Journal Article — Grappling with Global-Personal and Victim-Culprit Tensions: Reflections on Teaching Globalization Courses — by Satoshi Ikeda

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Abstract

My globalization courses are the place where I learn from the students. Each student examines her/his involvement in globalization as victim and culprit, and devises actions to counteract corporate domination and neoliberal globalization. From classroom discussion and reports, I am often surprised by the deep insights students develop about themselves and globalization. I have succeeded at least to turn the table around between the student and the instructor. Personal examination of individual involvement in globalization helps the student grasp the macro process of globalization as personally relevant historical and social process. They start seeing themselves relationally and being the connected parts of the macro structure. I hope that they take this world-systemic understanding of the whole and parts beyond my class, or continue to live through the global-personal tension. I am also impressed by the students’ understanding of the complicated and often-contradictory nature of their involvement in globalization. The perspective of victim-culprit forces them to see their being not as singular unitary existence but as a collection of fragmented and contradictory ‘selves.’ I see myself as a contradictory being. My critical view on the corporation is accompanied by a middle class lifestyle that is quite dependent on goods and services supplied by the corporation. My pension fund is invested in military contractors and oil companies. I am struggling to come to terms with my own multiple and contradictory existence. I think that my pedagogical praxis is my way of pursuing utopystics (Wallerstein 1998; Tamdgidi 2007, forthcoming) by inviting students to form their communities so that they could overcome victim-culprit schizophrenia imposed on them by neoliberal globalization and the corporation.

Recommended Citation

Ikeda, Satoshi. 2008. “Grappling with Global-Personal and Victim-Culprit Tensions: Reflections on Teaching Globalization Courses.” Pp. 49-58 in Sociological Imaginations from the Classroom: Plus A Symposium on the Sociology of Science Perspectives on the Malfunctions of Science and Peer Reviewing (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VI, Issue 2, 2008.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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