At present, radio, television, movie, social media etc. increase the power of advertisements which don’t disseminate information about products but increase the demand. The thrust of the media is to increase the sale of the products to maximize profit. Hence the market policy has been changed. Innovation and Technological changes make another form of modification on our lifestyle. In the financial context, the dynamism of the market society and “current symbolic struggle”, the current debate of the globalisation proper, the limit of globalisation individualism, ecological issues, thoughts of “Third Way politics”, “structure of political support”, left and right political view; the notion of cosmopolitan nation, cosmopolitan democracy, global governance; concept of global village and unequal flow of cultural products have come into the burning discourses. All these tend to reshape our way of life and culture.
Usually news, views, programmes, drama movies in the media, ideas are globalised and contents are localized. Describing the press freedom of Bangladesh, (Tahsin & Kaarisma, 2014) comment “More than ever, the people of Bangladesh are exposed to a wide array of information and it is affecting all strata of life in all regions of the country. The free flow of information has not only empowered women and the underprivileged; it has also generated enthusiasm among all segments of the populace to take part in development activities” (p.1). Indian TV programmes, film, and music are very popular in Bangladesh. These cause a great impact on our culture and society. Most of them act positively, a few affect negatively, as “the robbery occurred in filmy style”, and it has an impression on the media market. The people of Bangladesh demand to listen to balanced, impartial, neutral news from the Bangladesh Betar (Radio). They mean the level of standard and balanced news as they listen in the BBC. Bangladesh radio broadcast programmes for and by the indigenous tribal people, and world music that cover English, Japanese, Chinese, and French etc. All of these reshape our culture and cultural attitudes for both rich and common people. These pictures flash in Hall (2000) research, where he says, “International interdependence has led to the development of a global culture, … At the same time, sub-and extra-national communities based on shared history or ethnicity are gaining visibility and access within the larger, world society” (pp.231-249). On the other hand, Mann (2013) says: “… what is generally called globalization involved the extension of distinct relations of ideological, economic, military, and political power across the world. Concretely, in the period after 1945 this means the diffusion of ideologies like liberalism and socialism, the spread of the capitalist mode of production, the extension of military striking ranges, and the extension of nation-states across the world, at first with two empires and then with just one surviving” (p.11). Global culture brings with considerable risks linked, for example, to technological change. As Giddens (1990) terms them “dis-embedding and re-embedding. Local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa” (p.64).
Several books and articles have been published in Bangladesh which mainly focused on art, music, folk culture, archeological matter etc. But impact of globalisation and global culture, factors of global culture, historical form of global culture and transformational aspects of lifestyle in Bangladesh have hardly been discussed here. The present essay is designed to discuss the concept of lifestyle, globalisation and global culture, factors which promote global culture, and how it impacts on our lifestyle. The entire research is based on secondary data collection based on different documents. Books, journal articles, records of government and non-government organization, media reports are the main source of data. On the other hand, in-depth observation is another source of primary data. This study finds that “Global Culture” which is due to the inevitable natural process of globalisation, is influenced by the revolution of technology, huge electronic and online media, language and intercontinental entrepreneurs. And the cultural hybridization causes a major impact on our lifestyle in Bangladesh.
The concept of the term “lifestyle”, “culture”, “globalisation”, and “global culture” are given below:
According to the “Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus, Cambridge University Press”, lifestyle is “someone’s way of living; the things that a person or particular group of people usually do. The lifestyle of a particular person or group of people is the living conditions, behavior and behavioral orientations, his thought, society i.e. culture, basic characteristics or habits that are typically of them or are chosen by them” (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus, 2020). The word lifestyle is widely used in the media, academic research on culture, development, health, environmental science. The Latin expression “modus vivendi” means manner or way of living with its values and attitude. In the present days, we are interconnected with each other as Jensen (2007) says, “One’s values and attitudes are highly influenced by child culture milieus, youth culture milieus, multicultural milieus and we are also influenced by the media” (p.63).
Earlier studies on lifestyles, it means the relative position of a person in his society i.e. the analysis of his social structures. A German social scientist and professor in the University of Berlin, Simmel (1890) performed a research on analysis of lifestyles. At the heart of its finding, it was found that processes of individualisation, identification, differentiation, and recognition are generating processes of, and effects generated by lifestyles which are operating both “vertically” as well as “horizontally”. Social practice, personality, individual tastes will be included as lifestyle. But, Featherstone (1987) says, “Within contemporary consumer culture it connotes individuality, self-expression, and a stylistic self-consciousness. One’s body, clothes, speech, leisure pastimes, eating and drinking preferences, home, car, choice of holidays, etc. are to be regarded as indicators of the individuality of taste and sense of style of owner/consumer” (pp.55-70).
