The Globalization Of Culture: Cultural Homogenization

1918 words - 8 pages

Cultural individuality and distinctiveness is the pride of every nation. All communities rejoice in the richness and exoticness of their own cultural symbols, be it dressing, architecture, language or way-of-life. With the dawn of globalization, however, cultural variety and distinguishing characteristics are vanishing; giving rise to a monoculture common to all. While this may be a harbinger of unity and relatedness among all people of the world, it also damages the unique cultural identities they once took pride in. This paper discusses the effects of globalization on culture, along with its positive and negative effects. Since the effects of globalization on culture are non-exhaustive, it is attempted to incorporate a few of the most significant ones. The origins of globalization are also discussed.
I. Globalization—Towards a Homogenous Culture
A. What is Globalization
As Yazdani, (2009, p. 54) writes, globalization refers to the growing “interconnectedness” of peoples and nations from all over the world via investment, trade, and travel. According to him, globalization is the transformation process in which “local/regional phenomena” are converted into “global ones”. Globalization is viewed from various perspectives, such as social, economic as well as cultural (Sanagavarapu, 2010, p. 36). A major consequence of globalization is the increase in transnational transportation, especially migration to “western and industrialized societies” (Castles & Miller, 1998; Papastergiadis, 2000 as cited in Sanagavarapu, 2010, p. 36).
B. A Mono-Cultural World
It is an indomitable fact that globalization is diminishing physical boundaries between nations and increasing cultural homogeneity, as more and more people from different cultures intermix, interact, and share their ideas, values, habits and lifestyle. As Yazdani puts it, globalization has “bull-dozed” native cultures, thereby homogenizing them until their identity is not unique to them alone (2009, p. 56). He argues that this is because of the commercialization of culture through media, effecting civilizational, religious and cultural values. The world is thus losing its cultural diversity and is arriving at a mono-cultural state, which is the resultant of the homogenization of cultures through globalization.
II. The Origin of Globalization and its Impact on World Culture—Varying models
Globalization is a universal phenomenon resulting from commercial interactions and trade between countries. Globalization accelerated from the 1870s until the beginning of the First World War in 1914, when all countries worldwide felt the effects of an international economy (Haynes, 2010p. 134). Various routes, by both land and sea, had been developed in historical times, whose main function was to facilitate trade. However, goods were not the only entities that were being exchanged. Religious and cultural exchanges were also widespread across these routes. For instance, the influence of Buddhism, which...

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