The Globalization of Nothing

The Globalization of Nothing

by George F. Ritzer
     
 

George Ritzer theorizes in his provocative new book, The Globalization of Nothing, that the "grand narrative" or social story of this period is a movement from "something" to "nothing." Building on but going beyond his renowned Mc Donaldization thesis, Ritzer contends that societies around the globe continue to move away from "something," defined as a social form

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Overview

George Ritzer theorizes in his provocative new book, The Globalization of Nothing, that the "grand narrative" or social story of this period is a movement from "something" to "nothing." Building on but going beyond his renowned Mc Donaldization thesis, Ritzer contends that societies around the globe continue to move away from "something," defined as a social form that is generally indigenously conceived, locally controlled, and rich in distinctive content. He argues that we are moving toward "nothing" – that which is centrally controlled and conceived and relatively devoid of distinctive substance. It is in the movement toward the globalization of "nothing" that "something" is lost. More than likely, that "something" is an indigenous custom, a local store, a familiar gathering place, or simply personalized interaction. Thus, the central problem in the world today is defined as "loss amidst monumental abundance (of nothing)."

The Globalization of Nothing takes the subject of globalization in new directions, introducing terms such as "grobalization" (the growing influence of, for example, American corporations throughout the world). This book is structured around four sets of concepts addressing this issue: "places/non-places," "things/non-things," "people/non-people," and "services/non-services." By drawing upon salient examples from everyday life, George Ritzer invites the reader to examine the nuances of these concepts in conjunction with the paradoxes within the process of the globalization of nothing.

The Globalization of Nothing is ideal as a primary or supplemental text for courses in sociology, anthropology, communication, business, and related disciplines. This book is also recommended for anyone interested in the critical study of contemporary social phenomena.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761988076
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Nothing: A Brief (No Need to be Lengthy) Introduction
Nothing
An Illustrative Excursion to the Movies
Nothing (and Something): Further Clarification
Nothing Is Nothing
In Defense of Nothing
The Production of Nothing
2. Conceptualizing Nothing (and Something)
Unique-Generic, One-of-a-Kind-Interchangeable
Local Geographic Ties-Lack of Local Ties
Specific-to-the-Times-Relatively Time-less
Humanized-Dehumanized
Enchanted-Disenchanted
How Does This Relate to Globalization?
Objective, or Are They?
3. Meet the Nullities
Non-Places (and Places)
Non-Things (and Things)
Non-People (and People)
Non-Service (and Service)
The Relationship Between Forms of Nothing (and Something)
4. Globalization
Glocalization and Grobalization
Glocalization
Grobalization
Some Complexities
5. Grobalization-Glocalization and Something-Nothing
The Grobalization of Something
The Grobalization of Nothing
The Glocalization of Nothing
The Glocalization of Something
Expensive, Globally Available Types of Nothing
Loose Cultural, Tight Structural Models
What About the Local?
Why Now?
Which Comes First: Nothing or Its Grobalization?
6. The Ultimate Example of Nothing and Its Grobalization? Large-Scale Consumption Sites on the Internet
Some Important Caveats
Back to the Main Argument
Meet the Nullities on the Internet
Large-Scale Consumption Sites on the Internet as Non-Places
The Non-Things for Sale on Large-Scale Consumption Web Sites
Non-People on Those Large-Scale, Internet Consumption Sites
Non-Services on Those Large-Scale Consumption Web Sites
Globalization
7. A Few (by Necessity) Concluding Thoughts on Nothing (and Its Globalization)
The Increase in Nothing! The Decline in Something?
The Positive Side of Nothing and Its Spread
The Negative Side of the Spread of Nothingness
Grobalization and Loss
Explaining the Gap
Nostalgia?
Changes Over Time
How Can We Make So Much Out of So Little?
Making Something Out of Nothing on the Internet
The Economics of Nothingness
A Lot of Nothing Is Still Nothing
8. Concluding Thoughts on Globalization (and Nothing)
Grobalization Versus Glocalization
Can the Local Be Resuscitated?
The Globalization of Nothing and September 11, 2001
Consumption and Beyond
The Role of Brands
Responding to the Grobalization of Nothing
Appendix: Nothing-Theoretical and Methodological Issues
Nothing: Previous Work
Some Modern Methodological (Epistemological) Problems
Modern Concepts in a Postmodern Age
Salvaging a (Semi-) Modern Approach
A (General) Standpoint Theory
Alternative Perspectives
Potential Criticisms
Rational Choice?
Are Consumers Judgmental Dopes?
Notes
Index
About the Author

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