CHAPTER 8 GLOBAL CULTURE AND CULTURAL FLOWS

Because much of it exists in the form of ideas, words, images, musical sounds, and so on, culture tends to flow comparatively easily throughout the world. In fact, that flow is increasingly easy because culture exists increasingly in digitized forms. Thus, the Internet permits global downloading and sharing of digitized cultural forms such as movies, videos, music, books, newspapers, photos, and so on. Further, those who see themselves as part of the same culture can maintain contact with one another through e-mail or via virtual face-to-face contact on Skype. They can also remain immersed within the culture in which they exist and/or from which they come by, for example, reading online newspapers from home. While the global flow of digital culture is increasingly easy, the fact is that there are still barriers to its flow, especially the lack of access by many (the “global digital divide”), mostly in the South, to the Internet.

While culture does flow comparatively easily across the globe, not all cultures and forms of culture flow as easily or at the same rate. For one thing, the cultures of the world’s most powerful societies (most notably the US) ...

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