chapter  1
13 Pages

Islam encountering globalization: an introduction

Globalization is rapidly joining other stock social science terms such as society, class and culture to become a highly contested concept. Although the term global can be traced back in the English language for over 400 years, according to the Oxford English Dictionary the term globalization, along with the related terms globalize and globalizing, seems to have first come into use in the 1960s, largely in economic contexts (Waters 1995: 2). In economics and management literature, the first use seems to have been Levitt’s paper on the globalization of markets published in 1983 (Dicken 1998: 15). In sociology Roland Robertson was one of the first to use the term in the early 1980s (see Robertson 1985; 1992a; 1992b; Robertson and Lechner 1985). In media and cultural studies, Marshall McLuhan’s (1960) use of the term ‘global village’ in his book Understanding Media, published in 1960, was a significant influence. Yet these academic usages can hardly have prepared us for the way in the 1990s the term rapidly became part of the everyday vocabulary not only of academics and business people, but circulated widely in the media and everyday life.