Abstract

Globalization is not a singular process with uniform results, but a term that encompasses a number of transnational processes. This essay distinguishes between two broad sub-processes under the larger heading of globalization—glocalization (the integration of the global and the local) and grobalization (the imposition of the global on the local). It also explores the distinction between nothing (forms that are centrally conceived and controlled and largely lacking in distinctive content) and something (forms that are indigenously conceived and controlled and comparatively rich in distinctive content). The article focuses on two pairings that result from relating these sets of concepts—the grobalization of nothing and the glocalization of something. In the realm of culture in general and consumption in particular, the conflict between these two processes is a central issue in the world today. The triumph of the grobalization of nothing promises cultural homogeneity, while the glocalization of something offers at least some hope for cultural heterogeneity in a world in which the truly local has almost entirely disappeared.

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