Published in 1996, Arjun Appadurai's Modernity at Large is an edited collection of earlier essays that had already made the Indian-born anthropologist an influential figure in his field of cultural anthropology. Appadurai here presents a theory of globalization, and suggests ways that other researchers can follow up on his ideas. Many of them continue to do so.
For anthropologists, the book offered new ways of thinking about how communities are affected by globalization. For other social scientists, its theories about the importance of culture and identity in a globalized world inspired new directions in studying the present. Modernity at Large challenges the idea that globalization inevitably leads to everywhere becoming the same: Appadurai argues that it also produces new and different ways of life.
Overall, Modernity at Large has secured Appadurai's place as a leading voice in academic discussions of what globalization means and how it works.