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Short essay on the concept of Cultural diffusion

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❶The pantheon consisted of more than 1, deities, even though many divine names may apply to different manifestations of a single god. The council combined both political and religious functions.

The Politics of Cultural Appropriation

Process of Cultural Diffusion


It is very common in ancient times when small groups of humans lived in adjoining settlements and spreading of ideas and culture occurs. Since cultures have never been completely isolated from each other, diffusion has happened through out history and continues on today. Mesopotamia, considered as a place where civilization begins, was destined to be a land of trade from the very start.

It is where the spread of cultures was believed to originate. Ancient Mesopotamia had many languages and cultures; its history is broken up into many periods and eras; it had no real geographic unity, and above all no permanent capital city, so that by its very variety it stands out from other civilizations with greater uniformity, particularly that of Egypt.

The script and the pantheon constitute the unifying factors, but in these also Mesopotamia shows its predilection for multiplicity and variety. Written documents were turned out in quantities, and there are often many copies of a single text.

The pantheon consisted of more than 1, deities, even though many divine names may apply to different manifestations of a single god. During 3, years of Mesopotamian civilization, each century gave birth to the next. Thus classical Sumerian civilization influenced that of the Akkadians, and the Ur III empire, which itself represented a Sumero-Akkadian synthesis, exercised its influence on the first quarter of the 2nd millennium BC.

With the Hittites, large areas of Anatolia were infused with the culture of Mesopotamia from BC onward. We will write a custom essay sample on What Is Cultural Diffusion? Contacts, via Mari, with Ebla in Syria, some 30 miles south of Aleppo, go back to the 24th century BC, so that links between Syrian and Palestinian scribal schools and Babylonian civilization during the Amarna period 14th century BC may have had much older predecessors.

At any rate, the similarity of certain themes in cuneiform literature and the Old Testament, such as the story of the Flood or the motif of the righteous sufferer, is due to such early contacts and not to direct borrowing. The influence of the Mesopotamian legal codes upon the Mosaic body of laws particularly in the area of property rights is universally recognized as the foundation of the Western judicial corpus. For instance, a contractor builds a home for a nobleman.

As a result of shoddy workmanship, the house collapses and a son of the nobleman is killed. Rather than imposing a fine, or even executing the irresponsible builder, the code of Hammurabi requires that the son of the builder, by modern standards an innocent party, be put to death. As in the case of Egypt, the priests in Mesopotamia dominated the intellectual and educational domain as well as the applied. The center of intellectual activity and training was the library, which was usually housed in a temple under the supervision of influential priests.

Methods of teaching and learning were memorization, oral repetition, copying of models, and individual instruction. It is believed that the exact copying of scripts was the hardest and most strenuous and served as the test of excellence in learning. The period of education was long and rigorous, and discipline was harsh Western society is sometimes claimed to trace its cultural origins to both Greek thought and Christian religion, thus following an evolution that began in ancient Greece, continued through the Roman Empire and, with the coming of Christianity which has its origins in the Middle East , spread throughout Europe.

The idea of Western society being influenced from but not being the single evolution of ancient Greek thought makes sense only for the post-Renaissance period of Western history. The philosopher Bertrand Russell, in his History of Western Philosophy, accepted the idea of the West as the heir to ancient Greek and Jewish culture, but went on to treat Islam and Marxism as developments within Western culture.

River basin nurtured early Chinese civilization. From to BC. The plain of the Huang He Yellow River sustained large farming communities whose people raised silkworms and spun silk thread and cloth. They traded these products across the camel trails of Central Asia. Although an advanced society developed, the Chinese did not keep written records until the Shang dynasty of the 16th century BC. The Shang ruled over a number of local kings who controlled walled city-states that cooperated to repulse raiding northern nomads.

The nomads then dislodged other tribes, setting off a chain of migrations, including that of the Aryans into India between and BC. The early Maya ancient native American organized themselves into kin-based settlements headed by chiefs. The chiefs were hereditary rulers who commanded a following through their political skills and their ability to communicate with supernatural powers.

Along with their families, they composed an elite segment of society, enjoying the privileges of high social rank. However, these elites did not yet constitute a social class of nobles as they would in the Classic period. Although this process may eliminate the need to pick up medicine in person, the reality that the elderly are more familiar with typewriters than with computers suggests that there are some overlooked details in implementation. Subcultures thus can retain their identity, while losing their autonomy, with a borrowed element used as a social control mechanism.

Cultural diffusion occurs quickly, given the speed and reach of telecommunications. For example, other countries as well as U. Cultural diffusion is not devoid of political ramifications. For example, when a dominant group steals from a minority through diffusion and still controls and oppresses the subordinate group, this is exploitation.

Consider the case of white rappers in America borrowing from the black hip-hop culture. With its cultural elements stolen, co-opted, appropriated, and uncredited, the contribution of the subordinate inventor culture becomes diminished and diluted to the point of lacking social significance. However, it could also suddenly have social meaning because the dominant group now engages it.

The appropriating culture can take the borrowed element and apply new, different, and insignificant meanings compared with its intended meaning, or the meaning can be stripped altogether.

Examples of cultural appropriation through diffusion are naming athletic team mascots, musical subcultures borrowing or stealing from one another, and baggy clothing in urban culture becoming mainstream in suburban America. Once again, this also raises the issue of how original the culture of invention is and who owns certain cultural elements.

Some practices are transcontinental, and no one should own or claim them as exclusive and profit from them, although these things do, indeed, happen. Cultural diffusion is not always political. When cultures borrow from one another, they can develop and refine the element that they are adopting.

All the great cultures developed as a result of the mutual contacts of various cultures. The culture which grew upon the banks of Nile influenced India. Indian thought reached China and they made important contributions to Western civilizations. Greek culture was influenced by the Egyptian culture. Rome was affected by Greek culture. In much the same way the modern cultures are adopting from one to another. Acquisition by one culture from another in this manner is called diffusion.

Ogburn and Nimkoff have written that the transference of culture parts from one sphere to another or from one part of culture to another is called diffusion.


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Cultural Diffusion is the process by which a cultural trait, material objects, idea or behavior pattern is spread from one society to another. It is very common in ancient times when small groups of humans lived in adjoining settlements and spreading of ideas and culture occurs.

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Short Essay on Cultural Diffusion – The process of diffusion involves the spread of cultural elements – both material artifacts and ideas – from one culture to another. The process of diffusion involves the spread of cultural elements – both material artifacts and ideas – from one culture to another. George Murdock has estimated that [ ].

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Culture diffusion happens when non material and material culture travels to another culture (Wise, ). How this happens is a million dollar question which needs to be answered correctly and to the point. To have a profound knowledge over how it happens we go to the basics of it which is culture hearth. According to Maclver and Page, cultural diffusion is the most important cause of social development. All the great cultures developed as a result of the mutual contacts of various cultures. The.

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Cultural diffusion was defined in by American anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber as “the diffusion or spread of cultural material” (Kroeber, ). Since culture is a community’s way of life, cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas, beliefs, religions, languages, and technologies from one culture . Cultural Diffusion Essay In its simplest form, cultural diffusion is the borrowing of cultural elements from one culture by another. Aspects of material culture include clothing styles, musical structures, medicine, and agricultural practices, whereas normative traits such as ideas, behavioral patterns, religion, language, and values are.