How are Americans enriched culturally

Global homogenization in Indonesia. Loss of identity or cultural enrichment?

Table of Contents

Table of contents


List of figures

1 Introduction

2) Thematic basics
2.1) Concepts of culture
2.2) cultural identities

3) Cultural globalization
3.1) homogenization
3.2) Creolization
3.3) Interim conclusion

4) The example of Indonesia
4.1) Basics
4.2) Homogenization tendencies
4.3) Hybridization tendencies
4.4) Conclusion

5) Bibliography

II: List of Figures

Fig. 1: (08/11/2014)

Fig.2: http: // Asia_centered% 29.svg / 330px-Indonesia_on_the_globe_% 28Southeast_Asia_centered% 29.svg.png (08/11/2014)

I: table of contents

Homogenization is a global process which, among other things, leads to an approximation of culture. In other words, homogenization is the result of globalization, in which the previously culturally differentiated world merges into a global village. According to the supporters of the homogenization thesis, cultures run the risk of losing their identity. The cultures would merge into a global world culture under the predominance of American consumer culture.

I: abstract

Homogenization is the global process which leads, among the rest, to an adjustment of the culture. In other words: homogenization is the result of globalization with which the before culturally differentiated world merges to a global village. According to the followers of the homogenization paradigm the cultures run into danger to lose their cultural identity. The cultures would melt to a global world culture under supremacy of the American consumption culture.

1 Introduction

Homogenization is a frequently discussed and very controversial term in science. Numerous authors are among the proponents of the homogenization thesis. As early as 1962, Mc Luhan wrote about the abolition of space and time and describes the world as a “global village”. Virilio (1992) takes up Luhan's thesis and even speaks of the end of geography. Like many other authors, Werlen (1997) adopted the term global village. Electronic media would make it possible for all information to be experienced and shared globally at the same time. Spatial differentiations are often disregarded here. Sternberg 1997 and Milanovic 2003 write of an increasing unequal distribution of income. Scholz (2003), however, sees growing poverty in Africa as counter-evidence to homogenization. (See Kessler 2009, 30ff.)

As already mentioned, the homogenization thesis is met with great contradiction. Among other things, it is criticized that globalization and homogenization are really global and affect all countries equally. Scholz (2000) writes, for example, that only a small proportion of people take part in globalization. (See Kessler 2009, 33) Dollar and Collier (2002) put the number of people who do not participate in globalization processes at around 2 billion. Breidenbach and Zukrigl 1998, Hauser-Schäublin and Braukämper 2002 and Howes 1996 understand the consequences of globalization and the interaction of cultures less as a single culture than as the emergence of new cultures. Global consumer goods would be reinterpreted, reinterpreted and adapted to the respective culture. Ulf Hannerz (1996) defines this process as “creolization”. (See Mader, Chapter

In my term paper on “Global Homogenization. Loss of identity or cultural enrichment using the example of Indonesia “I will first describe what is meant by the terms culture and cultural identity. The term description is necessary in order to discuss the extent to which globalization, homogenization and creolization affect cultural identities. In my housework, I would therefore like to contrast the theses of homogenization and creolization and relate them to one another.

Do cultures benefit from the mutual influence of cultures and can cultural identities be preserved despite global cultural influences, especially from the West, or does the mixing of cultures lead to a culture meltdown resulting in a unified world culture?

I will first answer the central question in general and then apply the theory to the island state of Indonesia as an example. As the example of Indonesia will show, homogenizing and heterogenizing processes exist in parallel and reciprocally to one another.

2) Thematic basics

2.1) Concepts of culture

Etymologically, culture is derived from the Latin verb colere.2 Until the 17th century, the term culture was therefore generally used for agricultural activities. Herder decisively expanded the term towards the end of the 18th century. He understands culture to be the way of life of peoples, nations and communities. “Every national collective” has its own individual culture due to historical processes. Cultures differ from one another due to external factors such as climate and geography, and he sees a mix of cultures as a threat to cultural identities. (Cf. Bussink Becking 2013, 76) Even in today's discourse, opinions are based on Herder's thesis. Thus, based on Herder's view, there is the thesis of self-contained cultures. One tries to understand the culture from a local point of view and particularly emphasizes the cultural difference to other cultures. (Cf. Mader, Chapter 7.1.1) The aim is to protect the culture from the outside world, to delimit it and to reflect back on its own roots. (See Bathi 2006, 3)

Due to today's networked, globalized world, the conception of cultures as closed systems plays a subordinate role in science. Cultures and lifestyles are becoming more and more flexible due to increasing mobility and are therefore less tied to a specific space. In the course of globalization, the individual cultures have spread over the entire globe as cultural flows. (Cf. Mader, Chapter 7) Because cultures always mix and connect with one another, Welsch speaks of “transculturality” in this context. “Modern societies contain a multitude of different ways of life and ways of life, different cultures; they are multicultural in themselves. ”(Welsch 1999, 47) cultures can therefore be viewed in the modern sense of the concept of culture as flexible, heterogeneous, incomplete, hybrid and networked with one another.3 As a result, there is a gradual dissolution of cultural boundaries. (Cornely 2009, 8)

