Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures by Tyler CowenCreative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures by Tyler Cowen

Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures

byTyler Cowen

Paperback | March 21, 2004

Pricing and Purchase Info

$44.76 online 
$45.50 list price
Earn 224 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

A Frenchman rents a Hollywood movie. A Thai schoolgirl mimics Madonna. Saddam Hussein chooses Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as the theme song for his fifty-fourth birthday. It is a commonplace that globalization is subverting local culture. But is it helping as much as it hurts? In this strikingly original treatment of a fiercely debated issue, Tyler Cowen makes a bold new case for a more sympathetic understanding of cross-cultural trade. Creative Destruction brings not stale suppositions but an economist's eye to bear on an age-old question: Are market exchange and aesthetic quality friends or foes? On the whole, argues Cowen in clear and vigorous prose, they are friends. Cultural "destruction" breeds not artistic demise but diversity.


Through an array of colorful examples from the areas where globalization's critics have been most vocal, Cowen asks what happens when cultures collide through trade, whether technology destroys native arts, why (and whether) Hollywood movies rule the world, whether "globalized" culture is dumbing down societies everywhere, and if national cultures matter at all. Scrutinizing such manifestations of "indigenous" culture as the steel band ensembles of Trinidad, Indian handweaving, and music from Zaire, Cowen finds that they are more vibrant than ever--thanks largely to cross-cultural trade.


For all the pressures that market forces exert on individual cultures, diversity typically increases within society, even when cultures become more like each other. Trade enhances the range of individual choice, yielding forms of expression within cultures that flower as never before. While some see cultural decline as a half-empty glass, Cowen sees it as a glass half-full with the stirrings of cultural brilliance. Not all readers will agree, but all will want a say in the debate this exceptional book will stir.

Tyler Cowen is Holbert C. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University, where he is General Director of the Mercatus Center and the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy. His books include What Price Fame?, In Praise of Commercial Culture, and Risk and Business Cycles.
Loading
Title:Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's CulturesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pagesPublished:March 21, 2004Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691117837

ISBN - 13:9780691117836

Reviews

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1. Trade between Cultures 1

2. Global Culture Ascendant: The Roles of Wealth and Technology 19

3. Ethos and the Tragedy of Cultural Loss 47

4. Why Hollywood Rules the World, and Whether We Should Care 73

5. Dumbing Down and the Least Common Denominator 102

6. Should National Culture Matter? 128

References 153

Index 173

Editorial Reviews

"Tyler Cowen is an economist who knows which rap artists are the best, what kind of Persian rug from which period is the best, which period of French cinema is the best, and what kind of Afropop is best. But he also has explanations for why they are the best, explanations that draw upon concepts from economics and other social sciences. Cowen, perhaps more thoroughly than anyone before, celebrates and details the changes in world culture which result from world trade and contact, in a word, "globalization." He is well aware of globalization's homogenizing dangers but convincingly argues that its unexpected benefits, in increasing "hybridity" as well as "authenticity," are not fully appreciated."-Michael Suk-Young Chwe, University of California, Los Angeles, author of Rational Ritual, Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge