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Globalization of Nothing

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ISBN-10: 0761988076

ISBN-13: 9780761988076

Edition: 2004

Authors: George Ritzer

List price: $36.95
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In a world increasingly festooned with familiar logos - from the hallmark swoosh on a designer tennis shoe to the famous golden arches outside a fast-food chain - it is clear that these symbols are not merely decorative, but represent shifts in our social milieu. More specifically, the proliferation of such items as credit card offers, automated banking services, and globally recognizable brand names illustrate significant changes in the realm of social consumption: a trajectory toward a world of increasingly dehumanized services and meaningless places and things.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." Extending his renowned McDonaldization 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, toward "nothing" - that which is centrally controlled and conceived and relatively devoid of 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.The Globalization of Nothing takes the subject of globalization in new directions, introducing terms such as "grobalization." The key conflict in the world today is viewed as that between the grobalization of nothing and the glocalization of something. This book is structured around four organizing concepts addressing this issue: "non-places," "non-things," "non-people," and "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. Why is it that those who produce "nothing" for major multinational corporations often cannot afford that which they produce? Why do some people seem to be enraptured with their favorite brands or with their credit cards? What are the social implications of the increasing "globalization of nothing" for the medical, education, and tourism industries? Critical questions are raised throughout the book and the reader is compelled not only to seek answers to these questions, but to critically evaluate the questions as well as the answers they themselves conceive.The Globalization of Nothing is ideal as a 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 phenomona.Click on 'Additional Materials' to read sample chapters.
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Book details

List price: $36.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/17/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

About the Author
Globalization: A New Conceptualization
Key Topics in the Study of Globalization
Globalization Theories
Glocalization and Grobalization
Grobalization: The Major Processes
Glocal, Grobal, and Local
Nothing (and Something): Another New Conceptualization
Defining Nothing
Defining Something
The Something-Nothing Continuum
Globalization and the Dimensions of Nothing
Meet the Nullities: Nonplaces, Nonthings, Nonpeople, and Nonservices
Nonplaces (and Places)
Nonthings (and Things)
Nonpeople (and People)
Nonservice (and Service)
Relationships Among the Nullities
An Illustrative Excursion to the Movies
Nothing: Caveats and Clarifications
Conceptual Aids to Understanding Nothing
Some Paradoxes
The Social Construction of Nothing
The Economics of Nothing (and Something)
In Defense of Nothing
The Globalization of Nothing
Elective Affinities
Grobalization: Loose Cultural and Tight Structural Forms
The Grobalization of Nothing: Enabling Factors
Theorizing Glocalization and Grobalization
Theorizing the Globalization of Culture
Analyzing Sport: Use and Abuse of the Concept of Glocalization
Analyzing McDonaldization Anthropologically: More Use and Abuse of Glocalization
Thinking About the Fate of the Local
Contributions to Cultural Theories of Globalization
The Globalization of Consumer Culture---and Global Opposition to It
Elements of Consumer Culture
Driving Forces Behind the Globalization of Consumer Culture
The Role of Branding
Beyond the Usual "Consumer" Suspects
Global Attacks on the Symbols of American Consumer Culture
The Globalization of Nothing and September 11, 2001
Loss Amidst Monumental Abundance---and Global Strategies for Coping With It
Theory and the Paradoxes of Consumer Culture
Loss Amidst Monumental Abundance
Strategies for Overcoming the Sense of Loss