January 17, 2019
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University
Location: Robertson Hall 227, *reception to follow in Randall Hall 212
Claudio Benzecry is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies specializing in the sociology of culture. He is author of The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession (University of Chicago Press, 2011) which earned several American Sociological Association awards and was declared one of ten major books in sociological theory by Contemporary Sociology. Benzecry’s book From Head to Toe: Everyday Globalization in a Creative Industry (University of Chicago Press) is currently under contract.
Title: "The World at her Fit. Scale-making, uniqueness and standardization"
When studying globalization, the theory-method nexus has usually favored macro-level approaches. Even those that focus on the micro have emphasized it as an explanandum of the macro. Some scholars have worked to generate large-scale accounts of commodity production or network formation; others, the ethnographic yet “localized” study of how global forces act in one particular locale. A few recent studies have focused on the “production of” culture, knowledge, and subjects—or their contestation—by looking at the role of state and market actors in changing colonial and post-colonial contexts. Less attention has been given in sociology to “friction” (Tsing 2005), the contingency lurking within every link of the large-scale chains, the fact that each step along a commodity chain is an arena of its own, with actors in micro competing and collaborating in real time. So my question for this lecture is simple: what happens when we look at “the global” as something that needs to be maintained by actors worried in the quotidian about its potential breakdown?