Discussion: ““In our contemporary world, it is impossible for one person to change a government or a culture.”
The topic of the current research is of the most interest nowadays, as the questions like these provide the examples how the people can change under the influence of the external factors, especially the factors of globalization. An intellectually and culturally developed person nowadays cannot associate himself/herself with a common country, nation, culture etc., as the number of different characteristics and elements of personality is outstanding, all the details not only complement each one, but contradict themselves also. What I`m trying to say that the people has become so developed, progressive and diverse nowadays that they are not able to become someone on 100%. For example, a native European living in the US, who is an atheist, a liberal and a homosexual at the same time cannot be addressed to some distinctive culture or nation as such person is the person of the world.
Therefore, it`s not possible for a person to change his/her culture, as there was no constant culture within him/her. All the different values, customs, worldviews and beliefs form the person`s character and culture, as the result. Moreover, it is developing continuously with every word a person says or listens, with every book he reads, with every movie he watches. A person nowadays is so wide open to the whole world that he can take everything from it that he needs.
As for the government, all the international laws and regulations are made and controlled by Worldwide Organizations that every country obeys to. Therefore, a person could never change his government, even when he leaves one particular country. In this case, another country is also confined by the rules of International Law. Everything mentioned above are the consequences of the globalization that develops dramatically from day to day; therefore, it makes every country and every person more similar to each one, leaving him/her an individual without any complete nation and culture. He simply becomes the person of the World, which was also said above.
The stereotype under the name “cultural relativism” has been explaining the cultural differences for a long time. The term itself means that every culture has its own traditions, worldviews, beliefs etc.; therefore, it should be treated accordingly. However, it`s a mistaken theory nowadays, as there are no categories and standards by which the culture and the people, who belong to it can be treated adequately and objectively. Nowadays, we have no constant truth about ideals, moral and culture; therefore, it cannot be assumed that one moral is better that the other. According to the theory of cultural relativism, the society has no rights to condemn the Nazi regime in Germany, the Chinese massacre in Tiananmen Square, the cannibalistic and inhuman customs of ancient American and African tribes and so on. Dr. Edward Younkins, who conducted the research on cultural relativism, stated, “within the perspective of cultural relativism, there would be no need for, or argument for, social progress”, as he saw no ideal objective to what cultural and sociological aim the society should progress; therefore, he concluded that cultural relativism concept is not actual and not adequate to the current ethical and moral values; moreover, the increasing of intellectual level among the people make them think differently and they do not judge any other person according to the statements of cultural relativism.
Younkins also confirms the diversity of cultural and social features and characteristics of each person; therefore, he claims that every person should be judged accordingly, as there are the common human values that cannot be neglected. He also concludes that the Western civilizations achieved the greatest success in this question, as the Western man has become the example of freedom, liberal values, innovative and progressive way of thinking. Therefore, a person according to his research gains the personal culture during his life adding and changing the needed characteristics by himself if it`s needed.
Confirming the Younkins`s research, Yingqin Liu from Carolina University, USA, states that cultural globalization “involves the rather permanent connections among different cultures, and that cultural globalization is a process in which agreement on mutual concerns can be achieved through helpful interactions among different countries.” Therefore, the process is continuous, mutual and helpful for each side according to the researcher`s words. In addition, the global tendencies in business, technology, work cooperations within a certain industry make the people share their personal experience and points of view on different questions.
Moreover, one of the most outstanding and phenomenal characteristics of globalization are the formation of the new online communities and subcultures. The process itself has reached its highest degree with the development of Internet and social networks, as every person in every part of the world can be whoever he wanted to be; furthermore, ha can play any social and cultural role online. Therefore, Internet has also become one of the reasons why a person nowadays can have a univocal and monosemantic culture.
