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The Cultural Homogenisation And Heterogenisation Cultural Studies Essay

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Taking a unilayered position on civilization can easy ensue in limited equations such as homogenization does non equal homogenization, since homogenization evokes heterogenisation, and both procedures are happening at the same clip. Yet, by utilizing Ram ‘s construct ( 2004 ) of the one-way institutional homogenization and bipartisan symbolic heterogenisation degree enables us to distinguish where homogenization and heterogenisation are taking topographic point. Let ‘s see some illustrations to hold on this construct. In Ram ‘s illustration, Falafel, Israel ‘s national dish, which was on its death, experienced a Renaissance through the reaching of beefburgers.

He argues that McDonaldisation represents homogenization on the institutional degree ( triumph of foreign civilization ) and the Renaissance of falafel represents heterogenisation on the symbolic degree ( triumph of local civilization ) . The illustrations of the tattoo civilization in Japan ( Yamada, 2009 ) , and the Toraja civilization ( Volkman, 1984 ) exhibit a similar form. In the Nipponese civilization, tattoos have long been appreciated, peculiarly since earlier beginnings of the mid eighteenth century, when so called full organic structure suits tattooing started.

This civilization has been apparent in the population groups of lovers, geishas, cocottes, and felons. Yet, the Meiji Restauration in 1868 led to Westernisation and changed Nipponese attitudes towards tattoos. What was ab initio viewed as religious and fashionable all of a sudden changed to be viewed as abhorrent. Nipponese tattoo civilization, nevertheless, experienced a Renaissance through integrating American one point tattoos. In the instance of the Toraja, an cultural group in Indonesia, drawn-out funeral ceremonials experienced a resurgence. Through betterment in mobility, 1000s of Torajans immigrated to Massakar and other topographic points in the 1930s to happen occupations.

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Most of them were open-minded, knowing immature people that had converted into Christianity. When they came back to Toraja they did non seek to eliminate traditional funeral practises and replace them with Christian or more widely distributed values, in the contrary they were the chief boosters to resuscitate the tradition.

It is of import to understand that the above mentioned resurgences did non simply convey back a death tradition. However, they brought back an old tradition with redefined significances. This is peculiarly apparent in the instance of felafel, which lost its alone gustatory sensation, is nowadays served indoor, and produced in a standardized mode. Therefore, the feelings attached to purchasing a felafel are really likely to hold changed compared to 50 old ages ago. Furthermore, one-point tattoos do non bear the same religious significance as full organic structure suits tattoos, and funeral ceremonials in Toraja are today more a pattern to pull tourers, and demoing off wealth. Put merely, they lost its religious significance and genuineness.

Ram ‘s construct is a really utile, differentiated construct for understanding the forces that shape cultural homogenization and heterogenisation. However, it is limited in its premise that homogenization on the institutional degree is a ‘one-way street ‘ ( Ram, 2004, p. 24 ) . Yet, it is much more a bipartisan street with different proportions of power as the ‘expressive symbolic degree ‘ ( ibid. , p. 23 ) .


Contemporary bookmans such as Appadurai ( 2006 ) and Lieber & A ; Weisberg ( 2002 ) inquiry Samuel Hunington ‘s theory of ‘Clash of Civilisations ‘ . Appadurai claims that the theory is flawed since it leaves merely geographics, alternatively of underscoring political orientation. He hence suggests renaming the polarization theory into Clash of Ideocide. Furthermore, Lieber & A ; Weisberg argue that the clang is instead within than between civilizations. I prefer Appadurai ‘s, Lieber, and Weisberg ‘s positions, because they shifted the subject from the cultural to an ideological degree and acknowledge deterritorialisation, which will be discussed in the following subdivision. Even though, Hunington ‘s construct is flawed, he might be right with his impression of polarization. As an illustration let us see Axelrod ‘s ( 1997 ) experiment in the field of cultural convergence, which contributed to cast some visible radiation on this argument. He developed a mathematical theoretical account, which he used to happen out how many stable homogenised provinces remain at the terminal of the experiment ( a tally ) . His theoretical account is based on the premise that the more similar civilizations are to each other, the more likely they will finally homogenize. The figure of stable homogenized parts at the terminal differed depending on the tally. His findings indicate amongst others that polarization increased the more cultural characteristics ( cultural dimensions ) were used, because of the higher chance of being similar on one of the characteristics. However, the more traits were attached to a characteristic the more stable homogenized provinces resulted at the terminal, intending less polarization. For case, a characteristic could be the linguistic communication people speak, and the traits the assorted alternate linguistic communications that might be spoken in that peculiar province. This theoretical account, nevertheless, has its restrictions like any other theoretical account. In my sentiment, the theoretical account right assumes that similar civilizations are more likely to go homogenized. But it lacks to see the opposite consequence of heterogenisation, which we could detect in the illustrations of felafel, Toraja, and tattoo civilization. Additionally, his effort to imitate interconnection resulted in regional- instead than planetary interconnection. Nevertheless, the experiment demonstrates that polarization can take topographic point under certain conditions, and that the result of polarization is equivocal. This supports the transformalist ‘s position that the monolithic shingle out, caused by globalization, remains unsure ( Giddens, 1996 ) .

It is dubious that cultures go polarised at an ideological degree, as persons have the desire to separate themselves from others by nature ( Axelrod, 1997 ) . However, it is imaginable that future events, which people associate with faith, could so take to a Clash of Ideocide, go forthing two or three clear distinguishable, unharmonisable, and antagonised civilizations.