According to Business Dictionary “Lifestyle” means “a way of living of individuals, families (households), and societies, which they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economic environments on a day-to-day basis. Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people’s self-image or self-concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class”. Jensen (2007) says “The problem with a statement like this is that the expressions ‘we in the developing world’, ‘the West’ and ‘lifestyle’ are vague and not defined. If we relate ‘lifestyle’ to ‘the developing world’ and to ‘the West’ we seem to believe that ‘the developing world’ has one single lifestyle, and that ‘the West’ has one single lifestyle, and these lifestyles are obviously different” (p.64). In an introductory opinion, Sobel (1981) says “If the 1970s are an indication of things to come, the word lifestyle will soon include everything and mean nothing, all at the same time” (p.1).
With the central theme of lifestyle, Weber (1966) concludes, with some over-simplification, one might thus say that “classes” are stratified according to their relations to the production and acquisition of goods; whereas “status groups” are stratified according to the principles of their consumption of goods as represented by special “styles of life” (p.27). Through a long discussion, Sobel (1981) puts forward the important conclusion as, “If it is agreed that it is reasonable to regard lifestyle as a distinctive and hence recognizable mode of living, attitudes, values, and behavioral orientations no longer qualify as candidates for inclusion in the domain of the content” (p.28). He has singled out some factors as part of lifestyle as “FOODHOME, FOODAWAY, ALCOHOL, HOUSING, FURNITUR, TEXTILES, DECORAT, CASCLOTH, DRSCLOTH, PERSCARE, VACATION, CLUBS, TV, MUSIC, CAMP, READING, GIFTS etc.” (pp.149-150). In this article I have tried to discuss the common phenomenon of Lifestyle in Bangladesh perspective.
The word culture is from the Latin root colere that ends Latin “cultus” as the religious term “cult”. Definition of “culture” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus (2020) states, “The way of life of a particular people, especially as shown in their ordinary behavior and habits, their attitudes towards each other, and their moral and religious beliefs”. What we need to understand is not what “culture” is, but how people use the term “culture” in contemporary discourses. The famous essayist, Bacon (1605) in Eagleton (2000) means “culture” an activity in “Culture and Manurance of minds” (p.1). Hartman (1997) says, “culture—is the first to use the word culture in the modern sense of an identity culture: a sociable, populist, and traditional way of life, characterised by a quality that pervades everything and makes a person feel rooted or at home’” (p.211).
In Marxist parlance, it brings together both base and superstructure in a single notion. The variant of the word culture can be a narrowing—cum-pluralizing notion to the whole way of life, gradual specialization to the arts. We use the word culture in a number of ways as “Police canteen culture”, “Mafia culture”, “Uncultured man”, “Sexual-psychopath culture”, “European culture”, “Western culture”, “Oriental culture”, “Global culture”, etc. which have different meaning. The famous Victorian poet Williams (1958) explains culture as “The complex of senses indicates a complex argument about the relations between general human development and a particular way of life, and between both and the works and practices of art and intelligence” (p.5). Later Williams includes in Culture and Society, he offers four distinct meanings of culture: as “an individual habit of mind; as the state of intellectual development of a whole society; as the arts; and as the whole way of life of a group of people” (p.16). Great poet T.S. Eliot writes in “Notes towards the Definition of Culture” he means by the word “culture” is “the way of life of a particular people living together in one place”.
As Said (1994) suggests about the form of culture as “all cultures are involved in one another, none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated, and unmonolithic” (p.xxix). At present time, we can observe a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development of culture. Sometimes a person, a period, a group, a artistic activity or humanity in general has an impact on local culture. Between the two words Culture and Globalisation, they are interconnected and interdependent. As Tomlinson (1999) says, “globalisation lies in the heart of modern culture; cultural practices lie in the heart of globalisation” (p.1).
The definitions of culture variously include as components ideas, concepts, values, ideologies, attitudes, goals, norms, learned behaviours, symbols, rites, rituals, customs, myths, habits and/or artifacts. Regarding the relationship of Media and culture, Dakroury (2014) says, “Media and culture are interconnected; levels of understanding various cultures influence media contents, meanwhile media platforms and contents impact cultural and day-to-day practices” (p58). In concluding remarks on the TV programme in Iran, Afsaneh (2012) denotes, “TV channels seek for a change in lifestyle among Iranian women, as she finds a significant relationship between lifestyle portrayed by TV channels and lifestyle of women in Tehran” (p.58). On the basis of the literature, it could be further asserted, as Dakroury (2014) states, “media narratives and discourses are created within different forms of texts and images that are complexly related to the cultural perceptions and practices of both those who produce and consume them” (p.59).
Globalisation was first used in 1959. In 1962, the noun appeared in the Oxford English dictionary but three decades passed before Globalisation was developed in social sciences as a paradigm. Globalisation is a process where people of different countries are interconnected and mobilized by their companies and their government activities. It arrives under the banner of international trade and business. Giddens (1994) advises that “globalisation isn’t a matter of one-way imperialism because there is no specific direction of that process. And Giddens concludes from this that globalisation actually involves’ the declining grip of the west over the rest of the world” (p.52). Though the globalization process undoubtedly has its roots in the expense of the west but non-western cultural traditions have a lot of influence in the world as a whole.
