Eriksen begins Globalization the metaphor of overheating to capture the dynamic acceleration of globalization. He writes, “An overheated world is one of frictions and tensions, simply because there are more of us, with more activities, projects, opportunities, and technologies than ever before in history” (Eriksen 10). In the hot mass of complex interactions that is globalization, both homogenizing and fragmenting trends are accelerating simultaneously.
According to early concepts of globalization held during the age of Modernization theory, it was assumed that globalization would ultimately lead to the homogenization of global cultures into a single world culture informed by westernization. Ted Lewellen writes, “In some of its early manifestations, globalization was held to be coterminous with homogenization… traditional society would be absorbed by development, so Western cultural hegemony would inevitably overrun non-western cultures” (TL 52). This conception of homogenizati...
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...al phenomenon of fragmentation, it also creates divisions within countries themselves as individuals within these nations feel divisions within the nation deepen, which in the case of Scotland will likely result in the creation of another new country within the next decade (citing class discussion on nationalism and new countries).
Ultimately, it would be a mistake to point towards homogenization (which is clearly evident in the global loss of language diversity) or fragmentation — which is currently of primary interest to anthropologists studying globalization (TL 53) — as the prevailing trend in globalization. Instead, both of these features of globalization are occurring simultaneously as the speed and volume at which people, commodities, ideas, images, culture, and capital flowing across the globe intensifies due to the “overheating” effect of globalization.”
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