Chapter 13

The Sociology of Global Organizations

STEWART CLEGG AND CHRIS CARTER

DEFINING GLOBALIZATION

Globalization can be thought of as worldwide integration in virtually every sphere (B. Parker 2003: 234), achieved principally through markets. For some theorists this amounts to the financialization of the everyday (Martin 2002), while others see it in terms of the Americanization of the world (Ritzer 1993). While Goran Therborn (2000: 154, 149) has defined contemporary globalization in terms of a substitution of the global for the universal and of space for time, it is also necessary to consider that what is overwhelmingly being posited as the global is a production system of production in mass terms, which is American: American products, designs and politics dominate the global world – even when they are being manufactured by Japanese and Chinese companies. The US military dominates this world; it is the only global superpower. American consumption, especially of energy, dominates this world. If globalization is a process what is increasingly being globalized – globalizing – are North American values, products, force and debt. America is not only hugely globalized; it is also massively indebted, with much of that debt held in Japanese banks. Thus, from a rational actor perspective, debt is unlikely to throw the behemoth off course as it would not be in the interests of a world so dominated any more than it would be the nature of that which is globalizing. However, what is global ...

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