Updated: Dec 1
Author: Irene Gerarduz
Date of Publication: 05/03/2023
Each society is bound in space and time, which are two fundamental categories for understanding society. In fact, space is the status that allows us to live together, relate to others, and act en masse. It is also a limit to our actions and interactions.
On the other hand, time is also an important social factor, since society is an expression of age. Actually, societies, defined by co-belonging to a place or to a geographical area, are called locals. Therefore, local communities (or villages) are mostly characterized by very strong emotional ties and become a source of social identification for individuals.
Moreover, the Industrial Revolution (in the 1700s), and the following modernization and urbanization of society, led to a decrease in local communities and an increase in big cities. Specifically, a city is a cosmopolitan place, in so far as different people meet with each other.
Therefore, what distinguishes the local community is the homogeneity of the culture of its members. While urban society is characterized by strong heterogeneity, thus becoming a multi-ethnic city.
Towards the end of the 20th century, an important and radical social change takes place: globalization. In particular, globalization is a complex phenomenon of connection that is preferred by open markets, information channels, and fast media. However, be careful because globalization doesn’t eliminate physical distances but makes them more easily crossed. Therefore, doing so, it radically transforms society.
Globalization takes many forms:
- Globalization of INFORMATION
The spread of electronic and digital media puts us in touch with the whole world. As a result, it gives us the impression of having direct experience of what is happening in distant countries.
- ECONOMIC globalization
Nowadays no national economy can consider itself autonomous from the economies of other countries. Actually, it involves trade, labor, exchange, and financial flows.
- POLITICAL globalization
It’s manifested through a loss of power of the nation-state. So, choices, now, are subjected to transnational power.
- ECOLOGICAL globalization
Conservation of the planet’s resources is the concern of all.
- CULTURAL globalization
Contact with different cultures also affects the way we live. The meeting of different traditions leads to multiculturalism and gives life to something original.
Cultural differences between distant civilizations have always existed, but the distance prevented social conflicts from arising from them. But today it is different. For example, one of the most obvious effects of globalization is an important migratory flow of populations. Such migrations of large masses of populations result in various effects, in both the country of origin and the country of destination.
They can be distinguished into:
Migrant populations don’t incorporate into the local culture, but tend to maintain their own. This can lead to conflict situations. So, to avoid this, the destination country realizes the integration of immigrants. This integration will be easier for second-generation immigrants, that are the children of first-generation immigrants. This is because they will grow up in bilingualism and will be less likely to suffer the difficulty of integration. Therefore, the presence of immigrants, with different cultural identities, is a source of cultural enrichment. That’s why multiculturalism refers to a model of interethnic and intercultural coexistence based on valuing differences. So, all cultures must be recognized with equal value.