some of the phrases you introduce at the end, like “life emancipator solidarities”?

Postnationalism and Postmodernism,

and the Idea of World Government

This week we were introduced (and reintroduced) to four terms: nationalism, postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. I thought the discussions on nationalism and postnationalism in Mohammed Bamyeh's "Postnationalism" were particularly interesting and insightful.

Nationalism, as we have learned from Hobsbawm's Age of Empire, is the staunch support, primary importance, and (perhaps) irrational pride a polity gives and associates with their nation. Such fierce nationalism was a key cause of the First World War, as the great (nationalistic) nations of Europe were pushed into the war in-part because of their nationalistic tendencies. In Bamyeh's view, the solidarities (religion, education, etc.) in a nationalistic society are necessarily solely within the nation.

This is in contrast with postnationalism, where the solidarities exist at the supranational level. The consensus on the origin of postnationalism seems to be globalization. That is, the reach of capitalistic culture has eroded the borders that once so firmly separated nations and their nationalistic attitudes from one-another. Nations learned that they could benefit from (relatively) lucid trade between/amongst different countries, and that it doesn't hurt to learn a little about other nations and cultures (at least this was/is true in so-called learned circles).

However, I believe there is a step-sister to postnationalism: postmodernism. Postmodernism (the social philosophy) is a radical relativism and skepticism; it is also relevant to today's world. Postmodernism, like postnationalism, seems to have arisen out of the negative effects of nationalism. Postmodernism purports that globalization and its effects on the world are evil. That is, the negative effects on cultures worldwide (sweatshops, exploitation, immorality) have corrupted and destroyed many societies. Thus, postmodernism would like to see a curbing of the effects of globalization, and a return to the "better days" in which cultures were relatively independent of one-another. (Hence, postmodernism is often seen as an alternative and answer to globalization.)

But, in response to this, I think postnationalism would say that such a return to cultural independence and relativism would be a return to nationalism. Such nationalism would close borders and cut-off the exchange of ideas.
Concerning the idea of "world government", I think too many people have dismissed this idea too easily. Of course, the idea of 6 billion+ people popularly electing a single leader, or even a coalition of leaders, seems impossible. However, I think we need to consider the idea of a world confederacy. Such a confederacy would not necessarily have leaders who would be elected by constituencies consisting of billions of people. It would instead be a system of government where the sovereignty of individual nations would still be held in high regard; such postnational federalism would make it easy for nation-states to govern national matters, while an inter-/transnational government would govern/facilitate international matters such as trade and justice (although hopefully the latter would not be needed).

A question(s): will such sociological trends (post-, trans-, and inter-nationalism) lead to a world government?

Bamyeh Blog

I found this reading on Postnationalism to be particularly interesting. Herein, Bamyeh discusses how globalization is affected by post/trans/nationalism and how these all relate back. He views these as ideologies, thanks to a question he posed to Prof. Benedict Anderson of Cornell. He now sees that nationalism is the ideology with the most modern solidarity and there is no possible alternative. He asserts that the process of globalization is changing due to human interests established through nationalism. Nationalism concerns moral value judgments, where that is lost in postnationalism. Also, following the European model, nationalism is singular in character.

Bamyeh goes on to state that the US follows none of the three, but rather has formed a new stage of imperialism, citing six "irrational" distinguishing features. Firstly, the coercive capacity of the state has not diminished. Next, the imperial state has maintained and expanded its commitment to a hierarchical vision while three, the imperial state continues to find a common national interest even as globalization fragments nations. Next, the imperial state isolates the “vanquished” and renders large markets inaccessible to global capitalism, while the imperial state has reduced its social responsibility and maintained its military strength. Finally, the means of defining conflict have shifted from economic to cultural and people of the world are being portrayed differently.

While the "new imperialism" is certainly interesting, I fear it is not widely accepted enough for me to cite it as America's actual state of being. Rather I feel we have seen a nationalist rebirth since the 9/11 attacks, the likes of which we have never seen, except perhaps around the bicentennial. Many fear the postnationalist UN and NATO, clinging instead to our own scared shores. The idea of America as imperialists is being quickly overshadowed by rapid expansion of the East.

