Grobalization Essay

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Grobalization is a term coined by sociologist George Ritzer (2004) in his book The Globalization of Nothing. It is meant to serve as a companion to the widely employed concept of glocalization. While glocalization represents the unique combinations resulting from the interpenetration of the global and the local, grobalization represents ”the imperialistic ambitions of nations, corporations, organizations, and the like and their desire, indeed need, to impose themselves on various geographic areas” (p. 73). Thus, glocalization would be most closely associated with postmodern, pluralistic ideas of heterogeneity, whereas grobalization represents a more modern, imperialistic, and homogenizing perspective.

Grobalization theorists would generally argue that the world is becoming increasingly less diverse as transnational economic, cultural, political, and social entities seek to impose their influence throughout the world. The agent in this perspective has relatively little power to maneuver within, between, or around structures. Their ability to construct their own identity and world is seriously impinged on by the growing forces of grobal powers, particularly commodities and the media. Social processes are deterministic and overwhelm the local, limiting its ability to interact with, much less act back against, the global.

Although grobalization encompasses a number of subprocesses, the main three are Americanization, McDonaldization, and capitalism (Ritzer & Ryan 2003). The quest for profits under capitalism, the most powerful of the subprocesses, has led corporations to seek ever-expanding global markets. The process of McDonaldization has facilitated the expansion of corporate entities and cultural patterns. Americanization can be closely tied to the dominant influence of the USA in the world today. Taken together, these three sub-processes constitute some of the main drivers of grobalization.


  1. Ritzer, G. (2004) The Globalization of Nothing. Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks, CA.
  2. Ritzer, G. & Ryan, J. M. (2003) Toward a richer understanding of global commodification: glocalization and grobalization. Hedgehog Review 5(2): 66-76.

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