Is National Diversity Under Threat? Cosmopolitan Communications and Cultural Convergence
31 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 21 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
Societies have experienced a flood of information from diverse channels originating far beyond local communities and even national borders, transmitted through the rapid expansion of mass communications. This is a core component of the broader phenomenon of globalization. Is this process generating cultural convergence worldwide and thereby eroding national diversity, as once remote and isolated communities open the floodgates to Western news and entertainment? Rejecting fears about the loss of cultural diversity, this paper presents a new ‘firewall’ theory about the process of cosmopolitan communications and then analyzes the impact of cross-border information flows on a wide range of cultural values.
This paper outlines the theoretical framework and then lays out the evidence. This study utilizes the full time-series data contained in the World Values Survey 1981-2007 for eleven nations. By examining trends over time we can explore whether the rise in cosmopolitan communications has reduced divergence among national cultures. The paper uses cross-sectional time-series models, with panel corrected standard errors, to analyze these issues. The conclusion summarizes the results and considers their implications.
Keywords: political communications, globalization, cultural values, mass media
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