IS THE MODERN DESTROYING POPULAR CULTURES?

Anita De Melo

 

Abstract

 

One issue of interest today is the state of “traditional” or “popular” cultures in the age of globalization. It has been claimed that the modern has made a great impact on Latin America’s Primitive Cultures. This paper contrasts different perspectives regarding the influence of globalization on traditional cultures, focusing specifically on the example of the Otavaleno Ecuadorian Indians community, as described by Jonathan Kandell in his article “Shuttle Capitalism. An Ecuadorian Indian Community Turns a Traditional Craft into a Tool For Cultural Survival and Takes it to the Street Corners of the Word.” In counterpoint, Beatriz Sarlo in her article “Popular Cultures, Old and New” addresses the positive as well as the negative sides of globalization in traditional cultures, which gives one reason to question whether the Otavalenos’ position toward globalization is self-conscious (self-serving), or if it is a kind of reactive ethnicity in the face of external threats. In addition to Sarlo’s premises, the ideas of Jean Franco and George Yúdice on globalization enhance the discussion.

 

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