Conversionand Cultural Imperialism
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Culturalimperialism can be regarded as an induced influence that is imposedto a people of a population, or it can be a deliberate act ofadopting external culture by the citizens of a particular nation.There are various categories of cultural imperialism, for instance,in the United States there are two primary objectives: political andeconomic that assist the country to attract markets for theircultural commodities as well as develop supremacy through thepractical shaping of popular consciousness. A lot of changes havetaken place in the exported goods, for example, export forentertainment has led to capital accumulation and as a resultmanufacturing exports are displaced.1On the other hand, cultural imperialism has introduced a significantchange in drifting people away from the cultural heritages andtraditions of unity, and they have been substituted with mediacreated requirements that vary with every publicity campaign.Therefore, political control that prevails in a country tends toseparate individuals from the aspects related to community bonds,atomizing, traditional class and also separate people from eachother. As a result, conversion emerges where native people aretransformed from one culture to another due of cultural imperialism.2
Thereare segments that are created by cultural imperialism among theworking class a brief example is where staffs that are more stableare advised to create a gap between them and the temporary workers.The chain of segmentation continues where the temporary workers theydisassociated themselves with an unemployed group within the society,and the trend persists up to the underground economy. Working classpeople are being motivated by cultural imperialism to have aperception of thinking for themselves as a constituent of hierarchyencourages a difference every moment in living style, race, andgender. Such disparities are enhanced to deprive and to create areal rift that can help to distinguish various classes of peoplewithin the society.3
Everyconcept that is being introduced in the community must have aspecific objective that it must fulfill, for example, the primarygoal of cultural imperialism is to encourage for economic andpolitical exploitation of youths in the society. There are certainissues that crop in the society, such as stately entertainment andadvertisement that targets teens since they are highly vulnerable tothe United States commercial propaganda. There is no confusion sincethe message being passed is clear and direct ‘modernity’ a termlinked with consuming United States media products. Statistics showthat youths constitute a major market regarding the cultural exportof the United States as much as they are prone or vulnerable to theconsumerist-individualist propaganda. The mass media has a way ofmanipulating young child’s rebelliousness through appropriating thelanguage of the latter and directing disgruntlement into theoverindulgences of the clientele. Among the young people, culturalimperialism does not only target the market but it also focuses onthe politics reasons that help to undercut political tensions andindividual rebellion can result in political revolt againsteconomic.4
Duringthe past years continuous movement confront a paradox: while thepopulation that are found in the third world underwent decliningliving standards, insecurity, corruption within the public sector.With such condition prevailing in the country a small section prospertremendously as never before while majority continued to suffer undersevere poverty. In order to circumvent these situations there weresporadic revolts that were merged with large scale protest that couldeither last for long duration. Considering some elements such asgrowing inequalities and socio-economic condition there is a ridge ora gap that has been created and that can be regarded as subjectiveresponse. On the other, there is an objective condition that is foundin the third world country and is not associated with an upsurge ofsubjective forces that can result in transforming the nation orsociety. It is evident that there is linear correlation that existsbetween socio-economic regression and socio-political change culturalintervention that is composed of ideology, consciousness and socialaction is very significant as it helps to transform objectivesituation into sensible political interference. Conversely, imperialpolicy-makers are claimed that indeed they have conceptualized thesignificance of the cultural element of political actions much farbetter as compared to their fellow antagonists.5
CulturalDomination and Global Exploitation
Theconcept of imperialism is never explicitly comprehended as aneconomic-military system of regulation, and the manipulation andcultural power can be perceived as an integral element that formspart of a sustained system of global exploitation.6Cultural imperialism can be defined differently , for instance, inthe third world countries it is considered as systematic intrusionand domination of the cultural life of class that is well presentedby ruling powers of the west that readjust behaviour, values,institutions with an objective to oppress the people to embrace thedesires of the imperial class. With critical evaluation of culturalcolonialism it has been established that it has taken the custom oftradition and present values to make it efficient. In some pastdecades there were critical roles that were played by churches,educational institutions and public organization by educating theircitizens with the concept of submission, and loyalty in the name ofdivine principles. The original concept of cultural imperialism isstill persistent and functioning while the up to dateinstrumentalists that are grounded in the present-day institutionsthat have embraced the idea of imperial domination and become thecenter of that idea.7
