Globalization and Indigenous Culture

Topics: Culture, Globalization, Popular culture Pages: 5 (1662 words) Published: September 16, 2008
Whether it is the rapid proliferation of Starbucks in China, the recent boom in Korean popular music and TV dramas in Taipei, or the recent stock market turmoil in the whole world initiated by US sub-prime crisis, the fabric of everyday life in many countries in the world are comprised of increasingly transnational elements. Intensification of foreign investment, cross-national trade, global corporate alliances and mergers, culture exchanges have forged worldwide links between people, countries, and regions. The popular terms such as “global city”, “global economy”, “cultural diversity” have made their way into the centerpiece of topics of today’s media shows. People from different part of the world begin to answers the same questions, does “globalization” bring the world closer together, or is this a homogenizing cultural imperialism, eliminating the indigenous cultures into thin air? Main:

In the first part of this essay, I will focus on defining the accelerating process of Globalsation, in order to assess the problem deeper in the second part. Globalization is a complex process because it involves rapid social change that is occurring simultaneously across a number of dimensions, in the world economy, in politics, in communications, in the physical environment and in culture – and each of these transformations interacts with the others.

Globalization is nothing new, it happened in our human history before. The world before 16th century is largely a separated one, in terms of the lack of interdependence of each of the nation. However with the Dual Revolution, human beings begin to harness the power of science and the transportation technology had greatly advanced. The consequent colonization is the first massive form of globalization in our human history. Now, almost 400 years later, the connectivity is increasing at an incredible pace. Mobile phones, emails, internet, satellite, they all have penetrated into our everyday lives. Imagine 200 years ago, when people need more than a month to send their massage across the sea, now all you have to do is to have connection to the internet and send out one email, within seconds and almost no cost, you achieve what is impossible 200 year ago. With such connectivity, globalization takes its shape as various “flows”- of “capital, commodities, people, knowledge, information and ideas, crime, pollution, diseases, fashions, beliefs, images and so on- across international boundaries.” (John Tomlinson, 2006). In this second part, I am going to scrutinize the effects of globalization on the world culture. With such flows, cultural interconnections increasingly reach across the world. The world culture is no longer a cultural mosaic, of separate pieces with hard, well-defined edges. And more than ever, there is a global ecumene. The entities we used to call cultures are becoming more like subcultures within this wider entity. (Ulf Hannerz, 1992). In order to evaluate the impact of globalization, let us better analyze what actually do we define the word “culture”. Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines culture as the "total pattern of human behavior and its products embodied in speech, action, and artifacts and dependent upon man's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations." By this definition, culture should not be something that is static; it grows with the civilization of human-beings themselves. The interconnectivities of the world create a new platform of culture- the world culture. Each nation’s culture is no longer isolated from each other. Each culture is more or less affected of other cultures as the result of the inflows brought by globalization. New patterns of human behaviors are accepted from other cultures and incorporated or at least acknowledged in to the indigenous cultures. People began to select the set of beliefs they respect and incorporate it into his mindset of culture. However, people still...

Bibliography: J. Boli and F. J. Lechner 2002:Education and sociology: An Encyclopedia New York: Routledge Falmer, 2002
James L. Watson 1997:Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia(Stanford University Press,1997)
John Tomlinson, 2006:Globalisation and Culture, University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) Research Seminar Series 2006–2007.
Lull, J. 2000 : Media, Communication, Culture: A global approach. Cambridge: Polity.
Tomlinson, J. 1991 : Cultural Imperialism : A Critical Introduction. London: Pinter.
Ulf Hannerz 1992: Cultural Complexity: Studies in the Social Organization of Meaning(Columbia University Press,1992)
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