We often think of cultures as fixed and invariable pieces of a nation’s identity. Even though we live in the 21st century, a lot of our customs and traditions date back to past millennia. The cultures regularly went through changes over the centuries, and they are even changing as we speak. So, yes, cultures can be changed. We will discuss what are the causes of cultural changes and their processes.
Technology, or better yet, inventions, have caused tremendous changes in how we live. The industrial revolution turned the world upside down and created a whole new way of production, thus impacting our economy, politics, environment, and more. The invention of devices like the telephone changed the way we communicate and how we do business with each other. The same can be said for transportation, as airplanes gave us an opportunity to easily travel to far away places and meet cultures that are different from our own. The advancement in medicine created greater longevity among all people and changed the way we manage our lifetime.
While discoveries in the field of technology may have had the most significant impact on the cultural changes around the globe, the same can easily be said for non-material findings. In the past several centuries, education has become available to the vast majority of people in the world, thus creating a more knowledgeable population. The progress in social issues, like women rights and racial segregation, has also changed the way we live and treat each other. Although we discussed medicine in the technology part, the expansion of knowledge in nutrition altered the way we eat and prepare food.
In today’s world, almost every finding is only a few clicks away from us. We may not realize it, but the information we receive over the internet and television largely impacts our societies. People now have the opportunity to learn about other cultures more efficiently than ever before. Only a few decades ago, many cultures remained closed from us, as we lacked in sources to diffuse them. Even our own national traits couldn’t be spread around so quickly to other parts of the world. We can say with certainty that cultural diffusion today is at its peak in history.
Cultures are changing, and they will likely never stop changing. In fact, this will lead to many customs and traditions to die out. However, this process will create new intellectual achievements to replace them. Although many cultures still remain unique to a certain degree, culture is something that will continuously go through shifts, more for the better than for worse.