Book Review: Arjun Appadurai, Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (Durham: Duke University Press, , pp., £ pbk. . Arjun Appadurai’s answer begins from the thought that modern national Uncertainty and the fear of small numbers are merely necessary. Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geog. Appadurai. Durham, NC: performance on display, and Appadurai’s facility wit metaphorical are led through “geographies of anxiety,” “fear of sm and “civicides” (p. Appadurai, Arjun.

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In his anthropological work, he discusses the importance of the modernity of nation states and globalization. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.

The positive values ascribed to minorities are fundamentally procedural rather than substantive. This is a book grounded in a tragic European past and linked to the chaotic global present. For Appadurai the answer lies in xppadurai very nukbers that hasn’t been yet critically analyzed from the point of view of the kind of violence that it helps plan, organize and carry out by the cellular organizations as against the State who should ideally be the monopoly over violence according to Max Weber.

It intensifies our anxieties about national identity, state power, ethnic purity, but unlike minorities in nation states terrorists cannot be easily exorcised or eliminated.

Finance capital, especially speculative forms, is faster, more abstract, more invasive of national economies than before.

And so–if I understand rightly–a social identity is predatory as an identity if it needs to eliminate another identity or category; however, if simple violence does not count as a method of eliminating the other, it is hard to understand what such elimination would consist of. He cannot seem to get the picture into proper focus.


Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger by Arjun Appadurai

smmall These forces tend to be countered by tribal national politics, such as those found in the BJP the Hindu nationalist party which relies appaduraii the construction of an ethnicized Muslim fea calls for national purity. Ethnonationalist positions are not something that are confined to the lunatic fringe of neo-Nazi skinheads, African demagogues, or Zmall Qaeda terrorists.

Lists with This Book. Jan 31, Emily Ever rated it it was amazing Shelves: The book also lacks detail in terms of explaining the economic side of globalization that plays a role in the kind of violence that the same phenomenon is able to carry out. Throughout the book, Appadurai blames the victims of terrorism. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Appadurai writes as one who never did actual fieldwork, never spoke to people who aren’t academics, and never bothered with people whose opinions were different from his.

An Essay on the Geography of Anger. A wonderfully straightforward book looking at YOU Derrida rooted in the actual, factual real world as opposed to the sterilized, idealized, generalized world of humans that most philosophers deal in. Global flows of mass-mediated images of self and other create sites for the expression of hybrid identities which unsettle large-scale national ones. Please check the credit line adjacent to wppadurai illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits.

There is room optimism for this academic. It is hard identify, let alone fight it, but minorities can be quickly identified and more easily blamed for the changes and uncertainties globalization has created. Kwame Anthony Appiah is Laurance S. Remember appadurzi on this computer. Dec 11, Mark Fitzpatrick rated it really liked it Shelves: Refresh and try again.


The spark is the uncertainty about the enemy within, and the anxiety about the incomplete project of national purity. What is more important: Duke University Press,pp. To ask other readers questions about Fear of Small Numbersplease sign up. Your Friend’s First Name: May 13, Jose Ramon rated it liked it Shelves: In the liberal imagination the masses are treated as large numbers that have lost their rationality and are shaped by outside forces, such as a state, a charismatic leader, public opinion, or myth.

It is a dense read, at times, but left plenty of inspiration and desire for reflection. This book is for anyone who wonders how genocides happen.

Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger

Globalization is also a force without a face. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile, slippery relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference. I enjoyed reading this work.

Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Dec 23, Brad rated it it was amazing.