Global Culture: A Sociological Perspective Essay

With emergence of concepts like lingua franca and cultural assimilation, the world is reckoned to have lost its diversity. For this shift from ‘salad bowl’ to ‘melting pot’ phenomenon, the repercussions emerge in the form of global culture – a culture common to entire globe. At one hand, this concept contradicts the sociological understanding of culture as being specific to a particular group and distinct from the culture of other groups. However, the very concept broadens the scope of sociology.

By considering the whole world as a representation of one culture, what is implied is the ascendance of sociology to a higher level.

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Culture emerges through common needs and circumstances which may fall at any level starting from organizations, communities, national societies and global societies (Whitehead). Behind the basic assumptions of global culture lie early sociology based on networking of the human race which led to traditions, norms and customs specific to civilizations. Stated differently, culture is a product of interactions and relationships between the members of society.

By this principle, behind the concept of global culture lie interrelations between the members of the global community. A catalyst to strengthen these interactions is the modern technology that has connected the members together. For instance, a person living in the Asiatic part of the world is well aware of the culture in the American region due to the strong communication facilitated by technology. Being exposed to an alien culture serves to remove their perceived oddity thereby leading to a slow process of adaptation. To elucidate, let us look at the example of language.

Language is a part of culture too. The increasing importance of English in the world is an evidence of global culture which seems to aggrandize with time. Its primary reason is the increasing interdependence of human nations on each other and emergence of international controlling bodies like United Nations. These factors would continue to maintain a shifting trend towards global culture. At the individual level of the society, global culture owes greatly to the realization of diversity as opposed to ethnocentric approach towards foreign cultures.

Ethnocentric attitude greatly results from the strength of cultural bonds, within the society, that restrict or slow down the process of adaptation to global culture. In the contemporary world, a cessation in the shift towards global culture seems impossible. This is partly due of the extent the phenomenon has ascended the globe and partly due to the increasing advantages it offers. However, with these advantages, the negative corollaries of global culture cannot be denied.

As perceived by Waters, global culture if completely adopted would have nation-state as its chief victim particularly the cultures of smaller nations. This means that at one hand the states are losing their role and culture within their territories and at the other hand they are not having a considerable role in the global community and culture thereby leaving a point of ambiguity about the merits and demerits of global culture compared to the nation state of any other form of culture in the human society (Shaneland).


Is there a future for the nation-state in an era of globalisation? If so, what future? Shaneland United Kingdom. Retrieved May 9, 2009 from http://www. shaneland. co. uk/academic/ma/globalisationessay1. pdf Whitehead, A. N. Global Culture. Sage Publications. Retrieved May 9, 2009 from http://www. uk. sagepub. com/parker/CHAPTER%207/Chapter%207%20Lecture%201%20Global%20Culture. PPT.

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