Cultural diffusion was defined in 1980 by American anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber as “the diffusion or spread of cultural material” (Kroeber, 1940). Since culture is a community’s way of life, cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas, beliefs, religions, languages, and technologies from one culture to another. It helps in explaining why for example a same artifact is found in two different civilizations.
Cultural diffusion has always existed. In the Middle Ages, The Crusades caused significant change in the Middle East, bringing European ideas and products to the region, although forcefully. However, The Crusaders brought back to Europe elements of the Arab culture. This exchange of cultural elements enriched both cultures. In the early 15th century, during the Age of Discoveries, the European explorers brought their own culture wherever they went and at times forced it upon the original inhabitants of the discovered land, like in the case of Northern and Southern America. Colonization is another example of forced cultural diffusion, the best example of which being Lebanon and its still prevailing French culture. Some of the best aspects of Lebanon today, including its democratic political system are due to the French colonization...
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...hat both of these processes should be monitored carefully as they are evolving rapidly, and one should keep in mind the negative aspect of these processes and their consequences and hence work to avoid them.
Al-Rodhan, N. Geneva Center for Security Policy, (2006).Program on the geopolitical implications of globalization and transnational security. Retrieved from website: http://www.sustainablehistory.com/articles/definitions-of- globalization.pdf
Barger, K. (2011). What is ethnocentrism?. Manuscript submitted for publication, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, .
Goldstein, M., King, G., & Wright, M. (n.d.). Diffusionism and accultration. Unpublished raw data, Department of Anthropology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, .
Mikdashi, M. (2012, February 12). What is cultural terrorism ?. Jadaliyya
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