Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Global Systems in the New World

These three theorists produce a global paradigm that that is tremendously productive in today’s globally entangled world. The neo-Marxist and neo-functionalist ideas build on a rich history of sociological theory, bringing them into the modern scholarly world. Said’s epistemic exercise is as critical as the positionality promoted by contemporary feminist theorists, but at a more macro level. A larger question arises from reading these theorists, though. Wallerstein argues that in modernity we are seeing the rise of non-government groups, which we can see with the increased engagement of terrorist groups and the ascension to power of corporations. This begs the question of, how much longer will these theories be useful? Will Wallerstein’s ideas of classed nations still work as the importance of the nation dwindles? Will Luhmann’s ideas of a system engaging in the environment still stand as the idea of what becomes a successful system changes? How can we begin to engage in epistemic analysis if the new systems are so vested in secrecy to protect their trade secrets or organization’s means and motives?

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