When we are talking about culturalization meaning, it is closely related to globalization – and how cultures are ‘introduced’ to one another. Culturalization is a rather complex and wide topic, covering many aspects and elements. There are many elements to consider, including the history, the background, belief, religious matter, and so much more. Let’s try to describe it in an easier and more logical way. We don’t have to complicate things – which are already complicated and difficult.
Understanding the Concept
So, what is culturalization meaning? The first meaning is the process or becoming cultured, which includes intellectual cultivation and refinement. The second meaning is about adaptation process to one’s cultural environment. It is related to behavior and value acquisition compatible within the society (which is one becomes the member). It is about imposition or adaptation to other people or nations’ culture. Culturalization is often stated as acculturation. So, when we talk about culturalization vs acculturation, they aren’t different, really.
You see, we are basically the inhabitants of the world. We are the residents on Earth that are divided into countries and areas and regions. Each of those countries has developed their own lifestyles, habits, and customs – which make them unique in their own perspective.
We all a part of a specific and certain culture – you have to admit it. Each day, we have carried out different kinds of actions that are based on our belief or custom or culture – distinguishing us from other cultures’ and their members. The way we start our mornings, places that we visit, things we do….all of these things make us unique. We are the bearer to a certain culture. The inclusion of specific culture isn’t only about politics, art, and history, but also about the pop culture and art. You’d be surprised to know that each country has their own specific arrangements for music, entertainment, and games. If you want to take a closer look, Japanese games and American games are different, as well as their comics industry.
When we are talking about culturalization, we are also talking about localization, which can be proactive or reactive. Reactive localization refers to removing or eliminating everything that can deliver or create negative effect to the people being exposed to it. This has been obvious in some games, movies, or music. For instance, the game The Witcher in Asian market has Yennefer wearing underwear, while in the real game that distributes in Western countries, she isn’t wearing any. Or, some movies with obvious violence content that shows gore effects are blurred or even deleted in Asian countries.
For proactive localization, it wants to add something familiar and enjoyable to the whole context. For instance, in games, the developers have special patches for certain games with specific languages.
What we have today is culturalization in globalization, which means that values, meanings, and ideas are being transmitted and transferred all over the world. It is designed to intensify and extend social relationship. This phenomenon has all the common sign of culturalization – which broadens culturalization meaning. Cultural common consumption has been integrated and diffused by international travel, culture media, popular subjects, and the internet. Culturalization in the past happened through colonization and commodity exchange, while the modern ways include cultural and art ‘infiltration’. Culture circulation has made it possible for individuals to take part in social setting and relations crossing regional and national borders. In general, cultural globalization isn’t only about sharing information, but it is also about sharing knowledge and norms – which is common with people that associate their (collective) cultural identities and individual identities.
Basically, culturalization in global scope is about:
- Diffusion of cultures and ideas among the world’s civilizations
- Some people call it a trend that collects custom and human experience together – considering that all cultures would blend in together
- It usually takes place in everyday activities and life, through popular culture, international trade, electronic commerce, and wireless communication
- In the past, it was about promoting Western lifestyle and ideas to ‘Americanize’ the world, but today it’s not necessarily so. It’s not always about bringing Western lifestyle to the world, but introduction to Eastern culture is possible these days. Hallyu, for instance, is the popular culturalization where the world is introduced and be made familiar with South Korean’s lifestyle.
The Contributing Factors
In the past, culturalization might be limited to certain areas and only those with powerful resources can ‘expand’ their influence to other countries or cultures. For example, America is a powerful country who was able to expand their influence to other countries around the globe. Or other developed countries, like those of European countries (like Italy, England, or France) managed to ‘introduce’ their influence to America. Pizza, tea time, or croissants are some of the things introduced to America. Meanwhile, MTV was brought to all over the world by American music industry.
However, the contributing factors are different these days. Once you have understood culturalization meaning, you realize that it is happening all over our lives – and it is happening on a daily basis. Starbucks and McDonalds, for instance, is only one (of the many things) that has become a ‘norm’ in our daily lives. Everyone is getting familiar with Japanese anime – and it is even now a part of the popular shows with hardcore fans around the globe.
There are several factors that are responsible for the global culturalization, and here are some of them:
- New communication form and technology. The modern we know today has experienced a drastic change because of technology. And it has helped with integration process between different cultures. There is no such thing as geographical boundary anymore. There are no more boundaries or limits between countries – which lead to cultural diffusion and integration
- Technologies in transportation and service – which includes individual travel and mass integration – contributing to globalization which leads to cross-cultural exchanges.
- Changes with embedded institutionalization and infrastructures. One of the easiest examples is language teaching (such as English) all through the world through teacher training programs and educational systems.
