Anthropology gives us an educated lens through which to look at the problems of our society. It allows us to not only critique the exploitative forces of globalization and neoliberal capitalism, but to also envision pathways towards a better world. Anthropology enables us to understand, critique, and also create alternatives to globalization.
“Anthropological research…can offer a kind of evidence-based idealism, a utopianism that’s hard headed and founded firmly in observations of diverse communities, not contrived in a sheltered cloister or from untested principles. When apologists for our own current situation offer excuses or tell us that we shouldn’t seek greater justice, equity or governance, because ‘It can’t be any other way but the way it is,’ anthropological research can show that this is not the case.”
Each one of the alternatives to globalization that we studied was very different and occupies a unique space on the spectrum of alternatives we have introduced. However, what unites each our case studies is the focus on individual agency. Each of our anthropological analysis focuses on the power of the people who are not necessarily on the “top” of the hierarchy of globalization to create change. All of our anthropologists spoke about the importance of local imagination, grassroots organizing, and the voice of people traditionally marginalized by globalization. Anthropology not only enables us to create alternatives to globalization, but it also allows us to envision these alternatives through the eyes of the people who are most affected by globalization.