The Case For Contamination By Kwame Anthony Appiah

1448 WordsJul 4, 20166 Pages
Through the lenses of preservationists, culture is authentic, carries traditions that keep historical ancestry alive, and is threatened by “cultural imperialism”. From a cosmopolitan perspective, culture is the freedom of choice, made up of multiple values and ideas that allow individuals to reinvigorate its uniqueness in an ever changing society. In “The Case for Contamination”, published by the New York Times Magazine, Kwame Anthony Appiah addresses the concern regarding the diminishment of cultural identity in poor countries by introducing the idea of cosmopolitanism: being free from cultural preordains and engaging in a pluralist society. Appiah endorses globalization and explains that resisting cultural interconnection will perhaps trap people in a stagnating society and avert it from achieving a pluralistic environment. He claims that cosmopolitanism enables individuals to adopt foreign culture based on how they see fit within their cultural context, and without “structuring the consciousness” and detaching people from traditional beliefs. Indeed, people consider their traditional beliefs when introduced to Western culture because it allows them to draw valuable lessons from cultural import and enforce their own principles and notions. However, there are instances in which this “cultural imperialism” separates individuals from their traditional beliefs, regardless of their cultural surroundings and efforts to prevent cultural assimilation, because in many situations
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