Cultural Convergence

Although the merging of technologies is what most people think of when they think of ‘convergence’, cultural convergence is also an important part of everyday life.

Cultural Convergence is the merging of cultures- e.g. ideas, habits, skills, media, food, drink- in the same place, leading to the acceptance and appreciation of one culture by another. This has led to there usually being more than one culture in any country in the world.

This change has come about by globalisation and the advancement of technology, because it has made it possible for audiences on either side of the world to be closer than ever. Now, media made in Japan or India can be accessed easily by people in the USA and vice versa.

Hollywood blockbusters, like films from the Marvel franchise, now have massive fan bases in the Philippines, Japan and South Africa because of Cultural convergence. In China, the highest grossing film of 2015 was American. Conversely, audiences in America can now enjoy Bollywood films or music from Artists in Korea because Cultural convergence has helped both cultures discover each other and appreciate them.

The one problem with the merging of cultures is the risk of cultural appropriation. This is when a culture adopts part of another in an offensive way.  A recent example of this was Beyonce dressing  in Indian-inspired clothing in Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend music video.

However, there are more plus sides to cultural convergence than negatives. It has enabled us to enjoy films, music, media from across the world and access ideas that have advanced technology and science.

If you would like to read more on Cultural Convergence, this article in the Globalist gives some good examples of what it is about.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for writing about cultural convergence as it has brought a new layer to this week’s blog posts. I agree on all your points about cultural convergence permitting us to enjoy entertainment from across the world. Personally, I enjoy non-Western films just as much as British or American films.

    But I do strongly agree that the merging of cultures leads of cultural appropriation. I spent many years in Abu Dhabi and thus the following story of Rihanna was really astounding to me. In Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not only a beautiful place of worships for Muslims, but is also the burial place of the ‘father of the country’ Sheikh Zayed, who helped form the UAE and became the first ruler. Rihanna, in 2013, ignored the importance of being respectful in the sacred place and instead posed ‘sexily’ in an Abaaya in the mosque for a photo shoot (which she posted on her Instagram). She was asked to leave and people called her out for her cultural appropriation. (You can find more information on the UAE’s National newspaper here: http://bit.ly/1Q1sEvI).

    I do believe that cultural convergence is a good thing to a degree, but care must always be taken as it can often result in offence and disrespect.

    Like

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