The term "globalisation" primarily refers to the increasing integration of the world's economic and political order, both in reality and in symbolic terms. With faster transport and communication technologies, globalisation is often seen as a modern-day phenomenon, but in fact, globalisation has taken place throughout history, due to mobility processes. The specific features of present-day globalisation processes are its multiple time-space experiences and frames of reference, often giving rise to terms such as despatialisation and fragmentation. Globalisation is not a planned process, and nor is it continuous or predictable. Rather, it arises from divergent and in some cases contradictory trends. But globalisation also denotes a structure of diverse and unequal power relations in hierarchically organised spaces, as globalisation is not an equitable process, neither by nature nor extent.
The differentiation between locality and globalisation appears baseless as the globalised reality is only truly felt at the local level and, in turn, has feedback effects on globalisation processes. It is therefore more sensible to proceed from a broader concept of space, according to which places do not have a clearly defined territoriality but – even across distances – become a reality through sociocultural references. As places are charged concepts in terms of identity but often do not overlap with the current living space, the ethnologist Arjun Appadurai talks about deterritorialised "ethnoscapes" in the migration context; these are formed by transnationalisation processes, experiences, imagination and the actions of – migrant – actors. Paradoxically, migration is rarely discussed in the context of globalisation processes, neither as a trigger nor as an implicit phenomenon.