Article Title

Homogeneity, “glocalism” or somewhere in between?: A literary interpretation of identity in the era of globalization


Purpose – This paper aims to expand current theories of globalisation to a consideration of its impact on the individual. Much work has been done on the impact of globalisation on social, political and economic structures. In this paper, globalisation, for the individual, reflects a re-conceptualisation of the Self/Other encounter. In order to explore this Self/Other dimension, the paper analyses the literary work of nineteenth-century writer Pierre Loti since his work begins to problematise this important motif. His work also provides insight into the effect on the individual when encountering the Other in a globalised context.

Design/methodology/approach – Drawing from literary criticism, the paper adopts an interpretive approach. Using the fiction and non-fiction work of Pierre Loti, an integrated psychoanalytical, postcolonial analysis is conducted to draw out possible insights into how Loti conceptualises the Other and is thus transformed himself.

Findings – The paper finds that the Self/Other encounter shifts in the era of globalisation. The blurring of the Self/Other is part of the impact of globalisation on the individual. Further, the paper argues that Loti was the first to problematise Self/Other at a point in history where the distinction seemed clear. Loti's work is instructive for tracing the dissolution of the Self/Other encounter since the themes and issues raised in his early work foreshadow our contemporary experience of globalisation.

Research limitations/implications – This paper takes a specific view of globalisation through an interpretive lens. It also uses one specific body of work to answer the research question of what impact globalisation has on the individual. A broader sampling and application of theoretical strains out of the literary criticism canon would expand the parameters of this study.

Originality/value – This paper makes an original contribution to current theorisations of globalisation in that it re-conceptualises classical understandings of the Self/Other divide. The finding that the Self/Other divide is altered in the current era of globalisation has impact for cultural and marketing theory since it re-focuses attention on the shifting nature of identity and how we encounter the Other in our daily existence.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publication of this article is forthcoming.


globalization, consumption, glocalism, literary criticism, self/other

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