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Globalization

  • By: Thomas Hylland Eriksen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Globalization, a term that came into fashion around 1990, generally refers to processes leading to the increased density, speed, and reach of transnational connections, associated with the global spread of capitalism and new information and communication technologies. Globalization can be studied in its economic, political, ecological, or cultural aspects, and there is a rich scholarly literature, much of it interdisciplinary, dealing with the subject (see Eriksen 2007). Consumption is a central dimension of globalization, as noted by two leading scholars in the field: “Globalization clearly involves the worldwide proliferation of consumption goods, settings, practices and, most generally, consumer culture” (Ritzer and Slater 2001, 7).

The period since World War II, and especially since around 1990, has been a period of strongly intensified global interconnectedness. In the ...

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