Cultural globalization

Cultural globalization

Cultural Globalization refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values across national borders. This process is marked by the spread of commodities and ideologies, which become standardized around the world. Mass consumption serves as a facilitator between different people and cultures around the globe as a result of the exponential growth of the human population. Through technological advancement, culture has been moving beyond borders and boundaries, transforming through locations the shared meanings of culture. Through the process of sharing the ideas and values of one culture to another ultimately leads to an interconnectedness between various populations from diverse cultures.[1]

Cultural Implications

According to Inda and Rosaldo, globalization refers to the intensification of connections within the global, regional, and local level. These aspects of social life contain multidimensional processes that are quite complex. To better understand the complexity of culture, Stuart Hall defines it as the process of sharing meanings in society. [2] Culture used to be confined to local regions in premodern society, but technological advances now allow us to tear down the barriers of time and space. Today in modern society cultures move freely from the most remote areas in the world to the biggest cities. Acculturation or the mixing of cultures in modern society is commonly seen in many countries from the West. The domination of a culture over another can be referred to as [colonial imperialism]; which greatly impacts our understanding of globalization. Cultural globalization thus modifies the meaning given to a representation by a particular culture, and gives it the dominant cultures' own meaning.

Perspectives on Globalization

Jan Nederveen Pieterse ( 2004) believes that globalization should be viewed as a long term historical process.[3] He conceived globalization as a human integration and hybridization, arguing that it is possible to detect cultural mixing across continents and regions back many centuries. These ideas refer to the movement of religious practices, language and culture brought by Spanish colonization of the Americas. This however contrast with many economist and sociologist, who trace the origins of globalization to capitalism as well as modernity, which have been facilitated through technological advances.

One of the dominant perspectives of globalization, asserts that this is a process of the transfiguration of worldwide diversity into a pandemic westernized consumer culture. [4] Many critics argue that through the dominance of American culture influencing the entire world, this will ultimately result in the end of cultural diversity. This has been associated with the destruction of cultural identities, dominated by a homogenized and westernized, consumer culture. The global influence of American products, businesses and culture upon other countries around the world has been referred to as Americanization. This influence is represented through that of American-based Television programs which are rebroadcast throughout the world. Major American companies such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola have played a major role in the in the spread of American culture across the globe. Terms such as Cocacolonization have been coined to refer to the dominance of American products in foreign countries, which some critics of globalization view as a threat to the cultural identity of such foreign nations. Another perspective, regards globalization as a process of hybridization on which cultural mixture and adaptation continuously transform and renew cultural forms[5]. As anthropologist Roy Wagner [6]. has argued; cultures are continually changing and being recreated as part of an ongoing process. In particular cultures are being informed through various internal pressures and influences. However culture is also shaped by external forces, thus indicating that this is not a homogenous discrete and bounded entities; rather cultures overlap as well as draw from other traditions.


  1. ^ Inda & Rosaldo; Jonathan, Renato."The Anthropology of Globalization." Wiley-Blackwell.(2002).Introduction: A World in Motion
  2. ^ Stuart Hall. "Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices." Sage Publications & Open University.(1997)
  3. ^ Jan N. Pieterse. "Globalization and Culture." Rowman & Littlefield. (2003).
  4. ^ Kraidy, Marwan. Hybridity, or the cultural logic of globalization. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2005. 1-23. .
  5. ^ Kraidy, Marwan. Hybridity, or the cultural logic of globalization. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2005. 1-23. .
  6. ^ Hopper, Paul. Understanding cultural globalization. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2007. 1-223.

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