Anna Tsing’s Friction is an original, highly readable, and insightful study of out of their “friction/’ to paradoxical “global understandings,” or universalisms. But in. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing . Global capitalism is made in the friction in these chains as divergent cultural. Anna L. Tsing Friction An Ethnography of Global Connection Ch 1: Frontiers of Capitalism Capitalist frontiers create “wilderness” These landscapes already.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Friction by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of tsint road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick.

In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread fgiction that globalization invariably signifies a “clash” of cultures, anthropologist Ann A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere.

Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a “clash” of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world.

Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

She focuses on one particular “zone of awkward engagement”–the rainforests of Indonesia–where in the s and the s capitalist interests increasingly reshaped the landscape not so much through corporate design as through awkward chains of legal and illegal entrepreneurs that wrested the land from previous claimants, creating resources for distant markets.

In response, environmental movements arose to defend the rainforests and the communities of people who live in them. Not confined to a village, a province, or a nation, the social drama of the Indonesian rainforest includes local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others–all combining in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out.

Providing a portfolio of methods to study global interconnections, Tsing shows how curious and creative cultural differences are in the grip of worldly encounter, and how much is overlooked in contemporary theories of the global. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Frictionplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 21, Naeem rated it liked it Frictiion it for: Recommended to Naeem by: Manu Samnotra see, I am willing to admit it.

Friction has a compellingly simple but important premise: Rather, they frictino through people, through institutions, tsibg stories, through cultures. And along the way, the friction of travel, the friction of encounter with others, the friction of translation of universals by localities, changes those actually frlction universals.

It is not a new insight, but it is worth repeating sinc Friction has a compellingly simple but important premise: It is not a new insight, but it is worth repeating since our tendency is to feiction the travel of ideas, ideologies, and universals as frictionless, smooth, un-bumpy, easily transparent in translation think Star Trek’s universal translator.

Tsing’s task is not merely to say this but to show it. She tells the story of how environmentalism travels in this frictional manner. The setting is Kalimantan, Indonesia in the s.

Tsing hangs out with the indigenous people who live the forests; she hangs out with university students from Java who belong to environmentalist clubs frictlon travel to Kalimantan; she fricton out with government bureaucrats in Jakarata; she hangs out in workshops and conferences sponsored by international NGOs.


And her patient, non-judgemental hanging out allows her to tell really well told stories. These various groups all do very different things in the frichion of the environment.

Sometimes their different travels create frictions that are productive to some end tskng by accidentand sometimes these groups seem to live in different cosmologies where their encounters and seeming collaborations against the state, against international corporations, and against capitalism fizzle away into seeming nothingness. At first, as with most but not all anthropologists, I thought her sense of politics would be missing.

Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection – Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing – Google Books

Indeed, there are at least three types of narratives here of which two can seem apolitical. First, there is a lot of theory talk. I can hang with this mostly since she is talking about what I want to hear: But it was exactly in the theory section that my suspicions were aroused. I sensed a playfulness something I admire but which I feared would cause her to lose a sense fury against the injustices of universals such as capitalism.

But, I was wrong; her fury is there. The second kind of narrative she employs are short 10 pages or more sections between the major chapters. In these the form is sometimes more direct, more experimental, more charged with anger and poetic pointedness. I really liked her in these sections. The third form she employs is the story telling mode of really good ethnography.

Here the pages fly and I was often late for my next thing because I refused to leave her stories before I was done with a chapter. Perhaps my favorite of these was the one she was the most worried about being boring for the reader. One of the chapters is almost pure description of the rain forest, its flora and fauna, and the intricate interdependency between soil, plants, animals, and humans.

Her style and purpose reminded me of the hypnotic manner that K. Chaudhuri captured me in Asia Before Europe. There are many more stories about false claims to gold, about a environmentalist mountain climber who endorses cigarettes, about a certain story travels from Brazil Chico Mendesto India Chipkoto Indonesia.

These narratives are part travel tales, part investigative journalism, part rich expositions of her main concepts, and part descriptions of our astonishingly interesting world. Together the three narratives work well and their juxtaposition solves, I think, the problems that each of these narratives would have if they were not next to each other.

