In What Ways Is Culture Diffused

Examples of Cultural Diffusion in the World Around You

The transmission of cultural beliefs and social activities from one group of people to another is referred to as cultural diffusion or diffusion of ideas. Through cultural dispersion, people’s horizons are enlarged and their cultural backgrounds grow more diverse. As examples of cultural spread, consider a man getting sushi. For example, a lady residing in Manhattan could decide to acquire mala prayer beads, which are used by Buddhist monks to concentrate on a single breath or a single mantra while praying.

The outcome of her life would have been substantially different if she had only ever strolled the streets of Manhattan, never interacting with any product or activity outside of her city limits.

The mingling of world cultures via diverse races, faiths, and countries has only risen as communication, transportation, and technological advancements have progressed in recent decades.

This enrichment helps us to broaden our perspectives and absorb as much information as we can from every part of the globe.

Common Cultural Diffusions

Let’s broaden our sights beyond those sushi dinners and daily tweets by looking at other examples of cultural dispersion that are now taking place in society:

  • Chinatown in New York City is home to the biggest concentration of Chinese people in the Western hemisphere. You’ll discover some of the most excellent and genuine Chinese cuisine in the United States right here. In addition, the spread of music around the world is an example of cultural diffusion. Jazz, for example, originated in the United States as a fusion of African and European musical traditions. Now, it’s appreciated all over the world, with many distinct varieties within the genre to choose from. There are signs in both English and Spanish in southern cities in the United States, particularly border towns, recognizing the spread of people between neighboring nations. Many individuals in European cities and former colonies speak both their native language and English, which is a rare occurrence these days. In reality, due to the expansion of the language through imperialism and trade, non-native speakers of English account for over 80% of all English speakers across the world. Japanese culture has long piqued the interest of visitors from other countries. Sushi, a traditional Japanese meal, has gained widespread appeal around the world, demonstrating the globalization of Japanese culture and cuisine. The French Quarter in New Orleans, some 300 years after its founding, continues to showcase a variety of French culture via its architecture and food. People in the United States commemorate Cinco de Mayo, which honors Mexico’s triumph against the French Empire, in part because of the country’s substantial Mexican population. In fact, the day is perhaps more widely observed in the United States now than it is in Mexico itself.

Religion and Cultural Diffusion

Many societies have always considered religion to be an essential aspect of their way of life. A lot of fascinating research have been conducted on the connections between Buddhism and Christianity, which you can read about here). And this is the essential beauty of cultural diffusion: the enlargement of the intellect as a result of exposure to new ideas. We have the opportunity to learn a great deal more and live our best lives as a result of a friend or acquaintance from another faith. Let’s take a look at the process of cultural dissemination at work in religious communities today.

  • Christianity originated in Israel, but it is today practiced across the world, having been first disseminated throughout the world by the Roman Empire. Buddhism moved from India to China during the Han Dynasty, thanks to the march of Emperor Wu’s soldiers and the creation of new trade routes. Following immigration, Islam, like Christianity, is no longer restricted to a single region of the world
  • Rather, it has spread throughout the world. One instance of forced dispersion is the Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese conquest of the Americas, which resulted in the local people becoming Christian.

Cultural Diffusion in Technology

It is said that knowledge is power. And, when a small group of individuals produces a critical piece of technology that has the potential to assist people all around the world, it’s encouraging to see that information being shared widely. Of course, in today’s society, everything may happen in a split second if not faster. Let us take a look at the evolution of technology spread over time.

  • Paper was invented in China and later moved to the Middle East and Europe
  • Gunpowder was also invented in China and later spread to the Middle East and Europe. Of course, nations all around the world went on to make gunpowder as a result of this. Even though the fax machine was conceived by a Scottish inventor, Alexander Bain, it didn’t stay in the United Kingdom for long. Despite widespread reports to the contrary, the anti-lock braking system was invented in the United States, not by the German automobile company Mercedes-Benz. The Germans then refined it to perfection

Economics and Cultural Diffusion

Culture dispersion was evident even before the Middle Ages, when merchants exchanged their commodities by going from one location to another. The advantages of cultural diffusion were obvious even at that time. If one location lacked the climate to grow a certain crop, another region did, and the items produced were distributed across regions and nations.

One thing was exchanged for another, and societies reaped the benefits of having access to a variety of goods. Indeed, that advantage continues to exist today, as global trade continues to flourish. Let’s take a look at the economics that underpin cultural dissemination.

  • Throughout history, trade has served as a form of cultural transmission, stretching back to the Silk Road and beyond, when caravans traveled across the continent, exchanging commodities between Europe and Asia. Today, we have the ability to apply tuition money to a variety of study abroad opportunities. Students have the option to spend semesters anywhere in the world, from Ireland to Greece and even Japan. You will undoubtedly carry various aspects of that culture’s lifestyle back home with you, and you may even motivate someone else to spend their money on a trip overseas as a result of your immersion. After discovering new items in other nations, such as personal computers or mobile phones, demand for the product rises as prices fall and the product becomes more widely available
  • As a result, the product becomes more widely available around the world.

