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Paper reaction of the book Money has no smell by Paul Stoller - Essay Example

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Through an ethnographic study that spanned the 1990s, Paul Stoller helps readers, especially those living in New York City, see a demographic that is mostly invisible in their eyes, the African traders and workers living, working, and selling in their midst. In Money has No…
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Paper reaction of the book Money has no smell by Paul Stoller
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Paper reaction of the book Money has no smell by Paul Stoller

Download file to see previous pages... Furthermore, the process of Africanization pertains to the marginal spaces that society provides to minority immigrants. I agree with Stoller’s argument that globalization presents ironies in the production and representation of ethnic identity. Furthermore, this book makes me feel resentful at the materialist culture of Western capitalism and how it dilutes, rather than strengthen, African identities and cultures through emphasizing the overwhelmingly dominant role of economics in shaping everyday lives and aspirations.
Globalization presents economic-political ironies. An interesting irony about globalization and business is that Stoller learns more about the bureaucratic political system of his nation from his interactions with Africans. African traders ask help from Stoller in filling out official business and resident forms and other documents needed to stay and work in New York. Stoller learns that he knows so little of his own political and economic infrastructures, and this is where the Africans, or the “others,” teach him about the complexity of New York and American economics. Moreover, the complexity of these structures defies logic at times. On the one hand, the African traders have simple economic thinking. They buy something and they sell it for a profit, and then they have to pay taxes. On the other hand, the political bureaucracy is not as simple and logical. Stoller helped Boubé Mounkaila finish his numerous forms and applications for Manhattan. They already brought these documents to the INS office, but they were required to follow a much more impractical protocol that would result to delays in processing it: “Even though we were in the INS offices, they insisted that the forms be mailed to them” (Stoller 112). This anecdote shows that market economics is not as efficient as its proponents assert it is. In reality, the authorities create rules and regulations that hamper the efficiency ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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