Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World

Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World

Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World

Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World

Synopsis

Much discussed but poorly understood, globalization is at once praised as the answer to all the world's problems and blamed for everything from pollution to poverty. Here Berger and Huntington bring together an array of experts who paint a subtle and richly shaded portrait, showing both the power and the unexpected consequences of this great force. The stereotypes of globalization--characterized as American imperialism on the one hand, and as an economic panacea on the other--fall apart under close scrutiny. Surveying globalization from individual countries of the five major continents, Many Globalizations shows that an emerging global culture does indeed exist. While globalization is American in origin and content, the authors point out that it is far from a centrally directed force like classic imperialism. They examine the currents that carry this culture, from a worldwide class of young professionals to non-governmental organizations, and define globalization's many variations as well as sub-globalizations that bind regions together. Analytical, incisive and stimulating, Many Globalizations offers rare insight into perhaps the central issue of modern times, one that is changing the West as much as the developing world. "Provocative.... Taken together, the trenchant, well-written essays included in this collection provide indisputable evidence that an identifiable global culture is indeed emerging."--World Policy Journal "Analytical and penetrating, belongs...on the desks of anyone with an abiding interest in the forces shaping the world."--Publishers Weekly

Excerpt

The purpose of this introduction is not to summarize the rich and diverse contents of this book, but to present a picture of the cultural dynamics of globalization as seems plausible to me at this point. Most of the data making this picture possible has come from the research project on which the book is based; however, given the fact that the chapters on the various countries studied in the project are here within the same covers, I have refrained from tedious cross-references to these chapters.

A somewhat cynical colleague once remarked that the goal of every scholarly enterprise is to blow someone's theory out of the water. In this instance that someone was me. While it would be a wild exaggeration to say that I had a theory of cultural globalization, I did have a picture of it, and I succeeded, more or less, in convincing Samuel Huntington, the codirector of the project, and the international research team to accept my picture as a starting point for the investigation (or, if you want to be properly wissenschaftlich, as a set of hypotheses). Not surprisingly, over the more than two years of the project, most of them kept hacking away at this picture and, at the end of the day, I had to agree with most of the criticisms. In my own mind, at any rate, the basic features of the original . . .

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