Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Cultural Diffusion

Culture and Society Defined
Culture is the set of beliefs, ideas, norms of activities, art, and knowledge, which are collectively shared and practiced by a group of people who live in a geographical area, at a particular time.

Owing to varied factors, when a culture spreads and overlaps with other cultures, we then term it as the process of diffusion. 



Cultural diffusion is the intermingling of one or more cultures. It is the outcome of the spread of literacy and education, inter-country trade relations, technological development, and religious interventions. it can be sought in several realms, like social, political, religious, intellectual, technological, and economical realms.



The world is a global village, more so because of the political and trade relations that exist across nations, despite the geographical hindrances. The formation of treaties like SAARC, EU, NAFTA, etc.,  The urge to be well educated has prompted many young minds to change places and travel far and wide. This has contributed significantly to cultural diffusion. Technology is the swiftest catalyst of cultural diffusion. No boundaries exist in the sharing of technological wonders.


Defining Cultural Diffusion
Cultural diffusion is a long process, 
There are three different forms of cultural diffusion.

Direct diffusion is when two cultures are very close to each other, resulting in intermarriage, trade, and even warfare. An example of direct diffusion is between the United States and Canada, where the people living on the border of these two countries engage in hockey, which started in Canada, and baseball, which is big in American culture. Direct diffusion was very common in ancient times, when small groups, or bands, of humans lived in adjoining settlements.

Indirect diffusion: Traits of one culture are incorporated into others through external factors like education, mass media, and social forms of communication. Indirect diffusion happens when traits are passed from one culture through a middleman to another culture, without the first and final cultures ever being in direct contact. Indirect diffusion is very common in today's world, because of the mass media and the invention of the Internet.happens when traits are passed from one culture through a middleman to another culture, without the first and final cultures ever being in direct contact.  Indirect diffusion is very
common in today's world, because of the mass media and the invention of the Internet.


The four main elements in the diffusion of new ideas are: (1) innovation, (2) communication channels, (3) time, and (4) the social system.

Forced diffusion occurs when one culture subjugates  another culture and forces its own customs on the conquered people. An example would be the conquistadors that took over the indigenous population and made them practice Christianity.




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