Globalization, Transnationality And Cultural Diversity Essay

1855 words - 8 pages

Seyed Iman Miri Kerahroudi

Introduction

Culture is about ways of being, knowing and relating to others; it is through culture that we give meaning to our lives and develop a sense of who we are. It is dynamic and constantly changing through dialogue and interaction; it is a window to new horizons, creating conditions of self-reflexivity, conviviality, creative adaptation and anticipation. Culture is the custodian for values of integrity, equity, accountability and transparency; a source of identity, belonging, citizenship and participation.
Culture belongs to whole the people of a community and is a national characteristic. Different nations have developed their own cultural traditions. ...view middle of the document...

This belief assumes nation-states more or less homogenous based on culture and ethics, so it defines culture as a series of internally evolved characteristics with little or no outside influence. It neglects the transnational dimension of cultures in a global environment and any importance of cultural diversity in a country as a constant processes of change and exchange among peoples, ideas and creativity, sustained by intercultural dialogue. Therefore, The idea of culture as a shared, stable living space, supported equally by all members of the group, which passes it on to the next generation, is becoming less and less a reality for translocally and transnationally connected communities.
Considering culture as a transnational phenomenon, it transcends, undermines and displaces political boarders. 20th century’s eastern bloc in Europe is the prime sample in this regard, as many cultural characteristics and traits were shared across regional national borders in many dimensions. In other word, despite a structural and political emphasis on having unique ethnic and cultural characters, national language and open animosity to other neighboring nations, they shared many cultural attributes and traits with others as a cause of involvement in a socialist economic system and a shared experience of existing under Soviet Union military, political and economic control. This experience was a form of cultural colonialism, similar to today’s modern Americanism under influence of western cultural proclivities among other nations, from McDonald to Coca Cola, Facebook to blue jeans, to the extent finally that such things cease to be American.
Some cultures are regional in character- the Persian Gulf Arab countries, for example, who have shared many cultural assumptions and practices across borders, beside some differences, originating from being in contact with other nations, mostly Europe, Britain and United States.
A transnational approach to study the culture is more significant in the study of stateless and migrant cultures and ethnic groups that are not protected by national or international laws: Palestinians and Kurds in Middle-East; the Jews or Roma in Europe; Native Americans; Tribal communities in Africa; Sexual minorities in most countries; and so on. Generally, it is the matter of planetariness of cultures with limited landscape.
Two trends can be witnessed in the new cultural landscape: the standardization of some cultural patterns at the global level and cultural diversification at the local level, both due to the impressive number of cultural goods and services circulating globally through transnational cultural industries, international companies and development cooperation. Universal visual images, uniform patterns of popular culture and similar consumer goods are brought to the most remote corners of the globe. Nevertheless, this process is more complex than the idea that one globalizing culture simply pushes out local cultures. For global...

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