Cultural Degradation and The Universal Culture 

What do we believe in?

This is a vital question asked by us, members of the modern society. Belief is the decisive factor in the establishment of a culture- an amalgam of individual thought and community beliefs. However, in a world filled with homogenic ideologies, the position of culture has been relegated to that of a word in social science textbooks. A universally uniform culture, has replaced personalised practices and ideologies necessary for the development of a rich culture.

Such a shift in values has caused the growth of many social problems. The major causes of this dilapidation are technological advancement, developing internationalism, globalisation and lasting economic stability. Although all these factors are considered to have had positive impacts on the growth of humanity, they have instead lead to the loss of an essential entity which defines our existence: our culture. Not only has rapid cultural degradation become a source of various problems like social dissimilation and loss of cultural identity, but also resulted in the stunting of artistic evolution.

 

“The law of raspberry jam: the wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.”

-Alvin Toffler

 

Culture is what distinguishes man from animal. It refines us and allows us to function as higher beings with a sense of comprehension and an idea of discussion. Our means of communication, primarily language, followed by dance, music and forms of artistic expression, constitute the core of culture. In addition to this, our values are dictated by our cultural upbringing. It structures our lives and provides us with emotional support as well as sources of recreation. However, the spirit of depersonalised professionalism and lack of human interaction have begun to smother culture until all that remains is universal, and universally featureless. 

A serious consequence of the spread of a universal culture is that it states no directives. Hence, there is a lack of emotion. Only personal opinion drives individuals. Impersonal issues like poverty, disease and war do not seem to concern the public beyond a certain point. That is where culture stops and ‘rationality’ begins. As culture has ceased to determine social norms, confusion abounds – morality is being questioned and its definition is one that is perpetually changing.

With the decay of culture, social integration has begun to falter. Anti-social elements like terrorist groups have sprouted and institutions like family have lost their necessity. Culture is an essential part of our lives and its preservation is a always a pertinent concern. If the thin global culture of today deteriorates as well, we will be faced with greater turmoil than ever. 

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