But a large number of people are still far from the benefit of the global process, as Tomlinson (1997) mentions it as western project and says, “It implies that globalisation is the continuation of a long historical process of western ‘imperialist’ expansion, embracing the colonial expansion of the 16th to 19th centuries and representing an historical pattern of increasing global hegemony”. Following at once from this, theorists of globalization have a tendency to stress the self-sustaining strength of the cultural and symbolic within the rationalisation of social fact. Particularly, Waters (1995) argues “the achievement of globalization is partly the effect of the triumph of the symbolic over the fabric” (pp.9-10).
Considering globalization as a multi-dimensional process, Streeten (2001) states, “Globalisation is transforming trade, finance, employment, migration, technology, communications, the environment, social systems, ways of living, cultures, and patterns of governance” (p.8). Holm and Sorensen (1995) view it as “the intensification of economic, political, social and cultural relations across borders”. As Lubbers (1998) in Hudson (2002) states, “Globalisation is a process in which geographic distance becomes less a factor in the establishment and sustenance of border crossing, long distance economic, political and socio-cultural relations” (p.101). Regarding the impact on social context, Tomlinson (1996) describes, “globalisation is heavy with implications for all spheres of social existence”. He explores the relationship as, “The relationship between globalization and culture has been approached from a different angle. The relationship between the two is not unilinear. Both of them influence each other. Globalization lies at the heart of modern culture; culture practices lie in the heart of globalization. This is the reciprocal relationship” (pp.22-35).
2.4. Global Culture
Conceptual Framework of Global Culture is discussed here narratively. Nature is a valuable authority on global culture. Some elements make a very powerful global culture. Now how are the dynamics of globalisation judged to be impacted upon our cultural life? Commodified cultural forms are being simultaneously transmitted or manufactured in a range of locations and the consequences of this for the cultural practices and way of life of different groups of people across the world. The commodification of culture and practices occurring within particular localities are due to the process of globalisation and it continues all over the world.
Cultural globalization can be denoted by the dissemination of habitus’s values, thoughts, ideas, meanings of frames through traditional and social media around the world. In Encyclopedia Britannica (2020), cultural globalization is defined as “a phenomenon by which the experience of daily life, as influenced by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardisation of cultural expressions around the world” (Watson, 2020). All of these cultural products extend and intensify social relations. Due to the longer history of colonization in the past and worldwide migration causes transmission of cultural meaning throughout the planet earth. Appadurai (1990) describes the dimensions of global culture as, “I propose that an elementary framework for exploring disjuncture is to look at the relationship between five dimensions of global cultural flow which can be termed 1) ethnoscapes, 2) mediascapes, 3) technoscapes, 4) financescapes, and 5) ideoscapes” (pp: 7; 295).
Dutch social psychologist and management scholar Hofstede (1980, 1983) puts forward four dimensions of systematic cultural deference after analysis of responses from over 116,000 IBM employees. The four dimensions are, “power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity.” Later he added one more dimension as “Long/Short Term Orientation, or Indulgence/Restraint”.
At the present, the world trade system, concept of internationalism, world political system and world culture, have a great impact on the formation and continuation of global culture. Apparently, we can say, world culture is the response to world polity theory. Reflected in Hofstede (1997), Robertson (1995), Appadurai (1990), world culture is new and important but it is not as homogeneous, world society is a complex set of relations among many different units in the “global field”; globalisation compresses the world into a single entity; the emphasis is on cultural compression—all cultures are becoming subcultures within a larger entity i.e. “organisation of diversity”.
So, what do sociologists think about the types of societies in the contemporary world? Robertson (1992) describes, “Albrow’s framework, which identifies the 5 stages in the history of sociology (universalism, national sociologies, internationalism, indigenization, and globalization) and ‘mature classical sociology’ are used as background for the discussion of the role of sociologists in conceptualizing globalization” (p.211). Contemporary global culture is largely concerned with the development of global infrastructure, penetration of cultural products etc.
Schwartz and Bilsky (1990) argue that insufficient aspects of culture are taken into account and Javidan et al. (2006) point to the US and specifically IBM centric nature of Hofstede’s data and therefore doubt its generalizability. In spite of these (and other) criticisms, Hofstede’s work, as states, remains the dominant model for cross-cultural research. According to Smith (2006), “Hofstede’s original work (Hofstede, 1980) has served as a marker post for subsequent investigators for two decades” (p.915).
