Edward Crenshaw Pamela Paxton Ohio State University

Globalization and its effects are among the most controversial topics in international social science, but no agreement exists on what globalization is, and few attempts have been made to empirically measure the concept. Our primary goal in this project is to advance the comparative measurement of globalization and the related concept, westernization, across a large number of countries. The PIs will use theory-driven empirical models comprised of multiple indicators to tap the latent constructs of globalization and westernization as country attributes. Higher-order confirmatory factor analyses will include three theoretical dimensions of globalization: economic globalization, political globalization, and socio-cultural globalization, as well as an overarching, summary measure of globalization. The measure of the closely related concept of westernization will use the same methodology with a different set of variables. Given economic expansion around the globe, the PIs expect a bifurcation of generalized globalization and westernization over time, and the project will provide a baseline for subsequent research on this topic. Analyses will be completed on approximately 150 countries over three time periods: circa 1975, 1985 and 1995. Extending the measures over multiple decades permits longitudinal analysis, thereby allowing researchers to consider reciprocal effects between globalization (and/or westernization) and other social constructs. Also, while samples and indicators will be more constrained, the main analyses will also employ relational (i.e., network) measures. Network measures for each dimension of globalization will provide more specific information about the embeddedness of particular countries and help determine the shape of the global stratification system.

The measures of globalization and westernization will be made available through a public data archive. Public access to the measures will allow researchers to use common indicators to investigate relationships between globalization and other substantive topics in international social science. US economic, cultural and political issues are increasingly embedded within a globalized world and better techniques for measuring and understanding processes of globalization will help to inform international policy and debates.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
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Patricia White
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Ohio State University
United States
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