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Cultural Traits


The global spectrum of cultural traits, ethnicities and identities, and ways in which the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales

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Cultural Traits


The global spectrum of cultural traits, ethnicities and identities, and ways in which the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales

What cultural sterotypes from your culture are you guilty of doing?

 
 

Globalisation is viewed as key process in driving culture towards a global model. Media TNCs and the movement of workers and tourists contribute to this change.

culture

the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge which constitute the shared basis of social tradition

 

cultural hearth

an area that is or has been a rich source of cultural traits

cultural traits

individual components of a cultural complex which may be divided into three categories: sociological, ideological and technological

 

cultural diffusion

the spread of cultural traits, either as a result of increased movement of people, or forced e.g cultural imperialism

 
 

cultural IDENTITY

Create a collage of images with labels showing the cultural traits that you identify with.

 Access the resource above to find out about cultural understanding in your country

Access the resource above to find out about cultural understanding in your country

  1. Language
  2. Customs
  3. Beliefs
  4. Dress 
  5. Images
  6. Music 
  7. Food 
  8. Technology
 

READING AND NOTES

Read pp 144-150. Make notes on each of the traits using the grid below.

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Copy of Diffusion of Traits


Examine the diffusion of cultural traits resulting from the international movement of workers, tourists and commodities. 

Copy of Diffusion of Traits


Examine the diffusion of cultural traits resulting from the international movement of workers, tourists and commodities. 

TOK: To what extent is this an accurate reflection of our shared cultural history?

 
 

definitions

cultural diffusion

1. the process of spreading of cultural traits from one place to another

 

cultural hybridity

1. the extent to which cultures are intermixed

cultural homogeneity

1. the state where different cultures increasingly share common characteristics as a result of adopting shared traits

 

Imperialism as a mechanism for diffusion of culture

 
 

countries where english is an official language

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FURTHER READING

Read and make notes on pp 151 - 154 Guinness HL Book.

 

practice exam question

“Cultural diffusion is a process that takes place in many ways but can be halted by many barriers.” Discuss this statement. (15 marks)

 

markscheme

Pathways for cultural diffusion include the movements of workers and tourists who carry cultural traits with them.

A wide variety of traits could be explored, such as language, religion, arts and music, cuisine, fashion etc. The movement of commodities and the diffusion of the internet and films, orchestrated by technology, TNCs and global media corporations respectively, are other key ways in which “messages” are transmitted.

Military and imperial ventures could also be discussed. A “Trojan horse” strategy of contemporary glocalization could be explored – wherein western cultural icons (for example, denim, burgers etc.) gain access to foreign markets by donning “cultural camouflage”).

MGO membership – notably the EU – also aids cultural transfers by easing restrictions on a variety of flows and pathways for cultural diffusion (such as greater freedom of movement for people or goods).

The barriers may be physical, political, economic or cultural and they can include nationalism and anti-globalisation movements and sentiments. A range of local responses could be explored that challenge cultural imperialism or at least negotiate glocalised outcomes in ways that restrict the pace of cultural change (censorship of Google in China is one example).

To access bands D and E, the answer should be well balanced between coverage of the processes themselves and of possible barriers to their operation. The best answers may look beyond a “black and white” world (where processes of exchange either do or do not operate) and might critically explore ways in which global cultural exchanges are negotiated locally, resulting in partial or selective transfers of culture that bring into being new hybridised cultural forms (language, art, music or cuisine often show a “fusion” of different influences).

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Cultural Imperialism


Define and exemplify the concept of cultural imperialism.

Cultural Imperialism


Define and exemplify the concept of cultural imperialism.

 
 

 

Cultural imperialism (n)

the cultural aspects of imperialismImperialism, here, is referring to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations favouring the more powerful civilization. (Wikipedia)

 

task

  1. Read the pages 175, 178-180 of HL Guinness book.
  2. Define McDonaldization.
  3. Summarise 5 arguments in support of cultural imperialism.

 

FURTHER READING

 
 

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

 
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Cultural Dilution


Explain how Chinese actions in Tibet have contributed to cultural dilution

Cultural Dilution


Explain how Chinese actions in Tibet have contributed to cultural dilution

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Cultural dilution is viewed as a negative outcome of globalisation processes. It is a process that involves the addition of different cultural traits within a host nation, or the suppression of cultural traits within a nation, or both. Think about some examples of this that you know of and be prepared to contribute to a discussion about this.

 

CULTURAL DILUTION IN TIBET [CASE STUDY]

 
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Prior to China’s invasion in 1950, Tibet maintained a unique culture, religion and language for centuries.

Today, this culture is under threat from mass Chinese immigration and the strict control of all expressions of Tibetan culture and national identity.

 Photo: Pedro Saraiva

Photo: Pedro Saraiva

China boasts of huge investment in Tibet but its economic development is primarily intended to cement its hold on Tibet and enhance its ability to exploit Tibet's natural resources. Economic development has improved conditions for some Tibetans but overwhelmingly it favours Chinese migrants, continuing to disadvantage Tibetans economically. 

Along with other countries around the world, Tibet has changed greatly over the past 65 years. However, Tibetans continue to work to preserve their culture and resist oppressive policies on a daily basis. (Source)

 
 Click to explore Tibet's history and cultural identity (Source)

Click to explore Tibet's history and cultural identity (Source)

 
  1. Compare and contrast cultural dilution and cultural hybridity
  2. Explain the ways in which China influences control over Tibet and Tibetan culture (p 588)
  3. Explore the resources above and on www.freetibet.org
  4. Create a case study summary file with images, facts and specific examples

TASK

 
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glocalisation


The glocalisation of branded commodities & cultural hybridity

glocalisation


The glocalisation of branded commodities & cultural hybridity

glocalisation

The practice of conducting business according to both local and global considerations. It is a concept that demonstrates the growing importance of processes at both a global and local scale.

 

globalisation

The growing interdependence of countries worldwide through the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and of international capital flows, and through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology” (source: IMF). 

 

 
 

TASK

  1. Define globalisation and glocalisation
  2. Describe 3 examples of glocalisation
  3. Explain why glocalisation occurs
  4. Create a summary of McDonalds and Coca Cola from pp 590-592
 
 
 
 

essay question

Explain how and why glocalization occurs [10 marks]

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Homogenisation of Landscapes


Explain the evolution of uniform urban landscapes; the effects of common commercial activity, structures, styles of construction and infrastructure

Homogenisation of Landscapes


Explain the evolution of uniform urban landscapes; the effects of common commercial activity, structures, styles of construction and infrastructure

 
 
Homogenisation of landscapes is the process whereby different landscapes in a country increasingly resemble those found in other countries because similar processes of change are at work.
 
 

Draw a city. Share it with the class. What characteristics do urban areas share?

 
 
 
 

COMMON structures and styles of construction

The increasingly globalised nature of city planning and architecture has led to increasingly homogenised landscapes that cater for the limited needs of humans.

CASE STUDY: Gehl Architects

 
 
 

COMMON infrastructure

 
 

ACTIVity

  1. In groups, read, summarise and present the main points of one of the topics below to the rest of the class.

  • Central Business Districts (CBD)
  • Outer retail areas
  • Transport and other urban infrastructure
  • Residential areas

Resources: Guinness HL Book pp 132-141

 

GENTRIFICATION

 
 
 

EXAM QUESTION

  1. Describe how urban landscapes have become more uniform in recent decades.
  2. What are the reasons for this trend?
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Diasporas


How diasporas influence cultural diversity and identity at both global and local scales

Diasporas


How diasporas influence cultural diversity and identity at both global and local scales

Diaspora: a scattered population whose origin lies within a smaller geographic locale, usually resulting from a movement of the population from its original homeland.
 
  1. Read and highlight the article.
  2. Name 3 famous examples of diaspora communities and provide data explaining their importance.
  3. Explain how diaspora communities facilitate the flow of:
    • goods
    • ideas
    • capital
  4. Describe the benefits of diaspora communities for source and host countries
 
 

caribbean diaspora in the uk

 

how diasporas preserve culture

 
 
 
 

Reasons for emigration

  • Job opportunities aimed at Jamaicans in Britain to help postwar reconstruction in the 1940s
  • Rising crime rates in Jamaica following independence in 1962
  • Slow economic growth in Jamaica
  1. Click on and read the pdf above.
  2. Take bullet point notes on the history of Caribbean recruitment in London.
  3. Write a one paragraph summary.
 

PRESERVATION OF JAMAICAN CULTURE in the uk

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL, LONDON & THE Notting Hill Race Riots 1958 (Precursor to Notting Hill Carnival)

 

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL, LONDON

 

caribbean funerals in london

 
 
 
 

Adoption of minority traits by host societies

 
 

influence on music - Jungle drum and bass

 
 

influence on food - jamaican jerk

 
 

influence on language - jamaican patois

 
 

EXAM QUESTION

Using one or more examples, analyse the impact of diasporas on local cultures [10 marks].

 

mark scheme

“Diaspora” describes a scattered community of common ancestry. Diaspora can be a product of migration or of territorial disintegration leaving a cultural group straddling different national borders. Likely examples for analysis will include: Polish, Chinese, Jewish, Indian, Irish, Scottish, English, Caribbean, Nigerian diasporas – but there are of course many other possibilities. Credit should be given to answers that provide clear details of the global diaspora pattern(s).

The preservation of migrant culture is a common diaspora trait, albeit in hybridized or fossilized forms, both of which may be explored, depending on the view taken of what “local culture” means. The adoption of minority diaspora traits by a host country culture (for example, US “melting pot” ideas) is another approach. 

The answer could discuss how the local culture of the origin country (for example, Ireland, Poland) may have been affected, for example, “fossilization” of the tourist industry. Another approach might be to address the great variability in local cultural forms for different parts of a diaspora (for example, comparing Jewish culture in the UK with that of the USA).

The approach taken will depend on the example(s) used and each answer should be credited in terms of its merits and should not be negatively marked if many of the themes suggested by this markscheme are not present but other valid content is provided. 

At the band C/D border, the focus on diaspora may still be insecure (for example, the concept of scattered population not fully understood), or the answer is more concerned with the impacts of a simple migration flow, but the focus on cultural impacts should be secure (alternatively, may have a good grasp of what diaspora is but fails to focus on culture).

At the band D/E border, expect some range of impacts to be addressed for a named and understood diaspora. At band E, the diaspora concept ought to be handled well (may consider cultural impacts for source and various hosts, or compare the cultural traits of different regional communities within the global diaspora).

 
 

plenary

To what extent is Ali G an example of the adoption of minority traits from the West Indies in the UK host society?

 

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