Concept of Cultural Diffusion Essay

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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 culture which grew upon the banks of Nile influenced India. Indian thought reached China and they made important contributions to Western civilizations. Greek culture was influenced by the Egyptian culture. Rome was affected by Greek culture. In much the same way the modern cultures are adopting from one to another. Acquisition by one culture from another in this manner is called diffusion. Ogburn and Nimkoff have written that the transference of culture parts from one sphere to another or from one part of culture to another is called diffusion. 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. No only do machines and tools spread from one country to another, but the same is true of thoughts which spread from one country to smother. Buddhist thought spread from India to China, Japan, Burma, etc. Communism originated in Russia and has spread elsewhere. The decimal system reached Arabia from India and thence to Europe. The following factors are influential in the process of diffusion. (a) Relations and communication, (b) Need of and desire for new traits, (c) Competition with old traits and objection to them, and (d) The respect and recognition of those who bring new traits. The process of diffusion can take place jointly in various societies as well as within one society. The rate of diffusion in the twentieth century has vastly increased to the unprecedented developments in the means of transport and communications. Graebner, Ankermann and Schint, German scholars, have done much towards the establishment and popularisation of the principle of

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