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Globalisation and the mass communication revolution of the last 40 years has made the world a much smaller place. It has brought diverse cultures, traditions and languages in far greater contact than was previously possible. The expansion of the free market economy and the growth of transnational corporations has also brought both East and West, as well as North and South in closer contact. While the potential for mutual understanding is great, so is the potential for conflict. The forces which shape cultural identity are varied and the challenge is to appreciate the influences that shape our values and beliefs so that we can understand ourselves. In doing so, we are in a better position to value diverse cultures, religions, languages and traditions and recognise their preciousness. This is important if globalisation is not to result in the growth of a monoculture that destroys the rich diversity of culture as well as our individual cultural identities.

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Book Chapter

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