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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
Unformatted Document Text:  Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria ground near either the sender or the recipient. Technology no doubt, is not only transforming the world; it is creating its own metaphors as well. Satellites carrying television signals now enable people on opposite sides of the globe to be exposed regularly to a wide range of cultural stimuli. Russian viewers are hooked on Latin soap operas, and Middle Eastern leaders have cited CNN as a prime source for even local news. Sociologists have argued that the emergence of a global-culture has the capacity to bind society and individuals together. This according to Meyer et. al. (1997:162) could be done “by rationalized systems of (imperfectly) egalitarian justice and participatory representation, in the economy, polity, culture, and social interaction”. Critics of world-society theory agree on this count in that there is no such thing as a “global civil society.” Communication and transportation technology is not enough to account for the rise of cross-border advocacy groups (Keck and Sikkink 1998:32-34, 210-211), although “global governance” of major aspects of transportation and communication has been on the rise since 1850 (Murphy, 1994). Political, social theorists and historians have noted the rise of what modernists would call “particularistic” identities as evidence against the rise of a global culture. Cox (1996:27) writes about globalization producing a “resurgent affirmation of identities,” while Mazlish (1993:14) notes, “Ethnic feeling is a powerful bond,” and skeptically asked, “What counterpart can there be on the global level?” Yashar (1999), cited in (http://www.glocalforum.org) rejects the “global culture” and “global citizenship” concepts but also finds fault with the argument that globalization has induced the proliferation of ethnic movements. In her comparison of indigenous movements in Latin America, Yashar clearly demonstrates that no aspect of globalization: cultural, economic, political, social or normative, can account for the rise of ethnic-based activism since the 1960s. Rather, globalization changes the characteristics of the states that activists face in making their claims. Geertz (1998:109-110) notes further: The view of culture, a culture, this culture, as a consensus on fundamentals-shared conceptions, shared feelings, and shared values-seems hardly viable in the face of so much dispersion and disassembly. Whatever it is that defines identity in borderless capitalism and the 8 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
ground near either the sender or the recipient. Technology no doubt, is 
not only transforming the world; it is creating its own metaphors as 
well.   Satellites   carrying   television   signals   now   enable   people   on 
opposite sides of the globe to be exposed regularly to a wide range of 
cultural stimuli. Russian viewers are hooked on Latin soap operas, and 
Middle Eastern leaders have cited CNN as a prime source for even 
local news.
Sociologists have argued that the emergence of a global-culture has the capacity to bind 
society and individuals together. This according to Meyer  et. al. (1997:162) could be done “by 
rationalized   systems   of   (imperfectly)   egalitarian   justice   and   participatory   representation,   in   the 
economy, polity, culture, and social interaction”. Critics of world-society theory agree on this count 
in   that   there   is   no   such   thing   as   a   “global   civil   society.”   Communication   and   transportation 
technology is not enough to account for the rise of cross-border advocacy groups (Keck and Sikkink 
1998:32-34,   210-211),   although   “global   governance”   of   major   aspects   of   transportation   and 
communication has been on the rise since 1850 (Murphy, 1994).
Political, social theorists and historians have noted the rise of what modernists would call 
“particularistic” identities as evidence against the rise of a global culture. Cox (1996:27) writes about 
globalization   producing   a   “resurgent   affirmation   of   identities,”   while   Mazlish   (1993:14)   notes, 
“Ethnic feeling is a powerful bond,” and skeptically asked, “What counterpart can there be on the 
global level?” Yashar (1999), cited in (http://www.glocalforum.org) rejects the “global culture” and 
“global citizenship” concepts but also finds fault with the argument that globalization has induced 
the   proliferation   of   ethnic   movements.   In   her   comparison   of   indigenous   movements   in   Latin 
America, Yashar clearly demonstrates that no aspect of globalization: cultural, economic, political, 
social   or  normative,   can   account   for  the   rise   of   ethnic-based  activism   since   the   1960s.   Rather, 
globalization changes the characteristics of the states that activists face in making their claims.
Geertz (1998:109-110) notes further: 
The   view   of   culture,   a   culture,   this   culture,   as   a   consensus   on 
fundamentals-shared conceptions, shared feelings, and shared values-
seems hardly viable in the face of so much dispersion and disassembly. 
Whatever it is that defines identity in borderless capitalism and the 
8 | 
P a g e


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