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Globalisation and crisis of cultural identity | 17621
International Research Journals
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Globalisation and crisis of cultural identity

Abstract

Vineet Kaul

Globalization is a dynamic process which impacts differentially on various cultures around the world. It permeates cultural boundaries and in the process results in the spread of Western ideologies and values across the world. This paper investigates the relationship between globalization and cultural identity crisis underlying assumption that globalization is manifested in the intercultural penetration processes which have substantial effects on the cultural identities. Consequently, globalization is defined as a set of cultural interpenetration processes, which go back further than the 20th century. Identity crisis, on the other hand, refer to uncompromising cultural and political conflicts among polarized groups, which struggle with each other over the definition of a national identity. Globalization is regarded as having substantial impact on such crises through its encouragement of conflicts rather than conciliation, through opportunities of expression and cross-border alliances among similar but territorially distant groups. The effects of national images on national identities and repercussions are also discussed in the context of globalization. The image of a nation, which refers to its perception by others, is selected as a special case where globalization calls for a revision of the current cultural identity. It is argued that the national images, or stereotypical representations of a culture, can have subversive effects on identity as they penetrate into the culture to which these images belong, especially when such images are negative. The indicators of an identity crisis are; politicization of cultural differences, lack of compromise, totality of identity claims, and the vague political outcomes of these conflicts. This paper argues that we require awareness of the dreadful consequences of cultural globalization, and the strength to retain the absolute local cultural traits prescribed by god. To retain cultural pluralism this paper answers many questions like- Do we live in a culturally converging world? What are the cultural consequences of globalization? “In terms of Culture, is Globalization an opportunity or a threat? If globalization means greater integration and/or interconnection, would this overwhelm the world’s cultural diversity? Does globalization encourage cultural homogenization, polarization or hybridization? These are perhaps the most important questions that can be asked when it comes to examine the effects of globalization on culture. What do we mean by globalization? What do we mean by culture? Is it fair/wise to think that globalization is a phenomenon independent from cultural changes? Wouldn’t these questions depoliticize our understanding of cultural change (at the global level) by not addressing the self interested powerful forces behind change that aim to influence cultural interactions and interconnections?

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