The GLOBE study was conducted in the mid-1990’s and involved 127 investigators in 62 countries or regions. In “Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study”, social scientists House et al. (2004) denote culture “as a set of parameters of collectives that differentiate each collective in a meaningful way” (p.15). According to Hofstede (2001) culture is “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another” (p.9). This culture-focused research is becoming more and more complex as it advances. After the cultural theory by Hofstede and Globe study social scientists are trying to identify cultural dimensions and to classify them. They are trying to find out the impact of national cultural differences over the global culture thoroughly. Leung et al. (2005) argue, “Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance (are related) to the two Hofstede dimensions with the same labels” (p.366). The GLOBE study concluded and put forward nine cultural dimensions as Performance Orientation, Future Orientation, Gender Egalitarianism, Assertiveness, Institutional Collectivism, In-Group Collectivism, Power Distance, Humane Orientation and Uncertainty Avoidance. Again, the dimension measures for different societies allow an analysis of the cultural differences that exist between these groups (House et al., 2004).
Sociologists observe an emerging global culture which, in origin and content, is mostly of Western and American provenance. Emerging global culture is penetrating the rest of the world through diffusion at both elite and popular levels. Two sorts of elite vehicles of diffusion like “Davos culture” and “faculty club culture” have been observed (Berger, 2002). Describing the cultural changes (Choudhary, 2007) mentions three major paradigms of culture change under globalization which are 1) Cultural homogenization, 2) Cultural heterogeneity and 3) Cultural Hybridization. All three notions have a huge influence on global culture.
Describing his own theory, Hofstede (2011) says, “Hofstede model of six dimensions of national cultures are Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism/Collectivism, Masculinity/Femininity, Long/Short Term Orientation, and Indulgence/Restraint. … It warns against confusion with value differences at the individual level. It concludes with a look ahead in what the study of dimensions of national cultures and the position of countries on them may still bring” (p.1).
After 30 years, the study of Hofstede’s cultural dimension, Wu (2006) suggests that work-related cultural values in a specific culture are not static and can be changed over time. When the political, social and economic conditions change, people’s cultural values also change. These cause a thrust to re-evaluate many cultural hypotheses. In a recent article, Brewer and Venaik (2012) argue that national culture dimensions are misapplied through the use of their dimension scores in analysis relating to individuals, usually managers, and organizations in the Hofstede and GLOBE theory.
Both traditional and social Media have a huge impact in creating an individual’s sense of reality by transmitting cultural products. As Gormus (2012) says, “the media is that authority of the society which scrutinizes all the three other powers of the state (executive, legislation & judiciary), and for that reason, it is considered the fourth power” (3.2). Regarding media, Cotterrell (1999) states “Media have a tendency to produce more ideological and not completely true accounts for viewing by the general public” (pp.414-426). Nowadays, Media aren’t encircled within four walls of news and programmes but, it also entertains, educates, informs and facilitates cultural transformation between generations.
3. Findings with Analysis
There are a number of factors which enhance global culture. At the same time, global culture has subsequently impacted on our lifestyle. These are discussed in two headings “Factor Promoting Global Culture” and “Impact of Global Culture on our Lifestyle” below.
3.1. Factor Promoting Global Culture
Many factors have an impact on global culture. The innovation of new technology and forms of communication around the world help to integrate different cultures into each other. Hauling of the new technologies and its services, mass migration and travel, globally broadcast traditional and social media put in cross-cultural exchanges. There are a number of factors which enhance global culture are discussed below.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)
UNESCO’s resolutions and regulations tend to show the growing awareness of the pluralism stemming form of cultural identity. Pluralism derives from humanism. It makes cultural differences tolerable by deep ties. It is significant that the debate started initially in terms of people rather than the nation. The recognition of the cultural plurality and cultural diversity by UNESCO, the way of global culture has been widened. In the “World Conference on Cultural Policies: final report” in 1982 illustrates, “(a) strengthen cooperation with the Agency for Cultural … with particular reference to: (i) cultural exchanges; (ii) the production, reproduction and dissemination of cultural goods; (iii) back-up studies and research for the promotion of national languages as tools for literacy work and creative arts teaching; (iv) consultation with a view to encouraging the positive role of the mass media; (v) the role of culture in the identification of endogenous development models; (b) more generally, strengthen regional and interregional cooperation by devising common projects in all fields connected with cultural policies” (UNESDOC, Digital Library, 1982: pp. 171-172). From the “Forum of Ministers of Culture, Culture and Public Policy for the sustainable goal” in 2019, four themes are explored as, “1) Culture and heritage, a renewable energy for dialogue and peace; 2) Culture at the heart of education, a fundamental dimension for human development and innovation; 3) Investing in culture and creativity for sustainable development and employment; and 4) Culture in the public space, a driving force for urban and social transformation” (UNESCO, 2019). In particular, they have made it possible to broaden the concept of culture to include intangible cultural heritage and cultural diversity, and to define a global agenda for cultural policies. Since 2015, the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development has been developing a common roadmap for sustainable development. In the Hangzhu declaration, “Placing Culture at the heart of Sustainable Development Policies” adopted in May, 2013 at the international congress organised by UNESCO in Hongzhou, China (UNESCO Courier, 2017). All these resolutions and regulations reveal that UNESCO promotes global culture.