In addition, the roles of the genders have changed drastically; in the western countries, a man and a woman are equal in their ways of self-expression, as a woman nowadays can afford herself to choose her own destiny, contradicting the historical prejudices that a woman was only created for the family care and giving a birth to the children. The sexual roles also have changed, as there`s not a secret that number of homosexuals is growing continuously from year to year, or, maybe, they`ve achived their freedom of self-expression nowadays. Is it good or bad? It`s another question; however, it should be accepted that nowadays a person is free to choose, who he/she wants to be.
As for the attitude towards the cultural globalization, there`s no certain point of view on it. Gary J. Wells had the research on this question and he concluded that there are different two contradicting points of view on cultural globalization; these are obviously followers and opponents of globalization of the cultures. He says that the opponents of globalization argue that it “destroys individual cultures and replaces them with a monolithic culture based on consumption”, when the followers of the concept simply claim that the globalization offers to mix the best features of different cultures and make it one, unique culture for everyone. For example, Terhi Rantanen, who studied the questions of globalization, concluded, “there is practically no globalization without media and communications.”(as cited in (Movius, 2013, p. 8) The mixture of the cultures will end up with one culture with one language and one concept of moral values due to the impact of mass media, the appearance and the consequences of which will be discussed below.
Therefore, how does this mixture of the cultures happen and where it came from? The studies conducted that there were three main reasons of the hybridity between cultures. Firstly, it`s the mix of the previously separate culture and art forms that started with the connection pop music and opera. Secondly, it`s the removal of the culture characteristics from its initial territory; for example, the current application of Western liberal values on the Eastern borders, where both cultures mix and link to each other, mutually changing. Thirdly, the hybridity of the cultures stimulates the creation of the new impure genres that combine several current cultural domains. The examples of these are the artworks of the surrealists of the 20th century. All the examples mentioned above are the ones of influence of media on the hybridization of the cultures. “Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that transnational mass media intensify the hybridity that is already in existence in cultures across the globe”, says Marwan M. Kraidy in his research. Such conclusion needs no additional explanation and/or commentary, as it is self-explaining. The impact of mass media on different cultures is not only highly visible and drastically developing, but also unavoidable.
All the details mentioned above state that the cultural and social changes are the inevitable parts of the development of the humankind, as with the constant approach to the same questions, the new answers and solutions cannot be found. Moreover, the question of the culture and its change nowadays is the personal for everyone, as it doesn`t matter where a person lives, with whom communicates and what news watches, the current time is the time for personal decisions and personal responsibilities for these decision. A person is also free to find a home most suitable for him/her and her thoughts and ways of life. It should be a free choice, whether to follow the old traditions, to obey the parents’ and grandparents’ words, or not. The paper said not too much about the change of the governments from one country to another; however, it was also said above that nowadays the majority of the civilized countries accept and follow the rules of International Law and all the local laws and regulations follow and even duplicate them. Therefore, in any country a person wants to go, he/she will stay with his/her own moral and ethical qualities, sexual orientation and social role under the rule of International Organizations.
Therefore, I conclude that every person has his/her own culture developed by the different internal and external factors and there is no possibility for him/her to change it and there is no need for him/her to do that, as well.
Kraidy, M. M. (2002). Globalization of Culture Through the Media. Departmental Papers (ASC), pp. 1-6. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1333&context=asc_papers
Liu, Y. (2012). Exploring the Impacts of Cultural Globalization on Cultural Awareness/Values and English Writing in Chinese Context. Intercultural Communication Studies XXI, pp. 94-110. Retrieved from http://www.uri.edu/iaics/content/2012v21n2/06YingqinLiu.pdf
Movius, L. (2013). Cultural globalisation and challenges to traditional communiation theories. Platform: Journal of media and communication, pp. 6-18. Retrieved from http://journals.culture-communication.unimelb.edu.au/platform/resources/includes/vol2_1/PlatformVol2Issue1_Movius.pdf
Wells, G. J. (2001, 01 05). The Issue of Globalization-An Overview. Federal Publications, pp. 1-25. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=crs
Younkins, D. E. (2010, 10). Why the World is the Way It Is: Cultural Relativism and It’s Descendents. Retrieved from The free radical: http://www.quebecoislibre.org/younkins26.html