Time, Space and Social Justice in the Age of Globalization

Research and Applications on the Simultaneity of Differences

In its beginnings, research in NTL took different forms: action research, survey, qualitative, evaluation research. Its purposes responded to the founders interests: to help democratize society (Kurt Lewin); resolve social conflicts (Ken Benne); learn about groups (Ron Lippitt); and apply it to work (Lee Bradford). As a community of scholars-practitioners it is important that we acknowledge and reconnect with their legacy of an approach to research that does not dichotomize inquiry, practice, and knowledge building. While the goal of social justice and change continues in NTL, my title highlights two things which have radically changed since NTL’s beginnings: the collapsing of time and space, and new approaches to our understanding of social differences. I am addressing, therefore, the problem and promise of differences in the age of globalization, an example of which is well represented by the story of Alma as retold by anthropologist, Ted Lewellen in his book The Anthropology of Globalization: Cultural Anthropology Enters the 21st Century.

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