Dr.Saied Reza Ameli,
Institute of Islamic Studies,
former Director of Islamic Centre London-England,
researcher on Sociology of Culture and Mass Media at the Royal
Holloway University of London.
This lecture uniquely tackles
the subject of Globalisation from the cultural perspective -
perhaps the most overlooked aspect of globalisation. It does
cover the economic and political aspects but again from a socio-cultural
bias. Wonderful insights on the nature of cultural invasion
are revealed in the 90 minutes. The audio has been split into
five logical parts, making it easier to download.
One month a go I was really shocked when I went to the rural
areas of Indonesia. The poor people there, they have problems
for their food and for their everyday life yet they are
practising MTV culture, they are practising Hollywood culture.
They are really wearing the same cloths that people are
use to wearing in London. They make themselves up like the
people in western countries and they are practising their
everyday life according to the life of the people in European
countries but if you go to their house you can not see the
standard of life that the people have here .. basically
they are consuming the corruption of western culture ...
It is very sad when people cannot consume their own culture
Economical system of developing countries are gradually
loosing their strength, western consumerism destroys the
indigenous economic production - people don't like their
own production because western production is considered
very fashionable - its very attractive production. Day by
day you can see new products through their media - its doesn't
stop at any stage - you cannot see an end point - every
day every minute new fashion new culture new phenomena that
the people cannot decide whether to go for this or that.
Culture is active and dynamic. One can feed one can consume
through ones own historical heritage. When some culture
cannot consume through its literature, art then that culture
is not really alive. If Malaysians, Chinese, Indonesians,
Iranians don't consume their own culture and wish to consume
western culture that means their is something wrong in that
society - the people wish to consume other cultures. Globalisation
is basically trying to penetrate in the everyday life of
the people . this is happening by the indiginisation of
Before, americans believed that
if they go to the poor countries, because there is a serious
gap between them and the poor country they can penetrate
into that society very quickly. Now I can see that they
try to put some spice of american culture within the indigenous
culture of the people that they can get better ground in
the indigenous culture. Now MTV is presented all over the
world in more than twenty languages - you can see Malaysian
MTV, Pakistani MTV, Arab MTV .. everywhere.
As a human, it is very sad if
someone doesn't like himself, if someone doesn't like his
culture, if someone doesn't like his values. We are human
and if want to change we should decide to change, if something
is surrounding us and imposing change to our society then
it is very sad - if we ourselves decide to change than its
not a problem, if we decide in a very rational manner to
change .. but these changes are a change that doesn't have
any root in the indigenous culture of the people.
Companies are looking to make money - to sell to the people
- they need to produce something new for the people . 'Newness'
creates a market . If you bring the old fashioned, no one
will go for it - this is a principle in marketing if you
want to create a market you have to create newness. It is
not important to them what's going to happen to the culture
of the people, whats going to happen to the behavior of
the people, what's going to happen to the family .. to the
children - they don't care - they want money. And because
they want money they have to create newness and they don't
have any limitation they don't have any hesitation no matter
if that newness comes through sex, that newness comes through
the demolishing of human values - they will do it. They
don't care about social problems - they just study marketing
- how they can target the people - the consumers. "
Teenagers - they don't care about religion any more or he
or she don't practice religion properly - this is not because
of ideological change, these changes are non-cognative.
Its not that they don't practise religion because they have
been convinced by another ideology or religion - no its
not a congitive change - its not according to a rational
process, it is because their lives have been dominated by
something else - because their everyday life has been dominated
by some non-religious issues and this is a very dangerous
We have two types of secularisations
one is objective secularisation and one is subjective secularisation.
Objective secularisation is when the religion is segregated
from the law system, from the education system, and from
the political system. This is important (detrimental), but
it is not as important (detrimental) as subjective secularisation.
Subjective secularisation is when the religion is segregated
from the mind, when the people don't have any concern about
religion then it is very dangerous. Mind it the centre of
body, its the centre of human being - if something can target
our mind and change direction of our mind then the danger
is very serious.
Globalisation can gradually create
a cognitive change, but this change is not changing from
one religion to another religion - its changing from religion
to non-religion, its changing from values to non-values.
we can see the signs of this phemonena in the young generation
Pluralism: in pluralism we are saying that everyone is right
- you are looking at the truth from one perspective and
the other camp are looking at the truth from the other perspective.
The sooner this game enters our life then there is no identity
because identity is according to belief that the way that
I am going is the best way and this is the right way to
Alienation: When the people immigrated from one land to
another land they feel homesick or they feel nostalgic but
in today's society in their own house they feel homesick
and this is a new phenomena."
Identity: when we talk about identity - it means you can
distinguish yourself from others. Therefore distinction
is the main element of identity so if you have a society
where you cant see any distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim
it means that there is
Today we can see an anti-globalisation movement taking place
through the socialists - you can not see any movement in
third world (Muslim) countries against globalisation - this
is very sad because it means that they don't understand
what's going on. If someone doesn't know what they are facing
then they cant stop it."
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