Homogenization of culture

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Homogenization of culture
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Homogenization is the process leading to the emergence of various components of the ultimately homogeneous substance. Most often this term is associated with the food industry, but in the era of modern globalization may refer to many areas of social life, including culture. The availability and low price of communication leads to the fact that all ideas, works, styles, tangible and intangible goods are spreading much faster than ever before, leading to the emergence of a new quality of culture - homogeneous global culture

Homogenisation of culture is thus a process of blurring the differences between the elements of "higher" and "lower" culture. Homogenization results in homogeneity - unification, similarity of elements or homogeneity. It has developed to a large extent due to the development of mass production, commercialization, globalization and the massification of symbolic culture.

In culture, homogenization includes language, material culture, and the areas of consumption, fashion and lifestyle. The phenomenon opposite to the homogenization of culture is heterogenization. It is about differentiating the values of behavioral patterns and attitudes. Both of these processes lead to the creation of various trends in consumption.

Types of culture homogenization Polish sociologist Antonina Kloskowska distinguishes three types of homogenization:

  • simplifying,
  • immanent
  • mechanical,

The first type of homogenization aims at facilitating higher-order culture for a wider audience. This procedure consists in simplifying the content of a higher-level culture element, so it could be understandable and provide satisfaction in reception, not only to a small group of educated elite. An example may be the incorporation of works of art into advertisements.

The second type of homogenization is based on the opposite treatment of the first one. It consists in incorporating elements of popular culture into the ambitious culture. Elements of "high" culture are subjected to a modification, thanks to which it will be possible to incorporate it into mass culture. The aim of this is to draw the attention of a larger group of society to the works of a higher-level culture. The author himself decides about the changes in the work and makes them himself.

The last, most typical form of homogenization is based on transferring the work of a high-order culture directly to the mass media, without any changes in the content. As an example, the so-called paperbacks, i.e. great literary works in the form of a brochure attached to newspapers. It is the most popular type. The combination of content from different levels of culture gives the opportunity to expand the audience.

Culture in a narrow and wide range

Culture has been defined in several hundred definitions. This term, however, can be presented in two perspectives: narrow and wide.

In broad terms, culture includes conducts that follow socially accepted patterns, present in every area of life. These are human behaviors, mental states, and objects that are the result of human behavior. The broad approach usually applies to everything that has been produced by man. He assumes that the main element of culture are values - there can be no social group and a broader community without integrated values. Research in the relationship between two inseparable elements of culture, i.e. values and social activities, in most cases leads to a specific cultural determinism.

The narrow definition of culture emphasizes the sphere of symbolic communication, contains elements such as religion, philosophy, science and art. The communication process is an integral part of each of the aforementioned areas and assumes the ability to use signs and symbols.