Regionalisering en mondialisering: Een cultuursociologische analyse van het regionale perspectief in een Europese context
(Regionalisation and globalisation: A cultural sociological analysis of the regional perspective in a European context)
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Globalisation is a fashionable and frequently reflected and analysed subject nowadays. There are reasons for this. The globe has become the stage, where economics, politics and society increasingly give shape and structure to their plays. Economies are globally intertwined, and continents are called ‘regions’ in this context. Liberal capitalism has been globally introduced and economic booms or recessions in one part of the world have immediate repercussions for the economic performance at other parts. Political leaders derive their status and prestige less and less to their own national grassroots support and more and more to the role they play on the world stage. G7 transforms into G8 and may be into G20 and the European Union expects to appoint a European president after the acceptance of the European Constitution. Society eventually seems to be captured in a process of McDonaltisation, where McWorld prescribes the thinking and acting codes in everyday life. Clothes, eating habits and mobile phone behaviour in Tokyo are at a first glance very similar to that in New York or Amsterdam. But there is counter movement as well. There are no political or economic summits without huge demonstrations of the anti-globalist movement. Green Peace is protesting world-wide against the ecological pollution and propagates small-scale, natural friendly methods of agriculture and cattle breeding. Where the world exposes itself as a stage of unlimited opportunities, people are increasingly looking for boundaries and their own identities. The number of local history associations with their search for local and regional roots and identity is growing steadily. Big countries dissolve into smaller units under the pressure of regional movements with their ambitions of greater autonomy and the development of a 'nation'-like consciousness. Fundamentalist reactions and the absolute, uncritical defence of own thoughts and ideas also belong to this counter movement. The outside perspective of the globe simultaneously causes therefore an introspection towards the inside. It is in this context, that we can speak of regionalisation, where a global reality experienced as an abstraction through modernisation, is brought back to a more human size and scale. Therefore, the region next to the globe provides an alternative context, enabling politics, economies and societies to express and develop themselves. This research explores these two processes: globalisation and regionalisation. They will be analysed by means of what I call the 'conceptual triangle': the mutual interdependence of politics, economies and society. This analysis will be undertaken from a cultural sociological perspective. This means, that especially the way people value and give meaning to the processes of globalisation and regionalisation - but also vice versa: how these processes influence the values and meaningful structures of people - are the focus of this study.
Zijderveld, Prof. Dr. A.C. (promotor)