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Levels of Subjective Globalization: Ideologies, Imaginaries, Ontologies

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AbstractThe subjective dimensions of globalization have not received even close to the level of attention that has been paid to the objective dimensions of global interchange and extension. Seeking to rectify this neglect, we argue that the subjective dimensions of globalization can be conceptualized in terms of three dimensions or levels: ideologies, imaginaries, and ontologies. The Occupy Movement in several global locations seeks to challenge global capitalism as the dominant system of economics. At the ideological level, activists connected to Occupy tend to engage in fierce contestation of the global structuring of greed, thus exhibiting clear signs of global rebellion. However, the terms of debate and critique tend to become increasingly uncontested as we go deeper into examining the dominant social imaginary and the ontologies of modern time and space that underpin this general sense of the global. Occupy is clearly an important variant of “justice globalism” that has inspired scores of young activists to protest against increasing inequality and the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority. Still, we suggest that this important alter-globalization movement often works within many of the same subjective frameworks and precepts as the market-globalist world that it criticizes.

Affiliations: 1: University of Hawai’i-Manoa and RMIT; 2: RMIT


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