The Globalization of Nothing

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George Ritzer

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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. Building on but going beyond 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. He argues that we are moving toward nothing that which is centrally controlled and conceived and relatively devoid of distinctive 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. Thus, the central problem in the world today is defined as loss amidst monumental abundance (of nothing).

The Globalization of Nothing takes the subject of globalization in new directions, introducing terms such as grobalization (the growing influence of, for example, American corporations throughout the world). This book is structured around four sets of concepts addressing this issue: places/non-places, things/non-things, people/non-people, and services/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.

The Globalization of Nothing is ideal as a primary or supplemental 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 phenomena.


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