Is National Diversity Under Threat? Cosmopolitan Communications and Cultural Convergence

31 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 21 Aug 2009

See all articles by Pippa Norris

Pippa Norris

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); University of Sydney

Ronald F. Inglehart

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR)

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Norris, Pippa and Inglehart, Ronald F., Is National Diversity Under Threat? Cosmopolitan Communications and Cultural Convergence (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451377

Pippa Norris (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1475 (Phone)
617-496-2850 (Fax)

University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NC NSW 2006
Australia

Ronald F. Inglehart

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

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