Jun 27th, 2015
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Acadia University
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This course explores international political, economic, cultural, and social changes that are currently transforming our world on a global scale, as well as theoretical ideas and research from sociology and related fields to help us make sense of them. Countries are increasingly interconnected by flows of information, trade, money, immigrants, technology, and culture.

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LegaciesKarl Polanyis LegacyKeith HartKarl Polanyi (18861964) was a writer and teacher of Hungarian originwho lived in Central Europe and Britain before moving to the United Statesduring the Second World War. 1 He was the author of a vivid and powerfulcritique of the liberal tendency to place the market at the centre of humannature and society, what we might call market fundamentalism. The GreatTransformation (1944) is above all a great read. In recommending it tostudents and acquaintances over the years, I have never yet had a dissatisfiedcustomer. Polanyi took an active interest in literature and the quality ofhis writing is a constant pleasure. Moreover, the book has a strong, evenshocking message: the game is up for capitalism and the story of how thiscame about is told with passionate clarity. It is not hard to see that sucha message would have resonance today, when the neoliberal experimentin subordinating society to the free movement of global capital is visiblyrunning up against its contradictions. But Polanyi speaks directly to thedissident in each of us at any time. Despite the pessimism of his prophecy,the reader usually comes away charged with hope for a better future.Polanyi had some limited success in building a school of followers, mostnotably in economic anthropology. A Montreal institute named after himhas kept the interdisciplinary flame burning since then. His ideas have neverdropped out of sight in the last half-century,

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