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The Internet and cultural diversity

October 10, 2009

How much do we know about the Internet and its impact on cultural diversity worldwide? Or if you are an ethnographer and object to the word ‘impact’, what difference does the Internet make to cultural diversity around the globe?

My own hunch is that the Internet contributes to both cultural homogenisation and cultural diversification. For instance, it homogenises the way in which many of us around the globe consume music (YouTube, mp3, p2p sharing, last.fm, etc.). On the other hand, the Internet fosters the further diversification of the already hugely varied field of popular music, not least by allowing more and more global citizens to develop and share their own musical practices within small niches. The same could be said about current trends in other spheres of cultural production.

Is anyone out there writing about the Internet and cultural diversity? I would really like to know about their work.

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