Westernization is a phrase used to describe the process by which other cultures adopt the culture practiced by people from the West. Consequently, those who assimilate the western culture convert and shift to customs and practices of the western civilization. Moreover, this social process involves absorbing one culture and harmonizing it with another. Westernization is vital for development and progress as it incorporates various values and introduction of additional resources into the economy. For instance, some researchers believe that westernization shuns discrimination as it is concerned with the welfare of all human beings irrespective of their age, religion, economic status, or even sex. The incorporation of humanitarianism includes observation of secularization and equalitarianism where all human beings are treated as equals. In the political sector, westernization brings about nationalism, which is a concept that may not exist in the local way of government. However, western civilization is taking place at all places around the globe, hence raising the fear that almost all cultures might be eroded and consequently forgotten.
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Paul Harrison’s article “Westernization of the World” highlights how western culture is spreading and overtaking other cultures around the globe. The author begins by an illustration based on the culture of Singapore. The author stipulates a description of the day-to-day life in Singapore for the natives. Particularly, the author emphasizes on a theatre performance that attracted old and sham children as the audience. On interviewing one of the participants, he claims that young people have been carried away by the western culture. The interviewee, being a middle-aged man, argues hat the audience comprises of old fashioned, whereas the young people prefer the high quality western show. This aspect shows the extent to which the western culture has been accepted among the youths. The author also highlights other changes that include modes of dressing and the behavior mode of some people in certain careers especially the banking sector. The author asserts that mimicry of the western culture could be observed in several sectors that included the architecture, health care, education, housing and industrial technology.
Paul Harrison believes that westernization can play a significant role in initiating more harm than good among some societies in third word countries. The author argues that the third world cannot be in order if westernization is to be adopted fully. Internal colonization is taking place in the third world countries and it is contaminating the different cultures and traditions. He upholds the importance of retaining old traditions and cultures. The author goes ahead and likes the change to flinging a baby out of the bath water. In addition, the author also ascertains that westernization is quite an unpleasant cultural diversity and diffusion that is occurring in the history of human beings. The negative altitude towards westernization directly links to colonial experience that most countries underwent while under the colonial rule by western countries.
Moreover, some colonizers were full of prejudice, hence discriminating against the natives. From this review, it is clear that the author links westernization to colonization, which means that adoption and practice of western culture by third world countries is similar to colonization. Although these countries are no longer under the colonial rule, westernization imposes some stringent measures in a way that is hard to discover. For instance, the abandonment of some cultural practices and adopting foreign cultures may lead to discrimination amongst the natives, which is referred to as the insider colonization that may be based on variances in say religious practices.
The western culture first appeared in the third world countries courtesy of the colonizers, which brought about several changes in all sectors ranging from economic, social, and political sectors. For instance, the whites had a decent way of dressing and socialized among themselves based on their social status. The author points out that this same aspect is occurring contemporarily; for instance, in Singapore, the author points out that employees socialize with those they share similar status quo. During the era of colonization, several other changes were introduced like Christianity as the religion practiced by the Whites. Consequently, the natives adopted this practice and abandoned their traditional religions.
Currently, the same scenario is unfolding where Christianity is widespread across the world, which creates a rift between Christianity and traditional religions. Moreover, the young people who work for the banks wear clothes similar to those of the White; in addition, some drive home to watch televisions. This scenario contradicts the culture practiced among most societies in the third world countries where at the end of work, men would gather and play games as opposed to doing things individually. Probably, this element could be attributable to a change in the status quo. Another aspect of colonization as pointed out by historians is the aspect of racial humiliation, which robs people of their individuality, hence their pride and worth. The author points out that some leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana realized this challenge and implemented some measures to deal with the menace.
With all the challenges of westernization pointed out in the article, there is a need to come up with suitable measures to address this menace of westernization. Although change is inevitable, not all changes can be acceptable, especially if they are negative. However, the world runs on change and thus people cannot always do things the same way day in day out. Due to acceptable changes that have already taken place, monotony may not arise as it happened in the past. Various reasons interlink with acceptance of change that will bring about positive results. With changes and improvements in technology as experienced in the modern world, all parts of the world can interact with ease as opposed to hundreds of years ago. This element underscores the globalization that has taken grasp of the entire world, which makes it difficult for a country to operate independently in a region. Moreover, globalization has also brought about standardization among countries in different regions due to sharing of information. For instance, China and Japan tried to resist westernization to no success despite being the two top countries with super technology.
Nevertheless, westernization should not happen at once as it may lead to a complete overhaul of some native positive cultures practices. Westernization should take place at a slow pace and the change should be gradual to ensure harmony and compatibility of the involved cultures, and thus avoid conflicts. In addition, individuals should not be forced into adopting western cultures. For instance, Ataturk forced every individual in his country to avoid wearing the Fez after people made fun of him for wearing it, and thus he took drastic and extreme measures to ban this hat and do what other people were doing.
The author tackles realistic and important points, but the fact that he uses a strong tone makes his arguments weaker. Some cultures are valuable, but they are not as logical as they seemed to be years ago. In addition, the author gives many details, but a little evidence of his own, which does not strengthen his points as expected, which could be misleading. The author does make the reader think about the fact that cultures are dying and slowly becoming all the same, which makes me think about how the world is going to be in the future. It makes the reader raise many questions that he or she cannot answer.