Disjunction and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy Essay

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In his famous article “Disjunction and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” Arjun Appadurai defines the central problem of today's global interaction is the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization. To understand the process and effects of globalizations, one should first see how culture is homogenized and heterogenized. Now cultural heterogenization is simply the notion of ethnic purity and fundamentalism that drives a group of people claiming a shared historic and cultural heritage (a nation) to insist on closing it's doors to the world to preserve and maintain this heritage. Cultural homogenization on the other hand happens when one culture is made to conform to or resemble another through cultural influences. This happens when “as forces from various metropolises are brought into new societies, they tend to become indigenized in one or another way: this is true of music and housing styles as much as it is true of science and terrorism, spectacles and constitutions”. It is this cultural homogenization that is often regarded as Americanization but if one truly looks at the nations, one can see cultural homogenization happening more between neighbor nations, “for politics of smaller scale, there is always a fear of cultural absorption by politics of larger scale, especially those that are nearby”. Now that the tension between cultural homogenization and heterogenization is recognized, He urges us to think of the new global cultural economy in terms of complexity, overlap, and disorder. Moreover, he is unsure if existing center-periphery models can address such complexity and irregularity. Nor is he convinced that traditional models, such as the pull-push migration model or surpluses and deficits, can explain the global cultural economy. Therefore, he proposes a new framework for understanding the new global cultural

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