Adapting to Westernization

The world, as the audience may know is made up of many countries each having its own culture, beliefs, practices etc. Surprisingly, many if not most of the cultures of today are heavily influenced by other cultures to a point that there is deliberate destruction of an ethnic group. An example of this would be the Westernization of cultures. Westernization has caused an massive impact on acculturation. Acculturation is proposed as a multidimensional process consisting of the confluence among heritage-cultural and receiving cultural practices, values, and identifications (Schwartz, Unger, Zamboanga, & Szapocznik, 2010).

Writer, Paul Harrison, in his cause and effect essay evaluates how westernization is eradicating the cultural diversity of the world. Harrison’s purpose is to examine certain tendencies shared by nations that are otherwise dissimilar. He adopts a distressing tone in order to open the eyes of the adolescent readers. Westernization has been a deleterious effect of cultural diversity throughout the world. The new generation disregard the whole concept of rich culture. Paul Harrison points out “Young people don’t like operas, they are too old fashioned”.

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He goes on to quote a young man remark saying “We would prefer to see a high-quality Western variety show, something like that”, this is the consequence of permissive parenting. Permissive Parenting is low on positive structure and direction. (When it comes to handling your hard-to-handle child, are you an authoritative, authoritarian or permissive parent? , 2000). The younger generation is being brought up by indulgent parents into a more modern world that is exposed to different cultures.

Permissive Parenting does not grow the child with strict values; there is no direction to where the child is heading and therefore adapts to what he/she likes or what is trending. Parents are influential bearers and if there is no guidance the child will stray away to what he/she feels is familiar or comforting. A key contributor for portraying what is common and trending to an individual would be the unending process of globalization. Western thought has been applied to globalization. Technology has been exposing individuals to new trends, beliefs and practices to name a few.

It has been exposing so much through the media that individuals refuse to wear traditional clothing, start new approaches to health care, education and housing. To the audience this may seem alright and that this is what development and economic growth is all about but in reality its creating a replica of individuals, countries and culture while native cultural roots are dying out and can’t keep up with the future generation. The origins to the effect of ethnocide lie in the colonial experience.

By the 1960s, after years of fighting for independence, most Western colonial territories (e. g. , India, Indonesia, Algeria) had gained self-rule. Sovereignty, however, did not bring with it freedom from imperialist influences. Colonial legacies were visible in the desire of the new governments to keep the boundaries that were created during colonial times, in the promotion of ethnic rivalry, in the continuation of inhumane and unjust actions against minority populations, and in the practice of distributing the country’s resources in an uneven manner.

Also, after being under foreign rule for decades, newly independent governments often lacked governmental institutions, good governance skills, and the governing experience needed to effectively rule their newly sovereign nations. In most cases, the transition from colonial province to independent state was a violent and arduous journey. Many post-Soviet states (e. g. , Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Georgia) experienced similar problems. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, conflicts involving borders, ethnic rivalry, human-rights violations, and the uneven distribution of resources raged through former Soviet regions (e. . , the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe). In addition, many post-Soviet governments were plagued by a lack of governmental institutions, good governance skills, and governmental experience. (Marker, 2003) Colonialism brought changes to cultures. “The missionary schools sought to produce converts to Christianity who would go out and proselytize among their own people, helping to eradicate traditional culture” (p. 68) . The Europeans attitude was that their cultural beliefs were right or even better than the indigenous culture and for this reason they wanted to get rid of the native culture.

This concept is known as ethnocentrism. The effect of ethnocentrism caused indigenous individuals to “copy the habits and life-style of a social group the individual wishes to belong to, or to be classed with, and abandons those of his own group” (p 69). All that these individuals are looking for is acceptance, equality, for the one of much higher rank to recognize them as a human being. This example is given by Harrison when the conquered slaves started to mimic their conquerors and they then took the same European grains of westernization into their home land Africa.

This again, shows how the world is going down the ‘European Road’ , the road of clones in societies, infrastructure and way of living. Due to individuals of certain cultures seeking equality clarifies why most countries have been imitating or at least trying to be following the same ‘European Road’. Under-developed countries which have low standards of living looked up to the Western Hemisphere simply because they have been economically successful, their standard of living is excellent and there is advancement in globalization every single day.

The under-developed countries try to imitate that of the western hemisphere because that is the only way they believe they would become recognizable and prosperous. Countries like India, Turkey, China and Japan that were never colonialized did not take on the western culture immediately but eventually these powerful nations gave into it because they realized that technology was the new norm coming from the west. Technology played a vital part in the eventual adaptation in these countries because they became aware that countries around them were becoming powerful especially with their military technology.

Paul Harrison states “The administrator Wei Yuan urged his countrymen to ‘learn the superior technology of the barbarians in order to control them”, and this was done. In order to succeed, a country must keep up with ever changing globalization just like the Western culture. Globalization is one of the major causes of today’s ever changing cultures. The style we grow our children, post colonialism as well as having the mentality that the western culture is the road to success may cause our indigenous cultural roots to vanish.

The West has painted a picture in the audience’s eyes that in order to succeed one must keep up to date with the unending process of globalization. Many are blind to see that this has been causing divisions throughout generations and cultures in many countries have been dying out. These divisions in generations are due to strict values not carried on. One can still adapt to globalization and remain true to their cultural roots with discipline. This might help in making cultures remain existent throughout future generations without any problem.

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