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Modernity at Large


The book Modernity at Large examines various elements that lead to cultural and societal developments worldwide. These factors are crucial in ensuring that the world develops in various ways to improve the quality of living among people. Anthropologist Arjun Appadurai explains five critical flows that lead to globalization and development across various cultures. Three of these factors include ethnoscapes, ideoscapes, and technoscapes. These factors are drivers of globalization, including improving automation and technology in various fields. The book explains that migration and sharing ideologies among people lead to improvement in several aspects of life (Appadurai, 1996). Besides, it also explains the traveling of ideas without the movement of people, leading to developments, is part of the flow of Arjun Appadurai.

Therefore, Arjun provides various flows, including ethnoscapes, technoscapes, and ideoscapes, to describe the increasing pace of globalization.


Ethnoscape is one of the flows presented in the book Modernity at Large. This factor entails the movement of people across international borders to interact with individuals of various cultures and ethnicities. Migration is essential to these individuals because they move in search of opportunities to better their lives, activities for leisure and growth, business development, and growth of personal ambitions. The author explains that the World Tourism industry is growing rapidly due to these factors, thus contributing significantly to globalization and cultural developments. The originality of the matter is that people move from developed regions to underdeveloped areas, thus creating growth opportunities. It also creates challenges that ensure the development and sharing of ideologies to tackle these (Oosterveer, 2018). For instance, people moving from developed areas like the United States to countries within Africa creates a power dynamic among these individuals. People from wealthier backgrounds gain an advantage over people from poor backgrounds. Also, in some instances, the power dynamic can create job opportunities for the locals through the tourism industry and solve the challenges facing the tourists.

Technoscape is another crucial flow presented in the book. The element entails the improvement of innovations and technologies across the globe. The element is critical because technology makes work and operations easier through automation and reduces service waiting periods. For instance, the development of telephone gadgets such as the iPhone and Samsung helps people communicate and connect globally regardless of location. These brands serve not only the American people but also individuals from different continents, including Africa and Asia. The demand for tech products has increased over time, leading to technology’s smooth and rapid glow worldwide (Jelly-Schapiroo, 2021). Besides, some countries, such as China, have adopted the technology and knowledge to innovate, create and develop these gadgets. The author also explains that the growth of innovation among people leads to a flow of technology because the element fosters the human experience.

Ideoscape entails the flow of ideas across people globally. The ideologies are vital in improving one’s approach to various factors in human life. The element entails health, entertainment, career growth, cooking, and family, among other factors. For instance, someone in the United States can post a video describing various techniques to prepare a meal. Another person in Africa can emulate the idea of making the same meal. The flow of ideas in this context leads to better cooking standards globally. These ideologies are critical in improving the human experience and creating innovative results. The author also explains that the flow of religious ideologies has grown over time (Drayton, 2020). However, the significant limiting factor includes the language barrier and translations. The flow of ideas is critical because it elevates the quality of services and human activities.


Arjun Appadurai provides various flows of concepts and factor that improves the human experience. These elements include technoscapes which describe the flow of technology among people. Another factor includes ethnoscapes which entail the flow of people across international borders in search of leisure and opportunities. Also, ideoscapes are the flow of ideas to improve the quality of service and activities among people. These elements contribute significantly toward globalization and development among people of various communities.


Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization (Vol. 1). U of Minnesota Press.

Drayton, R. (2020). Response to Arjun Appadurai’s “Globalization and the Rush to History.” Global Perspectives, 1(1).

Jelly-Schapiroo, E. (2021). Extractive Modernity at Large: The Contemporary Novel of Primitive Accumulation. Interventions, 1-19.

Oosterveer, P. (2018). Global environmental networks and flows are addressing global environmental change. In Environment and Society (pp. 95-118). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.


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