Transculturation

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Transculturation is a key term that is often used within anthropology. Transculturation is the merging of different cultural elements, and is very common across the world today.

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In our modern world, transculturation is a frequent topic discussed by anthropologists. In the past, cultures were more isolated than they are today. Due to various factors, such as a smaller global population, more landmass that wasn't populated, less efficient transportation and communication technologies, there was less interaction between different cultural groups. When interaction did occur, it happened over a much longer scale since it took so long to travel from one place to the next. However, throughout human history transculturation has always occurred to varying degrees.

Transculturation is a complex phenomenon, and can have both positive and negative effects on a culture.

Globalization

However, currently there is increasing globalization. Globalization is a complex term, but can be simply used to describe the interaction between different societies and populations. Only in the past few centuries have different cultures become so intertwined within each other, both politically and economically.

As a result of globalization, transculturation often occurs. Transculturation can include the loss of cultural material, the acquisition of cultural material from another culture, or even the creation of new cultural material as a result of combining different cultural elements.

Examples

A well-known example of transculturation is colonialism. When Europeans colonized North America, South America, and other territories, they took with them European values and traditions. For example, many countries in South America speak Spanish today because of the Spanish colonial conquest. Similarly, Christianity is prevalent in this area because of the Spanish influence.

A more current example is the spreading of American cultural values in other parts of the world. This can include dress, music, language, and other cultural elements. Today, the media is an established method of transculturation, since music, movies, newspapers, and other media often transmit cultural information.

It is important to note that transculturation is not usually a simple replacement of one cultural element over another. For example, many people speak a pidgin or creole language. Pidgins and creoles are mixtures of more than one language, which were widely spoken in the colonial era and are still commonly seen across the world today.

Full reference: 

Explorable.com (Jul 18, 2015). Transculturation. Retrieved Dec 12, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/transculturation

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