Skip Nav

What Is Cultural Diffusion? Essay

The Politics of Cultural Appropriation

❶The chiefs were hereditary rulers who commanded a following through their political skills and their ability to communicate with supernatural powers. Diffusion of this kind is evinced in most of the objects of the modern world such as railway, motorcar, aeroplane, cinema, bank, telephone, telegraph, television, etc.

How to cite this page

Process of Cultural Diffusion


They traded these products across the camel trails of Central Asia. Although an advanced society developed, the Chinese did not keep written records until the Shang dynasty of the 16th century BC. The Shang ruled over a number of local kings who controlled walled city-states that cooperated to repulse raiding northern nomads. The nomads then dislodged other tribes, setting off a chain of migrations, including that of the Aryans into India between and BC.

The early Maya ancient native American organized themselves into kin-based settlements headed by chiefs. The chiefs were hereditary rulers who commanded a following through their political skills and their ability to communicate with supernatural powers.

Along with their families, they composed an elite segment of society, enjoying the privileges of high social rank. However, these elites did not yet constitute a social class of nobles as they would in the Classic period. A council of chiefs or elders governed a group of several settlements located near one another. The council combined both political and religious functions.

Like other ancient farming peoples, the early Maya worshiped agricultural gods, such as the rain god and, later, the corn god. Maya astronomers observed the movements of the sun, moon, and planets, made astronomical calculations, and devised almanacs calendars combined with astronomical observations. Jews, a people who have maintained a distinct cultural identity originally based on the idea of a covenant, or special relationship, with God. The Jewish people are among the oldest of the many peoples known to history.

Their origins date back at least 3, years, and perhaps even further. During this lengthy period Jews have settled in all parts of the world and have had an impact on many civilizations.

The Jewish religion, Judaism, has exerted influence far beyond its own adherents. Christianity grew out of Judaism, and Islam accepted many of the traditions and practices of Judaism. Knowledge of the history of the Jews and their culture contributes to a fuller understanding of the history of the Western world and its spiritual life.

Religion, ethnic identity, and language have all played important roles in maintaining Jewish identity. Because Judaism related to so many aspects of life, including those considered secular in other cultures, being a Jew led to a strong group or ethnic identity.

For example, the Hebrew Bible known to Christians as the Old Testament laid down dietary laws and indicated which foods were considered kosher fit for consumption. Jews also had their own written language, Hebrew, and distinct spoken languages developed. The best known of these spoken languages is Yiddish, which is based on the German language.

Rather than the high estate which the Hebrews assigned to man as the representative of God on earth, for the inhabitants of Mesopotamia man was nothing more than the slave of the gods, designed to relieve them of their toils and subject to their whims. The flooding of the Tigris and the Euphrates was violent and irregular, hence the mental life of the Mesopotamian civilizations became dominated by a sense of anxiety.

They consider the world as unpredictable and capricious, bringing life-giving rain and fertility one day and devastating destruction the next. They consider this the forces of nature which are expressions of the whims of the gods, the gods are also unpredictable and capricious. That in itself was distinctive because most other cultures engaged in polytheistic worship, where not one god, but many were exalted.

Yet, it is not merely their belief in one God that set the foundation for Hebrew thinking and living; it is what they believed about Him that made the difference. In contrast to this, other cultures of the time saw their gods as removed from everyday human life.

Their divinities were too busy fighting with each other to be overly concerned with mere mortals. Two of the most prominent societies of the time were the Egyptians and the Babylonians. The Egyptians had a complex system of religion that included a multiplicity of gods, often represented by animals such as a cat, baboon, or lion.

Even through modern research it is hard to piece together a complete system of Egyptian religion because of the inconsistent and confusing information left behind. Many of the gods and goddesses seem more or less identical, yet they existed together.

Contradictory myths explaining the creation of the world, natural phenomena, and the like were accepted without argument. Attributes of deities were freely and indiscriminately adopted from one group or locality to another, and combinations and fusions of gods were frequent.

The Egyptian gods were made by the people, fabricated to suit their desieres and ideas. Unfortunately, these gods could not be counted upon to be faithful or loyal to their followers. Blessing was based upon flattery and offerings. Likewise, the Babylonian system of religion revolved around many personalities, most of which were related to nature. Their religious ideas developed as a result of other Near Eastern religions in the Mesopotamian area. In their theological thinking, man was created for the benefit of the gods.

