Essay: Intersecting Cultures and or Culture in a Global World

Pages: 3 (1067 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Anthropology  ·  Buy This Paper

Intersecting cultures are creating a new kind of world, where just about every culture in every nation or region is a blend of two or more cultures. Much of the research one finds in the literature today reflects the dynamics of diversity within nations that have a multicultural social makeup. But there also is a need to understand what happens over time when one culture colonizes another and then is evicted as the indigenous culture re-assumes control. This process of de-colonization leaves in its wake a culture that is comprised of two or more distinctly different cultures, a kind of blend of cultures. This paper delves into those issues.

The Literature on the Intersecting of Cultures

Researching the way in which cultures have intersected over time, one finds that not only do cultures intersect, they bond and often blend two or more cultures into a new culture that reflects several sets of values, histories and languages. That new culture that is created by the wedding of two or more cultures may in fact develop its own language to indentify it as juxtaposed to the majority language. Language in fact is often a dynamic in which a cultural minority (or hybridized subculture) may "…define their identity and establish themselves as separate from other cultures" (Bruno, et al., 2012, p. 27).

In France, for example, a socio-economically deprived sub-culture of disenfranchised young people use a language called "game" (Verlan) (Bruno, 27). The purpose behind the use of Verlan as a language apart from the French language is, Bruno argues, "…a sociological marker of belonging" (27). Verlan creates a distinction between "the in-group and the out-group" -- also referred to as "us vs. them" -- and hence those cultures outside this youthful French subculture are prevented from understanding what is being said by the youth (Bruno, 27). That is by way of giving the subculture power over the dominant or majority culture. Again, intersecting cultures create ways in which to bolster their identity and give them some sense of control over their lives in a globalized world.

Meanwhile, the "cultural imperialism" of yesterday is now gone, according to an essay in the peer-reviewed Global Media Journal (Noh, 2007). That is, the colonialism that dominated much of the world -- Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere -- for centuries has now slipped into the history books and today's global culture is defined as a "…complicated, ambiguous, and multilateral process" in which there are overlapping and intersecting cultures (Noh, p. 2). In fact today's contemporary world is seen by scholars as a "…social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede," and there is a natural process of intersecting cultures. Noh believes that cultural domination in many instances is gone and in its place is cultural "hybridity" (p. 6).

The original definition of "hybridity" -- literally -- is the coalescing of two "…human parents of different races," or, an interracial bonding which leads to offspring that reflects two cultures (Noh, p. 6). An updating of hybridity relates directly to the movements that led to "decolonization," and an example of that hybridity (intersecting of cultures and bonding of cultures) can be seen in Latin… [END OF PREVIEW]

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