Exchanging Ideas, Increasing Knowledge

Finally, cultural dispersion has the potential to be life-changing. In Wisconsin, when an American lady enrolls in salsa lessons taught by an Argentinian guy, the two of them may develop a lifetime bond that would not have occurred if cultural dispersion had not occurred as a part of our everyday lives. During his leisure time, a guy residing in Los Angeles watches YouTube tutorials on how to cook his own sushi, reaping the health advantages of the Japanese culture’s emphasis on leading a healthy lifestyle.

A new bond is created, and more tidbits of wisdom are shared amongst the participants.

Cultural dissemination, on the other hand, is a little more durable and tenacious in its effects.

If America is a melting pot, then we will almost certainly come out on top in terms of cultural dissemination.

Cultural Diffusion

Cultural dispersion refers to the spreading out and blending of elements from several civilizations together. These many cultures all have a wide variety of foods, clothes, and even languages that people like and use on a daily basis to express themselves. However, with the influx of diverse cultures into America, it is inevitable that they will expand, which may be viewed as both a positive and a negative development. It appears to be a negative development since many individuals are afraid to learn about and interact with people from other cultures because all they know is their own and they may not be receptive to learning.

Although there are certain obstacles associated with cultural dissemination, there are also positive outcomes, such as learning more about how other people live, work, and survive in their respective cultures.

Cultural dispersion is also beneficial since it helps you to completely comprehend how your culture differs from others, which may lead to a greater appreciation for your own culture as a result of the experience.

We even have books in a variety of languages, including Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and other languages, among others.

Rather than staying in your comfort zone, why not learn more about another culture and open your eyes to some of the beautiful things that may come from simply opening your eyes and looking around you?

What is Cultural Diffusion? Examples of Every Type

Diffusion of culture refers to the spreading out and blending of elements from other cultures. They all have a wide variety of foods to offer as well as apparel and even languages to choose from, which people appreciate and use on a daily basis. As a result of the influx of diverse cultures into America, it is inevitable that they will expand, which may be seen both positively and negatively. It appears to be a negative development since many individuals are afraid to learn about and interact with people from other cultures because they only know their own and may not be receptive to learning.

In spite of the fact that cultural dispersion might be challenging, there are some positive outcomes, such as learning more about the ways in which other people live, work, and survive.

Cultural dispersion is also beneficial since it helps you to completely see how your culture differs from others, which may lead to a greater appreciation for your own culture as a result of this understanding.

We even have books in a variety of languages, including Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and other languages as well as English.

Relocation Diffusion

When people relocate from their original site to a new place, they carry their inventions with them. This is known as Relocation Diffusion. Immigration varies from one country to another, as well as from one city to another. Their ideas, cultural traditions like as cuisine and music, and other belongings accompany them when they transfer to a new region. As large groups of people move to a new setting, they carry their cultural links with them, which have an impact on those who live in the new area.


African and Caribbean influences may be found in a variety of cultural elements of Southern United States architecture, food, and music, as a result of the forced displacement and slavery of African people during the trans-atlantic slave trade.

Another example is the cultural dissemination that occurred as a result of the exodus of nearly two million persecuted Jews from Eastern Europe to Britain and the United States between 1881 and 1914, and their subsequent settlement in these countries.

Expansion Diffusion

Expansion Diffusion is the spread of a concept across a population in which the number of people who are impacted is increasing on a continual basis. Stimulus diffusion, hierarchical diffusion, and contagious diffusion are the three sub-types of Expansion diffusion.

Contagious Diffusion

Contagious diffusion is described as the transmission of an idea through a local population that is regulated by the distance between people who come into contact with one other. Akin to a disease in that it spreads quickly from one source to another and from one individual to another. Another way to think about it is as if it were a forest fire that was spreading. Contagious dispersion is illustrated by the following examples:

  • When individuals come into touch with belief systems, particularly universalizing faiths such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam, religions can be a source of conflict. The propagation of Christianity is the work of missionaries.
  • As a result of the globalization of social networking and media platforms, when videos or songs go viral, they spread contagiously like wildfire as a result of current technical breakthroughs. All memes spread through infectious transmission.
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Hierarchical Diffusion

When an idea spreads by going first among the most connected individuals and then spreading to other individuals, this is referred to as hierarchical diffusion. Consider the chain of command in enterprises and the government, to name a few examples. When it comes to positions of power, there is a certain amount of hierarchy. Hierarchical diffusion is illustrated by the following examples:

  1. Before the general public and state government personnel are notified of governmental concerns by the federal government, which includes the president, vice president, and cabinet members. Prior to the dissemination of information to workers and the wider public, a business CEO is more educated about the issues affecting their organization. You may also think of popular music initially reaching metropolitan centers and city neighborhoods in places like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago before becoming popular with the general public.

Stimulus Diffusion

Stimulus Diffusion occurs when a concept spreads from its cultural hearth to other parts of the world, but the original idea is altered by the new adopters. Because of the manner in which culture adapts to changing environmental, social, and political situations, almost all cultural diffusions will include an element of stimulus diffusion in some form. Exemplifications of the phenomenon of stimulus diffusion

  • The McDonalds fast food franchise, which originated in the Midwest of the United States and has expanded to include diverse menu items in different parts of the world
  • The shifting readings of religious writings that occur when they are translated into other languages

Maladaptive Diffusion

It is the acceptance of disseminating qualities that are neither practical or representative of a region’s environment or culture that is known as Maladaptive Diffusion. Examples of maladaptive diffusion include the following:

  • There has been an increase in the development of grass lawns and monoculture crops, both of which are actively destructive to the environment
  • There has also been an increase in the popularity of wearing blue jeans in all weather, despite their impracticality during the winter season.