Thereare certain elements in the community that have indeed a centralimpact in the society such as intellectuals, mass broadcasting,publicity advertisement and secular entrainment. There are someprograms that have become more influential among the communities, forexample, CNN, Hollywood have become more popular as compared toVatican, Bible, or political figure. There are two factors that areassociated with cultural penetration and they are responsible for itsspread: economic manipulation and economic-military supremacy.Similarly, when United States employed military intervention incentral Africa to support genocidal systems they were trying tosafeguard financial interest and that enhance cultural penetration inthe society8.Different groups were financed with varied motives United Statesfunded evangelicals to have influence and access to the Indianvillages so as to teach about submission among the peasant-Indianfatalities. Moreover, there are international forums that are held tofind mechanism of sponsoring domestic intellectual so that they canbe in a position to discuss market and democracy. Similarly, a numberof nations are influenced by individual television programs thatdisplayed illusions and that continued to enhance culturaldomination. Therefore, it can be seen that cultural diffusion is apointer to the exercising of counter-insurgence struggle throughnon-military methods.9
Exampleof Cultural Imperialism in the British Empire
Theperiod the universe experienced extension of British influence aroundthe globe was in the 18th century and 19th century and that wastriggered by economic and political mechanism. Apart from those twofactors political and economic, their expansion was also associatedwith high cultural dimension and social aspect and it was latertermed by Rudyard Kipling as white man’s liability. They utilizedreligious proselytize to realize their objective around the world,especially London Missionary Society were very significant and theyact as agent of British cultural imperialism. Another mechanism thatwas used by the British was through education where they providedlearning materials to the colonies for an imperial syllabus.10 According to Morgan Bells, he noted that empires that were promotedthrough educational curriculum, books, illustrative materials weremanipulated at a high rate and that formed part of culturalimperialism. More penetration in those nations were enhanced throughscience and technology and the colonies embraced every ideas thatwere brought by the British little did they know that they are beingtransformed culturally. With regards to the research conducted byDouglas and Nandini Gooptu, they found out that numerous scholars inIndia who learned colonial science tend to emphasize manners throughwhich science and technology worked in the service of colonialism.Hence, since and technology functioned as a tool of empire in thepractical aspect and it also acted as a channel for culturalimperialism. The development of science in India did not mirror theirprinciples but it was geared towards the foreign priorities and itpromoted the interest of the Europeans as opposed to the locals inIndia. Since, there were no alternatives for the Indians theyremained loyal to the scientific authorities within the regions thatwere ruled by the westerns.11
EdwardSaid is a renowned scholar who conducted an evaluation on culturalimperialism and the findings were majorly drawn from the BritishEmpire. Some of the scholars such as Danilo Raponi suggested thatcultural imperialism that was instigated by the British in nineteenthcentury had a significant effect in other empire as compared toBritish Empire. As a result cultural imperialism can be viewed as acomplicated cultural control of a nation, during those periods GreatBritain had no rivalry with respect to safeguarding their power andmonitoring political, cultural and commercial issues of severalnations. Therefore, cultural supremacy empowered a country to exporttheir primary ideas and concept at the center of its understanding ofcivilization and they had no limits the best example is Italy.12
Implicationof to Christian
Thereare numerous effects that result due to conversion and culturalimperialism to Christian since they are compiled to embrace certainvalues and principles and values that can either be positive ornegative. As the missionaries come from the western countries theycame along with certain culture that they perceived to be superior tothose found in the Christian churches. Some of the implicationsdiscussed below are different methods of worship, abandoning ofnative ways of Christian, introduction of Christianity in somenations, erosion of real Christian doctrine and misunderstanding.13
NewApproaches of Worship
Conversionand cultural colonization formulated innovative ways of worship thatwere entirely different from the one that were practiced by thelocals. For instance, fellowship that was carried out in houses waschanged and Christians start building places of worship where theymet and share together. Additionally, considering the Christianity inthe African churches there are some elements that were introducedthat helped to shape Christian such as playing instruments, readingthe Bible, and honoring Christian holiday among others. Similarly,cultural imperialism come with different design of churchconstructions that most African nations have adopted and someuniformity can be seen all over.14
