Accepted Paper:

The Market as a 'technique of power': international relations and differentiated local contexts  

Author:

Laurent Bazin (CNRS)

Paper short abstract:

Based on material drawn from France and Uzbekistan, this contrasting study shows how globalisation is linked to forms of culturalisation and ethnicisation of social relations that correspond to modes of legitimisation of political power.

Paper long abstract:

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a communist municipality in the ex-coal mine area in Nothern France, and in post-soviet Uzbekistan, the paper asks how different market ideologies contribute to organise and structure the relations of power both at an international scale and in some national and local contexts. It will be argued that at a global (worldwide) scale, the process of globalisation (promotion and progress of the so called 'market economy') is linked to forms of culturalisation and ethnicisation of social relations that correspond to the modes of legitimisation of political power. The situation in France will be compared to that in Uzbekistan. In France, market powers have become more and more dominant, yet they are unable to control the marginalized social strata. Thus the progress of market ideologies is accompanied by a strengthening of police control in marginalised areas (banlieues) and their culturalisation, which contribute to construct people living in banlieues as 'others', culturally different. In Uzbekistan, though there is little progress of a market economy, the state is trying to legitimise itself through a process of authochtonisation: inventing and promoting an 'eternal' Uzbek culture. Processes of culturalisation and ethnicisation are, in this context, more evident modes of ruling society. By juxtaposing these two cases, the market as a 'technique of power' and its modes of legitimation will be discussed.

Panel P2
Markets and cultures: articulations, constellations and new challenges for anthropology