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Unformatted text preview: Toward a Global Culture Some sociologists today predict that the world is moving closer to a global culture, void of cultural diversity. A fundamental means by which cultures come to resemble each other is via the phenomenon of cultural diffusion , or the spreading of standards across cultures. Cultures have always influenced each other through travel, trade, and even conquest. As populations today travel and settle around the globe, however, the rate of cultural diffusion is increasing dramatically. Examples of social forces that are creating a global culture include electronic communications (telephones, e-mail, fax machines), the mass media (television, radio, film), the news media, the Internet, international businesses and banks, and the United Nationsto name only a few. Even phrases like global village seem to imply that the world is growing smaller every day. Still, while many aspects of culture have been globalized, local societies and cultures remain stable and, in many instances, are being affirmed with enthusiasm. Although people may relocate on the other side of the planet, they tend to remain faithful to their culture of origin. Types of Societies Although humans have established many types of societies throughout history, sociologists and anthropologists (experts who study early and tribal cultures) usually refer to six basic types of societies, each defined by its level of technology. Hunting and gathering societies The members of hunting and gathering societies primarily survive by hunting animals, fishing, and gathering plants. The vast majority of these societies existed in the past, with only a few (perhaps a million people total) living today on the verge of extinction. To survive, early human societies completely depended upon their immediate environment. When the animals left the area, the plants died, or the rivers dried up, the society had to relocate to an area where resources were plentiful. Consequently, hunting and gathering societies, which were typically small, were quite mobile. In some cases, where resources in a locale were extraordinarily plentiful, small villages might form. But most hunting and gathering societies were small villages might form....
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10