Theorizing glocalization: Three interpretations
SourceEuropean Journal of Social Theory
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This article presents three interpretations of glocalization in social-scientific literature as a means of reframing the terms of scholarly engagement with the concept. Although glocalization is relatively under-theorized, two key interpretations of the concept have been developed by Roland Robertson and George Ritzer. Through a critical and comparative overview, the article offers an assessment of the advances and weaknesses of each perspective. Both demonstrate awareness regarding the differences between globalization and glocalization, but this awareness is far from explicit. Both interpretations fail to draw a consistent analytical distinction between the two concepts and ultimately succumb to reductionism: either glocalization is subsumed under globalization or globalization is transformed into glocalization. Next, a third interpretation of glocalization as an analytically autonomous concept is presented. Working definitions of glocalization and of glocality as analytically autonomous from globalization and globality are developed and examples are offered. By addressing the key themes of power and temporality, this third interpretation transcends the limits of the other two interpretations. © The Author(s) 2015.