Abandoningof Native Ways of Christianity
Beforethe coming of the missionaries there were native ways that Christiansused to worship for instance, in the foot of big mountain or around abig tree. Due to cultural imperialism such culture were eroded byconstricting places where people can have fellowship. It is recordedthat before the coming of the missionaries there were no order ofconducting service but cultural imperialism generated methods clearstrategies of conducting service in the church. There wereintroduction of schools were people were taught the Bible andinformed on how to exercise faith in their daily life.15
Introductionof Christianity in Some Nations
Therewere some countries where people have not known the existence of Godand cultural imperialism helped to spread the gospel into thosenations and the number of Christians increased worldwide. If it werenot for conversion and cultural imperialism there are some placesthat up to could have not experienced the gospel and that could havehad an impact on the number of Christians. Therefore culturalimperialism played a critical role in the spread Christian religionand that helped to increases the number of Christian in all nations.That has made Christianity the largest religion in the world and thenumber of converts continues to grows on a daily basis.16
Erosionof Real Christian Doctrine
Beforethe coming of the missionaries the then Christians had their own wayof worshiping such as beneath the mountain or the larger tree. Apartfrom that they had their own way that they conducted services but dueto cultural imperialism there were alteration made with regards toorder of services. Hence, new principles and values were introducedsuch as church constructions, reading of the Bible, coming up withBible schools among others. Cultural imperialism made many peoplefrom the African setting to forget their values and embrace modernprinciple that were brought as a result of cultural imperialism.Similarly, Christian holiday that are celebrated with many nationtheir genesis can be traced to the cultural imperialism since mostpeople did not understand them or have any idea related to them.17
Culturalimperialism can be regarded as a forced influence that is imposed ona subject of a population or it can be a voluntary act of adoptingforeign culture by the citizens of a particular nation. There aredivisions that are created by cultural imperialism among the workingclass a temporary example is where staffs that are more stable areadvised to create a gap between them and the temporary workers. Someof the implications of cultural imperialism are new methods ofworship, abandoning of native ways of Christian, introduction ofChristianity in some nations, erosion of real Christian doctrine andmisunderstanding.
Calloway,Colin G. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of Howthe West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
Corley,J. S. Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the EarlyAmerican Republic by Emily Conroy-Krutz (review). Journal of WorldHistory, 27(3), 584-586, 2016
Grunlan,Stephan A., and Mayers,Marvin K. Cultural Anthropology: A ChristianPerspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2nd Special ed. edition, 1988.
Perdue,Theda. The Cherokee Removal. 2nd. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s,2016.
TheWorld Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America. 2nd.Boston, ,MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 2016.
Tomlinson,John. Culturalimperialism.Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2012.
1 J. S Corley. (2016). Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic by Emily Conroy-Krutz (review). Journal of World History, 27(3), 584-586.
2 Stephan Grunlan, A., and Mayers,Marvin K. Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2nd Special ed. edition, 1988.
4 Theda Perdue,. The Cherokee Removal. 2nd. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 2016.
5 The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America. 2nd. Boston, ,MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 2016.
6 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
7 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
8 Tomlinson, John. Cultural imperialism. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2012.
9 J. S Corley. (2016). Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic by Emily Conroy-Krutz (review). Journal of World History, 27(3), 584-586.
10 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
11 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
12 J. S Corley. (2016). Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic by Emily Conroy-Krutz (review). Journal of World History, 27(3), 584-586.
13 Stephan Grunlan, A., and Mayers,Marvin K. Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2nd Special ed. edition, 1988
14 J. S Corley. (2016). Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic by Emily Conroy-Krutz (review). Journal of World History, 27(3), 584-586.
15 Stephan Grunlan, A., and Mayers,Marvin K. Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2nd Special ed. edition, 1988
16 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.
17 Colin G Calloway,. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost. Reprint . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin`s, 1996.