Globalization, Class and Culture in Global Systems

  • Jonathan Friedman University of California, San Diego


The work of Immanuel Wallerstein has been criticized by certain anthropologists for not having taken culture into proper account. He has been accused of the sin of political economy, a not uncommon accusation, a re?ex of the 80s and post-80s anthropological jargon that might ?nally today be exhausted. Years earlier a number of social scientists were engaged in a critical assessment of the social sciences from a distinctively global perspective. Wallerstein, Frank and others were at the forefront of this critique which had a powerful impact on anthropology. The global perspective was not a mere addition to anthropological knowledge, not a mere of extension of the use of the culture concept, i.e. before it was local and now it is global, before culture stood still, but now in the global age, it ?ows around the world. It was a more fundamental critique, or at least it implied a more fundamental critique. This critique could only be attained from a perspective in which the very concept of society was re-conceived as something very different, as a locus constructed within a historical force ?eld which was very much broader than any particular politically de?ned unit.
How to Cite
Friedman, J. (2000). Globalization, Class and Culture in Global Systems. Journal of World-Systems Research, 6(3), 636-656.
World-Systems Contemporary