Globalizations Effects On Vietnamese Culture Cultural Studies Essay

Class :1TC-12

Topic :Globalization’s effects on Vietnamese culture


Conceived from 15th century by developed countries, globalization have been widespread round the world with establishment of international organizations such as: WTO, AFTA, APEC and Vietnam is not exception. This report, based on the primary research and fundamental analysis, discusses different opinions about globalization definition and related items in culture. Moreover, the findings of the research are to point out some advanges and drawbacks of globalization context in keeping Vietnamese cutural identity. However, the research cannot cover fully all dimensions of the problems due to the shortage of available materials.


A/ Overview


According to Lauren Movius of University of southern California, USA, globalization, which is not determined by any accurate definition, has become the most mentioned theme in science research papers (Laurenmovius n.d.). Whereas almost experts believed that globalization process was formed from three main fields: economy, polity, culture and society .( Burbules & Torres, 2000; Carnoy & Rhoten, 2002; Held & McGrew,2003; lauder,2006; Mebrahtu,2000; Nissanke & Thorbecke, 2007; Stromquist & Monkman, 2000, cited in Jane 2008, p. 14). Similarly, in Sociology: A Brief Introduction, globalization was also defined as " the worldwide integration of government policies, culture, social movements and financial market through trade and the exchange of ideas". Moreover, this process was the result of the significant development in technology and interacting of national economics around the world.(Duong 2009) . Thus, to conclude, globalization can be understood basically as changes in society and economy around the world along with the growth of combination and exchange among nations, organizations or individuals in the corner Education, economy, etc. on a global scope.

Cultural globalization in the past and today

From the perspective of globalization, culture should be seen as the process of the cultivation of an intricate inner life that takes on form and meaning in social action on a global scale.(Vesajoki 2002). Vietnamese historians consensus that Vietnam has a quite large and various cultural community that formed around the first half of the first millennium BC and flourished in the middle of this millennium (Cong thong tin dien tu chinh phu ). It was Dong Son cultural community, a combination of different development paths of indigenous culture in the different regions: Red River Basin, Ma River, Ca River, etc ( Cong thong tin dien tu Chinh phu). An expert, Nguyen Tran Bat, pointed out in his research Cultural Globalization: A View From Vietnam some differences beteen ptevious and present globalisation (2002). In the past, when transportation and communication had not developed completely, there was a simple location of cultural identity in different areas without exchange and communication among them.(Nguyen 2002). However, nowadays, in parallel with development of many fields,especially economy and technology, people can have more chances to collect information and interact with people around the world easily(2002). Moreover,this advance lead appearance of "multi-national and transnational corporations and international institutions" recently. Consequently, acculturation process has been occurred, forming cultural diversity with strange and unique characteristics (2002).

B/ Globalization creates many opportunities in the fied of culture

Culture diversity

As mentioned above, globalization brings some positive movements in Vietnamese culture, especially, culture diversity. In which, custom contains some substantial changes in foods, language and arts. Firstly, about cuisine, before 1954, the main food of Vietnamese are rice, boiled dishes and others with a sophisticated combination of materials and spices (Vu 2013). In special occasions, they often gathered together, prepared for a meal and enjoyed traditional foods at home such as: Chung cake, spring roll, Pho, etc, each occasion has separate traditional foods. However, in the modern life, Vietnamese are accustomed to using fast food as well as enjoying wonderful meals in foreign restaurants with well-known trademarks such as: KFC, Lotteria, Coca cola and there is a diversification in both kinds of foods and methods of cooking (Duong 2009). Secondly, language, as a tool of communication, is a special society phenomenon, demonstrates changes of society and it is also influenced by social changes, markedly. Namely, globalization created global communication function for some languages, expanded words’ meaning, diversified international terms, especially, English (Nguyen 2002). Actually, in Vietnam, from mid-19th century, Vietnam was effected by French culture and language. Duong Thi Nao,a lectuter of Sai Gon Art and Culture and Tourism College,asserted in The globalizaton of vietnamese language that in mid 20th century, most of Vietnamese intellectuals were good at using French and French was the main language in teaching knowledge in schools(n.d., p. 2). In present time, the more multinational corporations have been established around the world, the more foreign languages penetrate and develop in our country day by day: English, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, for instance (Duong n.d.). Therefore, cultural globalization is meaning language globalization.About arts, Vietnam has about 50 musical instruments, including percussion is the most popular, most diverse and oldest history with monochord is the most unique one. Contacting with Western culture in 20th century, there are many types of arts that appeared and developed strongly in Vietnam such as drama, photography, cinema, dance music and modern art. Moreover, they not only achieve international pride but also have a more practical significance: to improve Vietnamese living standard, nowadays (Cong thong tin dien tu chinh phu, n.d.).

