Contemporary history presentation

Cultural Globalization

by Tommaso Marmo, m.n. 885217

Contemporary Historycourse, academic year 2020/2021


A premise

About timing: when did cultural globalization actually happen?


The term

phenomenon by which the experience of everyday life, as influenced by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardization of cultural expressions around the world. Propelled by the efficiency or appeal of wireless communications, electronic commerce, popular culture, and international travel, globalization has been seen as a trend toward homogeneity that will eventually make human experience everywhere essentially the same. This appears, however, to be an overstatement of the phenomenon. Although homogenizing influences do indeed exist, they are far from creating anything akin to a single world culture. […]

Cultural Globalizationon Encyclopædia Britannica


Two sides of the same coin

  • cultural growth and development, exchange of knowledge, thriving international debates and trends on a cultural level
  • cultural homogenization, and a great risk of losing well-established traditions, as well as characterizing identities of local minorities

Actually, three

  • Presence of an ever growing élite of corporations and which take advantage of new technologies for their own sake.
  • Economical polarization

    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows

L. Cohen,Everybody knows


From an historical point of view


The origins of Cultural Globalization

  • Improved and easier ways of communicating

  • etymology
    • it’s hard to frame the topic, pardon me if I’ll go quite off track in this presentation to dive deeper in cultural references and meanings
    • an overwhelming set of changes
    • globalization
      • effects which
  • what does it mean from an historical point of view?
  • effects on future society
  • trends and mode
  • communications
  • an inverse trend with respect to nationalism
  • melting pot
  • post-maoism era
  • lifestyle
  • entrepreneurs
  • from the self made man to the entrepreneur
  • Chinese writers and filmmakers: loss of older values (kurosawa is japanese)
  • parenthesis on language
    • colonial influence on language
    • many local languages died out
  • Christianity
    • christianization of Africa (comparation with the ch. of Asia in previous lessons)
    • protestantism vs chatolichism
  • drugs
  • islam
  • restoration
  • migrations
  • global feminism
    • sex as a matter of “who am I” instead of “what should I do”
    • sources:
      • modern means of communication
      • migrations
      • western and communism ideas
    • education
    • contraception
    • liberation movements
    • both public and intimate private life
    • women in communism (Sartre)
    • partisan women
    • in Russia laws were to be approved in favor of a greater freedom for women, but the civil war reset the country’s priorities
    • a similar attempt in China, where in the 50s Mao promoted laws in favor of sex equality
    • in western society, feminism exploded in two waves, both started from a growing popular community instead of institutions
    • feminism popularized by publications and media
    • proliferation of organizations
    • feminist protests in correlation to other issues (civil rights, peace, environmental movements) - placed in a broader framework
    • parallelism with current situation in Poland
    • a continuous alternation of progression and regression (unfortunately the so called “evolution” of society isn’t enough)
    • even though stronger and greater improvements of women’s rights weren’t reached, overall changes, involvement and awareness grew.
    • feminism in developing countries
      • more struggles and very basic purposes if compared to western movements
      • bias of a mentality imported by Europe
      • weaker if no support by public society and institutions
      • nevertheless, at least basic equality civil rights were somewhat accomplished
    • in the late 20th century, conferences and meetings supported by the United Nations promoted dialogue among different feminist organizations in the world
    • women’s rights as human rights
    • vatican proposal
  • coming together or growing apart
  • cultural contamination
  • global unity
  • new conflicts and divisions
  • disintegration of global empires and birth of new states
  • fundamentalism
  • genocidal regimes (Rwanda and Ethiopia right now)

  • the need for a global community

Bibliography and references


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