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Clash Of The Civilizations Essay

593 words - 3 pages

The definition of a civilization according to Huntington is a cultural entity. It is the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined by common elements such as: language, history, religion, customs, institutions and the self identification of people. Civilizations may include a large number of people or a very small number of people. They may include several Nation States or only one. They can blend or overlap and even include sub civilizations. Huntington's definition of a civilization matches up well with what we have learned in class. Civilization's are complex and civilizations are dynamic. They rise and fall, and divide and merge. They have many characteristics which include: urban revolution, distinct religious culture, new political and military structures such as bureaucracy, new ...view middle of the document...

First, civilizations are different from each other in many ways. They have different history, language, traditions and most importantly, they have different religions. People in different civilizations have different views on different things like responsibilities and rights. Second, the world is becoming a smaller place and the interactions between people in different civilizations is increasing. When the interactions with the different civilizations increase, the awareness of the differences between the civilizations will increase also. Third, the process of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities and weaken the Nation-state as a source of identity. Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the duel role of the West. Westernization and indigenization of elites is occurring in many non-Western countries at the same time that Western, usually American, cultures, styles and habits become more popular among the mass of people. Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and less easily compromised and resolved then political and economic ones. In class and idealogical conflicts, the main question was “Which side are you on?” and people did and could choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilizations the question was “What are you?” That could not be changed. Finally, economic regionalism is increasing. Proportions of total trade that are intraregional went up between 1980 and 1989 from fifty-one percent to fifty-nine percent in Europe. From thirty-three percent to thirty-seven percent in East Asia and thirty-two percent to thirty-six percent in North America. The importance of regional economic blocs is likely to continue to increase in the future.
My reaction to Huntington's Clash of the Civilizations was that it was a good article. I think all of the points that Huntington made are legitimate. He gives examples to back up what he says and reasoning behind why he thinks what he did. Many of the things that he said in the book are true today. You can put together the wars and conflicts going on in the world to a fundamental "clash" of some sort.

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