Ehancing the possibility of interaction and adaptation among countries

Globalization also improve interaction and adaptation ability when Vietnamese have working or studying chances in foreign countries. ( Don & Goldbard, n.d). Specifically, it avoids culture shocks, a concept was first given in 1954 by a American anthropologist, Kalvero Oberg (1901-1973) to describe the state of anxiety and a sense of surprise, confusion, ect when someone arrive to live in a new environment (Vu 2012). For example, the number of Vietnamese students studying in foreign countries such as Australia, America, Singapore have been increasing day by day. Living in a new country, Vietnamese students often face inevitable problems such as: language, cuisine, communication, activities, law (2011). Therefore, knowledge and experience in foreign culture are useful preparation in this situation.

Improving knowledge

Especially, last but not least, cultural globalization helps Vietnamese access understanding and knowledge of other cultures through communication, interaction modern mass media as well as study and research process. Consequently, conflicts among different customs, conventionality, religions, human relationships are reduced without cultural misunderstanding(Don & Arlene n.d.) Besides, when having a deep and spread knowledge, people realise real value of Vietnamese culture, therefore, they can be confident and pound of their heritage( Don & Arlene n.d.).

C/ Threats

Cultural dilution and distortion.

On the other hand, nowadays, it is remained some discontents of cultural globalization.

Firstly, the most easily identifiable highlight is cultural dilution: is the process of culture mixing together and national culture does not keep completely its real value (Pan 2007). The fact is that this phenomenon is performed clearly in teenager the most. These behaviours are to admire Korean and Western artists (Phan 2000), prefer famous fashion branches and using foreign languages or mixed language even there are some confusion in using of Vietnamese and English grammar (Duong n.d.). In the fact that, there is a few of Vietnamese who know how to play national instruments, or intend to learn them (Phan 2000). Besides, it is not difficult to realise advertising poster with English on Vietnamese or Vietnamese films in Korean style on television (Duong 2009). Moreover, foods in Vietnam also have been affected by Chinese cooking methods and Western styles, fast food (Huynh 2010). In deed, cultural globalization makes the failure of traditional value, ignore traditional heritage and disappear traditional craft villages. Moreover, a report in Bao moi revealed that Vietnamese people organize some Western special holidays such as: Valentine’ day, Halloween, Christmas,etc ( September 2010). Especially, the young don’t need to understand the meaning or purpose of these holiday, although they look forward to them to have colourful clothes, toupee, mask,etc.This pernetration, apart from making life more various, has a side effect that it falsifies tradional cultural perspectives (2010).

Cultural assimilation

The second threat of cultural globalization is cultural assimilation: is interpenetration and fusion of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture(Phan 2000). These behaviours are to admire Korean and Western artists (2000), prefer famous fashion branches, international channel, modern life style and using foreign languages or mixed language even there are some confusion in using of Vietnamese and English grammars (Duong n.d.). The difference in the modern recipe and traditional recipe.( Duong n.d.)

"Peaceful evolution"

Finally, cultural globalization endangers Vietnamese politic by "Peaceful evolution". In detail, it leads to culture and ideology evolution through effects of " popular bourgeois values in Vietnamese society, dominant socialism and nationally cultural values" (Duong 2007). As a result, Vietnamese religion, democracy, human rights are also depreciated ( 2007).


In conclusion, cutural exchange is an essential rule of national existance and development process, especially in the international integration with the impact of the current globalization process, nowadays. The wave of globalization brings both benefits and drawbacks for Vietnamese culture, requiring reasonable methods to protect traditional culture and integrate modern ones. Therefore, the Vietnamese government and related agencies should have incentive policies to develop traditional art in the young generation as well as strickly handle illegal actions which against national cultural values. However, the most efficient method is improving awareness of citizents by propagation and education about the importance of national cuture in their life.