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Sociology of culture: Globalization: A threat to culture?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Meaning of explanation of culture
  3. Two theories about the role of culture
  4. The role of culture in shaping society
  5. Redefining culture
  6. Diminishing and celebrating diversity
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

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? [...]


[...] Appadurai's concept of ?ethnoscapes? refers to the ever-changing ethnic composition of a given region. With national boundaries becoming increasingly porous for market purposes, the flow of people from nation to nation has also increased during the postmodern phase of globalization. As ?ideas of nationhood? spread across state boundaries, states are struggling to contend with the influx of ideas and influence that result from the opening of borders to international commerce and travel. As regions become more heterogeneous and displaced groups ethnicities? or "hyphenated identities") seek to remain connected with their ethnicities of origin through technology, the idea of culture has become disconnected from the concept of physically- determined national territories. [...]

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