sorting out thoughts on culture

I went into the last few classes with the initial mindset that globalization was harming culture across the world. The fact that London reminded me strongly of New York City and that you can find McDonald’s restauraunts around the world was somehow alarming. The idea that languages are dying out at a rapid rate is still difficult to swallow. But what is it exactly that we’re afraid of? It seems as if most of the change we’re truly intimidated by has been brought about by big business– namely food companies, movie producers, and other media elements. Other cultural change, however, has been looked upon positively. As we brought up in class, having a Thai restaurant down the street has been viewed as a good thing. Being able to make friends in China through social networking facets and having the ability to practice a foreign language with a native speaker through a simple phone call or internet chat could be considered remarkable. It’s difficult to put myself in the shoes of someone across the world and see their standpoint since I’ve always lived in what could be considered the “dominant culture”. I’m still forming my stance on culture in relation to globalization- but i’m glad i chose a question concerning it for the expert study. Culture is such a multi-faceted element that it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint how it has diffused and if the effects could be considered positive or negative. Personally at this point I feel that globalization may be giving big businesses an upper hand in spreading their products worldwide and many of us may interpret this as a diffusion of culture. I think there are probably two levels– the big business diffusion of products that is taken at face-value as culture, and the diffusion of deeper cultural elements such as language, values, and ideals.

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