Why are people so afraid that nations and individuals are loosing their cultural identities? In today’s globalizing world, there is the ongoing notion of media imperialism- that the west is able to exert their ideological influence over the developing world. There is the belief that specifically from the rise of mass media, nations are loosing or one could say, there is a change in their cultural identity.
Yet, according to “Globalization, Supranational Institutions, and Media,” author John Sinclair notes the idea that people can have more than one cultural identity at the same time or, rather, cultural affiliations existing at different levels (75). I think in our current state, we each have our own cultural identity and parts of our cultural identity are always changing. Globalization and the rise of mass media do have a great influence on each of us, but a different influence for each of us. We each take away different aspects from globalizing influences; hence, we have the ability to take away what we want to take away. The cultural imperialism theory assumed that the audience of the mass media would absorb the same ideological meaning, which is not necessarily true.
I would like to note an example that was talked about in our international communications course, which was the notion of the concept of watching different news sources. Today, one is able to choose from a multitude of different new sources. Just because BBC is offered in Saudi Arabia, doesn’t mean that Saudis’ are going to watch it and take away the same ideas as the British. As we noted in class, people watch things differently, one will focus on different aspects of the media and identify with different portions. People will interpret the morals from the media differently. Therefore, I argue that ones cultural identity is always changing. If one changes there cultural identity, it could just be because they wanted that change, not that it was forced upon them. I think there is nothing wrong with slow changes to one’s cultural identity and I don’t believe culture can stay the same forever.