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  • Writer's pictureJessica Proctor

Cultural Homogenisation

Cultural homogenisation is the reduction of cultural diversity through globalisation. With the increasing interconnection of economies, it is argued that our globe is slowly becoming ‘one country’. There is a huge range of advantages and disadvantages for economies because of this.

Low-income countries who wouldn't have been exposed to GDP from tourism 50 years ago are now making millions from increased travel due to globalisation. 28% of the Maldives’ GDP relies on income from tourists, and places such as Seychelles and other small islands also greatly benefit from this sector. However, due to the current pandemic, there is less travel so countries who rely on money from this now have very limited income. Even high-income countries such as England are losing up to £60 million a day due to lack of tourism. Shares in this sector have plunged around the world as investors fear the spread of Corona will destroy economic growth.

Another feature of cultural homogenisation is that there is better communication and trade especially between high-income and low-income countries, but this also has some catastrophic effects on low-income and developing countries such as Kenya. Modern cultural homogenisation causes corporate capitalism, where global governance may be favoured by one country improving that particular economy, and bigger businesses overtaking smaller local ones. As a result of this, many people are migrating from low-income countries to high-income countries to open their businesses there instead as there is more opportunity for income. This causes a decrease in cultural diversity which is where the homogenisation of countries takes place – as different countries around the globe become more and more similar in what they have to offer and their unique trades. For example, India’s culture is very much based on their curry and deli cuisines, but since cultural homogenisation has taken place in the last 60 years, this is less of a selling point for the country. A typical UK household of four spends £1355 a year on Indian takeaways but it is much less common for people to go in spend money on this in India because it is so easily available to them where they live. Now India is known more for industrialisation and the production of factory goods.

Another key point to outline when discussing cultural homogenisation and its effects on business is that less diversity = fewer inventions = fewer investments. It is much more unlikely nowadays for a country to have something unique to them that has been designed very recently (except for vaccines, but these are a necessity and must be shared globally and are therefore not contributing to the culture of the country of origin). There are no unique selling points for many countries anymore, and since the 19th and 20th century there has been a huge decrease in inventions because globalisation means that that invention will quickly be spread across the globe. This means that the investment has significantly decreased in this sector - investment has turned more into the dining sector. It’s a powerful cycle that is very difficult to break as when more money is invested in dining more cultures are bought over to different countries in the form of restaurants, but there is a lack of ideas and actual products being held as a commodity unique to one particular country.

Cultural homogenisation has caused less preservation of things held unique to a countries culture, therefore, the economy is spread more globally rather than held within one particular country. This has benefits for high-income countries as they can easily take something a low-income country has created and make it into their own, whereas this is much more difficult for low-income countries to do – so in the grand scheme of things it is quite unfair.


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