Political Involvement Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2709 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Anthropology

Non-American Culture

The World Outside of the United States in 2004

The purpose of this paper is to research contemporary culture outside of the United States and to examine the current trends and movements on the societal level as well as to touch upon the economical, political and religious themes that are predominant in today's international society. Further this paper intends to show that planning for the shifts in the society's culture may possibly for the future contemporary culture and at the least impact or effect it's formation to a great extent.

Globalization is the theme in today's modern culture throughout the world. Globalization is defined simply by the acceptance of other cultures and beliefs for the purpose of applying economical and ecological benefits to the countries involved in globalization. The advent of the Internet has reduced the size of the world as well as the distance from one place to another although there are still third-world countries whose poverty is so great that they have not yet realized the benefits of globalization at this point. However, there are other movements in modern culture today that are not so positive.

I. Culture Defined:

The definition of culture relies on what exists within the culture being defined as to the rendering of a definition. However, Edgell (2003) defines culture as that of the individual: "values, attitudes beliefs, mindsets, central tendencies, worldviews and orientations that are prevalent in a given society...Culture is always there, however mediated by other, more proximate determinants."Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Political Involvement Assignment

Ulrich Beck, German sociologist has given his definition to the theory of risk and reflexive modernization. In his "highly original formulation" Elliott [2002] of this theory the focus is on the intermixing of reflectivity and reflection in social realizations, contemporary ideologies of domination and power, and a dialectical notion of modernity and postmodernization. According to Elliott [2002] "As competent reflective agents we are aware of the many ways in which a generalized 'climate of risk' presses in on daily activities. In our day-to-day lives, we are sensitive to the clusters of risk' that affect our relations with the self, with others, and with the broader culture." This is a well-stated illustration of the international cultural perception of most individuals in today's world. Existing is a flavorful blend of many cultural elements good and positive as well as negative and destructive in nature.

II. Globalization Defined:

One writer defines globalization as being:" the present pressure for a uniform world economic system, primarily capitalistic, market-centered, as evolved and practiced in, and favorable first and foremost to Westernized nations, now spearheaded by the U.S.; and carried by apparently unstoppable barring catastrophic acts of nature, or mankind -- marvels of technology." Edgell (2003) the writer further states that "the prime mover institutions in this movement of tectonic proportions are of course the world Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), all with preponderant influenced wielded by the U.S. And its follower in the rest of the capitalistic First World."

III. Modern Culture in Africa:

The cultural issues in modern day Africa are the too much in blending of government and social services and recommendation has been made in the restructuring of the present cultural policies in Africa. Opondo [2000] in the Arts Cultural Education Review states that:

The absence of such policy [cultural policy] has impeded the effectiveness of the cultural programs in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services since its inception. An articulated national cultural policy could assist a new, independent Ministry of Culture to find creative ways to link research, education and other types of organizations; and to direct funding to initiatives and projects to address multidisciplinary contemporary of Kenyan Culture. If ever evolved, a national cultural policy could provide a mandate to address multiculturism in a way that promotes dialogue between diverse cultural practices and perhaps pave the way for groundbreaking cultural developments in contemporary Kenya."

There is a vital lack of traditionalism in Africa among the countries as to their cultural identity. The complexity of the culture in Kenya is accredited to the rural masses and their differences to the multiculturistic urban population in Kenya. The 1980's policy was based on the indigenous societal elements and today's modern contemporary culture with its accompanying multiculturism and diversity requires that new definition be given to cultural policies in the African countries. Opondo states it clearly claiming the need in Kenya is for:

dynamic, official, national cultural policy that is backed by the political commitment - a policy that will make it possible for a meaningful cultural identity to emerge, one that will enliven national identity and take into account the cultural diversity and unity which are sustained by national aspirations." Opondo (2000]

IV. Contemporary Culture in Japan:

Urban areas in Japan such as Tokyo still manage to retain the feeling of community due to the "very small spatially discrete, socially discrete, areas that have a real flavor and character of their own."

These neighborhoods generally have a Shinto shrine located in the center of the area and have a few key associations in the neighborhood that in conjunction with the local police keep the area as a safe-zone for the families living in the area. There is a strong sense of community in the neighborhoods and this consciousness in responsibility for oneself and the welfare of the community in Japan results in an incredibly low crime-rate. The structure of the family in Japan is that of a nuclear family however, the aged generation generally comes to reside with the children, generally that of the husband's side of the family.

Women in Japan cannot work outside the home in Japan because their role is to educate their children, manage the household as well as taking care of the elderly family members. The divorce rate in Japan is very low. Generally employment in Japan is considered to be lifetime employment. When the man goes to work with a company it is generally held that he will devote his entire self to that work even during off work hours if required. Japan is quick to adopt things of the western world and for instance has adopted Christmas as a national holiday and has even gone to the extent to recently claim that Jesus lived in Japan during his missing years and returned there to live instead of dying on the cross.

V. Contemporary Culture in India:

Diversity is a part of the way of life in India. The culture in north India is different from eastern India. "Unity in diversity is been seen in India in a maze of seemingly disparate peoples." The largest issue in India in contemporary culture is the prejudice against females. Poverty is also a dominant issue. Much of India's population lives out their lives in abject poverty without housing, drinking water, education and healthcare. India's cultural heritage is rich despite the countries overwhelming poverty and this is probably due to the many different dynasties which have ruled in India as well as the conquestors which has added flavor and interest to India's culture. Styles of attire are varied in India depending upon the region as well as the religious occasion at hand.

VI. Contemporary Culture in China:

China has adopted a new era which has been referred to as the "leisure culture." Guangyuan Yu put forward the theory of leisure culture stating one of the most basic needs of individuals are to play and he suggests that they should "play with culture, to study the science of play and develop the skills of play." The government has applied resources to study beginning in 1985 with the Research Center of Promotion and Development of Science and Technology of Chinas State Commission for Science and Technology studied "The Reduction of Man-Hours" for over two years and in February 1987 proposed a report on the research of reduction of man-hours in China.

In 1995 China issued their "plan of body-building for the whole people" 'advocating scientific, civilized, and healthy way of life which has shown that China has entered the process of a new era which is "China's leisure culture." Furthermore China has progressed to a diverse market economy over the past twenty years which is expressed clearly in China's contemporary visual arts. Rapid economics changes in the 1990 have fed the artistic revolution in China providing new themes in expression concerning the quickly widening gaps between the rich and the poor. Leisure and Consumerism are two definers of the cultural aspects in China in the present day.

VII. Contemporary Culture in North Korea:

Cultural expression is used as a way of injecting the ideas of the church into society. In this culture the Japanese and Americans are illustrated as cold monstrous beings. Literature is controlled by the Korean Workers' Party as well as is art. The KWP Generation Federal of Korean Literature and Arts Union control all aspects of cultural activity in the country. There is practically no exposure to foreign cultural influences in North Korea.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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