The globalization of football: a study in the glocalization of the ‘serious life’

Richard Charles Giulianotti, Roland Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Citations (Scopus)


Sport, in particular football, constitutes one of the most dynamic, sociologically illuminating domains of globalization. This paper examines the globalization of football with particular reference to Robertson's theorizations of global processes. We examine football's cultural globalization through the concept of 'glocalization', which highlights the interdependence of local and global processes within the game's identities and institutions. We address economic globalization in football by considering the world's leading clubs as 'glocal' transnational corporations. We assess the political globalization of football with reference to the possible enhancement of democracy within the game's international governance. We conclude by affirming the utility of sport in advancing our empirical and theoretical understanding of globalization processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-568
Number of pages23
JournalThe British Journal of Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • globalization
  • football
  • glocalization
  • transnational corporations
  • democracy
  • state


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