To what extent does globalization allow for cultural uniqueness? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Globalization allows for a great deal of cultural uniqueness.  Globalization does not require all cultures to become exactly the same.  It may enforce a large degree of economic similarity, but it does not require cultural homogeneity.

One reason why globalization does not necessarily cause cultural homogeneity is that respect for diversity is one of the values that is being spread by globalization.  The Western cultures that are driving globalization generally tend to believe in the importance of respecting all cultures.  Therefore, they do not try to impose all aspects of their cultures on other countries anymore.  This means that globalization might actually be helping to promote cultural diversity.

More importantly, global cultural influences are not simply accepted by all cultures without any resistance.  Some cultures look at the cultural influences that come from outside and do not accept them.  As an example of this, there is little evidence that globalization is pushing Hindus in India to stop believing that cows are sacred.  There is also little evidence to show that globalization is causing many Muslim countries to change their attitudes towards the place of women in society.  Even when countries do accept some aspects of outside culture, they will often put their own local spin on that culture.  For example, McDonald’s does not have the same menu around the world.  Even within the United States, a person can get Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, Rice, and Hash Browns for breakfast at McDonald’s in Hawai’i but not in any other part of the US. 

Globalization may make it easier for aspects of culture to be shared around the world, but it does not enforce cultural homogeneity.  There is a good deal of room for cultural uniqueness even in our globalized world.  Please follow the link below for a longer discussion of this idea.

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