Global Society?

I loved the reading on Halle this week, looking at globalization and the arts and culture. Halle suggest that as the world becomes more global, and capitalism reaches throughout the entire planet, there is less regional difference, and less differences in culture.

Another interesting point made in the reading is the change in quality. As capitalism starts to rule the film industry, there is no longer a reason to make quality film. This is because a non-quality film seems to make more money. There is a standard formula (so it seems to me), and filmmakers plug into that formula, and come out with a blockbuster film. That film needs not be interesting, different, or have any nod at quality. Instead, all that matters is money.

With less regional culture, and less inclination for quality, we are experiencing extreme change. Where will this end?

In class there was discussion of a global government, and it was considered ridiculous. However, as globalization continues, is it really impossible that one day we will have a homogeneous global society? Some of my classmates have said this is unlikely because people pride themselves on their heritage. However, America is based on a lack of heritage, a melting pot (or fruit bowl, if we are trying to be PC). America’s ideal seems to be to put aside differences in class, race, gender, etc. and live in harmony, all united under the title of ‘American’. I think that as the age of information continues to take off, geographic boundaries will hold less and less weight, leaving typical ideas of nationalism behind. If Americans so easily gave up their heritage for the title of ‘American’, who is to say future generations will not give up their national titles, leaving heritage behind for the ever globalizing new world?
--Arielle Parris-Hoshour


For this week’s blog I will be discussing the article “Apprehending Transnationalism” by Randall Halle. This article is interesting because although it talks about globalization of economies it also talks about the arts as well, particularly film making. Usually when I think of globalization I think of products and services not Hollywood and the movie industry, but Halle does a good job of introducing this concept and how the two relate. Halle begins discussing how there is much debate of globalization and capitalism between politics within their own country and between countries all around the world. The argument that many people stand up for is the loss of culture in capitalism becoming global. I think this is very interesting especially when Halle states, “…underlying both eras is the same material economic dynamic: capitalist pursuit of profit that opens unexploited markets, establishing ever-larger ensembles of the forces of production” (14). This is a very powerful statement with a lot of meaning and is seen with in the powerful markets and countries. Just like when Rockafeller, Mellon, and Frick where industrializing Pittsburgh everything comes down to how much money you can make. The simplest way to do this is to make the production costs as low as possible by finding the cheapest labor market, and by not worrying about the quality of the product.

Halle discusses that this loss of quality in finding the biggest bang for your buck brings a loss to the culture of the region or country. I found this very interesting argument as he began to bring in America and the term “Americanization.” I have never heard that term but it makes me think about what other countries think and view our economic beliefs. Halle introduces Americanization with Hollywood and its hegemony over the film industry. This was funny to me because over the past year or so I kept asking people if Hollywood just gave up because of the lack of good movies being produced. This article makes me realize that they haven’t given up on making movies, but have given up making good movies to insure their profits.

Now, it is hard to blame any company or industry that does what it can to bring in the greatest profits. But to me it seems like American capitalism takes it a little too far. The loss of culture and quality at the expense of profits seems to be how our capitalistic economy is viewed by internationalists. I am sure that not everyone agrees with this, but I know that if I were to visit another country or even start a global company I would not want other countries to have this pre-existing stereotype of how Americans do business. It just doesn’t seem fair that the majority of our wealth is held by only one percent of our population. I have heard talks about spreading the wealth not only throughout our nation, but through other nations as well. When will this futuristic debate/idea become practical or evident?

Nationalism and Globalization

This week's readings focused on nationalism, and its transformation in recent history. Bamyeh and Halle use multiple terms to describe the phenomenons that have replaced what we think of as nationalism, as seen during the World Wars for example. These terms include postnationalism, transnationalism and internationalism. In class we discussed the subtle differences in these terms extensively. Postnationalism is basically a new version of nationalism currently evolving in Europe, with the advent of the European Union, in which the traditional nationalist identity is replaced by a wider, "global" identity. Transnationalism is not so much an identity, but a trend of cultural sharing, of interaction and connection between different peoples and internationalism, which is a more political movement of increased cooperation between governments. It is easy to see how the three new nationalisms interact and overlap in today's globalization.

One of the areas that came up in class was the possibility of a "world government" in which one political association ruled the entire planet. The majority of the class agreed that the idea of the entire planet unifying under one government was quite irrational, and probably impossible, unless the aliens invade, giving us a common enemy to unite against. And because such an intergalactic invasion seems highly unlikely, the world will continue to consist of hundreds of nations interacting in today's increasingly globalized society. However, the possibility of a more united world seems closer to our reach than ever before. We mentioned that even an imperfect United Nations is better than nothing, and that while international cooperation exists only if there is something in it for the helping country, we are making progress. As globalization increases, maybe so will international cooperation.

I would like to discuss further how globalization has affected nationalism. Nationalism in the traditional sense involves feelings of superiority, and complete allegiance to country over everything else. If Bamyeh is correct, than globalization has begun transforming nationalism into postnationalism, I think this process is occurring, though slower than Bamyeh suggests. However, I wonder if postnationalism will every completely replace nationalism as we know it? Will the the French, the English, the Irish... etc. ever consider themselves Europeans first, and citizens of their respective nations second? Will Americans ever think of themselves as North Americans"? This seems unlikely to me. People take so much pride in their heritage and their homeland, and postnationalism simply does not seem strong enough to replace the passions of nationalism.

Postnationalsim Blog

Nationalism is when the attitude of a nation’s citizens is focused on their national identity as well as the actions taken by these citizens in seeking to achieve or sustain self-determination. Questions regarding national identity and power of the state over domestic and international affairs arise thus pushing for the citizens to distinguish between a nation and a state. States are political entities with a high degree of sovereignty where nations consist of an ethnic or cultural community. Many states are nations in some way; though, many nations do not qualify as sovereign states. However, nationalism began fading after WWII, and the idea of postnationalistic practices began surfacing. Postnationalism does not apply a moral judgment in decisions and offers numerous platforms towards solidarity. Citizens worldwide understood what was wrong with nationalism, and Mohammed A. Bamyeh states:
"Nationalism has thus been an extremely costly project, indeed, by far the most destructive ideology ever experienced by humanity. If there is only one reason to embrace globalization today, it is because it is removing the material support mechanisms that prop up nationalist ideologies. In doing so, it reintroduces into the world alternative modes of conglomeration and solidarity. Some of these are new, others have been in suspension for the seven decades between 1919 and 1989" (Bamyeh 2).
The increase of globalization has pushed nations across the globe to work together to form a global economy. Increased international trade, multinational corporations, globalized financial sectors, and the limitations of national entities power with the creation of multinational organizations such as the United Nations or NATO.

Our country has made a push towards this style, however we have not completely adapted post national tendencies and Bamyeh states, “In the US, we see the emergence not of post national orientations, but of an alternative trajectory. That trajectory does not replace nationalism with postnationalism, but with a fundamentally new kind of imperialism” (Bamyeh 5). Bamyeh identifies six irrational features of this new form of imperialism which state: First, the coercive capacity of the imperial state has not diminished. Second, the imperial state has maintained and even redoubled its commitment to a hierarchical vision. Third, the imperial state continues to assert a common national interest and unified national purpose. Fourth, the new imperialism insists upon isolating the vanquished and rendering large markets and investment opportunities inaccessible to global capitalism. Fifth, the imperial state has responded by reducing its social responsibilities. And Sixth, the categories defining conflict and coexistence shifted from economic to cultural ones. New imperialism differed from the old version practiced by the United States. The new form calls for the state to exist at a much larger level than what is actually warranted by its capacity for rational action as well as ordinary social mandates. The state feels it can justify its global magnitude only upon the basis of this new style of imperialism.

