Shifting geertz: Toward a theory of translocalism in global communication studies

Marwan M. Kraidy, Patrick D. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Though the anthropologist Clifford Geertz has been tremendously influential across the humanities and social sciences, his impact on media and communication scholarship remains unclear. Geertzian theory, this article argues, can rejuvenate global communication studies by providing a foundation to build a theory of translocalism. The article first highlights the theoretical affinities between Geertz's interpretive anthropology and communication studies. The following sections explicate Geertz's perspectives on the local and on meaning. Then, we explore how Geertz's notion of the local can serve as a context for a new understanding of power in global communication studies. In light of this, the article then turns to an analysis of the notion of translocalism as it transpires in Geertz's work. The final section elaborates the implications of translocalism for global communication studies through a discussion of global television formats and foreign news correspondents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-355
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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