This graphic displays theDiffusion S Curveby Hagerstrand, which was developed expressly for use in the paradigm of technological adoption. The stages are as follows: innovators, early adopters (limited groups of people who can afford it), majority adopters (a higher rate of acceptance if the price is lower), laggards/late adopters, and finally laggards/late adopters (rate of adoption slows down). Because the trend resembles the letter S, it is referred to as a S curve. Watchlist: Fiveable Reviews of the meaning of cultural dissemination as well as the concept of culture are provided.

  • When it comes to culture, what is the distinction between folk (local) culture and popular culture
  • What is the difference between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism
  • What is the definition of ethnocentrism
  • What is it about the subjects of cultural assimilation, appropriation, and commercialization that is so difficult to understand

“The Diffusion of Culture” is a key concept.

  • What exactly is culture? Which sorts of locations are most effective in aiding our understanding of culture
  • Could you please describe the cultural landscape to me
  • In this section, we’ll discuss what cultural appropriation is and why it’s detrimental. When it comes to culture, what is the difference between folk and popular culture
  • In what ways does cultural dissemination manifest itself in diverse ways?

Watch this video: AP HUG – All About Diffusion Diffusion is the subject of this article. Key questions:

  • So, what are the different forms of diffusion? Can you tell me the distinction between relocation diffusion and expansion diffusion? In what ways do expansion diffusions come in different shapes and sizes? what are the historical causes of dissemination
  • What are the historical reasons of diffusion What is the process through which culture changes as a result of diffusion? The varied cultural reactions that arise as a result of the transmission of culture are discussed.
  • When it comes to culture, what is the difference between folk and popular culture
  • What role does religion have in shaping the cultural environment


  • Top Definitions
  • Quiz
  • Additional Information on Culture Diffusion
  • Examples

This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. noun Anthropology,Sociology. Culture, culture features, or a cultural pattern spreading out from a core location are all examples of diffusion.

EVALUATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF AFFECT AND EFFECT VERSUS AFFECT! In effect, this exam will determine whether or not you possess the necessary abilities to distinguish between the terms “affect” and “effect.” Despite the wet weather, I was in high spirits on the day of my graduation celebrations.

Origin ofculture diffusion

The first recordings were made between 1965 and 1970.

Words nearbyculture diffusion

Culture region, culture center, culture conflict, culture complex, cultured, culture diffusion, cultivated pearl, culture factor, culture-free test, culture hero, culture hero, culture hero, Unabridged Random House, Inc. 2022, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc.


Transcultural diffusion, also known as cultural diffusion or transcultural diffusion, is a word from anthropology, especially cultural anthropology, which is a discipline that studies the ways in which cultures differ among the members of the human population. The term “cultural diffusion” refers to the spread of a culture’s practices, beliefs, and/or products, such as cuisine, music, or tools, throughout the world. This diffusion might occur between people of the same culture or across cultures that are radically distinct from one another.

Why iscultural diffusionimportant in society?

The term culture has a tangled history when it comes to its origins. It is derived from the French term culture, which is derived from the Latin cultra, which meaning to cultivate or raise crops. Starting in the 1400s, the term culture was used in precisely that sense: in the context of agriculture, it referred to the cultivation of land, plants, and animals as well as the breeding of livestock. When applied to human beings, it was first used in the meaning of the cultivation or growth of minds, as well as intellectual activities, in the late 1500s and early 1600s.

  • Okay, so what exactly are these concepts, rituals, and items, you might wonder?
  • It is, in essence, the collective identity of a group of individuals that has developed through socialization.
  • Now we’ll talk about diffusion, which is the act of spreading.
  • When we combine the two characteristics, we can see that cultural diffusion is the transfer of pieces of a distinct culture between persons, between regions, and between cultures, as well as between cultures.
  • From around 130 BC to AD 1450, the Silk Road was a route of land and sea travel that connected China to Japan and Korea, Central Asia and India, as well as Turkey and Italy for the purpose of commerce.
  • Buddhist practices have extended from India, where they originated, through the Silk Road to nations such as Tibet, China, and Japan.
  • The act of cultural diffusion, that is, the actual spreading of ideas and practices, can take place in a variety of forms.
  • In the first place, expansion and diffusion characterize concepts that arise in a culture of origin, stay strong in that culture, and also expand outward from that culture.
  • Hierarchical diffusion is a process through which something spreads from bigger to smaller areas—for example, from urban to rural areas.
  • Diffusion of stimuli is the spread of anything that is transformed as a result of the process.
  • The last kind, relocationdiffusion, depicts anything that loses appeal after it has gained widespread acceptance.

As a result of this diffusion (which is often caused by physical movement of people), cultural characteristics become less popular or unimportant in their area of origin, as in the case of Puritan settlers who left Europe for North America and brought their religion with them.

What are real-life examples ofcultural diffusion?

Cultural diffusion is a term that is commonly heard in academic circles, such as among anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers, to refer to the migration of specific features of a culture from one place to another. Anthropologists utilize the concept of cultural diffusion to investigate and explain parallels that may exist between civilizations. A more sophisticated process of linguistic cultural spread from a great Vedic culture in India in early ancient times, similar to what was subsequently known as Sanskritization, is proposed as a replacement for Proto-Indo-European (PIE) as the origin of language.