Media broadcast a huge number of programmes containing cultural products which are highly localized. From the media, exported programmes give an international effect according to the cultural frameworks and interpretative schema of the audience. It is argued that meaning isn’t exported in western television programming but created different cultural sectors of the audience in reference to their already formed cultural attitudes and political perceptions. In the Third World settings, ethnographic studies show that the rich play between the pre-existing culture and the new quasi-international culture. Gormus (2012) says, “The media is that authority of the society which scrutinizes all the three other powers of the state (executive, legislation & judiciary), and for that reason, it is considered the fourth power (p.3.2). As Dakroury (2014) states that “media narratives and discourses are created within different forms of texts and images that are complexly related to the cultural perceptions and practices of both those who produce and consume them” (pp.7.2:1-3). In the Middle East Report, Abu-Lughod (1989) and Davis (1989) say “Symbols from different worlds overlap” (p.159).
1) Radio and the Music Industries
Radio is the most easily globalised medium among all electronic media of the modern mass communication, originated in the early twentieth century. The musical productions are globalised more effectively than any others. As Joyce (1993) says, “The theory and practice of classical orchestral music spread across the elites of Europe from the seventeenth century onwards” (p.352). Nowadays, the music industry has got the global form, Negus (1993) in Held et al. (1999) says, “first, it has involved the creation of transnational corporations producing and marketing records, second, it has involved the import and export of musical products, third, it has in part been based on a broader transfer of styles and image” (p.8). Music flows very fast globally by YouTube and other tools after the establishment of the Internet.
2) Film and Television
The global presence of the film industry was established at the beginning of the last century. Having rare exception, no film is produced ever, which is filmed, directed, written, and produced having national setting. They are in a straightforward globalised in terms of organization and genre. But the television programme has become at the global presence at the second half of the last century. Though the television industry is government controlled one but its news and idea are highly globalised. Due to technological and political changes have taken place over last 20 years, the globalisation of TV and televisual landscape has widen. It’s my humble opinion, in many countries with broadcasting systems, number of TV sets and the number of terrestrial channels has steadily climbed.
3) Print Media
In the world, print media enjoy full freedom in 45% of countries, partly freedom in 30% countries and Bangladesh is the partly free country which presents a lot of global news (Freedom House, 2016). Moreover, the thinking, idea and pattern of the media in Bangladesh are largely globalised. Hall (2000) says, “Though there is unequal flow of news from west to east, the transmission of the news is highly globalised. It is largely concerned with economic frame, art frame, political frame and ideological frame” (pp.231-249).
4) Media in Bangladesh Perspective
Bangladesh Betar (Radio) and Bangladesh Television are state control organisations. There are 3165 Media organisations in Bangladesh now. Foreign movies, films mainly in English are shown in TV and cinema halls. With rare exceptions, foreign lyrics are highly restricted to broadcast but people like them very much. In Bangladesh, contents of the programme are largely indigenous and the ideas of the production of them are globalised, few of them are imported as Mc Guyver and Dalas (TV serial from USA) that are very popular in Bangladesh. It has been observed that some teenagers renamed themselves as “Mc Guyver” and its hero “Richard Dean Anderson”. The film “Titanic” got ever popularity both in cinema halls and in CD form here. Bangladesh radio broadcast programmes for and by the indigenous tribal people.
There are 28 private FM radio and 6 more upcoming, 17 community FM radio and 15 more are upcoming in Bangladesh. The state-run radio Bangladesh Betar has 32 FM channels, 16 AM channels and 2 short wave channels. There are 47 private television channels and 2 state own BTV disseminate information in Bangladesh. Here the media are open and all 75 national daily newspapers are privatised. Contents of the programme are largely indigenous and the ideas of the production of them are globalised. All of these reshape our culture and cultural attitudes for both rich and common people. These pictures flash in Hall (2000) research, where he says, “International interdependence has led to the development of a global culture, … At the same time, sub-and extra-national communities based on shared history or ethnicity are gaining visibility and access within the larger, world society.” (pp.231-249)
Tourism, Migration and Trade
A lot of Bangladeshi people migrated abroad for work, education or permanent settlement. They bring the foreign cultural frames from abroad. More than that, a large number of people move home and abroad only for tourism. These change the cultural attitude to those concerning people and diffuse the cultural boundary. Due to digitalisation of the information system, multinational companies make global cultural network with the telecommunication companies, computer farms, media corporations, broadcasters and news agencies, and the Internet. Hence, tourism, migration and trade have a great impact on global culture or vice versa, but to what extent it is difficult to evaluate.
Colonial administrations, transnational corporations, world banking, labour organisations and also international religious structures of Christianity and Islam, media corporations are important as international institutions. A lot of non-commercial organisations with an international role is growing. Describing the impact of international organizations, Giddens (1989) says, “Firstly there are organisations representing the international community of states, including the UN and its affiliated organisations, secondly, organisations concern with international collaboration as postal service, telecommunication services etc. and thirdly, organisations linking states or other economic enterprise” (p.549).
