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Contextualizing Discourses on Globalization: A view from the “East”

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“Globalization” is by now an all-too-familiar word that has been made durable in the media, in academia, in government organizations and in business circles. Yet the familiarity of “globalization” is contested and obscured by an increasing proliferation of competing discourses on globalization, evidenced by a now considerable academic debate regarding the phenomenon of globalization (e. g., Robertson, 1992; Woods, 1998; Schirato and Webb, 2003), the ramifications it has on “culture” (King, 1991; Featherstone, 1996; Jameson and Miyoshi, 1998; Crane et al., 2002), the “nation-state” (e. g., Evans, 1997; Weiss, 1997; Brown, 2000), “education” (Suarez-Orozco & Qin-Hilliard, 2004; Apple et al., 2005) inter alia. There is indeed no lack of literature on globalization.

In view of the broad scope of literature on globalization, this chapter provides a synoptic reading of some of the globalization literatures, organized as “discourses”. I use “discourse/s” with some oversimplification to delineate patterns of knowledge and practices of globalization that have emerged. While I acknowledge that there are further configurations of discourses on globalization, for the purpose of this book, I have, however, confined my analysis to three overlapping discourses, and they are regional, ideological and economic discourses. Specific references and examples of local uptake of globalization will be drawn from Singapore and the wider Asia Pacific region, as Beck (2002) has reminded us that we cannot even think about globalization or discuss it effectively without the reference to specific locations and places. Hence the subtitle of this chapter, “a view from the East” is deliberate, not to set up the binary trap of the “East”/“West” divide but to signal to the often forgotten fact that Singapore, as well as the wider Asia Pacific region is “part of the ‘global’ sphere that the West has dispersed itself into” (Wee, 2004, p. 122).

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0351-0050-1_1

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Globlization, Sport and Corporate Nationalism
    This book examines the profound impact of globalization on the national sport of rugby and New Zealand's iconic team, the All Blacks. Since 1995, the national sport of rugby has undergone significant change, most notably due to the New Zealand Rugby Union's lucrative and ongoing corporate partnerships with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and global sportswear giant Adidas. The authors explore these significant developments and pressures alongside the resulting tensions and contradictions that have emerged as the All Blacks, and other aspects of national heritage and indigenous identity, have been steadily incorporated into a global promotional culture. Following recent research in cultural studies, they highlight the intensive, but contested, commodification of the All Blacks to illuminate the ongoing transformation of rugby in New Zealand by corporate imperatives and the imaginations of marketers, most notably through the production of a complex discourse of corporate nationalism within Adidas's evolving local and global advertising campaigns.
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