  1. Dr.
  2. The 18th of July, 2018 Students in middle school and high school are frequently taught about cultural dispersion as part of a history, social studies, or geography curriculum.
  3. — ✰!
  4. The expression “y’all,” but with a Staten Island accent, is an excellent illustration of cultural dissemination.
  5. As defined by the United Nations, cultural appropriation is the unrecognized or improper adoption of cultures from one group (usually disadvantaged or minority groups) by another group (generally more dominant).
  6. Others disagree.

How to useculture diffusionin a sentence

  • Charlie made fun of my faith and culture, and I died protecting his freedom to do so
  • Charlie made fun of my faith and culture
  • I’m not sure why or who is doing it, but it’s part of the heritage. and it is a heritage that is extremely significant to the culture
  • A large portion of the culture around films in the science fiction/fantasy genre is devoted to analyzing them over and over again
  • It remains to be seen whether he receives the recognition he deserves in popular culture.
  • A establishment that may represent the much-discussed college “hook-up culture” would be Shooters
  • It is the epitome of what the term “hook-up culture” means. Since 1580, Cubans have practiced this art, with huge quantities of it being sent to Europe from the country and neighboring Caribbean islands. It is a very different thing to have a culture of expression than it is to have a skillful copy of the signals of passion and intent
  • While growing up, a youngster who is exposed to humanizing influences from culture quickly rises above the primitive phase of development. In contrast to this, Charles II disapproved of the country’s cultural traditions
  • It would be a safe bet to say that the Accadian civilisation represented a period of expansion of at least ten thousand years.

The 6 Types of Cultural Diffusion (AP Human Geography) (2022)

Cultural diffusion is a phrase that we use to describe the process through which civilizations expand and intermix around the world. For example, the extension of American culture into Asia, as well as the proliferation of Asian fast food in the United States, are examples of cultural diffusion. When cultural goods are distributed through periods of war, migration, and commerce, this is known as diffusion. The following are examples of cultural items: philosophical concepts, innovations, fashion, religious beliefs, technological advancements, and languages.

You may hear the word ‘trans-cultural diffusion’ used to refer to the dissemination of ideas between cultures rather than within civilizations.

  • Expansion Diffusion, Contagious Diffusion, Hierarchical Diffusion, Stimulus Diffusion, and Maladaptive Diffusion are all terms used to describe diffusion.

It is a phrase that was coined by Leo Frobenius in 1897 and that continues to be significant today.

Throughout this essay, you will learn about each form of diffusion and the differences between them!

The 6 Types of Cultural Diffusion

It is the spread and mingling of cultures that occurs when people migrate around the world that is referred to as “relocation diffusion.” Migration has been a major factor in the spread of cultures throughout the world for thousands of years. For example, the mass emigration of Irish from Ireland to the United States in the nineteenth century resulted in the development of American Irish culture in cities such as Boston and New York. When cultures migrate from one country to another, they frequently assimilate, which means that their culture does not spread.

It is usually only when there is a large enough number of immigrants from a single country that they are able to establish their own culture in the new country to which they have relocated.

When a culture becomes part of a new society, it interacts with the new society while still maintaining its own distinct identity, which is known as integration.

See this page for seven illustrations of relocation diffusion.

2. Expansion Diffusion

Expansion diffusion is the process by which a cultural notion extends from its place of origin while yet remaining strong in its original location. In the United States, for example, Hollywood films are still popular, but they have also gained popularity in Europe and other countries as well. Expansion or expansion are terms that are used to describe anything growing in size or scope. Consequently, when we speak about growth diffusion, we are referring to a cultural object (which might be a concept, a manner of dance, or a fashion trend) that is gaining popularity in your culture.

Chacune of these trends was born as a consequence of the process of expansion diffusion – increasing popularity!

3. Contagious Diffusion

Individual-to-individual contacts between individuals are what contagious diffusion is all about. It is a sort of expansion diffusion that refers to the spread of ideas through one-to-one interactions between individuals. As individuals connect with one another, they absorb the culture of the people with whom they are engaging, and the culture expands as a result. This is akin to a virus, which spreads by contact between individuals to infect them with the infection. When videos become viral on the internet, for example, this is an example of infectious dispersion.

The individuals with whom they share it also watch and share it – and the video goes across the world as one person passes it on to another through social media. Here are some additional examples of infectious dissemination to consider.

4. Hierarchical Diffusion

When well-known or important members of society spread a cultural notion, this is known as hierarchical diffusion. The dissemination of culture begins at the top of society and works its way down. In the past, the fashion tastes of the kings and queens would permeate across polite society as a result of their influence. Additionally, corporations are increasingly employing “influencers” who may promote their ideas or products in order to make them “fashionable” in the eyes of the public. In history, the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile is a good illustration of hierarchical dissemination in action.

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Given that they were powerful individuals at the pinnacle of society, and since they were successful in uniting two kingdoms into a single kingdom with a similar cultural identity.

