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Cultural Diffusion and Convergence

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Presentation on theme: "Cultural Diffusion and Convergence"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cultural Diffusion and Convergence
Essential Question How does the spatial diffusion of ideas, products, and traits lead to change, including cultural divergence and convergence?

2 Cultural Diffusion and Types
A process of spatial exchange in which ideas, products, cultural traits and even diseases spread from one place to another. Diffusion: how something spreads Types of Cultural Diffusion: spread of technology. Europeans adopted gunpowder, the compass, and printing from China.

3 Types of Cultural Diffusion
The exchange of products: The Columbian Exchange: Europeans learned new ideas and products. Native Americans obtain new animals and faced deadly diseases.

4 Types of Cultural Diffusion cont’d
Spread of cultural traits: American movies, “pop” music, TV programs, “fast foods,” and casual dress styles have all spread around the world.

5 Types of Cultural Diffusion cont’d
The spread of ideas. Religions often spread their beliefs from one place to another. Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Spread of Chinese Culture to Japan. Japan written language and Buddhism spread from China.

6 Types of Cultural Diffusion cont’d
Pandemics: Spread of diseases. Bubonic Plague in Europe. 1/3 of Europe population killed in less than 10 years. Spread from China through rats on merchant ships.

7 Has there been cases of Bubonic today?!?
Globally, the World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 human cases of plague every year. On , ABC News reported[3] that three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory. The mice were unaccounted-for at the Public Health Research Institute University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and conducts bioterrorism research for the United States federal government.                                                                                                                  Worldwide distribution of plague infected animals 1998 World distribution of plague, 1998, from CDC File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Contemporary cases



10 Types of Cultural Diffusion cont’d
Pandemics cont’d Spread of smallpox, typhus and measles in the Americas to Native American Indians. Brought to the new world when Spanish arrived in late 1400s.

11 Cultural Convergence Different cultures acquire common ideas, products, and traits becoming more similar. Convergence means “to come together” Examples: The Columbian Exchange led to cultural convergence. Globalization: the creation of a common global culture.


13 Cultural Convergence Examples
Democratic Ideas: In the 1980s and 1990s, democratic government spread to many new areas of the world, replacing military dictatorships and communist states. English Language: English has become quite widespread as the international second language throughout the world. New Technologies: Satellite TV Global Sports Competitions: Winter/Summer Olympics; World Cup in soccer.

14 Cultural Divergence Different parts of a cultural region are exposed to different influences and become dissimilar. Divergence means “separate.” Example: Roman Empire divided into Western and Eastern Empires.

15 Cultural Divergence cont’d
More Examples: Islamic influences in India divided the region into Hindu and Muslim. Aztecs and Yaquis: Native tribes in Mexico at one time spoke the same language, but became separate groups. Aztecs migrated to Central Mexico, spoke different language and practice different religion from Yaquis.

16 Review Which of the following is the best example of cultural convergence? Different countries in Europe today have similar standards of living and systems of government. Some Turkish “guest workers” in Germany cannot read or write in German. People in the Sahel region of Africa are moving to nearby regions to escape dry conditions from drought. Some universities do not require students to study a foreign language. ANSWER: A

17 Review Which was a direct result of the initial contact between European cultures and Native American cultures in the 1490s? Most Spaniards migrated to the “New World.” Spanish settlers rejected Christianity for Native American religious beliefs. New diseases arrived in the Americas from which natives lacked immunity. Native Americans used Spanish settlers as a source of cheap labor. ANSWER: C


19 Review How might history have been different if the cultures of Europe and the Americas had never come into contact? What factors do you think have most helped American popular culture to spread throughout the world over the past 50 years?

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