Complexity of measuring civilization

Even though, plentifulness of research has been done in the field of mensurating civilizations, e.g. by Trompenaar and Hampden-Turner ( 2008 ) or Geert Hofstede ( 2003 ) , present surveies provide us with limited consequences. To believe that we can mensurate cultures “ remainders on the premise that there is in any instance a definable, lived national civilization ” ( Held, 1999, p. 369 ) . Yet, “ being British or American does non specify who you are: It is portion of who you are ” ( Legrain, 2003, p. 6 ) . Furthermore, societies do non portion values and involvements. They are instead beliing societal constructions, which are invariably seeking to happen via medias ( Castells, 2009 ) .

The phenomenon of deterritorialisation is besides peculiarly doing it hard to find the flight of globalization. This construct represents the uncoupling of district and civilization through universe interconnection ( Held, 1999 ) . A few chinks suffice to link with the universe and acquire exposed to the ‘foreign ‘ . However, harmonizing to Wolfgang Welsch ‘s construct of Transculturality ( 1999 ) there is nil perfectly foreign any longer, since everything is within range. A impression which is in conformity with Appadurai ‘s position that there is no distinguishable we and they any longer ( 2006 ) . Yet, ‘foreign ‘ civilizations are non within range for everyone. There exist immense inequalities between states and within societies when it comes to internet entree ( Held, 1999 ; ITU, 2009 ) . In this context one could inquire to which extent the not-haves influence the state ‘s elite, which is connected to the universe? And how much do ‘foreign ‘ telecasting programmes and home pages influence a society? To reply this inquiry one could use Giulianotti and Robertson ‘s construct sing migration schemes ( 2007 ) . It assumes that persons use schemes to either accept or reject foreign thoughts and patterns. Taking that as a footing, we can reason that persons do non passively absorb foreign cultural traits. They either actively absorb them because of penchant or convenience or actively reject them. Let ‘s see an illustration to exemplify the complexness of this topic. Think of a Norse bourgeois who freshly drinks java at Starbucks in Oslo. Does that state us how ‘American ‘ he has become, if at all? Did the significance he attaches to coffee alteration in any manner? From this illustration it should acquire clear that by merely analyzing difficult facts, such as numbering the figure of McDonalds, BMWs, Swiss Watches, etc. in a state can non give us a comprehensive reply of how homogenized civilizations are. However, it is beyond uncertainty that the expressed cultural bed is act uponing the inexplicit one ; the inquiry is instead to which extent. To find the magnitude of this influence is so a tough nut to check.

As we discussed earlier in this subdivision, societies are beliing societal constructions consisting people with different civilizations. Therefore, one can presume that different personalities take different determinations in rejecting and accepting ‘foreign ‘ cultural traits. Let ‘s presume an illustration of a Gallic citizen that regards himself as cosmopolite, talk seven linguistic communications, travels around the universe but is contending in the front line for strict migration policies in his state. In this instance he welcomes planetary cultural flows to France, with the exclusion of unqualified immigrants and refugees, which make portion of the ethnoscape – one of Appadurai ‘s five cultural flows ( Appadurai, 2002 ) . In contrast, another Gallic citizen might experience responsible to assist those people in demand, nevertheless, might reject any foreign political orientation that is non in conformity with his spiritual position. Who in this instance is now the ‘cosmopolitan ‘ and who is the ‘heartlander ‘ ( Goh, 1999 ) ? This favoritism towards peculiar types of globalization flows is besides apparent in the illustration of the Israeli bourgeois Ezer Weizman. He was a celebrated auto importer with strong concern connexions to the US. Yet, he fought at the head against “ the three ‘Ms ‘ : McDonald ‘s, Michael Jackson and Madona ” ( Ram, 2004, p. 18 ) . The same particularistic behavior shows the Indian elite that fundamentally hates American life style, nevertheless, sends their kids to US universities and attempts to prosecute the American dream ( Appadurai, 2006 ) . In the Middle-East this phenomenon is called Muslim schizophrenic disorder ( Lieber & A ; Weisberg, 2002 ) . The concluding illustration to exemplify my point, uses the instance of the Russian young person who welcomes technological progresss such as iPods but does non desire to emulate the religious nature of American life style ( Macgregor, 2008 ) .


This essay demonstrated the complexness of this subject and showed that polarization, homogenization, and heterogenisation are at the same time determining modern-day society. I therefore back up the position of the transformalists who believe that the way of the ‘shake out ‘ , caused by globalization, remains unsure.

However, we might inquire which construct is more prevailing in modern-day society. In my sentiment it is homogenization, since the homogenization procedure on the structural degree is really intense and the heterogenisation procedure, like Ram stated, instead symbolic. The homogenization procedure is chiefly driven by communicating engineering, instruction, human rights civilization, concern ‘ effort to extinguish difference, and the desire to increase efficiency through latest engineering. It can be expected that those drivers of homogenization will go on to determine society in the hereafter. Homogenisation, nevertheless, will neither make its pure signifier nor remain inactive, as people want to separate themselves by nature and will actively reject foreign civilizations.

At this point, I want to underscore that the homogenization tendency might switch in some decennaries towards a laterality of heterogenisation or polarization. Issues like clime alteration, wars, displacements in economic and political power, and dramatic events that people associate with faith could hold unpredictable results.

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