Globalization and Cultural Diversity
Globalization has become an oft-used buzzword since the latter part of the twentieth century, often by those wishing to emphasize the benefits of global business or economic interdependencies. It has also been used by sociologists who argue that globalization of the media is responsible for a steady homogenization, or even Americanization, of cultures around the world and has reduced our global cultural diversity.
Globalization is, however, nothing new; it has been happening since mankind first learned to trade. Neither does it necessarily mean that we will all eventually look and act the same, as some anti-globalization protestors would have you believe. While there is no doubt that globalization does impact local cultures, the effects are often complex and unpredictable and in some cases can create a stronger and more extreme sense of local identity.
When the Romans built roads as they marched across Europe during their golden era of conquest and empire-building, they were engaging in a form of globalization. When the Incas created their own empire in the Andes they were also a globalizing force. When Marco Polo traced the trade routes from Europe to central Asia, he was promoting globalization of trade. The Dutch, the Spanish and the British empires of the sixteenth centuries and beyond were also further steps in creating a new, global world.
What the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have added to this story is qualitative rather than quantitative – that is to say, we have seen a new kind of globalization. The telephone, air travel, and the internet, among other inventions and innovations, have all made it possible for the world to feel right there next to us. When McLuhan coined the term ‘global village’ in the 60s he was referring to the globalization of media, the colonization of our imaginations by images and ideas from far off places at a rate that has never before occurred.
Cultural Homogenization, Hybridization and Polarization
Some believe that this form of media globalization leads to a homogenization of culture, as language, news, images, films, music and much more are broadcast daily around the globe, particularly from countries like the U.S. Internationals like McDonalds and Starbucks have come to represent a dark side of globalization, the loss of local difference in a wash of global ideas and trade.
The effects on local culture are, however, usually far more complex than this picture of assimilation. As well as homogenization, modern social theory has also identified trends of hybridization and polarization. That is to say, the clash of global and local can also give rise to new, unique cultural identities or serve to reinforce and intensify existing or historical ones.
Indeed, this process has been going on for many centuries. When the Roman’s left Britain they left behind a cultural legacy that included, for example, Christianity. Argentine and Brazilian cultures cannot be said to be truly Iberian, neither do they belong to the indigenous races that populated the lands before the arrival of the colonists. One culture does not steamroller another – cultures clash, interact, fracture, breed and ultimately form new cultures distinct from the ingredients from which they were formed.http://www.dailynewsz.com/globalization-and-cultural-diversity/http://www.dailynewsz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Globalization-and-Cultural-Diversity.jpghttp://www.dailynewsz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Globalization-and-Cultural-Diversity-300x300.jpgLifestyleculture,globalization,homogenization,polarization