Sunday, April 15, 2012

Changing Culture

All cultures in the world over have histories of change and none have remained static.At the same time it is true that all cultures do not change at the same speed.Anthropologists have traditionally viewed cultural change in terms of innovation,invention or diffusion.A variation of an existing cultural pattern accepted by a society is innovation.Most innovations are involved by modification of the existing habits of thought and action.An invention is the combination of existing cultural elements into something that is new.New ideas and new art forms also come under invention.

Cultural environment  is an important aspect governing an invention.Most far reaching changes in culture are through direct cultural contact.This is the reason why cultures in major trade routes  tend to change rapidly.No human society has been completely isolated from diffusion.A society may reject diffused cultural traits or modify them for acceptance.Changes in the meanings of cultural elements are particularly important in archeology.

New cultural elements  may be welcomed and adopted in a society.If the elements are more advantageous.Diffusion of culture also takes place as a result of conflicts.When two cultures clashing in a war,people who are captured and colonized  are forced to adopt the culture of the victorious group.

The question naturally arises as to whether there is homogenization  of culture and individual cultural identities  are erased.Modern technological culture has made inroads into every place.The world may be called a global village but all the parts are not close to the centre.Everywhere  cultures have been affected by the leading industrial countries of the world.Such a phenomenon  may not annihilate local cultures.Cultural traits  while being adopted  may be transformed as result of which new cultural forms may evolve.This process is known as transculturation.Tribal and peasant societies have traditionally interested anthropologists.Such societies have been affected by industrial societies  and anthropologists study the changes taking place in the societies.The cultural change in the economic development of underdeveloped nations may of interest in applied anthropology.

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