Culture is defined as our overall way of life, including language, customs, beliefs, and the use of material things. This definition includes something called "material culture."
Because of instantaneous global communications, especially television, a global culture is developing. Just as French was once the language of trade, English is now becoming the language of the information age. Western customs are spreading to other cultures around the world. This can easily be seen in the western style clothes that are worn almost universally. What is less well known and more subtle is the fact that Fijian women are now dieting. (In traditional Fijian culture, it was considered fashionable for women to weigh 200 or more pounds. However, since TV has come to the Fiji Islands, women now see that the rest of the world equates slimness with attractiveness, and they've joined the dieting craze.)
For several decades, it has been accepted that there is a single global economic system. That, too, is part of culture. Years ago, some societies experimented with centrally planned socialist systems. Although socialist systems still exist, they exist within a free-market environment. A free market system is, by nature, capitalistic. The expansion of the G-7 (the countries with the largest economic systems) has recently expanded to the G-20. And, there are many economies that want to join the group.
Insecurity about the national debt of Greece caused a near panic last week in Wall Street when the stock market crashed by 1000 points in just a few minutes. The same concern exists for Italy, Spain, and even the United States. We are tied together in a global system.
Finally, food is part of a culture. Today, it is virtually impossible to travel to any economically developed country and NOT find a McDonald's. Fifty years ago, tiny villages in places like the Philippines or Honduras had a goodly supply of Coca Cola.
Many people fear that the growth of a global culture will...
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