Since the early 1990s 'globalization' has entered public and academic debate within a wide range of disciplines. However, the meaning and significance of globalization remains unclear. Is it an outcome of complex socio-economic developments or an emergent process in its own right? How should we evaluate the debate between 'optimists' vs. 'pessimists' and 'critics', and between sceptics and radicals? How does globalization theory relate to earlier theories of convergence and world systems? Much of this debate is moving in circles and is proving difficult to resolve. This easy to read and concise account of globalization develops two themes in particular. First, unlike earlier theories of convergence, globalization points towards increasing hybridity and differentiation, and therefore depicts a complex and fluid social world. Second, globalization is an outcome of structural and cultural processes that manifest in different ways in economy, politics, culture and organizations. Both of these themes have far-reaching consequences for everyday life that are fully explored in this volume.
Including gripping case studies on mobility, migration and the new racism, this innovative new book presents the information in a clear and concise manner suitable for its undergraduate reader. It covers key questions, relates theory to practical situations, and skilfully guides students through the various aspects of the globalization debate.