Voices of India: Dialectical Tensions in the Negotiation of Identity and Cultural Values in a Globalized Society

By Lael H. Adams.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The author conducted 22 in-depth interviews with Indian individuals in an attempt to answer the following research questions: How do individuals in contemporary Indian society negotiate their own cultural values and identities under the pressures of globalization and Western influence? What are the paradoxes or contradictions that arise in that negotiation process? Two themes of dialectical tensions were identified in the responses: 1) the tension between the individualistic approach to identity and the collectivistic approach to identity. These tensions reflected the simultaneous desire for autonomy and connection; and 2) the tension between the cultural values associated with modernity and those associated with tradition. These tensions reflected the simultaneous need for novelty and change in addition to predictability. The conclusions were reached using post-colonial studies, and reflected individual’s re-evaluation of Indian culture and identity in the face of globalization.

Keywords: Globalization, Intercultural Communication, India, Identity, Cultural Values

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.255-270. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 663.287KB).

Lael H. Adams

Graduate Student and Assistant, International Relations Department, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Lael Adams currently works in the rural development sector in Kabul, Afghanistan, recently working for the Afghan government’s Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. She collected data for her BA thesis in India in 2007 while completing her undergraduate studies at Mary Baldwin College, Virginia, USA. She received her MA degree in international relations and international journalism from Boston University, with a focus on South and Central Asian politics and history.


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