Articles that examine globalization as a dual process involving both convergence and differentiation.
Globalization has been defined as a process in which the population of the world is increasingly bonded into a single society. Although none of the contributors to this collection denies the thrust toward convergence that is implicit in globalizing processes, each contributor also concludes that globalization encourages differentiation. Integration in the global system is not a passive process. In different nations, people analyze and interpret what is happening and respond by developing policies, forming new institutions and changing existing ones. They adopt broad cultural models in order to function effectively in the larger system and they also draw upon their particular traditions, values, institutions and resources to define a place that will be to their advantage economically, politically and socio-culturally. As the studies presented in this book show, integration in the world system may benefit a given society or may harm it; it may entail changes to a society's culture, but does not obliterate a society's distinctive characteristics.