Cultural invasion

Other Names:
Cultural warfare
A foreign culture and technology can impinge on indigenous populations who may be backward and unable to compete against the invaders; they are therefore rendered dependent on the new system. Where cultural invasion occurs in developed countries it also has adverse dependency consequences which equally result in debt and a disruption of the existing society.

Cultural invasion is particularly serious in its effects where the invading culture overwhelms and destroys the integrity of the receiving culture. This is best seen in the case of indigenous groups whose homelands have been appropriated for economic development. Deprived of their ancestral lands, and with their way of life disrupted, they lose their autonomy and self-respect; unable to adjust to changed economic conditions, they fall into poverty and suffer malnutrition and disease. Cultural invasion tends to have negative effects on cultural diversity.

Cultural invasion formerly occurred in the sense of colonization and political domination. Now it is less overt but nonetheless widespread. It occurs in international trade and industrial development overseas when promoted by a powerful country. Countries which fall prey to excessive foreign investment find themselves heavily in debt (Philippines). Cultural invasion is particularly marked in developing countries where certain cultural aspects of the donor of aid pervade the receiver, disregarding the latter's own culture. The most notable effect of cultural invasion can be seen with indigenous tribes whose homelands have been seized for economic development. Unable to adjust, they become totally dependent, easily exploited and die from poverty, malnutrition and disease. Wherever cultural invasion occurs the loss in diversity of cultural heritage is marked.

In 1996 McDonald's opened in India for the first time: a country where the majority of the population is vegetarian and the cow is sacred.

Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
11.01.2000 – 00:00 CET