2.2) Cultural Identities

The concept of cultural identity is originally based on the idea of ​​self-contained cultures. According to Bussink Becking, the identity of the culture is already given and shows itself in the exercise of cultural practices. Every cultural community would therefore have characteristics that shape its identity, such as cultural customs, history, language, religion or traditions. (Cf. 2013, 79) In the course of the modern conception of cultures and due to globalizing processes, a new conception of cultural identities has developed. According to Welsch, lifestyles do not end at national borders, but can occur anywhere in the world. (Cf. Cornely 2009, 14). Increasing freedom of choice enables everyone to put together their own individual identity between different ways of life. (ibid., 15f.) Cultural differences in the sense of regionally demarcated cultural areas are disappearing and at the same time greater diversity emerges within the social groups. People live with several parallel cultural identities every day. So you can be a German, soccer player, lover of Italian cuisine, Christian, opponent of war and animal lover at the same time. Depending on the situation you are in, certain identities are more important than others. In church, my identity as a Christian is crucial; on the soccer field I would identify as a soccer player. A Brazilian professional footballer in a German club usually has more to do with a German professional footballer than with a Brazilian teacher, because the football culture shapes the player more than his home culture. This example shows how diverse and complex cultural identities are across the globe.

If one looks at identities under the phenomenon of globalization and space-time compression, two different understandings have been established with regard to the effects on them. (Cf. Bussink Becking 2013, 80) On the one hand, the homogenization thesis, in which cultural identities dissolve and assimilate into a unified global identity. On the other hand, the concept of hybrid cultural identity, which dissolves national and regional borders. As a result of cultural connections and crossings, new identities emerge all over the world, which fall back on different traditions in determining their identity. (Cf. Bussink Becking 2013, 82, quoted from Hall 1994b, 218) Hybridity can thus be seen as enrichment insofar as new cultural identities arise in the course of globalization and the mixing of cultures. (Cf. Bussink Becking 2013, 83) The following section aims to clarify which of the two concepts best describes the effects on cultural identities.

3) Cultural globalization

The intensive global networking of living environments through migration, tourism, media or transport, among other things, imply the impression of a shrinking world. With the increase in tourism and migration, people come into contact with one another even over great distances and transport their cultural views, customs and traditions across the globe. (Cf. Mader, Chapter An improved and cheaper transport system made it possible to consume global goods such as Coca Cola all over the world. (Cf. Cornely 2009, 21)

3.1) homogenization

Based on this trend of the last few years, the theory of the mixing of all cultures has developed into a world culture. To this day, the prevailing opinion in many political and ideological camps is that the flow of global consumer goods is leading to cultural alignment. According to critics, this results in global cultural impoverishment. (See ibid., 9) Homogenization is often used synonymously with terms such as westernization, Americanization and McDonaldization. This means that cultural values ​​and practices as well as global consumer goods are often only exported in one direction, namely from the West to the rest of the world. (Cf. ibid.) Americanization is part of the westernization process and is only used in a negative sense. It means that the American consumer culture in particular is gradually displacing local, regional brands. (Cf. Maria Dabringer: Chapter 4.1) Due to the worldwide distribution of goods and cultural ideologies, the cultural differences would increasingly decrease. The American culture industry would roll over and unify the diversity of cultures. (See Glasze and Meyer 2009, 186)

The term McDonaldization stands for standardization in the consumer sector. He shows how the principles of the fast food restaurant are anchored in all parts of the world. (Cf. Cornely, 11) Individual tastes are replaced by a uniform taste specified by the producer. In addition to the fast food chains, I would also like to mention the tourism industry as an example of increasing standardization. In global competition, cities often copy Western leisure activities and run the risk of losing their cultural identity. Original, local attractions have been lost and are being replaced by international leisure activities. (Cf. Sousa Ribeiro 1998) One example is global hotel chains that maintain the same external and internal structure in every country in the world in order to give the guest the feeling of being at home.

The thesis of the homogenization of cultural identities is based on the closed, traditional concept of culture. Cultures are seen as holistic units that are tied to a specific location. (Cf. Glasze and Meyer 2009, 187) A prominent exponent of culture theory is Samuel Huntington, who caused a sensation in 1996 with his essay “Clash of Cultures”. His cultural model was based on the conception of closed cultural circles, at whose borders he predicted a high potential for conflict. However, as already mentioned, models of this kind, which bind cultures to specific spaces, are outdated. Historically, there were no homogeneous, isolated cultures. Societies have always been in mutual contact with one another. So cultures are inherently hybrid. (Cf. Cornely 2009, 17) Today, traditional conceptions of culture are no longer sufficient to adequately describe cultural identities. This is one of the reasons why the homogenization thesis falls short.

3.2 Creolization

The creolization thesis is based on the modern concept of culture and identity. In contrast to the homogenization thesis, it is assumed that both fragmenting and homogenizing processes will become reality. It is not possible to market global consumer goods in all parts of the world without addressing the local needs of the people. In the global market, products that also take local people's needs into account have a chance.


1 Hybridization and creolization are used synonymously in the course of this work

2 Translated: maintain, cultivate

3 Will be referred to in the further course of the housework as a “modern concept of culture”.

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