Glocalisation


My individual understanding of Glocalisation is a combination of the two definitions ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation’. When these two terms/concepts are entwined the result describes the construction of making products and services, which are distributed and used globally but are altered in a particular way to succeed financially locally. For example, the worldwide production of McDonalds which was originally developed in The United States and is now a global market with thousands of franchises all around the globe, even though the fast food outlets are generally quite consistent wherever you go, (golden arches, design and packaging etc) each country has their own specific menus to accommodate to the local’s palates and traditions. For example the comparison between a traditional American McDonalds chicken nuggets compared to traditional Japanese chicken nuggets are significantly different as soya beans are a very common and traditional snack food in Japan, however not so common in the US.

Same packaging and design, however very different flavours and ingredients

A prime example of glocalisation that I have experienced in my life so far would be travelling to Thailand five years ago where I saw and experienced a very different culture, custom and tradition to what I was used to in Australia.

Many recognisable businesses and organisations were operating in Thailand such as McDonalds, Starbucks, 7/11 and my personal favourite: MTV. Thailand’s MTV channel was not what a typical westerner would generally expect to see. There was no Taylor Swift, One Direction or Madonna on their screens. It was predominantly Thailand’s favourite boy band or girl band singing and dancing to the highly popular genre T-Pop, also know as Thai Pop that initially originated from western pop music and brought to Thailand during the Vietnam war, now T-pop dominates the Thai music industry.

There are multiple examples of glocalisation all around the world, such as clothing, food and even films, which are constantly being remade or altered to suit that particular culture.

Remember that horrifying movie The Ring? The Ring, which was originally a Japanese horror film film (Ringu), and with its wide success it was remade by Hollywood, (the Japanese version would not have been as successful in Hollywood as is did not relate in western civilisation.) The Hollywood adaption still kept the main plot consistent but altered particular elements and customs to suit western viewers.

In Japan, the broccoli from the US film Inside Out was swapped with capsicum, as Japanese children commonly dislike it.

Glocalization is everywhere we look, we may not notice it but once the concept of glocalisation is understood it is almost impossible not to ignore it.

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