Global Cutlture Essay, Research Paper
Session V Paper #3
Modern technology has extended human life spans and levels of comfort. But it also destroys thousands of remote cultures. Today the world’s people speak about 6,000 languages, a good measure of diversity; by the year 2100 the number of languages could drop to 3,000 as traditional cultures change. According to convergence theory, modernization will bring Western and non-Western countries together by breaking down cultural barriers to produce a global society. Countering this view is divergence theory, which emphasizes the growing separation between Western and non-Western cultures. Loss of traditional cultures means loss of knowledge too. These changes to the world cultures and societies did not happen overnight, they came through what is called the evolutionary theory. The evolutionary theory is a theory that states that societies change gradually from simple to complex forms. Social Change is the alteration of society over time. Many cultures have insight into nature that still defy modern science. These traditional cultures have identified plants that counteract snake venom as well as most of our modern medicine is derived from plants found in remote jungles of the world. Modernization, which is the form of social change that involves the transformation of an agricultural society into an industrial one, has destroyed thousands of precious jungle acreage per day. We are eradicating potential cures to disease’s that kill us today.
Human societies have always mixed and changed, but goods, people, and ideas move farther and faster today, spreading an urban-oriented, technology-based culture around the globe. English, now spoken by more than one-fifth of the world, is an essential element of the new global culture. Some argue that this change is creating a sensate culture. A Sensate culture according to Sorokin, is a culture that stresses empirical evidence or science as the key to knowledge and urges people to favor a practical, materialistic, and hedonistic way of life. Because of the Western influence on other cultures and societies, we may have created what Sorokin called the principle of immanent change. This is the notion that social change is the product of the social forces that exist within a society. Others claim that the Cyclical theory is in place today. The Cyclical theory states that societies move forward and backward, up and down, in an endless series of cycles. I believe we are moving forward with technological advances.
In Shanghai, Chinese educators teach Chinese values and traditions by redesigning the television show Sesame Street. In India, McDonald’s serves mutton instead of beef and a vegetarian menu to cater to the orthodox Hindu.
Critics of Global Culture believe that a sort of cultural cloning is taking place around the world. The Western influence can be seen in China and Russia with McDonald’s and our ads for movies. Some have even tagged the phrase as one big “McWorld.” Critics of Western culture blast Coke and Hollywood but not organ transplants and computers.