Historical Perspectives of Global Culture
As the nation was the dominant paradigm in the early days, so the success of culture was considered as that of the nation. Due to the global diffusion of trade and global migrations, global politics and global organised violence, objects and ideals have been circulating around the planet for a considerable period. Historically “world religions” “empires” and “transnational secular ideologies” had a role in pre-modern and modern forms of cultural globalisation. As we know, world religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism played a significant role in global culture as they were mixed with different pre-existed culture, distributed in large geographical regions. Even, The British Empire, the ever biggest in height of culture, civilisation, education, communication, reformed educational and communication policy throughout the kingdom which diffused culture from east to west and south to north. In the eighteenth century, secularism and liberalism were spread all over the world. Giddens (1990) denotes globalization as “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa” (p.64). This is how we can observe the changes in different localness, society or regions and their interconnectedness of the culture.
3.2. Impact of Global Culture on Our Lifestyle
The rise of globalism, at the age of media and information technology, the global culture has a great impact on our lifestyle. From the ploughing in the paddy field to the architectural design of the building, or from the cooking in the kitchen to the teaching pattern in the educational institute, the global culture has reshaped our ideas, thoughts and procedure of our everyday work. It has also enriched the cultural symbols of our everyday life. Towards the end of a long discussion of the international dimensions of institutional dimensions of globalisation, Giddens (1990) mentions, “... a further and quite fundamental aspect of globalisation, which lies behind each of various institutional dimensions... and which might be referred to as cultural globalization” (p.77). At the globalised era, due to the impact of global culture, our habitat, food, cooking, dress or textiles, fashion, furniture, dress clothes have been changed in a recognisable way. By the grace of free flow of media, the club culture, the music show, leisure enjoyment, our attitude towards ourselves and our family, behavioural orientations i.e. our lifestyle has been changed. It’s my humble opinion that all these are happening due to the technological revolution, hence globalisations and from it to global culture.
Bangladesh is known as a land of agriculture. The orientations of the people regarding agriculture have changed in many ways. Due to the invention of modern technology in agriculture and globalised thoughts in agriculture, the pattern of products and distribution of different farming are different than that of 50 years back. In the early days, farmers would be able to maintain everything (except salt and burning lamp oil) of his family by cultivating his land. Now the mode of agriculture has become an agro-industry to grow more production. Hence farmers have become entrepreneurs in his society.
The habitat pattern, architectural design of the house and its materials are different in both village and the town. People in the village used bamboo and straw to build his house. Ignoring rare exceptions, it can be said that in the town, people build their house either tin-shade building or a normal design by local goods. The distribution of houses, roads, natural beautification spots like garden, lake, monument etc. are different than that of the last century in Bangladesh. In this way we can describe the basic needs of human life like food, education, clothes, houses and treatment etc. which have been reshaped in the last half a century. And obviously, it is due to the effect of globalisation hence global culture. As Moore (1993) says, “Social and economic elements under the influence of the current phenomenon of globalisation are determinant circumstances which affect the standard of living of every particular nation” (p.1). Establishing a mutual relationship among globalisation, culture and socio-political conditions, Weber (1987) says, “Globalisation theories emphasize cultural and economic factors as the main determinants which affect the social and political conditions of nations, which is similar to ‘comprehensive social school’ of Max Weber’s theories” (pp.8-16).
In Bangladesh, the moral values which are needed in our day to day work are reshaping everyday due to the huge impact of global electronic, online and social media. The hybridisation process of our traditional culture is also reshaping our attitude in all four levels of lifestyle. At the same time, the orientation of behavioural patterns has been hybridized. The nuclear families in our society started to increase in the late 90s due to industrialisation and urbanisation. Before that our society was full of joint families. Nowadays, nuclear families are a common scenario in the village. Once we had a long tradition to show respect to the seniors or masters or elites of the society to do as “touching their feet in greeting or before leaving”; “keeping one’s head lowered when talking to them”; “remaining silent in their presence” etc. Nowadays, these traditions seem to be long gone. Instead, children are now taught to maintain eye contact when talking, greet with good morning or good evening or phrases specific to their religion, and give logical answers. This mode of change shapes the value of the new generation. It is assumed that the recent increasing phenomenon of violence, rape and acid throughing against women and children are happened due to the impact of global culture. The huge penetration of social, online media and mobile phones is considered as the impact of global culture that causes impact on lifestyle of this generation. People emphasize the values and virtues of instantiate (instant and fast foods) and of disposability (cups, plates, cutlery, packaging etc.). Fashions in dress, furniture, and home are greatly acquainted further through the country. Shopping becomes a habit and a mode of leisure period. When fashion is treated a symbol of social dignity and social values get little priority. Actually, western blue jeans, t-shirt, Nike, Skirt, and Adidas sporting shoes, sleeveless kameez are the main fashion items in this society. People prefer eagerly decorated as well-furnished homes. Such a consumer culture leads to lives complicated as all the people can’t afford them. Besides, in different ceremonies and festivals, they demand these fashions which are difficult to be managed well.
