TPO 17 - Question 6

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TPO 17 - Question 6

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Diffusion is a culture process whereby one group or society adopts another’s item such as a custom, a type of food or an invention. Take the modern newspaper in the US as an example, the newspaper only existed because of innovations from other countries, the printing of words was invented in Germany and paper in China. These innovations were shared across cultures over a long distance and over a long periods of time. But diffusion is sometimes selective. For example, people in the US accept the practice of acupuncture, but few of them fully understand it. Because cultures tend to resist ideas that are too different from their own beliefs and values. If ideas are close to their own, they will incorporate, absorb and diffuse them. So American culture only accepts the practice of acupuncture but not the philosophy of Chinese medicine.

1. Now, let's talk about a particular cultural process—diffusion.
2. Since the beginning of human history, diverse culture, have taken advantage of one another's innovations when they have come into contact.
3. Diffusion is the process whereby something cultural like a custom, a type of food or an invention is spread from one group to another or from one society to another.
4. One group adopts a cultural item or, more selectively, just part of cultural item of another group, you see.
5. Now diffusion can occur through a variety of ways, military conquest or tourism or even something like the influence of satellite TV shows around the world.
6. For example, take something like reading a modern newspaper here in the US.
7. Have you ever thought about where the letters, the characters on the page are reading?
8. Where they came from?
9. They were borrowed from another culture may centuries ago.
10. Then the printing of the words, well, that process was invented in Germany.
11. And finally the paper itself, paper was invented in China.
12. These innovations from all over the world were shared across cultures overtime and so today we have newspaper in the US.
13. So the process of diffusion might take place over long distances and over long periods of time.
14. Now, I am not saying that diffusion happens easily.
15. As I mentioned, sometimes it is selective, For instance, many people in the US have accepted the practice of acupuncture, the Chinese practice of using needles to cure a disease or relieve pain.
16. So lots of people in the US have realized that acupuncture is effective.
17. But few of them fully understand or have committed themselves to the philosophy behind acupuncture.
18. Cultures tend to resist ideas which seem too foreign, too different from their own beliefs and values.
19. But the ideas which aren't perceived as too different are often incorporated, absorbed, diffused into their culture.
20. So the practice of acupuncture has been absorbed into US culture, but not the philosophies of Chinese medicine.