Why do we follow western culture

teamGLOBAL

Global networking and increasing economic exchange have also changed cultures and social values. How globalization affects local cultures and values ​​around the world is viewed controversially. Do globalization and the Internet lead to the spread of a uniform, western-style lifestyle all over the world or do they create a new bloom of regional identities and cultures?


"The world is becoming more and more similar on the one hand, and more and more different on the other."
Joana Breidenbach, Ina Zukrigl (Dance of Cultures. Cultural Identities in a Globalized World, 1998)


There is only agreement that the new communication and information systems do not leave the different cultures unaffected. The universal development of the commodity and financial markets and the strong interweaving of finance and economy are causing work, fashions, tourism and communication to become more international. Mobility, which is largely motivated by political, social and economic reasons, also leads to a mixture of cultures. The enormous spread of electronic media created another prerequisite for networking cultures. Due to the technical possibilities, interpersonal relationships can be maintained despite geographical distances.

Between McWorld and Tribalism
Under the globalization of culture, especially critics of globalization understand the spread of Western values ​​and lifestyles. A massive dissemination of Western values ​​is taking place primarily through television and the cinema, but music (MTV) and fashion (such as the tie) as well as Western corporate culture are spreading worldwide - this is the concern of many. In addition to media globalization, mass tourism is contributing to the decline in local cultural traditions in many regions - this is another fear - because, in the course of growing dependency, people live and work almost exclusively for tourists. Proponents see globalization as a development towards the worldwide availability of elements of all cultures (for example restaurants of German tradition in Africa, African music in Germany, etc.). The displacement of native cultures, they say, often only takes place on a superficial level. Influences would be modified and incorporated into one's own cultural values. In addition, the situation of many people or groups of people improves through contact with Western culture (for example equal rights for women). So far, two opposing trends can be observed: the phenomenon of cultural standardization on the one hand, and a new flowering of regional identities and cultures on the other.

Globalization and identity
The new and increasing opportunities for exchange in the course of globalization also have an impact on how our consciousness develops and what we perceive as our identity. In the past, identity formation in our cultural area took place in a comparatively leisurely way, in long-term stable life prospects and in the context of a generally recognized system of values ​​and norms, but this has changed through the process of globalization. Today, identity must increasingly be balanced against the background of rapid changes.

Clash of civilizations?
The book "Clash of Cultures", published in 1996, caused a lot of discussion. In it, the author, Samuel P. Huntington, poses the question of global political developments in the 21st century. Instead of a harmonious growing together in an increasingly networked world, he sees new conflicts of global proportions emerging, especially between cultures. He divides the contemporary world into eight major civilizations: Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Islamic, Western, Latin American, African, and Eastern Christian. World politics in the 21st century will therefore not be determined by conflicts of an ideological or economic nature, but by the conflict between peoples and ethnic groups of different cultural affiliations.