chapter  8
14 Pages

Globalization and regionalism: the rise of a new cultural movement in Bali, Indonesia THOM AS REUTER

This chapter begins with a reflection on what is happening to human cultural diversity in the current climate of globalization. The future of human cultural diversity is an important scientific, moral and political issue. As social scientists, we first need to decide whether it is true that globalization leads initially to a mixing of different cultures and eventually to a homogenization into a single, global monoculture (Fukuyama 1992). While there may be some evidence to support such a hypothesis, we also have been witnessing a counter current towards renewed diversity in the global resurgence of regional ethnic, religious or other forms of cultural identities. Are these regional identity movements no more than a momentary, futile and neo-traditionalist revivalism? Or are they serious assertions of actual and significant cultural differences, and hence indicative of limits to the homogenizing forces of globalization? These questions are not simply a matter of scientific curiosity; they are also at the heart of major political struggles. Some neoconservatives seek to legitimize their vision of globalization by portraying it as a natural historical process leading to homogenization, while others prefer to view it as the by-product of a particular system of political and economic domination. Depending on how we as social scientists respond to some of these questions and assertions, we need to decide whether this process is something we should critique and oppose, or celebrate and support, or simply accept as altogether beyond influence.