Archives of the Geographical Studies of Development and Resource Use
2000 - 4 Bettina Schmidt: How does culture work - globally and locally? The case of South Africa
Globalisation is on the move. This is what the media report daily, the WorldWideWeb confirms and the statistics on mergers and the activities of global players tell us. We live in a time where the world-wide transformation is coming closer to realise the vision of a truly world society - Weltgesellschaft. This process entails a massive increase in the dynamics of intercultural and transcultural communication, cultural diversity and multiculturalism.
To engage the reader in a debate about culture and globalisation the article focuses on South Africa, a highly multicultural society which has been described as 'the whole world in one country' and as 'rainbow-nation'. A brief history of the politics of culture in South Africa is presented. This provides the empirical basis for a new paradigm of culture and offers clues on how to manage intercultural and transcultural relationships in an increasingly global world.
Bettina Schmidt is a cultural anthropologist and consultant on intercultural management and training. She grew up in South Africa and Germany, studied at the University of Mainz in Germany and the University of Zimbabwe, conducted extensive research in South Africa and has published on issues regarding development, culture and globalisation, and transcultural nursing. Her PhD.-Thesis on 'Creating Order - Culture as Politics in 19th and 20th Century South Africa' (1996) was published by the University of Nijmegen. She lives on the Rhine-island Niederwerth, near Koblenz, in Germany.
Email: schmidtb@ mail.uni-mainz.de