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  The term Westernization describes the cultural influences of the developed nations of Europe and America on other parts of the world, such as with the arts, literature, media and music. It is a phenomenon that is greatly enhanced by the travel and communication networks of the 20th century, leading to a kind of ‘global shrinkage’. But Westernization does not follow a predictable pattern for all societies. A varied and complex range of responses may occur with any one community. They may adapt certain features of Westernization or fuse them with their own traditions. Sometimes, Westernization may be resisted in an active way and initiate a revival of one\'s own cultural traditions.

Marxist perspectives on Westernization consider the historical, political and economic dimensions. They claim that the present situation, in which there is a stronghold of influences in Western, ‘developed’ nations and a periphery of non-Western ‘undeveloped’ or ‘developing’ countries, has largely arisen out of a colonialist relationship in the past. This relationship was (and as some would argue, still is) one of a predator and its prey. The spread of capitalist institutions into colonial and post-colonial countries provides the means to appropriate cheap labour and raw materials from the tropical periphery in order to bulwark the prosperity and global control of the Western metropolitan nations. The cultural aspects of Westernization are no more than ideological mechanisms to dominate on political and economic grounds.

Critics have argued that this is too sweeping and mechanistic a view. It fails to consider the internal dynamics of how non-Western countries manage their own cultural and economic affairs, accommodating principles of Western culture and capitalism but not being subsumed by it. BO\'L

See also ethnomusicology; colonialism; evolutionism; Marxist anthropology; modernization; syncretism.Further reading Mike Featherstone (ed.), Global Culture; , Anthony D. King (ed.), Culture, Globalisation and the World System.



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