5. Stimulus Diffusion

In the process of spreading from its initial place, a culture alters, which is known as stimulus diffusion. In its initial place, it may or may not remain the same; nonetheless, the more it spreads, the more changes it undergoes. For example, football culture has shifted considerably in different regions of the world over the years as a result of globalization. Soccer, or traditional football, was transformed into Rugby Union in the upper classes of England, Rugby League in the lower classes of England, and American Football in the United States.

Throughout Scandinavia, heavy metal became the major genre; in rural America, country music became the dominant genre; and in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, grunge rock became the dominant genre.

An interesting set of theorists known as hyperdiffusionists think that there was initially just one culture, and that as humans migrated around the world, cultures blended and altered throughout time in diverse locations.

6. Maladaptive Diffusion

Maladaptive diffusion happens when a culture extends to new regions where it does not appear to be beneficial or relevant, yet it does not alter as a result of the expansion. However, while it may have worked well in one place, it may not appear to be appropriate in another one. For example, when you observe individuals in icy regions playing football in the snow, it appears that they are playing the incorrect sport for the weather (maybe they should be skiing), yet they continue to participate in the activity out of sheer delight despite the impracticality of the situation.

How Cultural Diffusion Happens

It is also worthwhile to consider the process of cultural dissemination. One of the most common ways it occurs is described by Savage (2016) on page 1 as follows: Cultures have spread most quickly because of the institutions of colonialism, religion, and education, according to the authors. ” Savage (2016) defines formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formal Others, on the other hand, have proposed three’mechanisms’ of cultural dissemination, which explain three different ways in which it could occur: Direct Diffusion is the first type of diffusion.

  1. It is called direct diffusion when two cultures intermingle and affect one another on their own choice, without the use of compulsion or other means.
  2. Forced Diffusion is the second type of diffusion.
  3. The same thing happened in Barcelona in the twentieth century when the residents were compelled to use Spanish rather than their own tongue of Catalan instead of the Spanish language.
  4. Diffusion through Indirect Means Indirect diffusion occurs when a culture is shared through a’middleman,’ who then distributes it from one location to another by word of mouth.
  5. You may not be a Buddhist, nor have you ever traveled to a region of the world where Buddhism is the major religion, but you should consider becoming one.

However, there is a meditation studio just a few blocks away. Buddhism is having an indirect effect on you in this situation. Take a look at these more resources:

  • Culture: Examples of Cultural Adaptation (for AP Human Geography)
  • 19 Examples of Culture
  • 21 Examples of Cultural Contexts
  • Examples of Cultural Capital
  • Examples of Cultural Taboos
  • Examples of Cultural Capital The Four Stages of Cultural Adaptation
  • Ethnocentrism in Action
  • And More. a list of cultural taboos and taboo words


Since the dawn of time, people have been spreading their cultures over the world. In quest of greater chances, humans have been moving throughout the planet for thousands of years. As globalization has accelerated in recent years, so has the spread of cultural ideas. The internet has enabled cultures to expand virtually (which raises the question of whether a new form of cultural diffusion is required to characterize this). The three forms of cultural dispersion are, in essence, relocation, expansion, and maladaptive diffusion, with the latter two being the most common.

  • References in the APA style Style Xu, W.
  • Y., Kim, J.
  • W.
  • W., Park, J.
  • W.
  • An examination of YouTube memes as a means of cultural spread and creation in a networked environment.
  • Nonino, F., Biotto, M., De Toni, A.


The instance of illycaffè illustrates how knowledge and cultural dissemination may be used as drivers of product quality improvement across the supply chain.

Xu, W.

Y., and Park, H.

are all authors on this paper (2015).

Information Review on the Internet.

R., et al (2016).

People, the Earth, the Environment, and Technology: People, the Earth, the Environment, and Technology, 1-2.

How Cultural Diffusion Changes Our Societies

It is important to note that diffusion, also known as cultural diffusion, is a social process in which components of culture travel from one civilization or social group to another. This implies that diffusion is, at its core, a process of social change. It may also refer to the process through which innovations are introduced into an organization or social group, which is referred to as the diffusion of innovations in some circles. Dissemination may occur for a variety of reasons including the spread of ideas, beliefs, concepts, information, practices, behaviors, objects, and symbolic images.

Furthermore, they point out that the process of diffusion is separate from the process of colonization, in which aspects of a foreign culture were pushed into a community.

Social Sciences Theories

Anthropologists were among the first to investigate how the same or similar cultural elements could be found in numerous societies around the world long before the invention of communication tools. They sought to understand how the same or similar cultural elements could be found in numerous societies around the world long before the invention of communication tools. As an alternative to utilizing the idea of cultural evolution to explain cultural similarities, Edward Tylor, a British anthropologist who published in the mid-nineteenth century, proposed the theory of cultural diffusion to explain cultural similarities.

These academics discovered that cultural dispersion occurs when cultures with radically different ways of life come into contact with one another, and that as their interactions get more and more frequent, the rate of cultural diffusion between them grows exponentially.

Park, Ernest Burgess, and Canadian sociologist Roderick Duncan McKenzie were members of the Chicago School of sociology in the early twentieth century.

When they released their now-classic book “The City” in 1925, they were attempting to understand cultural dissemination from the perspective of social psychology, which meant they were concentrating on the motives and social mechanisms that allow diffusion to take place.


Theorists of anthropology and sociology have proposed many different theories of cultural spread throughout the years, but the aspects that are similar to all of them and may be termed general principles of cultural diffusion are as follows.

  1. When a civilization or social group takes aspects from another, they will change or adapt those characteristics to suit inside their own cultural framework. It is customary for just those aspects of a foreign culture that are compatible with the already-existing belief system of the host culture to be borrowed
  2. Members of the social group will reject those cultural components that do not fit into the current belief system of the host culture
  3. And Once accepted into the host culture, cultural aspects will only be valuable to the culture in which they are being accepted. People who borrow cultural aspects are more likely to borrow them again in the future than people who do not borrow them.

The Diffusion of Innovations

Some sociologists have given particular emphasis to the process by which innovations spread inside a social system or social organization, as opposed to the process by which cultural diffusion spreads between different groups. This process was first studied in 1962 by sociologist and communication theorist Everett Rogers, who published a book titled “Diffusion of Innovations” in which he set the theoretical framework for further investigation. The process by which an innovative idea, concept, practice, or technology is spread across a social system is influenced by four main characteristics, according to Rogers, and these variables are as follows:

  1. The invention in and of itself
  2. This includes the channels via which it is conveyed
  3. The length of time that the group in question is exposed to the new technology
  4. Characteristics of the social group under question

All of these factors will work together to determine the rate and size of spread of the invention, as well as whether or not it is effectively implemented.

Steps in the Process

Rogers describes the process of diffusion as consisting of five steps:

  1. Knowledge: being aware of the new technology
  2. Persuasion occurs when a person’s curiosity in a new idea grows and he or she begins to investigate it deeper. Decision: a person or group examines the advantages and disadvantages of the innovation (this is the most important step in the process)
  3. Leaders bring the innovation into the social system and assess its usefulness throughout the implementation phase. Confirmation: the people in control have decided to keep using it
  4. And

Rogers stated that the social influence of specific persons may have a substantial impact on the result of the process at any point during the course of the process. People working in the field of marketing are particularly interested in the study of the dissemination of innovations, in part because of this. Nicki has made some changes. Professor Lisa Cole has a Ph.D. in linguistics.

Trans-cultural diffusion – Wikipedia

As defined by Leo Frobenius in his 1897/98 publicationDer westafrikanischeKulturkreis, cultural diffusion is the spread of cultural items—such as asideas, styles, religions, technologies, languages—between individuals, whether within a single culture or from one culture to another. Cultural diffusion is a concept that has been used in both cultural anthropology and cultural geography. Distinct from the diffusion of inventions inside a given culture, it is the dispersion of innovations between cultures.


The following are the five primary forms of cultural dissemination that have been identified:

  • A new discovery or concept that emerges in a source location and remains strong there while also spreading outward to other places is known as expansion diffusion. Hierarchical diffusion, stimulus diffusion, and contagious diffusion are examples of this type of diffusion. Diffusion of ideas or innovations beyond geographical boundaries, leaving behind the source or genesis of the cultural attribute that spawned the idea or invention
  • Hierarchical diffusion is defined as an idea or invention that spreads by migrating from bigger to smaller areas, generally without regard to the distance between the two locations, and is frequently affected by social elites. Contagious diffusion is defined as the spread of an idea or invention from person to person within a specific population as a result of person-to-person interaction. Stimulus diffusion is defined as an idea or invention that spreads as a result of its association with another notion.


Intercultural dispersion can take place in a variety of ways. Migrating populations will bring their cultural traditions with them to their new home. Trans-cultural travelers, such as merchants, explorers, warriors, diplomats, slaves, and hired artisans, have the ability to bring ideas with them. Technology diffusion has frequently happened as a result of one culture enticing competent scientists or employees away from another with rewards or other inducements. Trans-cultural marriages between two cultures that are adjacent or intermingled have also made a contribution.

In literate civilizations, dispersion can take place through letters, books, and, in modern times, electronic media, among other means. Diffusion mechanisms may be classified into three categories:

  • Direct diffusion happens when two cultures are in close proximity to one another, resulting in marriages, commerce, and even combat between the two communities. Direct dissemination may be seen between the United States and Canada, where individuals who live on the border between the two nations participate in hockey, which originated in Canada, and baseball, which is popular in American culture, as examples. It is possible to have forced dispersion when one culture subjugates (conquers or enslaves) another civilization and imposes its own traditions on the subjugated population. For example, the forcedChristianizationof indigenous peoples in the Americas by the Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese, or the forcedIslamizationof West African peoples by theFulaor of theNuristanisby the Afghans, are both examples of forced conversion. Indirect diffusion occurs when characteristics of one culture are transferred to another culture through the intermediary of another culture without the initial and final cultures coming into direct touch. For example, the existence of Mexican food in Canada is possible because a big region (the United States) exists between the two countries.
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Direct dissemination was widespread in ancient times, when small groups of individuals lived in close proximity to one another in neighboring villages. Because of the proliferation of mass media and the creation of the Internet, indirect dissemination has become ubiquitous in today’s society. Daniel J. Boorstin, an American historian and critic, has written a book called The Discoverers, in which he presents a historical perspective on the role of explorers in the dissemination of inventions between civilizations.


