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9.

Globalization and identity

- processes of globalization and how these may be important factors in defining identity
- cultural supermarket vs material supermarket: e.g. Coca Cola is somewhere visible and can easily be
seen, but other less advertised products are less noticeable -> those societies whose material goods are
available in the world have greater cultural influence in the world
- America has great cultural influence with the movies, music, sports etc -> it’s spread worldwide
- for most of the information in the cultural supermarket, we know where it comes from: we refer to
Indian music, Brazilian samba, French cuisine and so on
- we can decide which one of these we choose to surround ourselves in a number of areas e.g. home
décor, food, clothing etc.
- all of these have different degrees of personal significance: home décor may be less significant than
religion
- some things can be extraordinarily important for some people in defining what their lives are most
essentially about
- these choices from the cultural supermarket are free but restricted in a number of different senses
- which is different from material supermarket: the receiving equipment -> those who are educated
may possess optimal receiving equipment -> more people from rich societies and upper classes have
this
- the less sophisticated equipment you have: more likely to be manipulated by standard paths of Coca
Cola, Marlboro, Rambo etc.
- it’s also said that make our choices not for ourselves but we choose ourselves with an eye to our
social world
- culturally the world may be wide open but socially it is not
- the cultural choices must fit in the social world which is more limited -> with unusual social
behaviour people would be seem as lunatic or too eccentric
- e.g. elderly woman wearing a mini skirt must be aware of the inappropriateness of her choice
- why does one become a Buddhist, another Christian? Why one person travels while another stays at
home? -> much can be predicted from social class, educational level, income, gender and age but not
everything can be predicted
- we have a certain freedom in choosing who we are -> this freedom can be limited, but cannot be
denied