Friction An Ethnography of Global Connection

Tsing, A. (2005). Friction An Ethnography of Global Connection. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection.

Tsing begins her piece by describing the eradication of species diversities in Indonesia’s rainforest. Corporations and local people were joining together to create uninhabitable landscapes. She uses this case as an example of the friction between local and global and how this friction between the two shape each other and move the wheels of globalization. Corporations tend to destroy the environment and its resources when they try to manage it. In Indonesia specifically, Tsing describes the conflict that is arising between locals and the government because the forest that is vital to the livelihood of locals is being destroyed. Species diversities are being destroyed by the clearing and burning of the forest and the erosion of land. These corporations are making it so that locals cannot even live on the land that they have sued for generations. The forest is being destroyed because of a “global movement.” If there is a need somewhere for these goods, such as the ones coming from the forest in Indonesia, than people will go to lengths to provide it in order to make a profit and that is what is happening. Despite all of this, Tsing says that “Friction is required to keep global power in motion” (2005, 536). This friction can be both beneficial and detrimental. It is important to recognize this friction in order to understand how to use both the local and the global to effectively manage the environment.