Flattening ontologies of globalization: The Nollywood case

Sallie A. Marston, Keith Woodward, John Paul Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


In this article we offer some criticisms regarding the spatial ontologies that have underwritten theories of globalization. We evaluate different approaches to understanding their workings, each of which must grapple with the problem of connecting the local and the global, and contrast these to that of our recent work aimed at elaborating a 'flat ontology'. The central feature of this alternative ontology is the site: a material localization characterized by differential relations through which one site is connected to other sites, out of which emerges a social space that can be understood to extend, however unevenly and temporarily, across distant places. Yet, in light of its focus on practices-on situated sayings and doings-our ontology must refuse the spatial imaginaries that underpin nearly all discussions of globalization. To illustrate our position we examine the practices of popular filmmaking within Lagos, Nigeria (Nollywood). This site is an entry point for comprehending and enlarging upon the political implications of our ontology-one that is meant not only to rethink globalization but to unsettle the abstractions that enable its expanding hegemony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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