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The limits of cultural globalisation?

Conversi, Daniele ORCID: 0000-0002-6618-2738 (2010) The limits of cultural globalisation? Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies (3). ISSN 2040-8498

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The proliferation of studies on virtually every aspect of globalisation has not clarified the central terminological conundrum of the field. Globalisation studies do not share a univocal set of terms and concepts, so that the loose usage of the very term globalisation has led to polysemy and homonymy. Accordingly, ‘globalisation’ is now used to describe everything and its opposite, from the Roman Empire to WW1, from cosmopolitan behaviour to Genghis Khan’s conquests, and even the Neolithic age. The task of critical globalisation studies should thus be to re-contextualize the phenomenon and re-locate it where it belongs. In contrast, the term Americanisation has been used more sparely, therefore maintaining an autonomous conceptual strength. However, both manufactured opinion and scholarly studies tend to argue that globalisation and Americanisation are wholly distinct phenomena. Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) have adamantly defended that they are not vehicles of Americanisation and that the result of their actions in neoliberal markets is rather a form of ‘indigenization’ or ‘domestication’ through adaptation to local cultures. Similarly, much of the globalisation literature has not come to term with the unidirectional nature of globalisation in the field of culture. This article argues that both globalisation and Americanisation should be historicized, and their respective trajectories identified as beginning in distinct epochs, operating through waves of diffusion and within specific ideological frameworks, and culminating in periods of military and economic expansion. Finally, I argue that, if cultural globalisation is studied in tandem with Americanisation, it can be conceptually circumscribed and its finite nature better identified

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2013 14:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:10

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