This chapter examines three new social formations—“places” in at least a sense—that have exerted a strong impact on our times: the emergence of the modern state and the sometimes tense relationship that can develop between peoplehood and statehood, the colonization of a large portion of the world, and globalization. It first describes a number of factors that provided the thrust for European colonization before discussing the benefits of civilization. It then locates the modern state on our map of “places” in human social life and considers the emergence of global networks that now stretch across the surfaces of the earth, along with the economic forces that drive globalization such as capitalism. It also looks at social formations that connect people together but have no obvious location on the earth's surface, including global corporations and sovereign states, and the reappearance of the folk ethos.
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