Defining Of Culture And Globalisation Cultural Studies Essay

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It is important to define culture first because the Facharbeit will discuss what parts or how the whole form of culture changes through globalisation. The term culture comes from Latin word colere which means to cultivate. Cultures exist since human beings live together in groups. Philosophers say, that it is the nature of human beings to form cultures. A culture is a group of human beings that share the same knowledge,language, belief, behaviour, attitudes, values, goals and practices. [1] These aspects can differentiate a lot between two cultures which can lead to big problems particularly in case of immigration.

2.2 Definition of Globalisation

There are many different definitions of globalisation. Particularly what aspects exactly belong to globalisation or when it has started are controversial. In 1962 the term globalisation first appeared in an English lexicon. Some people like the united nations ESCWA say, that globalisation started at the end of the 19th century. It wasn't named globalisation yet but it had the same characteristics as today. [2] Whereas others like the German sociologist Ditmar Brock say, that globalisation is not a new phenomenon but rather existed already more than 4000 years ago when globalisationaspects changed through conquests. [3] It hadn't had the same scales as today but it was a form of globalisation.

Sylke Tempel wrote, that "globalisation" is nothing more than the increasing political, economical and cultural networking, the free exchange of goods, capital and attendances of human beings and ideas. [4] Also environment and especially communication are of importance for globalisation because e.g. climate change forces the worlds nations to work together and improving transport and communication technologies increase the speed of networking and immigration.

2.3 Connection

The two definitions show, that culture is affected through globalisation because the cultural aspects that can be very different from culture to culture are about to clash because of the globalisation process which can have good but also bad consequences. The next chapter will deal with the influences of globalisation for the culture and the consequences resulting of it.

3. How and why does Culture change through Globalisation?

3.1 Immigration

Increasing immigration is one of the main aspects of globalisation. There are several reasons for that. One of them is the fact that companies decide to build their factories in other countries to reduce the production costs. Workers immigrate in the country where the factory is or managers do so to lead a factory. Another reason is, that through improving communication possibilities, especially the internet, people in e.g. third-world countries notice that life is better in other, e.g. European countries, so they immigrate to these countries to improve their living standards. But which consequences does that have for the immigrants and for the immigration country?

3.1.1 Changes for Immigrants

The immigrants are thrown into a world that is completely different from the world they used to live in. The scale of these differences depend on who immigrates from which country to which other country. So immigrating from one European country to another might be less a shock for the immigrant than immigrating from an African country. Nevertheless even the first case causes several changes.

The largest of them will be the language. In Europe it is possible to handle that problem, as long as you are able to speak English. Otherwise there will be the same problem as for e.g. African aliens. Immigrants who are not able to speak a country's language have huge problems in their everyday life, so they have to learn the language which is hard especially for old people. There is no environment for them to speak their mother tongue unless a whole family immigrates or the alien finds other immigrants who speak the same language. If that happens, a group starts to exist, that isolates itself from society. Nevertheless this is a big restriction in the living of their culture. The immigrants are forced to adapt themselves.

Another point that has to be mentioned in this context is religion. Most European countries occupy religious freedom but in different countries with different restrictions. E.g. in France it is forbidden to wear any religious headpieces in school. [5] Also if the religion of the immigrant differentiates from the main religion of the country or region, it is hard to find any religious facilities or groups to pray together, for him. He might also be restricted in finding a job because especially in social institutions like a kindergarten only people with a certain believe are allowed to work.

But there are not only restrictions, but also new freedoms and improvements. In their new environments the immigrants have new and more chances. The wages in Europe are higher and most countries have a social security system that prevents everyone from becoming homeless and poor. Especially the freedom of opinion might be a new thing for the aliens.

3.1.2 Changes for the Immigration Countries

However not only for the immigrants it is a huge change but also for the immigration countries. It is their work to integrate the aliens to their system which is not an easy task. Since if the integration doesn't succeed the immigrants are either lost in the new countries or they isolate themselves in groups with other immigrants. This is getting to a point where the aliens culture is about to suppress the countries native culture or parts of it whether purposely or not.

This is shown by a school in Berlin's district Wedding. In the Hoover-Realschule for 90 percent of the pupils German is not their mother tongue, so 6 years ago, the school decided to put a rule in its school regulations which implies that the pupils are only allowed to speak German at the school yard. Paradoxically the head boy of the school, a 17-year-old Pakistani named Asad, the other pupils and their parents support that decision. [6] 7This example shows, that the school sees itself forced to protect German culture, more precise the language, from getting overwhelmed by other cultures resp. languages. Additionally the immigrants realize that it is important for their future in the country to learn and use the language.

But not every time the immigrants or the country they come from are that insightful. This will be shown in an example in 3.1.4.

3.1.3 Mixed Relationships and next Generations

Mixed relationships/marriages are relationships/marriages between two people with different ethnic, cultural, national or religious affiliation. [8] There are two ways of mixed marriages: the real marriages and the fictitious marriages. Fictitious marriages are marriages that happen because one of the partner needs a citizenship of the country otherwise he would be expelled. The reason for the real marriages most of the time is love. Because love is one of the closest relationship human beings can have the cultures are about to clash in it the most. What are the consequences for the partners and their children?

Here is an example for a mixed marriage: In the Netherlands a Dutchwomen(36) and a Turk(35) married. After five years the women named Ingrid Otterspoor draws a balance. She expected from the beginning on that a relationship with a religious Turk would be hard especially at the start. Ingrid had the image of Muslims as intolerant, misogynistic, religious fanatics but after she learned a few things about the culture of her husband, Munir Dagistan, she discovered the Islam as a free and positive religion. Also Munir fiddles with the Dutch culture. He works at a post office and likes the Dutch language. Ingrid comes to the conclusion that mixed relationship just has a chance if both partners are ready to deal with each others culture.

Nevertheless it seems like only the half of the people who enter a mixed marriage are ready to do so because approximately 50 percent of those marriages get divorced. [9] The amount of non-mixed marriages that get divorced is only about one third. However it should be recorded that the partners both live their own culture under the rules of the country they live in but there are people who are not able to do that: their children.

3.1.4 Children of Mixed Relationships or non-mixed immigrant Relationships

The children stand before the choice between the two cultures, but which culture to choose? Children get culture taught by their parents and by society. In most cases the parents are wise enough to teach their children the culture of the country they live in. Almost the same choice is for children that come from pure immigration families but for them the choice is even harder. From young age on they get taught the land's culture from society and their parents culture at home. If that wouldn't be hard enough for the children they get influenced from the native countries of their parents to choose their parents culture which is obviously a disadvantage. One of those influences is the following which also is a negative example of the point mentioned at the end of 3.1.2.

It shows a more current case of the Turkish prime minister Erdogan who demanded that all German citizens who have Turkish roots shall learn Turkish as their first and German as their second language. Erdogan suggests the image that the German government demands total assimilation from its immigrants which is definitely not true. Moreover Erdogans demand is pedagogically wrong. According to linguists children learn a language best when they know another language perfectly but when the children learn Turkish until they are six years old and then get confronted with the German language they show deficits in both languages. [10] This example shows that it is bad that children stand between two cultures.

3.2 Internet

As already mentioned in 2.2 improving communication technologies are a huge part of globalisation and as said in 3.1 also a reason for more immigration, which is in most cases a positive change for immigrants and immigration countries, but that is not the only aspect how the internet changes the culture. The largest change is the spreading of whole cultures or cultural aspects - positive and negative.

3.2.1 Spreading of Religions

Religions spread over the whole globe through the internet. One reason for that is the amount of information someone can gather from the internet. E.g. if you search for 'Islam' at it will find approximately 289000000 results including pages like or (the true religion). [11] On the second page you can learn everything about the Islam and you can even officially convert to it. There are plenty of videos with Muslim imams that teach the Islam. [12] Also through the internet it is easy to get in contact with Muslims in the own and in other countries e.g. over or pages like or (muslim-market). Those easier communication possibilities provide also the chances to get in contact with the wrong people e.g. in the Islam the Islamists.

3.2.2 Spreading of Terrorism

Those contacts lead some people to get trained as terrorists. So it happened that in 2008 the German security office was afraid that four Germans planned to get train as terrorists in the region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. [13] The total number of German jihadi(fighter in a holy war) that fight for the Taliban is approximately 220. [14] This example shows how negative modern communication can be.

3.2.3 Spreading of Subcultures

Another point are the subcultures of which nobody would have heard from without the internet. Especially sects can benefit from the internet by using the same strategy as the Islam in 3.2.1. I know some people who totally changed their habits and way of lives because of something they read in the internet. I don't know exactly what they read there, but I know that they gave up their education - they quit school - their family life and moved to the forest to live in a tent. They live from the money that had at the point when they were leaving and the money they get when they go home. They gave up their home, their existence and maybe even their future because of something that they read in the internet that has to have been so appealing and so convincing to make them go that way. So again the internet is a dangerous place to get to know new or unknown cultures.

4.Conclusion & what can we expect for the Future?

4.1 Blending?

During this Facharbeit I came to the result that there is no real blending of cultures. There are some small forms of it but I would not call that blending. With those small forms I mean the example when someone with another culture lives in a country with a different culture. When he is outside he will live like the other culture tells him to but when he is at home he will live the culture he brought from the country he comes from as long as what he does is lawful. Sometimes those two areas overlap each other e.g. the Turkish honour killing but that are only exceptions which also are not lawful. The second small form of blending are many cultures living together in one country. Again when members of the culture are with their equals, they will live their culture in the way the government allows them to but when people of many different cultures meet they will use the habits of the culture of the country they live in. I also do not think that there will be a blending in the future because we are already at a high intensity of immigration but every time it becomes too much the government of a country adopts laws to regulate the intensity.

4.2 Or Assimilation?

This behaviour sounds more like an assimilation.