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Global Cities: the New Urban Reality (November 2015): The Global, Local, and "Glocal"

By Jane Marcus-Delgado

The Global, Local, and "Glocal"

Works on the impact of globalization on local life emerged as a significant current in global cities literature in the 1990s.  Sociological and ethnographic works include Living the Global City: Globalization as a Local Process, edited by John Eade, which explores the impact of globalization on city dwellers in London.  This book focuses on strategies deployed by local actors in facing a globalized economy along with cultural challenges of changing neighborhoods through migration, increasing diversity, and competing notions of working-class life and poverty.  A more cautionary tale about London is Doreen Massey’s World City, which, taking a more ideologically normative stance, squarely identifies the British metropolis as the “heart of the establishment of neoliberalism as hegemonic.”

Insights on global city dwellers can also be gained from popular works by Richard Florida, beginning with his The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Every Life (which he followed up with The Rise of the Creative Class: Revisited)His subsequent books—Cities and the Creative Class, The Flight of the Creative Class, and The Creative Class Goes Global, a collection he coedited with Charlotta Mellander (primary editor), Bjørn Asheim, and Meric Gertler—shed light on the role cultural dynamics plays in shaping global cities.  The earlier works focus on city dwellers in the United States; later writings expand to international urbanites.

Other books on the interactions between globalization and local populations explore changing dynamics in one city through the growth of the Latino/a population.  Two examples are books on Los Angeles: Victor Valle and Rodolfo Torres’s Latino Metropolis, which traces the evolution of Los Angeles as a “Latino” city—culturally, politically, linguistically, and economically—and Nora Hamilton and Norma Stoltz Chinchilla’s Seeking Community in the Global City: Salvadorans and Guatemalans in Los Angeles, which echoes the message in Valle and Torres’s book.

Works Cited