Aside from culturalization meaning, globalization is basically a way to spread ideas and theories – from one area to another one. The biggest impacts are obviously seen from political and economical aspects. However, global culturalization also has social impacts – and on bigger scale. Issues such as class systems, ethnic, gender, race, and social inequalities have managed wider recognition although they are still major issues in some areas. Individuals have their own shaped-personalities and thinking because of the impacts of pop culture and media.
Culturalization has its own pros and cons. On the positive notes, it allows personal and also collective growth. People are more aware of social issues. There are no more limitation and boundaries, especially from geographical point of view. More opportunities can be opened. For instance, it is common (and pretty easy) these days to find job vacancies abroad – as long as you are willing to go abroad and travel.
But let’s not forget about the negative impacts too. A native and traditional custom may lose its value with today’s generation. You may see shifts in cultural aspects of the Korean or the Japanese. Instead of wearing kimono or the hanbok, for instance, the young generation prefers wearing the modern and “Western” clothing style. Technologies have also opened up opportunities for attacks. Starbucks or McDonalds, may provide vacancy for many people, but they also create a consumptive lifestyle – which a lot of people consider as hedonistic.
For some people, culturalization and culturalization meaning may be too complicated to grasp. So, if you want to have it simpler, then it is about cultural understanding. There have been examples of how culturalization happens – most of them are in business and economy. For instance, when IKEA wanted to expand their products and their brands in Chinese market, the company had sent their employees to live and stay in China. They were supposed to observe and monitor the shopping habit of the people – and then they had to report back. Through this way, the company was able to learn about the shopping habit of the people before they could infiltrate the market.
There are several examples of how cultural understanding happens. For instance, McDonalds in America only serve burgers and fries. But ‘cultural adjustments’ were made when the franchise was introduced and brought to different countries. In Indonesia, for instance, McDonalds also serve fried chicken with rice, because the main staple food of the country is rice. In Thailand, they don’t have rice, but they do have burgers, fries, and fried chicken – that are all served with unique specialty sour sauce because Thai people are into anything sour and spicy.
Outcomes of Culturalization
Whether it is acculturalization or culturalization meaning, there are final outcomes to expect. There are several outcomes to be expected from it.
It is pretty common that cultural ‘blend’ takes place. When people are being exposed to another foreign culture, and the exposure is constantly happening, there would be cultural blend happening soon or later. The new culture would be taken and adopted to the old one, and the people are making adjustments to the new changes.
There is also another possibility when one who is traveling to a new place, takes his cultural value with him. When he faces the new culture in the new area that he lives, he will also adopt some of the host culture’s aspects and values – mixing it up with his own personal cultural value. This has happened in many cases examples through dances, tools, technologies, music, foods, clothing, and so much more. It’s often referred to as cultural exchange. It is still aligned to culturalization meaning, and also the process.
Language adoption is also another outcome of culturalization. The process may be long because when another language is being adopted, modification takes place over time, resulting in a new and distinct language. The example is Hanzi, the written Chinese language. It has been adapted and then modified by other cultures – generally from the nearby areas. As a result, the modern language includes Kanji (in Japan), Hanja (in Korea), and Hȧn tu (in Vietnam). Another example is Pidgin English, which is the simplified English form that is mixed with other languages – from other cultures. Some of those pidgin languages may evolve into a creole language, which would be the main spoken language – in some areas. If you want to explore further, there are so many examples in language sector that you can learn and study.
Culturalization within different levels would affect food consumption and habit. Studies have indicated that food habits are typically (practiced) privately and discreet. Any change that happens would take place slowly. When new food is being introduced, the consumption would be determined by convenience, cost, and availability of the ingredients (preferably the native types). Food culturalization would include consumption, presentation, and preparation. Different cultures have their own significant unique ways to prepare, serve, and consume the food.
For instance, Italian pizza is known for its thin crust with many meaty elements. American pizza is known for its thicker crust. Some countries have adopted both characteristics and blend them into their daily serving and preparation. In Indonesia, for instance, where the people are extremely flexible when it comes to food, they have sweet and savory pizza. Some establishments are focusing on thin crust, while others are serving thick crust. Sweet pizza involves the use of chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, and even Nutella. Savory pizza involves meaty ingredients with mushroom, cheese, sausages, and more. This is the direct example of culturalization meaning where things can blend nicely – and it can result in quite a balance outcome.
As it was mentioned before, talking about culturalization has no end. There is no limit to the topic – simply because of the wide coverage. And if you want to be honest, culturalization has happened all the time, in all over part of the world. Technology has made globalization possible – it has opened many closed doors. Now that you already know about culturalization meaning and the overall impacts, you should be able to learn about it more.