Lecture 17 4/10/2013 1:28:00 PM
The reshaping of local conditions by powerful global forces on an ever-
The intensification of global interconnectedness suggesting a world full of
movement and mixture, contacts and linkages, and persistent cultural
interaction and exchange
Global processes are interpreted and experienced in contradictory ways by
different groups and actors:
It can reinforce inequalities and favor people in power situation.
It can also create new opportunities for some groups to build worldwide
organizations to defend their interest.
Does globalization only reinforce inequalities and favor people in power
Indingenous Amazonia Example:
Disease, devastation, and misery have been all too common for Indigenous
people who have encountered Western expansion.
Anthropologists have long feared that Indigenous Amazonian people were
destined for extinction, such as the Guayaki case.
But some Indigenous people, such as the Kayapo, have organized themselves to
resist outside encroachment on their traditional land
Kayapo leaders have worked successfully with national and international allies.
The leader Payakan combined traditional Indigenous political skills with a
knowledge of Portuguese and a keen understanding of the international media
The leader Raoni toured Europe with the rock musician Sting to seek
international support for his peoples’ cause.
The Kayapo were able to bring 28 Indigenous Nations together in a huge
intertribal protest against the hydroelectric dam project at Altamira on the Xingu
The Brazilian government has still not built the dam. The Kayapo had established legal control of 28.4 million acres of their traditional
All Kayapo villages have signed agreements with conservation based
The Kayapo have struggled with the effects of Western contact for over 500
years, but rather than disappear, they were able to create global alliances and
negotiate their rights with the Brazilian government.
The idea that some cultures dominate other cultures: The West dominates the
rest due to colonialism and capitalism.
The idea that cultural domination by one culture leads inevitably to the
destruction of the other cultures:
The idea that Western imperialism is responsible for destroying local music,
dress, technology, food traditions, etc.
The idea that the cultural domination by the West would inevitably lead to
assimilation, acculturation, ethnocide.
The inevitable outcome of Western cultural imperialism is seen to be the cultural
homogenization of the world: The world is doomed to uniformity.
Is cultural imperialism considered as a satisfactory explanation by
Cultural imperialism denies agency to non-Western peoples who make use of
Western cultural forms.
It assumes that they are passive and without the resource to resist anything of
Cultural imperialism assumes that non-Western cultural forms never moves
from other parts of the world to the West but this is false: We just have to think
of the importance on non-Western food and music in our everyday life. Cultural imperialism ignores the fact that cultural forms and practices
sometimes move from one part of the non-Western world bypassing the West
For example: Mexican soap operas are very popular in the Philippines.
Borrowing cultural forms or practices from elsewhere always involves
borrowing with modification:
People never adopt blindly but always adapt what they borrow for local
People rarely accept ideas or practices from elsewhere without indigenizing
them, finding a way of reconciling them with local practices in order to serve
Example: Trobriand Cricket
What is borrowed meet the purposes of the borrowers, which may be quite
remote from the purpose of those among whom the form or practice originated.
This form of cultural change is very different from having something from
elsewhere forced upon you against your will.
Cultural hybridization or creolization:
Hybridization is a biological metaphor and creolization a linguistic metaphor.
Both metaphors highlight forms of cultural borrowing that produce something
new that could not be subsumed either with the culture of the donor or within
the culture of the recipient.
Both terms stress the positive side of cultural mixing:
Rather than indicating a regrettable loss of original purity, they draw attention
to positive processes of cultural creativity.
We have to keep in mind that cultures have always been hybrid.
Cultural hybridization is not always experienced the same way:
It is welcomed when people perceived it to be under their own control and it is
resisted when it is perceived to be potentially threatening.
Appropriate or incorporation:
These concepts insist on the agency of the borrower in the process of cultural
Cultural borrowing is considered active and implies cultural creativity. Human beings are not passive in the face of the new:
They actively and resiliently respond to life’s changes and challenges.
How cultural difference affect mobile use:
Texting, mobile email, games and novels are more popular than voice calls
among the Japanese.
In Spain and Italy, in contrast, mobiles are used everywhere and people are not
averse to discussing their personal lives in public.
Spanish and Italian people have always discussed their private lives in the
streets, so doing so on mobile is just a continuation of that.
India and Africa: