Cluster III: Globalization/Glocalization & Cultural Sociology

Although the work done in the other clusters is considerable, I consider myself to be a cultural sociologist with a long-term interest on the relationship among culture, transnationalism and globalization. As a result, I have consistently returned to this problematic for it remains the central defining feature of my intellectual outlook.

My work on cultural sociology has focused on collective memory. My interest in this field was sparked by the writing of my second monograph. I edited two special issues on collective memory for the Journal of Political and Military Sociology (2003; 2007). The Introduction to the 2007 special issue summarizes my own reading and conceptualization of the sociology of memory. Pursuing this research agenda led to its application into Cyprus' contemporary predicament. Jointly with Miranda Christou (University of Cyprus) we have applied cultural trauma theory into Cyprus' post-1974 situation. This project included my participation in the activities of the Yale-based Center for Cultural Sociology and has yielded a book chapter published in the edited volume Narrating Trauma (Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm, 2011) and an article published in the 2011/2012 issue of the greek language journal Επιστήμη και Κοινωνία. That issue was co-edited with Prof. N. Demertzis (Univ. of Athens, Greece) and includes a selection of articles aimed to introduce cultural trauma theory to the Greek-speaking audience.

The relationship between globalization and Americanization was the subject of my first edited volume American Culture in Europe (1998), co-edited with Mike-Frank Epitropoulos. Unlike prior research on this topic, the volume's essays suggest a multifaceted relationship between Europe and America that goes beyond simplistic oppositions between these two cultural areas. The construction of transnational ties was further explored in another volume on Communities across Borders (2002 hc; 2006 paperback), co-edited with Paul Kennedy. This volume grew out of the 1999 inaugural conference of the Global Studies Association (Manchester, UK). The volume as a whole & the introductory chapter (co-authored with Paul Kennedy) have become widely cited in the literature on transnational studies. In the volume, a broad definition of transnationalism is developed. That makes it possible to examine not only the movement of peoples from one country to another, but also the migration of cultural practices (such as pop music or soccer) across borders.

With regard to globalization, my work focused on the theoretical and to a degree, empirical investigation of the key concepts of cosmopolitanism, globalization and transnationalism. Of special significance for my work has been the relatively recent concept of glocalization. In my 2003 European Legacy article, I explore the relationship among glocalization, modernity and space, while in my 2005 Current Sociology article I interrogate the relationship among glocalization, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism. I argue that transnationalism and cosmopolitanism should not be blended; for they are analytically distinct from each other. The article put forth the notion of a cosmopolitan-local continuum as a novel means for assessing the relationship between cosmopolitanism and localism. Following up on this article, and jointly with William Haller (Clemson University) we have operationalized the cosmopolitan-local continuum & published a book chapter in 2007 & an article consisting of a cross-national analysis of quantitative data in the Journal of Sociology (2010). This article analyses the data from advanced industrialized countries, using the 1995 and 2003 ISSP National Identity module data in order to detect whether the turn of the 21st century has brought increased or decreased levels of cosmopolitanism around the globe.

The evolution of my research agenda has been impacted by shifting international & global trends and more specifically by the emergent scholarly field of Global, Cosmopolitan and Transnational Studies. As a founding member of the American Sociological Association's Section on Global and Transnational Sociology and as Board Member of the European Sociological Association's Research Network on Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology (2015 - 2019) I have felt that my past research has been incorporated into scholarly trends that have become central for the world's sociological (and even more broadly, social-scientific) community. Reflecting these trends, my work on globalization, culture, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism coalesced into a uniform research agenda. This agenda is presented in my fourth monograph, Glocalization: A critical introduction (London: Routledge, 2016, paperback). This book synthesizes some of my earlier work on glocalization and globalization but also develops new ideas and arguments for the field of Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Studies. It is the first international monograph devoted exclusively on the topic of glocalization. An article containing a preview of the book's theoretical thesis has appeared in the European Journal of Social Theory (2016), while material from the book has appeared in articles published in the journals Globalizations (2015) & Glocalism (2015).

The book's individual chapters engage with a multitude of glocalization scholarship from several fields and disciplines in the social sciences, business and humanities. The main goal is to demonstrate the significance of glocalization as a new concept for a multitude of fields and disciplines. The book includes a discussion of the term's genealogies, an overview of literature and various research streams, and in-depth analyses of the relationship among cosmopolitanism, modernity, consumption and glocalization. It further proposes definitions for the terms glocalization, glocality and glocalism; and argues that glocalization should be seen as a relatively autonomous concept from globalization.

The ideas that form the material in this book offer a new point of departure for future & ongoing work, inclusive of the following:

  • Glocal Religions (Basil: Switzerland, MDPI, 2019). This edited volume is based on the special issue of the e-journal Religions which grew out of the panel organized during the 2015 meetings of the International Society for Sociology of Religion (Louvain-en-neuve, Belgium).
  • "Recovering the local: From glocalization to localization", Current Sociology 2019 DOI: 10.1177/0011392118812933.
  • "Cosmopolitanism, glocalization & youth cultures", Youth & Globalization, 2019 (Leiden: Brill) [inaugural issue].
  • "Glocalization", in Oxford Bibliographies in Communication, Oxford: Oxford University Press, (15 January 2020), DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0241.
  • "Handbook of Culture and Glocalization", co-edited with Ugo Dessi (Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar, Forthcoming).
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