It was as early as the advent of widespread rail travel that the philosophy of globalization materialized (Scheuerman). Distances previously unpractical to traverse were now able to be traveled safely and quickly. As the concept of distance as a major barrier to travel began to erode, another concept--that of an effectively shrinking world size--began to emerge.
As time passed, and transportation technology advanced, our world began to grow ever smaller. Communication improved with the invention of the telephone, followed by the Internet. The rapid increase of population to this effect as well, and today, countries and cultures interact more than ever before.
With this increased interaction, interesting issues have arisen. Cultures are slow to evolve and adapt to new situations created by the much more rapid changes of technology. As technology connects us, culture divides us--and in ways that we never realized it could, simply because certain cultures would never have had the chance to mingle before.
Cultures meeting for the first time may regard each other as alien, and find each other’s practices to be odd, even shocking. Though morals are fairly similar worldwide, the specifics of cultural customs are often different. Appiah writes of the Akan and their concept of abusua, a matrilineal idea of what constitutes “family” (381). While harmless, and certainly not immoral, this idea is starkly in contrast with family concepts in other cultures, and it can easily be imagined that two cultures with differing ideas on this topic might view each other as odd. The idea of family is ingrained in members of a culture from birth, and naturally, having this idea challenged unexpectedly could cause discomfort.
There have been many examples in the past of serious, even violent culture clashes, especially with regards to religion. The Crusades, for example, an extremely long and vicious example, still has ongoing echoes to this day....
Cited: Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Through Thick and Thin.” From Inquiry to Academic Writing. Ed. Stuart Greene and April Lipinsky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. 379-389.
Foer, Franklin. “How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.” From Inquiry to Academic Writing. Ed. Stuart Greene and April Lipinsky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. 407-415.
Scheuerman, William, "Globalization", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) .
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