Glocalization is a neologism conflating the terms ‘global’ and ‘local’ to express the paradoxical manner in which processes of globalization, which seem to erode the very possibility of the local, in fact, demand an intensified attention to it. Glocalization highlights the inextricability of the two views of the world: global and local. Global processes, such as the movement of international finance flows, have a local effect, and vice versa, as the ‘credit crunch’ of 2007-9 demonstrated-failing that mortgages in America almost brought down the entire global financial sector.
Glocalization was first used by Manfred Lange to describe the goal of the 1989 Global Change exhibition he curated in Bonn, which was to show the interconnection between the different levels of perception-local, regional, and global. In academic circles, it was popularized by British sociologists Roland Robertson and Zygmunt Bauman. The relationship between the global and the local has also been of great concern to Postcolonial Studies, particularly the critics Arjun Appadurai, Homi Bhabha, Arif Dirlik, and Gayatri Spivak.
Independently of academia, global businesses (particularly in Japan) have discovered that a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing does not work and that what is required is rather an embedding of their products in a local context. Thus at the start of the new millennium CNN abandoned its model of one centralized newsdesk broadcasting to the world and created instead several localized newsdesks, each one tailored to the specific cultural, ethnic, and political concerns of its region. There is also an activist dimension to this term, as is exemplified in the slogan ‘Think globally, act locally’.
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