Globalization And Cultural Diversity Essay


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5. Does globalization diminish cultural diversity?

There are many reasons to think that globalization might undermine cultural diversity:

  • multinational corporations promote a certain kind of consumerist culture, in which standard commodities, promoted by global marketing campaigns exploiting basic material desires, create similar lifestyles--"Coca-Colanization"
  • backed by the power of certain states, Western ideals are falsely established as universal, overrriding local traditions--"cultural imperialism"
  • modern institutions have an inherently rationalizing thrust, making all human practices more efficient, controllable, and predictable, as exemplified by the spread of fast food--"McDonaldization"
  • the United States exerts hegemonic influence in promoting its values and habits through popular culture and the news media--"Americanization"

But there are also good reasons to think that globalization will foster diversity:

  • interaction across boundaries leads to the mixing of cultures in particular places and practice--pluralization
  • cultural flows occur differently in different spheres and may originate in many places--differentiation
  • integration and the spread of ideas and images provoke reactions and resistance--contestation
  • global norms or practices are interpreted differently according to local tradition; the universal must take particular forms--glocalization
  • diversity has itself become a global value, promoted through international organizations and movements, not to mention nation-states--institutionalization

To some extent, the issue of diversity is now the subject of global cultural politics, and therefore unlikely to be settled by argument and evidence. Scholars can offer some cautions:

  • whether diversity diminishes depends on what yardstick you use (e.g., linguistic diversity may be more threatened than culinary diversity)
  • homogenization and heterogenization may actually operate in tandem or even reinforce each other

Center for World Indigenous Studies

Center focused on disseminating knowledge about and supporting democratic relations among diverse cultures; produces Fourth World Journal and has link to virtual library on indigenous reosurces

Cultural Survival

Site devoted to disseminating knowledge in support of indigenous people's rights and autonomy; publishes quarterly journal (online)

Culture of Liberty

Article by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa argues that while some past ways of life will be eclipsed in globalization, the process also liberates people culturally by undermining the ideological conformity of nationalism


Materials in French on conference held in June 2001 in Benin by ministers from French-speaking countries to counter homogenizing effects of globalization and assert the value of (cultural, linguistic) difference

Global Monoculture

Turning Point Project coalition of NGO's criticizes rise of monoculture in newspaper advertisement


Organization opposed to McDonaldization, clearinghouse on issues related to McDonald's


INGO devoted to battling extinction of minority languages and indigenous cultures

The Myths of Cultural Globalization

Paper by Joana Breidenbach and Ina Zukrigl disputes homogenization and clash of civilizations scenarios by showing how ethnographic work points to diversifying effects of globalization

Webster's World of Cultural Policy

Web resources on cultural policy, several with global dimension, from site promoting cultural democracy

World Culture Reports

1995 UNESCO world culture report (available online) and 2000 report (overview and statistical tables) chart extent of cultural diversity, promote inclusion of culture in development policies, and foster respect for all tolerant cultures in "rainbow river"; site also contains other material on UNESCO's work to preserve cultural heritage and stimulate pluralism

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  1. What is globalization?
  2. How does globalization affect women?
  3. Does globalization cause poverty?
  4. Why are so many people opposed to globalization?
  5. Does globalization diminish cultural diversity?
  6. Can globalization be controlled?


Globalization and Culture Essay

1217 Words5 Pages

Globalization simply defined is the intensification of global interactions. The case studies we have studied depict two of the main types of globalization. Economic Globalization, which is the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and tangible services, and Cultural Globalization, the exchange of materials and symbols that represent facts, meaning values and beliefs. When Globalization occurs it usually has a major impact on indigenous cultures. Optimists or “champions” state that the relationship between culture and globalization has positive effects as it creates a balance between nations. Conversely, critics state that relationships between the two have negative effects, leading to the loss or deterioration of a…show more content…

Although being economically advantageous, secondhand clothes has led to the decay of Zambian culture. Hansen states, “consumption, as the means by which people define themselves and their world.” Therefore the consumption of second hand clothing has led to the loss of identity within the Zambian people. Globalization as led to the spread of monoculture, or mcdonaldization through jeans and t-shirts. Globalization has even had influence on the Zambian Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms shows a male and a female not wearing Zambian traditional clothing, but western clothing. This shows the extent of influence globalization has on culture. As neutral observers of globalization would say, westerners are supplying and robbing peoples choices. Because salaula is so cheap, Zambians who are living off of close to $2 a day have no choice but to buy and wear cheap donated clothes. It is an economic necessity in Zambia. Although people have the freedom to choose, they do not have the capability to do so. This paradox is one of the main arguments against globalization. The Zambians have several choices within the pile of donated clothes, but in reality there choices are been narrowed do to their economic constraints. So from an economic standpoint, globalization of second hand clothing has been very advantageous as it allows Zambians to have clothes that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. At the same time from a cultural standpoint, it as led

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