Toward a Global Culture

Some sociologists today predict that the world is moving closer to a global culture, void of cultural diversity. A fundamental means by which cultures come to resemble each other is via the phenomenon of cultural diffusion, or the spreading of standards across cultures. Cultures have always influenced each other through travel, trade, and even conquest. As populations today travel and settle around the globe, however, the rate of cultural diffusion is increasing dramatically. Examples of social forces that are creating a global culture include electronic communications (telephones, e‐mail, fax machines), the mass media (television, radio, film), the news media, the Internet, international businesses and banks, and the United Nations—to name only a few. Even phrases like “global village” seem to imply that the world is growing “smaller” every day.
Still, while many aspects of culture have been globalized, local societies and cultures remain stable and, in many instances, are being affirmed with enthusiasm. Although people may relocate on the other side of the planet, they tend to remain faithful to their culture of origin.