The Glocalization of Time and Space: Soccer and Meaning in Chota Valley Ecuador

Publication Date: 
July 2013
28.4: 373-390


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Globalization is commonly defined as time–space compression, a view that relies on an idea of ‘empty’ time and space where these dimensions have been stripped of local meanings by abstraction and standardization. This notion is incompatible with the globalization of culture literature that suggests that these processes do not erase local meanings but rather mix local and global culture in a process Roland Robertson calls ‘glocalization.’ However, glocalization research tends to look at culture within the bounds of time and space, without problematizing changes to these dimensions themselves. By examining the local appropriation of global soccer (football) in a rural Ecuadorian community called Chota, this article bridges these perspectives and shows that globalization actively reconfigures the meanings associated to time and space.