Postnationalism and Transnationalism

According to Bamyeh in postnationalism there are different solidarities involved, which include spiritual, material, humanist, and life-emancipatory solidarities. I found the humanist solidarities to be the most interesting because this is where we see the most organized groups such as environmentalism, pacifism, human rights, and feminism. The path to postnationalism is also addressed in this article, and the roots were in Europe after World War II, surprisingly not America. An important part of the development in Europe was the dilution of sovereignty, also the European Union, which was explained to be practically accidental in creating postnationalism. America was different because there were problems with a new kind of imperialism and capitalism at this time. The transnationalism essay also emphasized the importance of capitalism and not just in America but also how it works in globalization. This essay mainly focused on how critics look at transnationalism and its role in film production. For example, the role of the European Audiovisual Conference, which is sponsored by the European Commission, is analyzed.

I was surprised that the American route to postnationalism was actually structurally inferior and also that the essay concluded with the fact that it was all an argument against what Benedict Anderson said about nationalism representing “the most successful modernist ideology of solidarity.” I found this very interesting especially after reading Bamyeh’s entire argument. Also, in the other essay I found the comment about how “critics appear oddly superior” to be rather entertaining since they believed people were all increasingly participating in standardized activities.

In the transnationalism essay, the author also makes a very clear distinction between globalization and transnationalism. Globalization has to do with an economic process, whereas transnationalism involves an “affiliative and ideational network,” but is it impossible for these processes to ever overlap? Are there any present examples of when this happens?

Bamyeh Essay

In “Postnationalism” Mohammad Bamyeh tackles the concepts of postnationalism, nationalism, transnationalism, and how all these ideologies relate to the age of globalization. Consequently, the essay was written based on a question Bamyeh asked the author Benedict Anderson at Cornell University—what is the future of nationalism in a growing age of globalization? Anderson refused to answer the question, asserting that nationalism is the ideology with the most modern solidarity and there is no possible alternative. Consequently, the essay argues that although certain scholars claim that nationalism has provided for human values such as interests, universality, freedom, and deep meaning globalization is changing this process. Globalization is dividing up these interests. Additionally, the author clarifies the terms for the reader—demonstrating the differences between nationalism, postnationalism, and transnationalism. Bamyeh makes clear that there are two important differences between nationalism and postnationalism—nationalism concerns value and moral judgments while postnationalism does not. Furthermore, nationalism is singular in character, following the exact model of how it was done in Europe.

Continuing his analysis, he concludes the United States does not have a postnational culture, but a new form of imperialism. He identifies six major “irrational” features that distinguish this new imperialism from the old imperialism. They are: 1) the coercive capacity of the state has not diminished 2)the imperial state has maintained and expanded its commitment to a hierarchical vision 3)the imperial state continues to find a common national interest even as globalization fragments nations 4)the imperial state isolates the “vanquished” and renders large markets inaccessible to global capitalism 5) the imperial state has reduced its social responsibility and maintained its military strength and 6) the means of defining conflict have shifted from economic to cultural and people of the world are being portrayed differently.

This new imperialism is one of the concepts I find most interesting in this essay. Bamyeh describes the difference between European and American nationalism. The US has harbored “nationalism that does not recognize itself as such” whereas Europe has thrived and expanded using nationalist rhetoric and intention. After the Cold War, Bamyeh argues, America fell into the idea of filling a “power void” rather than focusing on interdependence—hence it created a new type of imperialism which cannot be congruent with globalization. In the past decades, scholars like Friedman and Huntington have focused on the conflicts between cultures—the conflicts between “the imperialists” and the others. These theories portray other cultures and civilizations as static, unchanging and not open to globalization. Overall, I thought the work was very interesting and logical. It got us to see past the stereotypical image of the United States and learn more about the changing world with globalization and “new imperialism”.


