The global/local distinction

In reading a 2009 article by Jean-Sebastien Guy titled “What is Global and What is Local? A Theoretical Discussion Around Globalization,” I was interested in his argument that global and the local are not about sizes differences or spatial measurements; it’s not that the global is large and the local is small. When we speak of global and local, we are not just naming realities that already exist; we are constructing knowledge with the aid of a code. I highlighted passages such as

. . . reality as it is differentially qualified by the terms “global” and “local” only exist for the observer operating with these concepts. (2)

We cannot talk about the global without at least implicitly referencing the local. These terms are the two sides of a form or, in other words, the distinction is a unity. To test this assumption I looked at Google Trends to see if the terms global and local seems to co-occur. Here is a Google Trend for the last twelve months:


The next two are for the last five years and the from 2004 to the present:

Clearly, the do co-occur. This is interesting because if people are simply more interested global issues or realities, then we would see a rise for the term global independent of any rise or fall for local. They would simply be unrelated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.