Author: Ruth Robinson
The years which bridge the 20th and 21st centuries mark a turning point in global relations. Mass communication, the wide-spread influence of multinational company money, unprecedented acts of terror and new movements of immigrants are all part of the changing way in which we think about ourselves as civilizations, as nations, as communities and as individuals. The slow and constant transformation of how we see ourselves affects the patterns of communication with others, and the metamorphosis of our communication patterns impacts the concept we have of ourselves.
Not unlike its role as the birthplace of Reformation and Renaissance, Europe plays an integral part in these waves of change. Due to the impact of globalization, many influences affecting the European continent are found in other Western cultures and, in a lesser way, (Ester et al. 1993:110, in Robinson 1999:5) in many other cultures around the globe. (For the purpose of this discussion, the “West” will be defined by the national boundaries and cultures of North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and partially, South Africa; the West is basically a “European-American civilization.”) (Huntington 1996:47)
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