Does cultural globalization inevitably result in cultural homogenization Your answer should consider examples from at least one - Essay Example

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DOES CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION INEVITABLY RESULT IN CULTURAL HOMOGENIZATION? Introduction “Contemporary globalization is the increasing flow of trade, finance, culture, ideas, and people” (Lewellen 2002: 7-8) across the world. The development of sophisticated technology, communications and travel, as well as the worldwide spread of neoliberal capitalism promote globalization…
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Download file to see previous pages Globalization is an ongoing process, and the term has come into use since around 1990. The spread from one region to another of different symbols, products and concepts of culture across the globe, and their incorporation into new cultures are key to cultural globalization. It is important to understand whether the mutual assimilation of new cultures by different countries leads to their homogenization and uniformity of culture. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to determine whether cultural globalization inevitably results in cultural homogenization. Cultural Globalization Results in Homogenization and Differentiation Traditional concepts of culture are challenged by globalization. Culture was considered as that which differentiated one group from another, thereby identifying “otherness”. Culture has been one of anthropology’s main means of categorization; however the flexible boundaries today makes the concept of culture even more abstract. Lewellen (2002: 162) states that “globalization tends to break down categories; boundaries dissolve and once-differentiated types overlap, flow into each other, are transformed by contact into new forms, and take on unanticipated meanings in new contexts”. ...
Moreover, globalization is almost never unimpeded. Nationalism, ethnicity, nongovernmental organizations, and transnational communities form a defense to prevent economic and political marginalization, cultural disintegration, and anomy or social instability caused by erosion of cultural standards. This is also true for cultural assimilation of transnational communities. Modernization theory predicted increasing cultural homogenization through assimilation of ethnic groups in western cultures over several generations. However, mainly due to global technology it is increasingly possible to maintain one’s ethnic identity through quick visits to home country by air, cheap and instantaneous communication with family that stayed behind, business networks and financial transactions both ways, expatriate participation in home-country politics, and a constant introduction of new immigrants from home country contribute to sustaining migrant ethnicity for long periods of time, and prevents homogenization with host culture. Contemporary anthropologists tend to look for differences and not similarity, resistance not accommodation, transnationalism not assimilation. Friedman (1994) states that there are several examples of cultural devolution which are not represented in evolutionary theories. Examples are cultures such as those of Hawaii, North American and Peruvian Indians, and Congo pygmies that have lost much of their original autonomy and complexity as they are absorbed into the peripery of dominant cultures. Anthropologists agree that no cultural convergence is observable, and it is likely that the “total repertoire of cultural forms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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