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Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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Sociologists, these days, actively argue about the "cultural imperialism", which leads to disastrous consequences: the destruction of identity, loss of cultural autonomy affiliates, and cultural impoverishment as a whole. Popular “examples” of the critics of globalization are Coke, fast food restaurant McDonald's and the American action-movies. In this context, all these consequences undermine the traditional way of life, destroy the cultural identity and promote the cultural unification, as well.

There were specific difficulties, for instance, associated with local cultures, resulting from the McDonald's company. McDonald's products create some market problems in a country like India. The idea of a piece of beef in a bun was unattractive to most Indians, which are Hindus, even to the most westernized of them (Nagy, 2011). McDonald's company has spent a lot of time and money to create double kitchens in each restaurant to prevent mixing of vegetarian and meat products. Concepts, such as the purity and defilement, are highly significant for the Indian consumer. Despite the best efforts of McDonald's, consumers associate the company with the product shown in its brand name - burger beef. The general entrust is supported by the fact that  in South Delhi, the senior members of the family were secretly sniffing plates in McDonald's, trying to find out that fresh meat dishes were not served with those plates. Clients that were more aggressive insisted on the inspection of both kitchens to be sure that all utensils are stored separately. Others longed to elicit employees, what precautions were taken to keep vegetarian products away from meat. In addition, McDonald’s has tried to adapt its menu to local conditions. Managers of the company have changed the labels on their burgers with the usual Big Mac at the Maharaja-Mac, which is the Indian vegetarian burger with some components. A menu consisting of a hamburger, fries and a glass of Coke has not attracted Indian consumer that much as many others in different parts of the world.

Despite the policy of McDonald's, which is to serve customers so that they could eat as quickly as possible and leave the restaurant, Hong Kong high school students turned McDonald's in a place of "hangout" after school. They spend hours sitting and talking there, making lessons from time to time, buying anything; thus, McDonald's became a kind of youth club for them (Brenhouse, 2011).

There are a lot of "synthetic" cultural forms and patterns that combine global and local ones (so-called "hybridization"). In addition, not only the West serves as a "donor" and "supplier meaning" to other cultures, but also the subject of the retaliatory attack. India is invaded with the forces of cultural globalization; however, many models of the local culture come from India. That is commonly referred to as a new generation of exercise (New Age), which includes meditation, yoga, spiritual health, massage and Tantric. The listed is substantially popular in the West today. Such a guru (teacher or life) as Deepak Chopra has many followers in New York, Santiago and Munich. In Kassel (Germany), a man can try the Indian herbal tea, massage and individual treatment with a frequent immersion in hot thermal springs as a complex.

At first glance, it appears that globalization strengthens relationships among people of different countries, ethnic groups and cultures, leading to the formation of the world's population of the one humanity. The transformation of humanity into a whole is ambivalent for its benefit. If the production as well as the economic and technological connection of disparate efforts have the effect of emergence, promote the growth; the areas of life, where the cultural difference is highly valued, will degrade. In a globally integrated system, the ethnic groups do not enrich each other, but relatively merge. Cultures, when becoming amalgamated, do not get an impulse for the self-discovery. People wear, eat and drink the same everywhere. The peculiarities of the nations go to the past, transforming to a tradition, folklore, and exist as a relic of the past. Globalization completes this process. This should be accepted, in spite of indeed being a problem. Completion is not a sequel. Meanwhile, diversity is a survival of organisms in a rapidly changing environment, perfection is impossible without selection, and the material is necessary for the process. The laws of evolution apply to both biological and any other type of a system. Formation of monoculture means narrowing of the basis of human development.      

Nevertheless, the interpretation of globalization as a loss of cultural diversity is not deep enough. This is still a drama. Tragedy of culture in a globalized world is that it degenerates, disappears altogether, replaced by another way of affecting the spiritual and social life. Despite the controversy over the definitions, culture is inconceivable without taboos, rules and regulations, a general idea of duty, honor and conscience, reliance on moral, religious, and aesthetic norms. This value is a rational relationship to the world. It limits the freedom of the individual's personal interests, demanding "service" something external, senior, society or God, which is incompatible with the ideal of an open civil society. Constitutional state also seeks to overcome the remnants of the value approach to social problems until the proclamation of the priority of the right over the good. An open society suggests that people in it are guided by the principle of utility and self-interest based on the calculation. All its members are reasonably selfish; the mechanism of their relationship is based on the equivalent exchange of services. This is a goal-oriented, rational regulation of life. It is no accident that the West now defines itself in terms of a civilization, no more of a culture. In the limit, if to exclude the "vestiges of culture" and take rationality in action, this is a situation, where all the problems are solved technologically (socio-and psychosexual technology, communication technology, etc.).

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