Due to Globalization, social values and living patterns are rapidly transforming in traditional societies. Western media products and cultural symbols such as rock music, Coca-Cola, blue jeans and McDonald’s are spreading all over. Rahman (2014) says, “According to Tomlinson such cultural merging represents a form of neo-imperialism that will destroy cultural variety. In this sense, cultural globalization possesses a threat to nation states. Behavioral pattern and lifestyles in Bangladesh get a new form influenced by Western culture” (p.1). It is observed that the western culture is dominating all over the world. The culture of developing countries is reshaping. It has been observed that western lifestyles are getting popularity rapidly in the developing nations.
In earlier days, leisure time activities included storytelling by grandparents, playing in fields with friends in the afternoon, gathering with family on moonlit nights were very common in our society. Now a small android mobile phone seems to replace all of these. Games, music and movies are all available on this device. This has introduced a lack of communication between the family members. Within the same flat, the father watching the news, the mother cooking in the kitchen, daughter watching videos on Facebook and brother playing video games has become rather common. Even before two decades, urban family members used to spend their vacations in their parental homes (where they were rooted). The scenario has changed to vacation spent in resorts, vacation clubs and different tourist spots.
Time has also brought a change in our food habits. We used to take food only from home, tea-stall was limited in number and no fast food shop in that time except a few restaurants where meals were sold. The day we are passing, fast food shops have become common in the town or city. Traditional foods such as “chira muri” have been replaced by western food like pizza, burger and French-fry. Food away becomes common in the urban area which was absolutely absent in those days. With rare exception, dress clothes in the school students or office employees could be found but dress clothes become common in every school and offices now.
A symposium organized by the Juma Al Majid Centre for Cultural Heritage. The topic was “Arab culture in a Globalization Era”. Zaza (2002) notes the opinion of Dr Jassim Mohammed Jirjees, Asstt. Secretary-General of the Centre, “Globalization is a recent and sensitive issue that touches and affects Arabs and Muslims. I wonder whether globalization is a bridge of brotherhood among superpowers and other small countries, or is it a trap set for nations who don’t understand what globalization is, or is it a lack of belief in nationalization, or does it dedicate everything for the good of the US.” Just like the Arab World, it has been viewed that the implications of globalization on the Islamic ideology are getting threatened in Bangladesh. Islamic lifestyles are on rapid changes as a result of skin fitted dresses (jeans, t-shirt, and sleeveless kameez) that are gaining popularity both in rural and urban areas. Some festivals are included to observe. The way to observe and the pattern of those festivals differ then that of early days last century. These are Bangla and English New Year, birthday, marriage day celebration etc. The electronic media broadcasts the programs which mostly supported western ideology and most of the Bangladeshi people are profoundly keen on them. These cultural programs don’t match Islamic values; but the two cultural values are being merged and created a mix-culture and the process could be termed as hybridisation.
English medium schools are mushrooming in developing countries like Bangladesh because the rich guardians think English has tremendous job prospects and global values. English is undoubtedly important; but mother language is the principal mode to develop the moral culture. English dominated globalization increases pride, egotism and zealousness within the non-western countries. On the other hand, languages create a number of problems to communicate with others and at the same time they create a global language. The fundamental units of anything are length as metre, weight as kilograme and time as second are common everywhere in the world. Moreover, all the scientific names and inventions and technological names are the same all over the world. As there are cultural differences but also some “cultural universals” as marriage, property rights, religious rituals, recognisable form of family (Giddens, 1989: p. 40).
More importantly, we can say people can think, share or trade nationally or globally. In trading, they use electronic and online media to compare the market. Students choose different universities all over the world and move to different countries for education. In addition, many people migrate in many countries for better earning. E-commerce and online sharing of ideas and products are widespread but all these are absent even in the three decades before.
The negatives are reflected on the rising trend of cultural violence, armed reactions to cultural imperialism and increasing dominance of a consumer and self-oriented society, leading to erosion of spiritual and community-oriented values worldwide (Parker, 2005: p. 218).
Tradition has its very own identification, Values and modes; however, one stage these can’t continue to be in the original shape while industrial tendencies are intruded. Each drawing room contains as a minimum a present-day version television set aired numerous ultra-modern programs round the clock Based totally on overseas life and values developing “dialectic mentality” for the duration of the world. TV problematizes distinction between reality image; pure and hybrid; and proper and overseas. Reality based Programming allows for extra contestation over who defines realities both politics and cultural (Kraidy, 2010; Carr, 2013). Family’s original values while cannot regulate the actors or actresses of media internationally, they fall down in battle situations. The growing children don’t locate the proper manner to be cultured and civilized; behavioural Discrimination misleads them into a dark global.
There are, broadly speaking two perspectives about the way consumer tradition is going global and is ready to influence and dominate an individual. First, characters become aware of what is linked to tradition. Capitalism transforms people into purchasers by altering these self-pics. This structure of desires is that this in order that they serve capitalist accumulation (Robinson, 1997). Second, the phenomenon, called McDonaldization, constitutes the alternative view.