The following are some of the numerous models that have been developed for inter-cultural diffusion:

  • Migrationism, the transmission of cultural ideas through population movements, whether slow or abrupt, is defined as follows: Difusionism (Kulturkreise)—the hypothesis that cultures arose from a limited number of cultures. ” Kulturkugel ” (a German term that translates as “culture bullet,” and was named by J. P. Mallory) is a technique proposed by Mallory to simulate the size of invasion vs slow migration and dispersion. Because local continuity of material culture and social organization is stronger than linguistic continuity, cultural contact or restricted migration routinely results in linguistic changes that do not have an impact on material culture or social organization, according to this paradigm When it comes to culture, hyperdiffusionism is the belief that all civilizations emerged from a single culture.

When it comes to cultural items, one term that has been frequently mentioned is “an idea whose time has come.” This phrase can be framed in the evolutionary diffusionism model as “a new cultural item that has appeared almost simultaneously and independently in several widely separated places after certain prerequisite items have diffused across the respective communities. With respect to the separate development of calculus by Newton and Leibnitz, as well as the innovations of the airplane and of the electronic computer, this notion has been emphasized several times.


Hyperdiffusionists assert that all key innovations and all civilizations can be traced back to a single culture, and that parallel evolution and separate invention did not occur to any significant amount throughout history. Early notions of hyperdiffusionism may be traced back to beliefs that South America was the site of mankind’s inception. In his book Paraso en el Nuevo Mundo, Antonio de León Pinelo, a Spaniard who had lived in Bolivia, stated that the Garden of Eden and the creation of man had taken place in present-day Bolivia and that the rest of the globe had been inhabited by migrants who had come from that location.

Argentina’s paleontologist Florentino Ameghinoi, who published his findings in La antigüedad del hombre en el Plata in 1880, was the first to make a scientific defense of mankind that originated in South America.

The work ofGrafton Elliot Smith, published in 1911, sparked a resurgence of hyperdiffusionism by asserting that copper-producing expertise had extended fromEgyptto the rest of the globe in tandem with the development of megalithic civilisation.

It was his ideas that were coined as “Egyptocentric-Hyperdiffusionism.” Smith’s idea was further developed by William James Perry through the use of ethnographic evidence.

Hyperdiffusionism did not completely die as a result of this, although it was mostly abandoned by mainstream academics after that.

Medieval Europe

All key innovations and all civilizations, according to hyperdiffusionists, can be traced back to a single culture. They believe that parallel evolution and independent invention occurred to any significant amount throughout history. It is possible to trace the origins of hyperdiffusionism back to views about South America as the cradle of humanity. In his book Paraso en el Nuevo Mundo, Antonio de León Pinelo, a Spaniard who had settled in Bolivia, claimed that the Garden of Eden and the creation of man had taken place in present-day Bolivia and that the rest of the world had been populated by migrants who had come there from the Garden of Eden.

  1. Argentina’s paleontologist Florentino Ameghinoi, who published his findings in La antigüedad del hombre en el Plata in 1880, was the first to provide a scientific defense of mankind that originated in South America.
  2. Smith argued that the ancient Egyptians were the inventors of all significant innovations, which were then spread around the world by migrants and voyagers.
  3. By utilizing ethnographic evidence, William James Perry added to Smith’s hypothesis.
  4. Even while hyperdiffusionism did not completely die as a result of this, it was widely shunned by mainstream academic circles.


However, while the notion of diffusion is widely recognized in general, conjectures concerning the existence or amount of dissemination in specific circumstances have been severely debated. For example, Examples of such disagreements include the argument by Thor Heyerdahl that parallels between Polynesia’s culture and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Andes are attributable to diffusion from the latter, a view that has received little backing among professional anthropologists to date. Anthropologists have not accepted Heyerdahl’s idea of Polynesian roots, despite his claims to the contrary.


The following individuals have made significant contributions to intercultural dissemination study and theory:

See also

  • The following individuals have made significant contributions to inter-cultural diffusion study and theory:


