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Globalisation of Consumer Culture - Essay Example

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Globalisation of consumer culture Table of Contents Introduction 1 Drivers of globalisation 1 Globalisation and culture 2 Consumption dynamics 3 Fetishism and cultural imperialism 3 Deterritorialisation 4 Cultural homogenization 5 Glocalization 6 Cultural identities 7 Conclusion 7 References 8 Introduction The world we live in is changing at a much faster pace than one can imagine…
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Download file to see previous pages Ted Levitt in his article, “The Globalisation of Markets” states that the needs and desires of people are becoming homogenized as do the tastes and modes of doing business (Mooij, 2000). McLuhan also prophesied that the media would turn the world into a global village. However, Kotler contends that consumers are not rational human beings and in fact markets are becoming more diverse. Thus based on the theories of cultural homogenization, Indigenization, and fetishism and cultural imperialism, this paper aims to evaluate the extent to which globalisation of consumer culture has led to cultural homogenization. Drivers of globalisation Appadurai identifies five global flows that are transforming the nature of society and eroding the barriers between them (Craig & Douglas, 2006). These include mediascapes (flow of imagination and communication), ethnoscapes (flow of tourists, migrants and students), ideoscapes (flow of political ideas and ideologies), technoscapes (flow of technology) and finanscapes (flows of capital and money). The collective effort of these five scapes is turning the world into what Tomlinson (1999) describes as “a single social and cultural setting”; globalisation makes the world a ‘single place’. Tomlinson however, maintains that connectivity still does not extend in any profound way to every single person or place on the planet; social and cultural divisions continue to persist. Globalisation and culture While culture has been defined by Hofstede as the collective programming of the mind that gives rise to set beliefs and patterns of behavior, and thereby distinguishes one group of people from another (Merz, He & Alden, 2008), cultural globalisation is the emergence of a specific set of values and beliefs that are largely shared around the planet (Movius, 2010). Globalisation of media has been held responsible for the globalisation of culture. However, with converging incomes, cultural values and habits have not converged (Mooij, 2000). People would spend their incremental income based on their value pattern – the Americans would buy more cars while the Spanish would spend more on food. This implies that values, beliefs and patterns of behavior have not homogenized; cultural homogenization has not taken place despite converging income. Appadurai (2001) and Tomlinson (1995) believe that globalisation is not just an economic and a political phenomenon; it is also a complex cultural phenomenon. It promises new possibilities but also gives rise to new anxieties that transform social life. However, as global forces begin to penetrate local culture, it could lead to tensions or collisions. Thus the outcome could be displacement of local culture leading to homogenization of culture or it could lead to resistance due to cultural imperialism. Craig and Douglas (2006) emphasize that culture is pervasive and it is the lens through which individuals perceive and interpret phenomena. However, cultures are dynamic and keep evolving over time; hybrid cultures (fusion of two or more cultures resulting in a new cultural element) develop as people travel across borders. Membership in a culture is becoming transitional and deterritorialized (a particular culture is no longer defined in terms of the specific geographic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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