Globalization is arguably the most prevalent force reshaping rural localities around the world today, and the most significant factor framing the challenge for rural development in regions from the Canadian prairies to the rolling downlands of England, from the forests of Scandinavia to the Andean mountain communities of South America, from Australian mining towns to Indian fishing villages. Indeed, it is a characteristic of globalization that the ties and inter-dependencies between these diverse rural locales are becoming ever more entwined. Globalization, as defined by Steger (2003), can be understood as “a multidimensional set of social processes that create, multiply, stretch and intensify worldwide social [and economic] interdependencies and exchanges while at the same time fostering in people a growing awareness of deepening connections between the local and the distant” (p. 13). Globalization therefore involves the multiplication of social and economic networks that transcend traditional borders; the stretching of social and economic relations, activities and inter-dependencies over increasing distances; the intensification and acceleration of exchanges that are made across expanding distances in ever-less time and with increasing frequency; and the development of a global consciousness, in which people have a greater awareness of the world as a whole, and their place in it (Steger, 2003; see also Woods, 2011a).
Globalization, global-rural, rural localities