  1. According to Mallory, “A European Perspective on Indo-Europeans in Asia,” this is true in the context of Indo-Aryan migration. Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia lived during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. ed. by Mair Institute for the Study of Man, Washington, D.C., 1998
  2. The word is a ‘half-facetious’ mechanical analogy that imagines a “bullet” with a “tip” representing material culture and a “charge” representing language and social structure, with the “charge” representing language and social structure. As a result of their “intrusion,” migrants will “shed” their material culture (the “tip”) while possibly still retaining their “charge” of language and, to a lesser extent, social customs (i.e., the effect is adiasporaculture, which depending on the political situation may either form a substratumor a superstratumwithin the host culture)
  3. A history of the Americas before 1492, including an encyclopedia of visits, explorers, and settlers In Ronald H. Fritze, 1993, p. 70, he writes: Aymaras and Quechuas are indigenous peoples of the Andes. Harold Osborne, 2004, pp. 2–3
  4. Gérald Gaillard, 2004, p. 48
  5. Megaliths, Myths, and Men: An Introduction to Astro-Archaeology, Peter Lancaster Brown, 2000, p. 267
  6. Sociocultural Evolution: Calculation and Contingency, Bruce G. Trigger, 1998, p. 101
  7. Carlo M. Cipolla,Before the Industrial Revolution Pearson Longman & Company 315
  8. Donald F. Lach’s Asia in the Making of Europe (Donald F. Lach, 2005). 3 volumes, Chicago, Illinois, 1965–1993
  9. I:1, pp. 82–83
  10. II:1, pp. 82–83
  11. III:1, pp. 82–83
  12. Robert Bartlett’s book, The Making of Europe, is a must-read. Conquest, colonization, and cultural change occurred between 950 and 1350. Allen Lane, 1993
  13. ‘The Silk Roads: A New History of the World,’ ISBN 9781101912379
  14. Robert C. Suggs is an American author and businessman. Kirch, P., The Island Civilizations of Polynesia, New York: New American Library, pp. 212-224
  15. Kirch, P., The Island Civilizations of Polynesia, New York: New American Library, pp. 212-224. (2000). With Wind in Their Hair: An archaeological history of the Pacific Islands prior to European contact is published by University of California Press. In Berkeley, University of California Press published a book called Barnes, S.S., and colleagues (2006). DNA from the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) population of the Pacific rat (Rattus exulans) has been discovered. (PDF). DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.02.006 for the Journal of Archaeological Science, volume 33, number 15, page 1536. On 2011-07-19, a PDF version of this document was archived. Physical and cultural evidence have long suggested that Polynesia was colonized from the west to the east, with migration beginning on the Asian mainland rather than the South American continent. Genealogical testing discovered that the mitochondrial DNA of the Polynesians is more similar to people from Southeast Asia than it is to people from South America, indicating that they are descended from Asian ancestors
  16. Friedlaender, J.S., and colleagues (Friedlaender, J.S., et al., 2000). (2008). “The genetic structure of Pacific Islanders,” according to the authors. PLOS Genetics.4(1): e19.doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0040019.PMC2211537.PMID18208337
  17. PLOS Genetics.4(1): e19.doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0040019.PMC2211537.PMID18208337


  • Leo Frobenius is credited with inventing the term “frobenius.” The West African Cultural Circle is a group of people who are interested in the culture of West Africa. Petermanns Mitteilungen 43/44, 1897/98
  • Kroeber, Alfred L. Petermanns Mitteilungen 43/44, 1897/98
  • Petermanns Mitteilungen 43/44, 1897/98
  • Petermanns Mitteilungen 43/44, 1897/98 (1940). “Stimulus diffusion” is an abbreviation. Rogers, Everett, American Anthropologist 42(1), January–March, pp. 1–20
  • Rogers (1962) There is a diffusion of inventions. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, Macmillan Company
  • Sorenson, John L.Carl L. Johannessen
  • Sorenson, John L.Carl L. Johannessen (2006) “Biological Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages,” a paper published in the journal Science. Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World is a book published by the University of California Press. Pages. 238–297 in Victor H. Mair’s edited volume from the University of Hawaii Press. ISBN978-0-8248-2884-4
  • ISBN0-8248-2884-4

External links

  • “Diffusionism and Acculturation”by Gail King and Meghan Wright,Anthropological Theories, M.D. Murphy (ed.), Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Alabama

Cultural Diffusion

Diffusion of Cultural Values Caroline Di Stefano-Dowdy is the author of this piece.

  • What is the definition of Cultural Diffusion? Cultural Diffusion and Its Effects on Society, Part 3 Influence of Cultural Diffusion on Positive Outcomes Negative Consequences of Cultural Diffusion, Number 5 Cultural Diffusion in Our World (Nos. 6 and 7)

In a nutshell, cultural diffusion is the process through which distinct cultures are disseminated over diverse places. It is the blending or combining of various ideas, beliefs, and inventions from one group with those from another. Cultural dispersion occurs all throughout the world, from fast food restaurants to new technology, and civilizations are continually interacting with one another and influencing one another. The result of these contacts is cultural dissemination. People and cultures can either absorb new ideas and utilize them in their original form, or they can change theseforeignideas to meet their own needs and desires.

The first method is through commerce.

The commodities can be used in these new locations if they are accepted or modified to suit their needs.

Goods are now transported throughout the world via aircraft, ships, and railways, among other modes of transportation.

When two or more groups come together, it is possible for cultures to be merged.

Migration is the last means through which cultural dissemination takes place in a society.

There can be a wide range of good consequences of cultural dissemination.

While participating in the Colombian exchange, people from both the Americas and Europe learned about new cuisines and creatures that they had never seen before.

When new technology are disseminated throughout the world, this has the added benefit of increasing their cultural dissemination.

These technologies also have the additional benefit of increasing the rate at which cultural dissemination may occur.

When people from various cultures come into touch with one another, conflict can arise.

An example of a negative consequence of cultural dissemination would be the decimation of the Native American population by European explorers during the Age of Exploration.

An other detrimental consequence of cultural dispersion is the spread of illnesses.

Over the course of history, there have been several organizations who have expressed opposition to the process of cultural dissemination.

Through most of the twentieth century, these countries maintained strict restrictions on their connections with other cultures.

China held an ethnocentric viewpoint, believing that no other culture was worth learning about since China felt that its own culture was the finest civilization on the planet.

The notion of cultural dissemination served as the foundation for the establishment of the United States of America.

It is possible to eat at Mexican and Chinese restaurants close to shops that sell African and European merchandise.

Clothes that we wear are frequently made in other nations before being delivered to the United States, our food comes from the Caribbean and Asia, and the language that we speak contains words and phrases from other languages.

Cultural dispersion occurs on a daily basis and will continue to occur as a result of the fact that modern technology has made our globe entirely interdependent.

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