Measuring the immeasurable Globalization and culture A market stall in Mysore selling 'Gulal' powders, which are used during traditional festivals. The current era of globalization, with its unprecedented acceleration and intensification in the global flows of capital, labour, and information, is having a homogenizing influence on local culture. While this phenomenon promotes the integration of societies and has provided millions of people with new opportunities, it may also bring with it a loss of uniqueness of local culture, which in turn can lead to loss of identity, exclusion and even conflict.
By Mark Pagel 18 November Stroll into your local Starbucks and you will find yourself part of a cultural experiment on a scale never seen before on this planet. In less than half a century, the coffee chain has grown from a single outlet in Seattle to nearly 20, shops in around 60 countries.
Each year, its near identical stores serve cups of near identical coffee in near identical cups to hundreds of thousands of people. For the first time in history, your morning cappuccino is the same no matter whether you are sipping it in Tokyo, New York, Bangkok or Buenos Aires.
Of course, it is not just Starbucks. Select any global brand from Coca Goloblization and cultural indentity to Facebook and the chances are you will see or feel their presence in most countries around the world.
It is easy to see this homogenization in terms of loss of diversity, identity or the westernization of society. But, the rapid pace of change also raises the more interesting question of why — over our relatively short history - humans have had so many distinct cultures in the first place.
And, if diversity is a part of our psychological make-up, how we will fare in a world that is increasingly bringing together people from different cultural backgrounds and traditions?
This trait, which I outline in my book Wired for Culture, makes us stand alone amongst all other animals. Put simply, we can pick up where others have left off, not having to re-learn our cultural knowledge each generation, as good ideas build successively upon others that came before them, or are combined with other ideas giving rise to new inventions.
Take the axe as an example. Similarly when someone had the idea to stretch a vine between the ends of a bent stick the first bow was born and you can be sure the first arrow soon followed. Papyrus scrolls, books and the internet allow us to even more effectively share knowledge with successive generations, opening up an unbridgeable gap in the evolutionary potential between humans and all other animals.
Rather than picking up where others have left off, they start over every generation. Just think if you had to re-discover how to make fire, tan leather, extract bronze or iron from earth, or build a smartphone from scratch.
That is what it is like to be the other animals. Not so for humans. Around 60, years ago, cumulative cultural adaptation was what propelled modern humans out of Africa in small tribal groups, by enabling us to acquire knowledge and produce technologies suitable to different environments.
Eventually these tribes would occupy nearly every environment on Earth — from living on ice to surviving in deserts or steaming jungles, even becoming sea-going mariners as the Polynesians did. And amongst each one we see distinct sets of beliefs, customs, language and religion.
The importance of the tribe in our evolutionary history has meant that natural selection has favoured in us a suite of psychological dispositions for making our cultures work and for defending them against competitors.
These traits include cooperation, seeking affiliations, a predilection to coordinating our activities, and tendencies to trade and exchange goods and services. Thus, we have taken cooperation and sociality beyond the good relations among family members that dominate the rest of the animal kingdom, to making cooperation work among wider groups of people.
We also see our cultural nepotism in the dispositions we have to hold doors for people, give up our seats on trains, or contribute to charities, and we might even risk our lives jumping into a river to save someone from drowning, or when we fight for our countries in a war.
Of course, this nepotism is not just a positive force. It is also a trait that can be exploited by propagandists and to produce Kamikaze-like or other suicidal behaviors.
But the success of cooperation as a strategy has seen our species for at least the last 10, years on a long evolutionary trajectory towards living in larger and larger social groupings that bring together people from different tribal origins.
Large groups also benefit from the efficiencies that flow from a division of labour, and from access to a vast shared store of information, skills, technology and good luck.THE IMPACT OF ‘GLOBALIZATION’ ON CULTURAL IDENTITIES PEDRO MORANDÉ COURT 1.
which different peoples have acquired cultural identity, either in their iden- THE IMPACT OF ‘GLOBALIZATION’ ON CULTURAL IDENTITIES and meaning that form the intergenerational network which provides.
Generally speaking, issues surrounding culture and globalization have received less attention than the debates, which have arisen over globalization and the environment or labor standards.
In part this is because cultural issues are more exposure to foreign culture can undermine their own cultural identity. Globalization and culture; Culture and human rights; The current era of globalization, with its unprecedented acceleration and intensification in the global flows of capital, labour, and information, is having a homogenizing influence on local culture.
which in turn can lead to loss of identity, exclusion and even conflict. This is. Globalization and the Cultural Identity of India. Posted on December 20, by. Ashutosh Kumar, and Ronki Ram, eds. Globalization and the Politics of Identity in India.
London: United Kingdom: Pearson Education India, Cohen, Stephen () India Emerging Power. Washington D.C: Brookings Institution Press Derné, Steve. In a certain sense, ethnicity can be described as the process of making cultural differences comparable, and to that extent, it is a modern phenomenon boosted by the intensified contact entailed by globalization.
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.