The Globalization of Nothing

Ritzer, George

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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