When we term global culture, we essentially ask those cultural elements which shape the common way of daily life of human communities through the process of globalisation. By globalisation we relate to the rapid means by which goods, people and knowledge are exchanged on a worldwide basis. The unprecedented development in technological innovations involving the usage of electronic devices and computerized communication for the dissemination of data, values and beliefs, and therefore the rapid spread of global culture through the media have far-reaching effects on the event of human communities. The impact of these could be either positive or negative. The economization of our time and energy and therefore the information, and thus the increased communication between cultures of various geographical areas and ethnic backgrounds could also be considered positive and therefore desirable. However, the disruptive and disintegrative effects of worldwide culture on the changing patterns of sociocultural institutions, like the family, language and religion, could also be deemed negative and undesirable. Showkat (2017) defines different component of culture, “The definitions of culture variously include as components ideas, concepts, values, ideologies, attitudes, goals, norms, learned behaviours, symbols, rites, rituals, customs, myths, habits and/or artifacts” (p.57).
The global culture is based on the west value, which contains enormous power both material as well as cultural. The values of global culture and the globalisation process have been shaking all thoughts and values all over the world. The Muslim who studied the west in 1960s, is far behind to understand the nature, force and impact of global culture today. The Islamists and the Asianists are trying to make influence over the west and trying to protect their own cultures. Some critics say during pre-modern time people were under imperialism, now they are under cultural imperialism. In reply to them my humble opinion is that imperialism is an extension of ethnicity, full of national sentiments and/or ideology. In that time, culture was neither global nor universal, was bound by particular places and time but global culture is as Smith (1990) says, “Today’s emerging global culture is tied to no place or period. It is context-less, a true mélange of disparate components drawn from everywhere and nowhere, borne upon the modern chariots of global telecommunication system” (p.177). The pattern and history of global culture are widely diffused in space; a global culture is cut off from any past. As a perennial pursuit of an illusion present or imagined future, it has no history.
There is a huge influence on global culture by the active and rapid functions of print and electronic media, tourism, migration, international trade, international organisations like the World Bank, transnational corporation etc. On the other hand, labour organisations, organisations of the United Nations, international religious of Christianity and Islam have both negative and positive way of impact on global culture. It is assumed that they have a global cultural brand and more localized of their own. A thinking of cultural regulation is proposed when the then Canadian the then Prime Minister Jean Chretien says, “It’s not a problem, as long as every nation finds a way to make sure that people are comfortable with themselves, they know who they are, they know their roots and they work to have their arts and culture well inside of themselves.” (The Globe & Mail (Canada), 2000). The demand of consumers’ cultural productions is largely depending on the dreams, desires and experiences of the symbols and like goods, purchasing ability and social structures, because all of these are in the form of cultural goods (Featherstone, 1991).
Following the erosion of traditional values, feelings of piety, respect and reflective attachment to oldsters and grandparents have undergone significant change. Currently, it’s estimated that many families send their parents to such homes, less and fewer grandchildren have the prospect to socialise with their grandparents. Hence, the phenomena of pre-marital sex, unwed mothers, abandoned children, illegal abortion and AIDS has become common. In reality, the event of data technology should provide the means by which equivalent technology could also be used efficiently and effectively to bypass negative effects that technological change brings about. Families and communities got to be educated within the use of computers and other sorts of advanced information technology besides promoting absolute values through the media. The knowledge superhighway and other electronic media, for instance, often want to stop the tide of unwed mothers, illicit children, teenage violence, family breakdowns, divorce, maltreatment, wife battering, AIDS, and substance abuse. Parents and teachers got to supervise young children’s participation within the media so to make sure that violence, sex and pornographic materials don’t find their thanks to television, video, magazines, newspapers, books, electronic games, computer diskettes, and CD-Roms. Close parental and teacher relationships between families and schools got to be firmly established for the enforcement of the public policies. This is often important, because the future well-being of the family and faculty education are designed and implemented. The sole remedy in ensuring family and community stability is for agents of change, especially government agencies, to repackage and re-inculcate absolute values through the utilisation of mass and sophisticated information technology to prevent negative changes that emerge.
As we know, some factors promote global culture; subsequently global culture has some extent impact on different important issues which also have a subsequent effect on our lifestyle. For example, time & place process, the link between territory & identity, power geometry, on Asian values, on Islamic identity; impact on the south; on modernity; on nation-state etc., which have enormous impact on our lifestyle.
Finally, global culture has a huge impact on the changing trend of food way, housing, taste, fashion i.e. lifestyle and hybridization of languages in our country as well. Mass media incorporated with the internet further enhances the consumerism of economic culture i.e. ultimately global culture. This study may enable us about the factors of global culture and the impacts of it on our food, food way, taste, furniture, textile, housing, dress, clothing, decoration, festival, vacation, club, music reading, idea, languages etc. over all lifestyles in Bangladesh.
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