His whole purpose was to serve, proved for, pamper, worship, and revere them. Warfare, revenge, murder, and the like were, common behaviors to expect from the Babylonian deities. Some ideas that might be considered cornerstones of Western tradition are: Christianity, secularism, rational deductive reasoning, rule of law, esteem for human civilization, the development of science and technology.

The Enlightenment has had a major influence in the western thought over the last two centuries. However, the conquest of the western parts of the Roman Empire by Germanic peoples and the subsequent advent of despotism in the form of dominance by the Western Christian Papacy which held combined political and spiritual authority, a state of affairs absent from Greek civilization in all its stages , resulted into a rupture of the previously existing ties between the Latin West and Greek thought [1], including Christian Greek thought.

The Great Schism and the Fourth Crusade confirmed this deviation. Hence, the Medieval West is limited to Western Christendom only, as the Greeks and other European peoples not under the authority of the Papacy are not included in it. Morever, European peoples not included in Western Christendom, such as the Greeks, have redefined their relationship to this new, Currently, in the post-Cold War era, particularly after the September 11, attacks in the United States of America and the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, major global antagonist blocs are the Muslim world and the Western world, or vice-versa.

Westerners accuse Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently and for not recognizing and adopt social accomplishments of Western society such as the universal concepts of free speech, democracy, universal suffrage, human rights, and gender equality , while largely using Western wealth, science and technology for self development and enrichment. Although this process may eliminate the need to pick up medicine in person, the reality that the elderly are more familiar with typewriters than with computers suggests that there are some overlooked details in implementation.

Subcultures thus can retain their identity, while losing their autonomy, with a borrowed element used as a social control mechanism. Cultural diffusion occurs quickly, given the speed and reach of telecommunications. For example, other countries as well as U. Cultural diffusion is not devoid of political ramifications. For example, when a dominant group steals from a minority through diffusion and still controls and oppresses the subordinate group, this is exploitation. Consider the case of white rappers in America borrowing from the black hip-hop culture.

With its cultural elements stolen, co-opted, appropriated, and uncredited, the contribution of the subordinate inventor culture becomes diminished and diluted to the point of lacking social significance.

However, it could also suddenly have social meaning because the dominant group now engages it. The appropriating culture can take the borrowed element and apply new, different, and insignificant meanings compared with its intended meaning, or the meaning can be stripped altogether.

Examples of cultural appropriation through diffusion are naming athletic team mascots, musical subcultures borrowing or stealing from one another, and baggy clothing in urban culture becoming mainstream in suburban America.

Once again, this also raises the issue of how original the culture of invention is and who owns certain cultural elements. Some practices are transcontinental, and no one should own or claim them as exclusive and profit from them, although these things do, indeed, happen. Cultural diffusion is not always political. When cultures borrow from one another, they can develop and refine the element that they are adopting. They can also fall on new discoveries as they customize elements for use within their own culture.

Creative development becomes a part of invention and is a result of serendipity rather than of calculated intent and design. For example, labanotation is a system of notation for dance movement, but architects can borrow elements of this system to design spatial models for creative urban architectural design. Whether it is U. This example Cultural Diffusion Essay is published for educational and informational purposes only.

If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services. Essays on Controversial Topics. Need a custom essay?


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Cultural Diffusion is the process by which a cultural trait, material objects, idea or behavior pattern is spread from one society to another. It is very common in ancient times when small groups of humans lived in adjoining settlements and spreading of ideas and culture occurs.

Privacy FAQs

Short Essay on Cultural Diffusion – The process of diffusion involves the spread of cultural elements – both material artifacts and ideas – from one culture to another. The process of diffusion involves the spread of cultural elements – both material artifacts and ideas – from one culture to another. George Murdock has estimated that [ ].

About Our Ads

Culture diffusion happens when non material and material culture travels to another culture (Wise, ). How this happens is a million dollar question which needs to be answered correctly and to the point. To have a profound knowledge over how it happens we go to the basics of it which is culture hearth. According to Maclver and Page, cultural diffusion is the most important cause of social development. All the great cultures developed as a result of the mutual contacts of various cultures. The.

Cookie Info

Cultural diffusion was defined in by American anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber as “the diffusion or spread of cultural material” (Kroeber, ). Since culture is a community’s way of life, cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas, beliefs, religions, languages, and technologies from one culture . Cultural Diffusion Essay In its simplest form, cultural diffusion is the borrowing of cultural elements from one culture by another. Aspects of material culture include clothing styles, musical structures, medicine, and agricultural practices, whereas normative traits such as ideas, behavioral patterns, religion, language, and values are.