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Culture Today

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    With the world in flux from globalization and technological advances, people are developing multiple identities apparent in their local and global linkages. Cultural identity is becoming increasingly contextual in the postmodern world where people transform and adapt depending on time and place (Kottak and Kozaitis 2012). Social and cultural changes now adapt in response to single events or issues. The instant response and connections to others beyond time and place immediately impacts our lives, and we have the technology to react quickly with our thoughts and actions.

    Approximately two-thirds of American adults are online connecting with others, working, studying, or learning (Griswold 2013). The increasing use of the Internet makes virtual worlds and cybersocial interactions powerful in constructing new social realities. Having a networked society allows anyone to be a cultural creator and develop an audience by sharing their thoughts, ideas, and work online. Amateurs are now cultural creators and have the ability to control dissemination of their creations (Griswold 2013). Individuals now have the freedom to restrict or share cultural meaning and systems.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Woman Wearing Black Long Sleeved Shirt Using Laptop. (CC BY 4.0; Christina Morillo).

    Postmodern culture and the new borderless world fragments traditional social connections into new cultural elements beyond place, time, and diversity without norms. People can now live within global electronic cultural communities and reject cultural meta-narratives (Griswold 2013). Postmodern culture also blurs history by rearranging and juxtaposing unconnected signs to produce new meanings. We find references to actual events in fictional culture and fictional events in non-fictional culture (Barker and Jane 2016). Many U.S. television dramas refer to 9/11 in episodes focusing on terrorists or terrorist activities. Additionally, U.S. social activities and fundraising events will highlight historical figures or icons. The blurring of non-fiction and fiction creates a new narrative or historical reality people begin to associate with and recognize as actual or fact.


    1. How has globalization and technology changed culture and cultural tastes?
    2. How have people harnessed these changes into cultural objects or real culture?
    3. How do you envision the growth or transformation of receivers or the audience as participants in cultural production?
    4. What cultural objects are threatened in the age of postmodern culture?

    This page titled Culture Today is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Vera Kennedy.