Sociology in Times of Glocalization

Sociology in Times of Glocalization

By Christian Karner

This book offers a series of critical discussions of how sociology is responding to the challenges of globalization, to local counter-reactions to them, to the many ways ‘the global’ impacts our lives, and to the new questions about research this poses.

PDF, 210 Pages


November 2022

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 210 Pages


November 2022

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

This book examines contemporary globalization, its local impact and counter-reactions to it both thematically and epistemologically. The starting point is an outline of the distinguishing features of contemporary globalization, their (dis)continuities with historically earlier forms of long-distance connections, and their relevance to both recent and long-established sociological debates. Through a series of thematic case studies, Sociology in Times of Glocalization traces the methodological and conceptual innovations underway to capture the politically heterogeneous responses to our global interconnectedness, which are (re)shaping individual and collective self-understandings, localities, regions, nation-states, as well as diasporic communities at present. The discussion thereby also shows that multiple global ‘flows’, neo-nationalist as well as other forms of identity politics jointly constitute our era’s constitutive, if highly contradictory characteristics.

The book’s most distinguishing feature is to be found in its central analytical move. Having identified the building blocks of today’s complex, multi-dimensional and contradictory forms of ‘glocalization’, it approaches those epistemologically: that is, by asking how globalization and the various reactions to it can be approached, captured and understood sociologically. This requires nuanced methodological reflections on how social scientific claims to knowledge are generated in the specific contexts under investigation. Put differently, the book unfolds around two core-issues: first, the question as to what contemporary, ‘glocalizing’ realities entail; second, the yet more challenging, hitherto underexplored question as to how social scientists can recognize, depict and make sense of such historically novel realities and experiences.

Located in the interface between the thematic and the methodological, the book offers discussions of particular global flows and of specific reactions to them. The thematic foci in question pertain to localities affected by rapid infrastructural change; the economic realm and consumerism; experiences of migration; social change in urban settings; cultural practices such as street art that negotiate both global and local events and phenomena; and digital technology. The critical discussions offered underscore that contemporary globalization cannot be understood as merely a set of new structures of globally interconnected ‘nodes’. Instead, enduring, often deepening inequalities and ever more rigid exclusions, the fears and anxieties they generate, and the identity politics they give rise to, are all shown to be defining features of our world today. To develop these insights, the book draws on and critically synthesizes a range of existing social theory, relevant empirical studies and illustrations, and ongoing methodological debates.


“This is a powerful and subtle book that casts a sharp sociological eye on the interconnections between globalization and local reactions to it, including different populisms and technocratic claims. It is also a powerful meditation on the nature of social science, its responsibilities, and the changes necessary for it to address pressing social issues” —John Holmwood, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Nottingham.

“Written with conceptual sophistication and empirical breadth, Karner’s illuminating approach to glocalization not only invites the reader to rethink the nature of social science in the contemporary world but also produces incisive empirical, normative, and political insights into the most pressing issues of our times” —José López, PhD, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada.

“This book provides a thought-provoking and comprehensive engagement with local manifestations of global flows and processes. Globalization is shown to be an ongoing intensification of interconnectedness across various spaces and contexts. Karner succeeds in situating these often abstract global processes within our direct local and personal experiences. He does so with rich and varied empirical detail, theoretical depth and rigor, and methodological and epistemological creativity and innovation.” —Dr Bernard Weicht.

“This is a must-read book for anyone concerned about the complexity of our world where glocalization involves the coming together of globalization and local contexts. Christian Karner shows us how to use a wide range of methodological approaches to capture the processes and structures that underpin our fragile identities today. Reading this book becomes an excellent intellectual experience.” —Professor Marek Kaźmierczak, University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, Poland.

Karner employs his vast reading and knowledge to demonstrate the value of a glocalization approach to the flow of finances, commodities, the development of urbanization, and immigration. Chapter 4, on immigration, is a gem and certainly relevant to the worldwide movement of populations.--CHOICE

Author Information

Christian Karner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lincoln. His expertise includes the sociology of ethnicity, nationalism and globalization, as well as memory studies.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction: Glocalization and Its Epistemological Challenges; From Localities to “Non- Places”?; The (In)visible Worlds of the Economy; Of “Global Objects” and “Traveling Methods”; From Mobility to “Liminality” and Blockage; Running in the City, Capturing Urban Life; Glocal Palimpsests; New Technologies Everywhere?; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index


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