For the first time in human history, the vast majority of the world's population is connected through trade, travel, production, media and politics. Ours is an era of ubiquitous mobile communication, economic outsourcing, mass migration and imported consumer goods. At the same time, people everywhere are concerned to keep their identities rooted and sense of place in the face of momentous change. This new edition of Thomas Eriksen's concise and engaging text outlines the key debates and controversies around globalization, and develops a unique perspective to show how globalization is an inherently double process, taking place both from above and below. Globalization makes us more similar, but also more aware of our differences. It obliterates distances, but creates a heightened awareness of the local and unique. It empowers and renders powerless, creating crises as well opportunities.
With chapters focusing on key concepts of globalization such as speed, mobility, vulnerability and cultural mixing and drawing on examples from across the world, this book is essential for anyone wishing to understand the fundamental processes underlying the contemporary world and the consequences these have for all of us.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway.