Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity

Roland Robertson
The need to introduce the concept of glocalization
firmly into social theory arises from the following considerations.
Much of the talk about globalization has
tended to assume that it is a process which overrides
locality, including large-scale locality such as is exhibited
in the various ethnic nationalisms which have
seemingly arisen in various parts of the world in recent
years. This interpretation neglects two things. First, it
neglects the extent to which what is called local is in
large degree constructed on a trans- or super-local
basis. In other words, much of the promotion of locality
is in fact done from above or outside. Much of what
is often declared to be local is in fact the local expressed
in terms of generalized recipes of locality. Even in cases
where there is apparently no concrete recipe at work –
as in the case of some of the more aggressive forms of
contemporary nationalism – there is still, or so I would
claim, a translocal factor at work. Here I am simply
maintaining that the contemporary assertion of ethnicity
and/or nationality is made within the global
terms of identity and particularity.