Wednesday, April 14, 2010

[Wednesday] Seepage and Flows

I am intrigued by Liang's idea of seepage, "those act that ooze through the pores of the outer surfaces of structures into available pores within the structure, and result in a weakening of the structure itself" (14). In this case, the structure being referred to here is often culture, the state, or society. Bringing this back to Appadurai, this seepage can be seen as consequence of the disjunctive flows. One example of this is the consumer, who through commodity flows, has been "helped to believe that he or she is an actor, when in fact he or she is at best a chooser" (16). Global advertising leads to a seepage of importance and a false sense of agency. Appadurai even points out that the nation-state must defend against being too open to these flows or run the risk of revolt (16).

By these examples, movement, invoked by seepage and flows, would seem to be dangerous. However, movement is built into the network and thus we cannot not want it. Movement is a dangerous necessity.

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