What is the difference between globalization and cultural diffusion?

Expert Answers info

Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write437 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and Social Sciences

I would say that cultural diffusion is a result of globalization.

Cultural diffusion is defined as the spread of cultural beliefs and practices. For example, if a woman born and raised in the USA decides to learn African gumboot dancing as a hobby and starts living her life according to the principles of eastern philosophy, this would be the result of African and eastern cultures becoming "diffused" into the American way of life.

Globalization, on the other hand, is a more business-oriented term. It refers to the world of business becoming a "global village" in which national economies form global trade networks for greater efficiency and profitability.

As businesses spread their networks around the world, they take knowledge of their cultural practices with them and so globalization causes cultural diffusion.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mrkirschner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write934 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

Globalism refers to the integration of companies, resources, or markets from different areas of the world. With the innovations in communication and transportation that were realized in the last century, companies in one country can utilize other countries around the world in the execution of their operations. A company can have offices in the United States, manufacturing plants in Asia, customer service centers in Europe, and stores throughout the world. Globalism is a word used to define this economic synthesis.  

Diffusion is a very similar word but is used to define the cultural sharing that occurs when groups from different areas of the world are joined. Cultural diffusion commonly occurs as a result of globalism. An example of cultural diffusion is how rap music originated in the United States, but can now be found in all parts of the world. Rap music is now recorded in dozens of different languages in all parts of the world.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial