Significance Of The Cultural Homogeneity Cultural Studies Essay

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How significant is any process of cultural homogenization to the development of the global hospitality industry is going to be the topic under analyses on this assignment.

We will give definitions of culture, homogenization and globalization and what these terms mean.

Will follow to analyze to what extent, are people from around the world becoming more similar in their patterns of consumption of products and services from the hospitality/tourism industry. And if so what does this mean to the development of the global hospitality/tourism industry and evidence of the fact that people are becoming the same and how has the industry respond to such demand.

Finally we will be showing what the overall evaluation is regarding the topic and a conclusion summarizing all the findings.

Customer commodities are turning homogenous all over the world with this fact comes the definition of homogenization. People use the same type of things: from planes and cars, holiday's destinations and way of dressing and living. With this goes a strong consumerist way of living and structure of principles that focus on the material world and on substantial comfort.

Marx (1977) in his dependency theory saw that the political-territorial boundaries remain intact and will disappear under a future proletarian supremacy. Wallerstein (1974) focus is studies on the economic view of the definition of globalization as "an increasing level of interdependence between national systems by way of trade, military Robertson Roland explains globalization in the cultural domain. In is text, "Globalization as a Problem" in The Globalization Reader says, globalization as a concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole" Cited in Frank Lechner and John Boli (2004) According to Giddens globalization is seen as "the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa" Giddens (1990). These local happenings were said to be influenced by distant events and not just the local events, which all have been influenced by the forces of globalization. Looking at Giddens (1990) and Robertson's (1992) definitions, Giddens believes modernity has come as a result of globalization. For Giddens globalization is said to have started during the sixteenth century onwards and in Europe in particular. However, in Robertson‟s opinion, the problem of globalization is not new. He believes the social compression of the world has begun before the sixteenth century as predicted by Giddens. He predicts modernity and the rise of capitalism to be the cause of the rise of globalization. That is for Robertson, modernization has an influence on globalization.

Culture with its very broad nature have always been without a precise definition, referred by Geertz (1973) culture is said not to exist in some one's head. That is, when we are born as we grow, through learning from either our parents or schools or the environment we grow, we know culture. Giddens referred culture to be "the way of life of the members of the society" or "of groups within a society" Giddens (2002). He believes that culture is inherited and it comprises both intangible aspects of life like the beliefs, ideas and values, which form the content of culture. In addition, the tangible aspects like the objects, symbols or technology, which represents that content. An example of this is the present day American cultures of Americanization and McDonaldization, described by Ritzer as the "fast food restaurants" Ritzer, (2003).

Geert Hofstede views culture as a 'communal psychological programming' of people. The 'software of the mentality,' or how we think, make us different from additional groups. It refers to a shared fact of mutual principles and meanings and we get it from the social environment. We are not born with a public set of morals and attitudes; we discover and gain them as we develop.

E. T. Hall's wrote about High- and Low-Context Cultures theories with Low-context cultures we count on complicated verbal explanations, transferring more importance to verbal words, communication is straight and open, meaning is uncomplicated with the High-context cultures we highlight nonverbal communication and use communication as a way to support soft, pleasant associations for example in East Asia and Japan; nonverbal signs and body language are often used as they prefer an indirect, polite, "face-saving" style that shows a shared sagacity, concern and respect for others.

Globalization in the tourism context can be thought in several ways which include the following: Americanization through McDonald's , KFC and Starbucks ,McDonald's fast food outlets can now even be found everywhere in the world.

Experiencing the diversity of building styles, dishes and cultures was once a main reason to visit cities. Today as one travels around the world one finds that many airports, hotels and cities are more or less the same - this takes the fun out of traveling because you know already how your room is going to be like in certain hotel chain.

Globalization is felt particularly in less developed countries, many of which see tourism as an important development option. Unfortunately developing tourism can require that poor countries have to take out billion dollar loans to build the necessary infrastructure for tourism development and this can be a problem because they may not be able to pay their debts. International tourists demand international style hotels, food and drinks and hence developing countries have to import this items, this is called leakage because the money leaks out of the local economy and it can't be used to benefit local people.

Cross-cultural exchange promotes innovation and creativity. The belief that increased globalization entails cultural homogenization, most commonly in the guise of Americanization, is a popular one. It is a belief enacted by tourists who travel to far-off lands only to stay in Sheraton hotels, eat at the local McDonald's, and watch big Hollywood pictures in the evenings. The gist of such tourist reports, anthropological findings, and American advertisements has been theorized in models of cultural imperialism (Mattelart 1979; Schiller 1976) that contend that Western, and largely American, culture is exported around the world to the effect of global homogenization. As Featherstone (1995) describes the process, capital clears the way for culture. Along these lines, corporate logos become icons of American ideologies for everyone outside of the "center." But are these examples a clear process of cultural homogenization? Benjamin Barber (1995) would respond positively with is process of "MacWorld" is one of soft hegemony, an easy way to export American capitalist ideologies to the world, thereby making the world safe for the free market. Stuart Hall (1991) responds affirmatively to the question of globalization as cultural homogenization, his thoughts on the subject are much more nuanced. Hall defines a "new form of globalization" in contrast to the earlier globalization of colonization, particularly that of the British empire, and this new globalization is distinctly American with its emphasis on "television and film, and by the image, imagery, and styles of mass advertising" (1991). In this regard, Hall's conception of the globalization process is similar to Barber's. However, where Barber understands MacWorld as a totalizing force intent on Americanizing everyone and everything in its path, Hall sees a very peculiar form of homogenization, a homogenization which does not strive for completeness but rather thrives on particularities. For Hall this new form of globalization has made it chic "to eat fifteen different cuisines in any one week" (1991). Hall contends that by presenting a world of neutralized difference, a world of commodified and consumable difference, capitalism is able to maintain its global dominance. As he remarks, "It is working to make up a nation in which things are diverse. And that is the enjoyment of it but the differences do not matter. (Featherstone 1990) questions the basic premise of Americanization upon which both Barber and Hall build their theories of global cultural homogenization. To begin with, such theories depend upon a notion of cultures behaving as substances which flow intact and "easily dissolve the differences they encounter" (1995). Yet beyond this distinction, Featherstone contends that the world can no longer be perceived as extending out from one central point such as the United States but rather from many global centers. Like Hall, he highlights the contestatory, confrontational nature of globalization; however, for Featherstone, the contestation is external rather than internal, a global field in which "differences, power struggles and cultural prestige contests are played out". As such, globalization emphasizes cultural heterogeneity and difference of a massive scale: "Globalization makes us aware of the sheer volume, diversity and many-sidedness of culture. Featherstone also dismisses the cultural homogenization thesis as premised on ethnocentric ideas about local cultures. When people move around, they carry with them the things that travel best--cultural traditions with sensory power like music, folktales, food ways, and festival. At the same time, it is the sensory power of these traditions which brings them to market, which incorporates them into multicultural policy work, which allows them to serve as somewhat superficial points of cultural exchange. In some senses, the local is globally homogenized in the same way that American (or western) culture is said to homogenize all other cultures: not only does one find McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Nike around the world; one also finds Chinese food, African music, and May Day celebrations. As the world grows more interconnected and emergent technologies allow more of us to experience more of this global interconnectedness, the global cultural homogenization thesis may seem like an attractive one.

Globalization has both constructive and pessimistic impacts on the hospitality business the positive impacts of globalization are: the contact with different cultures makes the ones taking care of the hospitality business to be gifted to discover about diverse cultures as they obtain the option of mixing with people from various countries; becomes a bigger market and the customer base has increased greatly. Community now move not only for holidays, but commerce, physical condition and different other reasons; increases the economy of the area in question, visitors come in and spend money; improves technology advancement since they want to catch the attention of as many tourists as they can, organizations continuously need to improve and develop their goods and services  using quicker and new techniques in hotels to so that the consumer is pleased; promotes creativity as organizations are all the time creating innovative ideas to attract tourists; important more job opportunities are created as more visitors come into the country and therefore more natives are needed to serve tourist needs; increases the travel industry, people move around and to make possible this the business needs to develop as well, per last a wide variety of international cuisines is created since there are a lot of diverse guests with different origins, customs, food habits, and languages, the hospitality/tourism industry incorporates recipes and diverse supplementary services and makes them accessible to the locals too.

The pessimistic impacts of globalization on the hospitality industry are in this situation more dramatic issues: language barriers, the industry can employ people from diverse countries, they might have problems in communicating with the customers; cultural barriers, as there are people from different cultures what's adequate by one culture may be a insult by another; employment during busy times of the year, a good amount of jobs are available but almost immediately as the clients leave, the jobs vanish jointly with the income; use of tools to communicate due to intercontinental separations, there has been a firm raise in the use of equipment for contact and this removes the human touch; developing countries are not capable to keep up with the expansion in technology and have a propensity to lose out, they always need to work to get better conditions; or else tourists have other areas to choose from; increase in crime with the increase in tourists, crimes raise also; ecological exhaustion: globalization causes an disproportion in the eco system, people regularly throw their rubbish on the floor which could cause sicknesses and loss of cultural and national values to go with along with customer needs.

Following critically examining the entire evidences provided can conclude that may be complicated to define even though the fact that studies have stated globalization as a back and forward process of development as business expansion will continue with the search of new markets and cultures will be affluently influence by western part of global economy. Societies will inevitably borrow heavily from these cultures however it doesn't mean that they will be completely transformed.

Cultural diversity will have to be protected and defended. In the modern worldwide cultural pluralism may still be less and less physical, even if certain geographical roots of most important cultures will stay. We exist in a multicultural humanity in which citizens live a practice of various experiences, characterized by a diversity of associative groups. Consequently cultures possibly will no longer be local in the conventional sense, but still diverse linked together in a complex network.

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