Globalization and Identity: Dialectics of Flow and Closure. Introduction



The more current the notion of globalization becomes, the more it seems to be beset with vagueness and inconsistencies. The notion as such and the complex reality it attempts to grasp are therefore met with a mixture of uneasiness and fascination by social scientists. This lack of clarity is not exceptional—it seems to be the fate of many fashionable terms and probably also the cause of their popularity—and it is no reason to abandon the notion altogether. Even if globalization amounts to nothing more than a sensitizing notion, rather than an analytical concept, it is important to realize that the ambiguities it calls forth issue urgent challenges, not merely on the level of theory but also with regard to a better understanding of actual global entanglements and the crises to which they give rise.