An interesting point made in the "Transnationalism" article was that culture imperalism was diverting individuals away from their original interests, or as the author puts it "authentic interest" (p.17). In the author's opinion, instead of the world revolting or pushing their ideas out to the culture (specifically American culture), they are instead buying into the propaganda of commericalism and all that entails. The author uses the example, "the consumer is lured by clever advertising into the latest blockbuster or off on a family outing to the Universal Studios theme park...increasinly, the terrain of activities people participate in during their free time becomes standardized" (p. 17). This conformity of activities is seen in the common interests of many citizens in popular culture. The clever advertisements make the consumer believe that they in fact are interested in the product being sold, because everyone else is; culture industry has made these activities into norms. Also, within this dilemma arises others, such as the weight gain in America-because corporations such as McDonalds are pushing foods on consumers, and with their "100% natural" campaign, deceiving people into believing these foods are not "that bad" perhaps even healthy. While, most people are not dumb enough to believe these implications, this is just a pure example of the commericalism's lure and captivation techniques. While, these ideas are interesting the author further goes on to mention that critics can see their way out of this process of standardization, and my question is why and in what way? I'm not sure what the definition of "critic" is in this article, but from my perspective most critics feed into a lot of popular culture. I believe that everyone can fall for the lure of the advertising world, it's just too hard not to.
We live in an industrialized world and unfortunately large corporations are the center of it. This idea of commericalism also plays into the fact that large corporations have taken over the small market industry.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Transnationalism (globalization) was a movement that loosened many boundaries between countries. It is a process that involves the global reorganization of the production process. Usually the production of any product can occur in various countries, and it aims to minimize costs. Transnationalism was started in the later half of the 20th century after the birth of the Internet. Cultural imperialism and Americanization are invoked to critique the effects of global capitalism on national cultures.

Multinational corporations could be seen as transnationalism. Corporations like the film industry played a dominant position. The consumer is thought of to be lured by the advertising into the latest blockbuster. Film emerged from the international market and was used for competition. The nation state provided large markets for distribution and took on a national quality. Film was able to jump the national linguistic fetters. A lot of time and money was put into expanding the national market. After World War II, film was the national state interest.

The critique of globalization from the left and the right ends with a turn to the statist position. Problems arise with this statist position as well. It freezes culture and presumes a form of isolatable authenticity, which separates the French people from all others, which ignores the role of contact, dissemination, influence, and diffusion that compels culture.

Analyses of cultural imperialism or monoculture condense and confuse points that should remain distinct. Cultural imperialism must be distinguished from media monopolies and recognize that there is a clear difference between news from one or three corporate sources and no news at all.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Globalization has lead to the creation of social networks that center around one of the central human values (interests, universality, freedom, and deep meaning). The difference between nationalism and postnationalism is that it is impossible to approach nationalism without some form of moral judgment. Also, nationalism is singular in character. Postnationalism encompasses much more than nationalism. It offers multiple venues for solidarity. Nationalism is very costly and very destructive. Postnationalism is concerned with the way in which questions of collective identity are being reworked and is a more specific outcome of globalization. National solidarities started to decline in Europe (where nationalism was introduced) after World War II. In order to reach post nationalism, principles must be met including the dilution of sovereignty. The emphasis upon sovereignty guaranteed war. It also required a specific strategy, which underpinned the birth of postnationalsim.

The United States also experienced post nationalistic ways. The United States initially seemed to harbour the building materials for post national culture. However, The Cold Way ended abruptly and left the warriors with no idea of what to do because there was no fight. On the American side of the Atlantic, a new form of imperialism formed because the state existed at a much greater level than is warranted by its capacity for rational action or ordinary social mandates. There are six major irrational features of new imperialism.

1. The coercive capacity of the imperial state has not diminished.

2. The imperial state has maintained and even redoubled its commitment to a hierarchical vision.

3. The imperial state continues to assert a common national interest and unified national purpose,

4. The new imperialism insists upon isolating the vanquished and rendering large markets and investment opportunities inaccessible to global capitalism.

5. The imperial state has responded by reducing its social responsibilities.

6. The categories defining conflict and coexistence shifted from economic to cultural ones.

Post nationalistic culture is fragmented rather than wholistic like nationalism. It is also not coterminous with state ideology and approaches all given identities as fetters and emphasizes expansive action in the world. European trajectory toward postnationalism suggests the priority of state action. There are four starting points for post nationalism solidarities. These include:

1. Spiritual solidarities

2. Material solidarities

3. Humanist solidarities

4. Life-emancipator solidarities