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Globalization and identity: is world society possible?

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This article questions the argument that culture, and therefore identity, is the sector most resistant to globalization, and its corollary that in terms of identity humankind will remain fragmented. It reviews perspectives on collective identity drawn from historical, theoretical and security logics, and argues that while there are powerful forces underpinning cultural diversity, there are also significant holes in the view that a universal human identity is impossible. The paper concludes by arguing that there is a significant logic of cultural syncretism, which means that there is less of a contradiction between parochial and cosmopolitan identities than might at first glance seem to be the case. A kind of world society is possible, and is emerging among both states and people alongside their parochial identities and not in fundamental conflict with them.

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