Globalization and Contamination

I really appreciated The Case for Contamination reading, because cultural appropriation is such a hot and confusing topic. But we have to understand that cultural appropriation can exist in the same space as cultural “contamination,” or infusion without it having to be a horrible thing. While cheapening a culture is considered inappropriate, choosing whether to include an aspect of another culture into your own could be a constructive means to a productive end. I also appreciated the concept presented in The Case for Contamination which decried those who spoke of members of under-developed countries as “blank slates,” that have fallen prey to western culture. To say citizens in those countries are just mindless consumers is a huge insult to those people. I’m sorry to say this is one of the first times I’ve heard that argument. I’ve been told so often of the evils of Westernization, that I’ve never stopped to consider that those effects are not without propagation from within the country. So in those respects, The Case for Contamination was a really engaging read and clarified a few misconceptions I had about globalization and cross-cultural interaction.

Globalization and its Contents was a really difficult read. I did not find it as engaging as The Case for Contamination. Probably because it mostly consists of statistics and drab facts, which do not grasp my attention. While I did appreciate the Then-and-Now aspect of the reading, I found it hard to pay attention when it started spurting forth numbers. I did think it was interesting to finally have a perspective on globalization that was not all doomsday and did not have the WE ARE RUINING THE EARTH message that most academic readings regurgitate. The contrast between this reading and The Case for Contamination both in writing style and their respective messages made for a nice, well-rounded look at the positive effects of globalization. Though dry and difficult, Globalization and its Contents carried a much-needed message of hope after years of hearing more about the social, political, economic, and environmental damage globalization has done.

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