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Cultural Determinism as a Reactionary Force in Education for World Understanding

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This article discusses the notion of cultural determinism as a conservative and reactionary force in education for world understanding. Recent trends prophesying a future of ethnic strife and “clashes of cultures”, based on cultural studies, threaten the hard-earned attainments in education for world cooperation and understanding. By contrast, in the past, universalist programs promoted progressive and idealistic options, giving rise to the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and liberationist movements worldwide. Young people were encouraged to view the world as it could be, not necessarily as it was. Today’s Realpolitik, and the rapacious neoliberal economic agenda are rooted in determinist cultural imperatives. Even the language of “globalism” has suffered an Orwellian twist.
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Keywords: comparative education; cultural determinism; cultural imperatives; culture wars; globalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Florida State University

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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  • Education and Society provides a forum, where teachers and scholars throughout the world, are able to evaluate current issues and problems in education and society from a balanced and comparative social, cultural and economic perspective.

    Education and Society, a fully refereed journal, is used by teachers, academics, research scholars, educational administrators and graduate students.
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