Bottling globalization in rural localities

Type Paper
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2016
EventXIV World Congress of Rural Sociology: Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities - Ryerson University, Toronto , Canada
Duration: 10 Aug 201614 Aug 2016

Conference

ConferenceXIV World Congress of Rural Sociology
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period10 Aug 201614 Aug 2016
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the manifestation of globalization through the banal, specifically the consumption of soft-drinks within a small market-town in mid Wales. Soft-drinks (bottled water, carbonates, fruit juices etc.) are ubiquitous features of everyday life, their presence a mundane memento of a hegemonic globalization. For example, gathering and transporting ingredients from aquifer and farm to bottling factory and distribution hub to marketing department and retail outlet, involves a complex series of negotiations across space, all notionally driven by the micro-decisions of the consumer in different places. We argue that the flows of this commodity help us trace the capillaries of globalisation processes. Counter-topography and assemblage theory provide a theoretical frame for generating a bottom-up analysis of global production networks. We draw on ‘big data’ alongside ethnographic research to highlight the importance of day-to-day practices of consumption in the reproduction of ‘the global’. As well as trans-national corporations we also observe the emergence and embedding of other products and brands into a ‘global market-place’ that is co-terminously produced at multiple scales through global/local relations. We consider market strategies and supply networks, set against local preferences and choice architectures, and in turn the role of habits, identity and ethics in navigating the tensions of everyday globalization