Cultural globalization  

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Cultural globalization refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values across national borders. This process is marked by the common consumption of cultures that have been diffused by the Internet, popular culture, and international travel. The circulation of cultures enables individuals to partake in extended social relations outside the borders. The creation and expansion of such social relations is not merely observed on a material level. Cultural globalization involves the formation of shared norms and knowledge with which people associate their individual and collective cultural identities, and increasing interconnectedness among different populations and cultures.


Cultural globalization is manifested in sports, business, cuisine, religions and languages. For example, soccer, which has its roots in Britain in the 19th century, has become the world’s favorite game on televisions and local soccer fields. This diffusion denotes the understanding of shared rules for the game, and cultural interconnections that players and fans form with their common interests and values. Such consciousness is heightened by events such as the World Cup, and estimated 909.6 million viewers watched the final of the 2010 tournament, cheering for the players from Spain and the Netherlands in their own languages.

Another visible aspect of cultural globalization is the diffusion of certain cuisines such as American fast food chains. McDonald’s is the world’s largest global food service corporation with more than 34,000 chains serving approximately 69 million people in 119 countries each day. Big Macs are uniform in size and content in all countries, and consumers are able to enjoy the same burgers and nuggets regardless of their locations. The Big Mac index, an informal measure of purchasing power parity among world currencies, is universally acknowledged due to the same experience and knowledge of McDonald’s. Consumers, regardless of their nationalities, have developed a spreading taste for hamburgers, through the far-flung networks they are constantly in contact with, and they increasingly follow most of the already well-trodden paths in history.

Perspectives on globalization

Jan Nederveen Pieterse's (2004) beliefs are that globalization should be viewed as a long term historical process. He conceived globalization as a human integration and hybridization, arguing that it is possible to detect cultural mixing across continents and regions back many centuries. These ideas refer to the movement of religious practices, language and culture brought by Spanish colonization of the Americas. This, however, contrasts with many economists and sociologists, who trace the origins of globalization to capitalism, as well as modernity, which have been facilitated through technological advances.

One of the dominant perspectives of globalization asserts that it is a process of transfiguration of worldwide diversity into a pandemic westernized consumer culture. Many critics argue that the dominance of American culture influencing the entire world will ultimately result in the end of cultural diversity. This has been associated with the destruction of cultural identities, dominated by a homogenized and westernized, consumer culture. The global influence of American products, businesses and culture in other countries around the world has been referred to as Americanization. This influence is represented through that of American-based Television programs which are rebroadcast throughout the world. Major American companies such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola have played a major role in the spread of American culture across the globe. Terms such as Cocacolonization have been coined to refer to the dominance of American products in foreign countries, which some critics of globalization view as a threat to the cultural identity of these nations.

Another perspective regards globalization as a process of hybridization on which cultural mixture and adaptation continuously transform and renew cultural forms.

The Indian experience particularly reveals the plurality of the impact of cultural globalization.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cultural globalization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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