They would seem too theory-headed, to righteous, and too apolitical. So the form alone is interesting to contemplate. Why only three stars then?

I don’t know really. Its not that I felt empty by the end of the book. Perhaps, I thought, well, hmmmm Its not just that I prefer the holism of, say, Eric Wolf Europe and the People Without Historysince I think that the two approaches they are both anthropologists of global connection work really well together. I fricttion its that I believe that Tsing vastly overestimates how much friction de-fangs capitalism.

Without a doubt I think her concerns are worth taking up. But there is a sense of hope and possibility mind you she has earned that — its not the mindlessness or desperation whiteness that irks me a bit. It irks me because while she is frank and clear about the devastating effects of capitalism — especially on rain forests — I wish that realist sensibility would have pervaded the overall tone of the book.

In the end, her playfulness fits very well with her sense of hope and possibility. This strikes me as evasive, deflective, fricction unprepared for how the desperate needs of whiteness will devour her book for its own needs.

If Tsing had cultivated a greater sense of tragedy, then her readers would have no way out, no exits, and therefore she would have done her best to intruded on our dream of collective denial. In frictoin, a superb read that requires a second reading from me. But I suspect her politics.


Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection

She seems just a bit eager to wish. Sep 26, M rated it it was amazing. Globalization cannot be the straightforward force for international standardization as is often supposed because the anan notions at its heart — freedom, democracy, capitalism — do not seamlessly travel from Washington to the jungles of Indonesia or anywhere else. On the contrary, their movements are a messy process whereby they are taken up by all sorts of people — international financiers, project managers at the Ford Foundation, Indonesian nationalists, student activists, village leaders, subaltern women rsing who invest them with new and unintended meanings.

Novel ways of seeing and knowing, which would not have been possible yesterday, emerge; unexpected political collaborations coalesce around a common utopian dream; spaces of hope manifest. Tsing suggests that these ‘zones of awkward engagement’ might show the way to a more just and equitable future Rebuttal: Apr 25, Liz rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book drove me crazy while reading it Tsing’s writing style is intense and inflected with a personalized version of the Cultural Studies style, and the text packs in more characters tsin your typical telenovela.

That anna, the book fascinates. I tore my way through it, attempting to piece together her “fragments,” and left with a strange feeling that – perhaps, just maybe – Tsing’s ultimate arguments were deceptively simply. So simply and clear, after This book drove me crazy while reading it So simply and clear, after all of my struggles and resistance, that I’m already sorting out how to apply her in my own research; the potential is almost endless.

And herein lies the strangely captivating nature of this book Sep 15, John rated it really liked it.

Tsing is an anthropologist who uses interrelated ethnographies of s Indonesia to discuss how what she calls “universals”–namely capital, knowledge, and social justice movements–are always necessarily altered tsnig they encounter a specific site. Most interesting idea might be that “scales” that we consider to be pre-set the community, the nation, the global are always artificial; universals essentially force the creation of the levels on which they operate.

The awkward friction of the uni Tsing is an anthropologist who uses interrelated ethnographies of s Indonesia to discuss how what she calls “universals”–namely capital, knowledge, and social justice movements–are always necessarily altered when they encounter a specific site. The awkward friction of the universal hitting the ground also creates overlaps for Tsing, which for all their seeming discomfort and confusion can provide a locus for cooperation and collaboration.

She gives the example of activist groups who understood concepts of “nature” and “conversation” very differently but still managed to cooperate. May 11, Scott rated it really liked it. A look at globalization from the local that is South Kalimantan. Overall a discussion of how globalization can be understand as a twing of friction hence the title between local, state, intra-state, and international forces over matters such as frontier creation, ways of seeing nature, resistance, migration, culture.

Basically Tsing takes a whole boatload of stuff and admirably tries to make sense of it as it is occurring in this one area impacted by timber and mineral extraction. Mar 07, Liz rated it liked it Shelves: I liked how Tsing looked at the frictin of “Friction” in the global environment, and it was an interesting read. Feb 19, Bidita rated it really liked it Shelves: Jun 13, Dagezi rated it it was ok Recommends it for: