B. Chludzinski – Week Six – Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

Globalization is an ongoing process that transforms society through cultural influences. As a result of these influences, we are constantly adopting new food, entertainment, behaviors etc. without consciously realizing it. Whether we completely adopt a unique cultural practice and integrate it into our lives (cultural diffusion) or we take some concept and modify it to meet our existing beliefs and conditions (cultural hybridization), these instances of cultural adoption are all around us.

An example of cultural adoption that I recognize in my own life is middle eastern food. Along any road filled with bars and restaurants today, you’re guaranteed to find multiple middle eastern locations offering their famous chicken shawarma, falafel and the like. In the article about sushi being introduced to the U.S., I think many of the mentioned factors play a role in this growing popularity of middle eastern cuisine as well. Just as the article discussed the rejection of red meats beginning in the 1970’s, Americans have consistently become more health-conscious, which has driven them to seek new options. As Americans sought to fulfill their cravings for hearty, healthy and flavorful food, middle eastern cuisine quickly became a practical option because it includes many staples of an American diet (chicken, lamb, beef), but the meal as a whole is a healthier option than red meat.

Another example of cultural adoption I have recognized is in the entertainment sector. I grew up dancing on a studio competition team, and I noticed an increasing trend in Bollywood styles. This style of dance originated and thrived in India, yet many Americans are adopting the specific dance moves and the popular music associated with it. I know many dancers who were trained on the intricate hand movements that Indian dancers use, in an attempt to perform this cultural dance in an authentic manner. I would argue that Bollywood dancing is an example of cultural diffusion because American dancers seem to mimic every single element of the style; however, it could also be considered cultural hybridization in different contexts. For example, one of my tap teachers taught us a routine inspired by the Bollywood style back in 2012. While we did include many elements of the style (including the music), we adapted to our strengths (tap dancing) and added our own twist to make it unique.

One thought on “B. Chludzinski – Week Six – Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

  1. B. Chludzinski,

    Your post is very well written and I agree with your personal examples of how societal changes have been influenced by different cultures. As we progress into eras with a greater advancement of technology, the communication and integration between cultures in the world become more integrated. Similar to your example of the middle eastern food rising in popularity among the general American public, we have seen similar trends with foods of the Asian, Latino, and European population. I believe that this is strongly correlated with cultural hybridization that we have witnessed throughout the United States. As our nation continues to grow as the “melting pot” due to the expansive mixing of cultures, we are seeing societal changes towards inclusion of this cultural variance. Not only is this evident with food, but can also be experienced among dance, music, and religion. I believe, and can appropriately infer from your examples, that the hybridization between different cultures will continue to grow as technological advancements bring cultures of the world towards integration.

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