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Cultural Essentialism - Essay Example

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This research aims to evaluate and present the article of Larry Strelitz “Against cultural essentialism: Media reception among South African youth” where the problem of cultural alteration and borrowing of cultural peculiarities is fully depicted. …
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Cultural Essentialism
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Download file to see previous pages From this research it is clear that nowadays cultural aspects are vital not only for social and spiritual base, but also for economic development, since the time when entrepreneurship has obtained international character, retracting more and more people of different national identities into business relations. However, today culture of various nations suffers from serious ambiguously influential tendency that has a worldwide scale. It is the process of rapid globalization, which causes elemental and uncontrollable borrowing of cultural values. Hence, making a trip to another country, traveler is prone to realize the fact that cultural orientation varies from place to place, therefore, person expects to feel at least the slightest resemblance of cultural shock; meanwhile, not infrequently lifestyle of foreign state is able to amaze with its paradoxical similarity to accustomed life pattern. For instance, while visiting any European country it is not hard to notice that cultural aspects do not differ much, providing population with the same brands of cloths, styles of music, trite movies and sometimes even the same pronunciation of clichés. In this respect, there is formation of common united standards of universal and international culture, which contains values, norms, ideas, patterns and symbols that are close to entire humanity. There is a wide layer of culture based on powerful processes of integration. On the one hand, globalization leads to convergence of nations, development of cultural contacts, mutual enrichment, exchange and migration. On the other hand, there is a significant negative feature that threatens with loss of cultural identity. The problem of cultural alteration and borrowing of cultural peculiarities is fully depicted in the article of Larry Strelitz “Against cultural essentialism: Media reception among South African youth” that emphasizes the fact that nowadays boundaries between such notions as “worldwide” and “local” gradually are starting to be obliterated. It is getting complicated to detect cultural identity while indigenous culture is extremely affected by foreign influence. In his article Larry Strelitz refers to numerous authors, criticizing and arguing their claims. Repeatedly he accentuates the idea of cultural hybridity that dominates in the world. The major reason of this phenomenon is invasion of different cultural specificities due to mass immigration processes. Author agrees with Robertson stating that the aspect of saturation and influence between mass and indigenous cultures occurs in bilateral way (cited in Strelitz, 2004, p. 627). Hence, mass culture has been formed under influence of the Third World countries while each local culture is prominently affected with global impact. Strelitz raises the topic of musical peculiarities and preferences, making examples of famous musicians that despite their origin have chosen quite unusual to their cultural identities music styles. For example, author recollects Lucia who describes individual sound of Ibrahim’s music as a mix of traditional African melodies, Islamic chant, American jazz style, European parlor songs and gospel music (cited in Strelitz, 2004, p. 628). Also author points out Ballentine’s claim concerning the fact that black American culture is considered to be the most influential one, simultaneously being subordinate to development of local elements. In addition, author believes that frequently taste in music depends on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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