La globalización: una amenaza para la diversidad cultural

In Salud y Diversidad Cultural en el Mundo. Barcelona: FAPCI. pp. 47-70 (2007)
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In order to protect indigenous cultures, their knowledge and their ways of living, it is necessary to analyse the mechanisms of cultural change, with a special focus on those factors that lead to the destabilisation, and even deletion, of formerly autonomous social systems. Cultures consist of human beings, and the mechanisms and interactions within and between cultures consist of human behaviour. Generally, the mutual influences between cultures do not occur in a symmetrical way. Rather, one side is usually exposed to effects of the cultural dominance, which the other side exercises upon it. Within the macrostructure of intercultural influences, cultural elements of indigenous cultures are deleted and replaced by the cultural elements of the dominant culture. In the progress of globalisation, consent among the participants with regard to behaviour patterns and cognitive styles leads to the obliteration of traditional knowledge and behaviour which until then had been characteristic for the respective cultural group. Meanwhile, indigenous cultures are endangered worldwide, and the process of globalisation is determined predominantly by the industrial culture. The transfer of the dominant cultural elements does not only lead to the deletion of specific knowledge of indigenous cultures, but also of context-relevant behaviour patterns of those concerned, who then participate in the destruction of the environment with the further effects of erosion, loss of species, and climate change. Yet, a representation of those mechanisms in functional models helps to define effective methods of intervention.
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