One of the key arguments in the grand narratives on globalization is that of time-space compression. Reflecting the discussion on the relations between globalization and inequality, this chapter argues that the most important local effect of the immensely increased mobility has been a process of fragmentation of cities. The chapter will focus on an empirical background on the changing international division of labour, which caused the deindustrialization of the advanced economies and consequently put the Keynesian welfare-state under heavy pressure; the spectacular growth in and use of communications technology, especially the internet; and the rapidly growing international mobility of people, both in the form of long distance migration and of international tourism. The chapter will elaborate the notion of the fragmentation of cities, using illustrations from the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

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Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS)
Department of Sociology

Burgers, J., & van der Waal, J. (2008). Globalizing Urban Economies and Social Inequality: an Empirical Assessment: The Case of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS). Retrieved from