While globalization is thought to homogenize local societies and cultures, anthropologists have observed the localizing process of globalization. Perspective of glocalization, the analysis of interactive process of globalization and localization should be useful for understanding the world today.
The globalization of people, money and goods in the last three decades has generally been thought to be irresistible, irreversible and to homogenize or standardize the various different societies and cultures all over the world. Nevertheless, anthropological studies demonstrate the incessant process of localization in which globalized goods, services and systems have been transformed and are now situated in the local context. Anthropological studies also reveal that locally situated societies and cultures can exert a considerable impact on the globally expanding societies and cultures. Hence, while McDonald's restaurants have been transplanted and are found all over the world nowadays, their meanings, images and eating habits are different from one society to another. Moreover, locally defined meanings, images and eating habits are sometimes "reversely" globalized.
Glocalization is a word first "invented" as a marketing strategy by which transnational companies adapt global products to a certain local situation. However, when introduced into sociology and/or anthropology, the concept of glocalization today is defined as the process through which global processes result in the provision of locally-specific goods and services, and bring locally-specific information back to the global system.
Anthropological research is very suitable for observing the glocalization process. An anthropological observation analyzes a local society and culture in depth and thus clarifies the interactive process of globalization and localization. The glocalization perspective is increasingly useful for globalization studies, and anthropology can significantly contribute in this area.
UESUGI, Tomiyuki '"Glocal Studies": Formulating and practicing the studies on glocalization'