Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor, and Life Become Global
A. Aneesh is Director of the Institute of World Affairs and Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the author of Virtual Migration: the Programming of Globalization, also published by Duke University Press.
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As work regimes become global, social communication increasingly occurs across locations far apart. In the absence of a common national, ethnic, or organizational culture across continents, this chapter asks: what makes communication possible among social worlds technologically integrated in real time? The riddle of communication is solved by showing how transnational business practices rely on the transmutation of cultural communication into global communication through the processes of neutralization and mimesis. Neutralization refers to attempts at pruning unwanted cultural particulars while mimesis refers to simulating desired cultural elements.