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Cultural Exchange via Internet - Opportunities and Strategies
Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 12 October, 1998 - ... open end


Subject:Re: Globalization II
Date:Sun, 06 Dec 1998 04:05
Author:Pedro Meyer  [pedro@zonezero.com]
Reply To:forum1@hkw.kbx.de


on 04 Dec 1998 22:22 Britta Erickson wrote:

But in spite of all this, I just am not sure I buy into the idea that there is, or can be, globalized culture.


No need to worry too much about this, globalized culture is as possible as having all the females and the males in the world think alike. Yes!! there are gender sepcific issues, and yes there are BIG differences among peoples coming from different areas of the world, just as much as there are differences between generations as you described within you own family. There are many many issues that separate us, along religious, ethnic, age, sex, income groups, just to name a few concepts.

Would anyone come to the conclusion that just because there are MacDonalds all over the globe, or "american" films being predominant, we are on the way of creating a globalization of cultural values? Something like that does not even exist between all peoples in the same city, any city, let alone on a planetary level. English might remain the predominant language, a sort of lingua franca of the internet, but rest assured that as the internet becomes larger, each cultural representation will have their own presence on the web, with each group having their own language and cultural values very much present, for starters some of these will form part of the design and the content.

All MacDonalds restaurants around the globe might offer a similar menu, but that menu, and "the place" (restaurant) have a totally different social perception for those eating in one in Miami, Mexico City, Beijing, Madrid, Los Angeles, Moscow, Jakarta or Stockholm. The common denominator, is surely the hamburger, but the perception of what it means to eat such a hamburger, or in that restuarant, is not. Just as that hamburger does not have a global interpretation in spite of being just a piece of meat, neither will the internet. In some cities, such a piece of meat, is associated with modernity, in others even of luxury, in some others it's the low end of the scale for eating, for some it's just a convenience, and for others it's a night out on the town. If we find that such a lowly food product has such a diversity of interpretations as I have described, can you imagine what the internet will offer?


With best regards
Pedro Meyer
Mexico City



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Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, on the use of Internet in the cultural exchange with and between Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America.

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