Culture and Globalization

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Globalization, Culture, and Moroccan Identity
Merieme EL AMINE
April 2007

INTRODUCTION

Identity is a question that may be expressed by an anxiety and a hope at the same time. The anxiety lies in the sense of the existence of our Moroccan identity in all its dimensions, Arabo-berber, Muslim negro-African and modern. It also lies in our existence in the world in different parts of the planet where we have decided, voluntarily or not, to assert our existence; a planet that has become a finished space, a global village, surrounded by all kinds of flows, economic, human, electronic, and cultural, which are aspects of globalization; a globalization that could not only be a kind of interdependence among the national spaces which existence is still alive but also an internal phenomenon in these spaces. The advantages and disadvantages of this multiform process can diverge from one partisan to another. Some see in it the chance of a new world and others see in it the risk of an incomparable oppression.

The problem of the Arabo Islamic identity or Arab identity occupies the front of the scene. The Islamic world has never been so active in the sense of the expression of identity, maybe because of the more and more enigmatic character of this identity because as Dryush Shayagan reminds, more than the ethnic and the religious identities, we find a third one in addition that emerges from modernity. He adds that the three identities fit one into the other, create more and more complex fields of interference, and exploit territories that remain most of the time incompatible with each other. He goes on declaring that today, these identical cultures are situated between the “not yet” and the “never ever”: not yet modern and never ever traditional. These identities that live henceforth, in “between the two” are totally burst according to Dryush.[1]

At first glance, this triple identity raises obstacles to communication, but on the condition of succeeding in fitting out their respective spaces, it offers on the other hand, new possibilities of communication.

The assertion of a reactive and massive Arabian Islamic identity was the adequate answer to the colonial dominion. Today, however, the reflection has to fit and adapt itself to the requirements of a situation namely, globalization, that orders that identity becomes seen as open, diverse and it has to be attentive to pluralism in the internal as well as the external places.

We can think that the new network of information and communication will favour the emergence of new forms of citizenship susceptible to fill the current democratic deficit. Media permanently present information in the different parts of the world. With the means of information which the internet network prefigures today, the individual can have a more active role in the search for information. One can also contact a multitude of people of different nationalities, discuss problems of public interest, and express his/her opinions in public forums.

GLOBALIZATION, CULTURE, AND THE MOROCCAN IDENTITY

It is crucial to see globalization from an academic point of view as there is a strong link bounding globalization and culture. The global culture belongs to what Simon During calls “transnationalization.”[2] This latter is the process by which cultural products extend their actual space to emerge in a global area. Cultural studies are a kind of reaction to this process. Going deeper in this perspective, we come across many points that may link globalization to culture if we consider that culture is a local issue that may be influenced by the global market, the global sight, or may itself influence the global sphere if it is considered as a tradition or a way of life. Culture, from another view, maybe considered as the basis of the construction of one’s identity but once influences by globalization, the identity may change and we may adopt some practices and beliefs that may be no...
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