Roland Robertson

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Roland Robertson (born 1938) is a sociologist and theorist of globalization who lectures at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom. Formerly, he was a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and in 1988 he was the President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion.

Robertson's theories have focused significantly on a more phenomenological and psycho-social approach than that of more materialist oriented theorists such as Immanuel Wallerstein or Fredric Jameson. For Robertson, the most interesting aspect of the modern (or postmodern) era is the way in which a global consciousness has developed. He lays down a progression of "phases" that capture the central aspects of different eras in global history, asserting that the fifth phase, Global Uncertainty, has been reached.

Robertson's main works are Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (1992) and the edited volume Global Modernities. In 1985, he was the first sociologist to use the term globalization in the title of a sociological article.[1] His 1992 definition of globalization as "the compression of the world and the intensification of the consciousness of the world as a whole"[1] has been credited as the first ever definition of globalization,[2] through a more detailed analysis of the history of this term indicates it has many authors.[3] He is also said to have coined the term glocalization in 1992.[4]


  1. ^ a b Anthony R. Welch (30 March 2006). The Professoriate: Profile of a Profession. Springer. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-4020-3383-4. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  2. ^ Protas Opondo Okwalo (2008). Conversation: An Approach to Faith Formation for Adults in a Kenyan Context. ProQuest. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-549-67690-4. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ Jan Aart Scholte (5 August 2005). Globalization: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-230-36801-9. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  4. ^ B. Kumaravadivelu (2008). Cultural Globalization and Language Education. Yale University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-300-11110-1. Retrieved 23 September 2013.

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