Are the forces of globalization making us more alike each other than ever before?

Are the forces of globalization making us more alike each other than ever before? We can probably all spot evidence of popular culture in our daily lives. Did you see or hear an advertisement today? Did you see a brand name or a logo that you recognized? Did you eat at a chain restaurant or buy something that was mass-produced? Even if you didnt eat at a chain restaurant, nearly all of the food we eat is in a factory at some point and part of agricultural mass-production. So, even if you didnt shop online or buy something at a “brick and mortar” store, you may have paid for or consumed something that was largely influenced by the forces of popular culture. Can you also find the influence of folk culture?

Try to find evidence of both folk and popular culture in your life (now or in the past), and then explore how widespread these influences are. Then, make sure you understand the convergence hypothesis and the possible alternatives suggested in the chapter. Decide: Do you agree or disagree with the convergence hypothesis? To do this, you should be familiar with:

The Chapter 2 explanation of the convergence hypothesis.
The maps in Chapter 2.
The descriptions of folk cultures in Chapter 2.
Geographer Michael Weisss understanding of popular culture. See the section “Is Popular Culture Placeless?”
The vocabulary from Chapter 2.
Write at least 250 words responding to the convergence hypothesis. Build a case for why it is true, is not true, or is partially true. Include in your response a brief explanation of how both folk and popular culture are evident in your life.

Note: There are no required videos or PowerPoint presentations to watch this week, however you may want to check out a quick video on my Human Geography YouTube playlist called “10 Little Known Facts About the Amish” (#2 on the playlist), since Amish culture often serves as “the” example of folk culture, or folk culture in the extreme. Access it on the main course menu by clicking on “YouTube Playlist”.

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