The big questions were asked of me this week. You would think it would be easy to answer what kind of culture I have. Well it actually wasn’t a simply answer for myself. I couldn’t even come up with one without doing some hard thinking.
I realised that globalisation has meant that I don’t just recognise with one culture. Sure I have my family background, but my culture is so much more than just where I came from. Living in Australia, a country that prides itself on being multicultural, I know people who come from all over the world. Globalisation has allowed that. For example, my best friend’s parents migrated from China to Australia. She identifies with both a Chinese and an Australian culture. I know people who identify strongly with where their grandparents came from, even if they haven’t been there. Food, art, traditions and education all allow these people to continue with their culture. The ethnoscape; as described in ‘Disjunction and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’ written by Arjun Appadurai; is allowing globalisation to exist within Australia as the people around us create a shifting landscape of differences. Also described in the article is the mediascape. The increase of the internet, particularly social media sites, has allowed not just big industries, but individuals, to create content that is accessible world wide. These different views shape how the world is viewed through the main stream and smaller media channels.
Globalisation has meant that people are able to share who they are with people from all over the world. I wouldn’t know nearly as much about different cultures if it wasn’t from my friends from Japan, Finland, America, China, Iran, South Africa, France and Germany to name a few. Sure there are negatives about globalisation, where is there not for something so diverse, but it has meant that as a society on the whole we have become more tolerable, educated and interested in people that are different to us.
But globalisation to a degree is governed by TNCs. McDonalds being probably the biggest of them. Go to any place in the world and you will probably either find a McDonalds or hear of it. The golden arches are the second most recognisable symbol in the world after the cross. But McDonalds is just not Americanising everything wherever they go. Different cultures have different foods and so to cater for the diversity of their customers, the menu changes in every country. In Asia you can get corn instead of chips, you can buy beer in Germany and of course you can purchase a McDonalds pizza in America.
So maybe we could all think about what our culture is, how it has shaped us and how globalisation has shaped our views. While we sit down in our local Maccas and have an ‘Australian’ Angus burger while wishing we were in Germany being able to have a beer with it.