Global Capitalism: A Love Story, an Enigma, a Tragedy

Quadrant: Global Cultures

Studies of poverty and inequality have often been dominated by technically-oriented scholarship that sidelines important social-theoretic and geographical dimensions of the phenomena. Professor Glassman’s study of poverty and inequality measures integrates these dimensions into the measurement of material well-being, poverty, and inequality. Some consequences of doing this confound conventional ways of thinking about poverty, but he believes that studies of poverty and inequality that are conducted with a richer socio-cultural and socio-spatial sensibility can be an ally of social movements that struggle for more egalitarian social outcomes. Part of his study involves comparatively examining different cases of such social movement struggles from five countries—China, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States. The struggles examined include some that have strong urban-rural dimensions and some that center on conflicts within cities. The complexities and differing forms of these kinds of struggles pose challenges for effective transnational social movement building. It is for this reason that conceptually rigorous, interdisciplinary, and globally-oriented studies are needed. His project serves as a call to such research.

University of Minnesota