Connected? On Experience, Economy, Violence, and Care

This article aims to enhance a dialogue between new ethnographic writing on experience and political economic analysis. It examines the ways in which recent experimental ethnographies and Manuel Castells’s work on information society understand the double-sided, always caring and violent nature of connections. New ethnographies have developed innovative ways of studying and writing that convey how experiences and symbols unite and separate us. Castells’s work is a brilliant treatise on the complex ways in which global economy, technology, and politics pull us together and draw us apart. Castells’s work on the global could expand new ethnography’s focus on the intricacies of inter subjective understanding, whereas new ethnography could enable realist political economy to critically reflect on the constitutive nature of the terms it uses to divide groups of people into proactive or connected and reactive or unconnected. Together the two approaches help us to understand how experiences, language, economy,and politics join and divide us, pointing toward ways of forging scholarly and political alliances sensitive to commonalities and schisms.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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