Culture and Globalization
The Idea of Westernization and its Critics

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This course sets out to critically examine the widespread notion that global culture can be equated with Western culture. It will contrast this view of the ‘Westernization of the world’ with a conception of global culture, which is characterized by ethnic complexity, decentralization, multiplicity of influences, hybridity, and transcultural interchange. The course examines the roots of the idea of Westernization through the writings of Marx and Weber. It also includes readings such as Fukuyama’s End of History, Huntington’s Clash of Civilization and Barber’s Jihad vs McWorld. These will be contrasted with more contemporary writings on cultural hybridity and pluralism, which will be examined alongside concrete examples of how cultural influence flows from East to West.