The post-modern era of globalization can be simultaneously considered as a threat to culture and a medium for bringing previously peripheral cultures onto the world stage. Whether one embraces its new challenges and opportunities or is skeptical towards its implications, everyone can agree that globalization has affected culture in profound ways. In Commanding Heights, Daniel Yergin introduces globalization as a move to a more connected world in which barriers and borders of many kinds are dissolving or being removed as a result of improving technology and a shift in ideas and policies that bring down the barriers to the movement of people, goods and information (Yergin 2002). On the micro level, globalization has altered the way that everyday people work, consume and communicate on a daily basis. Looking at the big picture, it becomes clear that the technological changes and the relatively free flow of goods, services, and people around the world have changed our perceptions of culture, and perhaps the nature of global cultures themselves.
[...] In other worlds, just like wearing baggy pants for a suburban white boy can make him feel like he can identify with ghetto life, or keeping Barry Manilow's water bottle can make a housewife feel that she is connected with the singer, for the middle range developing nations of the world such as India and China, the acquisition of the same material goods that Americans possess is hoped to bring all of the perceived qualities about American culture that are so admirable to anyone who consumes what we do. [...]
[...] It is difficult to say if any of these perspectives are right or wrong—the important thing to know in order to understand the significance of the impacts of globalization on culture is that culture is a central element in the lives of individuals for a myriad of reasons and that the large scale ideological and technological forces driving globalization have worked paradoxically to diminish these crucial “cultural distinctions” while also “exposing those distinctions to larger audiences around the world.” Redefining Culture? [...]
[...] He argues that this top-down process of boundary-blurring is paralleled by a bottom-up process occurring among displaced people who must assimilate into the Western cultures, while also holding on to their ethnic identities. When marginalized groups are not fully accepted as a part of the dominant cultural world in which they inhabit conversely, they decide that they cannot create a complete meaning for themselves within that cultural context), they seek to form ethnicities,” a combination of their historical roots and their current surroundings, in order to create a place for themselves within the larger cultural sphere. [...]
[...] Cultures and Societies in a Changing World Hannerz, Ulf Global Ecumene” Pp. 217-267 in Cultural Complexity: Studies in the Sociological Organization of Meaning Columbia UP: New York Hannerz, Ulf “Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture” Pp. 237-251 in Global Culture: Nationalism, Globalization and Modernity Ed. Mike Featherstone. SAGE Publications: London Hooks, Bell “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance” Pp. 343-359 in Consumer Society Reader Ed. Juliet B. Schor and Douglas B. Holt. The New Press: New York. Kotlowitz, Alex “False Connections” Pp. [...]
[...] This observation parallels hooks' discussion of black nationalism; a survival strategy, black nationalism surfaces most strongly when white cultural appropriation of black culture threatens to decontextualize and thereby erase knowledge of the specific historical and social context of black experience from which cultural productions and distinct black styles emerge” (1990:351). If this is the case, then perhaps those global cultures that wish to resist the commodification and mainstream-ification (or what hooks calls a “consumer cannibalism”) of their identities will respond with increased emphasis on their traditional roots, a turn towards localism and more selective boundary drawing, in an effort to ward off such influence. [...]
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