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Hybridity In Cultural Globalization Communication Theory Essay

Hybridization has become part of an ongoing trend in cultural production, with both the globalization and localization of the culture industry. Hybridization, however, is not merely the mixing, blending and synthesizing of different elements that ultimately forms a culturally faceless whole. In the course of hybridization, cultures often generate new forms and make new connections with one another. This study looks at two globally popular films that were adapted from Chinese works, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Mulan, as examples to illustrate the complexity involved in hybridization and the implications that it has for the debate on the globalization of culture. It was found that ‘deculturalization’, ‘acculturalization’ and ‘reculturalization’ can be used to characterize the hybridization of cultural products and that often the producer, with his/her background, aspirations and work style, has a key role to play in deciding how these features are organized and manifested.

Hybridization Theory Of Globalization Essay

Pieterse states that “since culture is a battleground, hybridity is a matter of mapping no man’s land.” (Pieterse, 117) While this argument is sound in many ways, I do believe that “battleground” conveys far more violence than is involved in most cultural mixing. However, Pieterse tempers his argument somewhat as he continues, saying that “hybridity does not preclude struggle but yields a multifocus view on struggle and by showing multiple identity on both sides, transcends the ‘us versus them’ dualism that prevails in cultural and political arenas.” (Pieterse, 117) Through this explanation, Pieterse backs up his description of “no man’s land,” which I think is a very apt term for the new territories created by hybridization because the results of hybridization are completely unpredictable; no one can map out what may come of cultural mixing, recreating cultural boundaries and even erasing existing ones. Sometimes conflict can be avoided and sometimes it cannot, but I believe that with the eventual acceptance of hybridization and cultural mixing, Pieterse’s no-man’s land will eventually become a true global community.

Thomas Friedman, an analyst of globalization and its effects, believes that as long as a society is careful to adopt outside influences at a pace its economy and culture can withstand, democracy is a natural aftereffect of globalization. If this is true, the people gain power by crying out against or embracing more globalized aspects of life, and therefore directing the evolution of globalization within their culture. For example, some of the smaller nations in Europe plan on joining the globalization revolution but are careful to proceed in switching to the Euro at a pace their economies can handle. Of course, there are negative aspects to empowering the people as well– there are also “‘super-empowered angry men’ who are challenging globalization in many ways. . . trying to create a different kind of globalized world;” a “globalized” world in which there would be no hybridization or cooperation at all, a world where one culture would dominate and obliterate all who opposed it. (Chanda-Friedman Interview, 3) Whether a battleground or a peace conference, the thoughts and actions of each individual who either accepts or denies globalization as an unstoppable process greatly affect globalization. Both views described above create the no-man’s land of hybridization– either an unknown blend of cultures that has not yet been explored, or a barren waste land where all cultures but one are destroyed and the only hybridization possible is homogenization.

Hybridization is a process of re-creation and recombination of culture which can cause a full range of reactions, from peace to violence. It affects many aspects of culture, first and foremost the social relations between individuals, societies, cultures, and nations. International politics have always been erratic because of the vast gulfs of understanding separating...

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