Cultural fusion

An alternative to assimilation

Authored by: Eric Mark Kramer

The Routledge Companion to Migration, Communication, and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058149
eBook ISBN: 9781315164472
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315164472-8

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Abstract

Principles of cultural fusion theory (CFT) and pan-evolution theory explicate the cultural churning of multiple cultural horizons operant in globalized channels of exchange and influence. Operant principles grounding the conceptual framework include mutual influence of exchange, alterity, reversibility, fusional processes of cultural contact, and the growing multiplicity of channels. The churning that characterizes the global semantic field, which is our dynamic habitus, constitutes the nexus of new cultural forms emergent from multiple sources resulting in an unfixed polysemic environment provocative of innovation. Change is difference/deviance. CFT and pan-evolution theory argue that foreign ideas and behaviors are integrated by cultural systems adding them to already existing repertoires and making sense of them from interlocutors’ relative perspectives. The “host group” and the newcomer are each changed by interaction in an integral process. The old mechanistic social Darwinian metaphor of “functional fitness” belies the organic nature of mutual influence and learning while falsely characterizing host societies as presumptively supplying indigenous and inflexible “niches” thus defining diversity as a corruption if not impossible.

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