ABSTRACT. This paper raises the possibility of a sociology of outer space that examines the spatial turn and the turn to space in recent sociology. Rapid developments in space technology, travel and colonization now raise a set of questions about the extension of the spatial turn in sociology to outer space, to a space and territory no longer tied to earth’s limits. A significant theme in the sociology of outer space is how space-time compression is conceptualized outside of the frame of planet Earth to describe the overcoming of the friction of distance with new forms of space travel, transportation and communication and the extent to which new technologies driving and associated with the globalization of postmodern capitalism are generating new extra-world spatialities as an extension of Earth-bound economic and political processes. In this context, the paper also briefly records and examines the shift from the “Space Race” to space commercialization.

Keywords: outer space; sociology; globalization; Earth; space commercialization

How to cite: Peters, Michael A. (2017), “Beyond Earth’s Globalization: Sociology of Outer Space?,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 16: 83–91.

Received 16 October 2016 • Received in revised form 10 November 2016
Accepted 11 November 2016 • Available online 20 November 2016


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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
University of Waikato

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