Persepolis and the Effects of Cultural Globalization

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

In class, our main focus is globalization. We are forced to question what globalization is, its origin, how it affects us and vice versa. As a class, we try to conjure up a time, place, and reason for why globalization is important and relevant in our lives. However, I have come to an understanding that globalization is a way of life, and we are simply living in it. It is in everything that we do, even when we are not conscious of it. It is all around us. It is in our history. It is in our language. It is in our culture. More importantly, it is in each and every one of our experiences which make us unique individuals. We are the reason for what globalization is, because we search it, find it, consume it, and then we spread these experiences with others thus causing this ripple effect. Humans consume globalization, and then recycle it. It shapes our mindset and how we perceive the world we live in, and it is what we do with which we are given that matters because in the end, our actions can have an effect on others.

Young minds retain the most information because of curiosity and imagination. When one becomes exposed to information that is outside of their societal norm, it effects their views and how they react to the world around them. Likewise, when a young mind is given the opportunity to learn about world, families, societies, communities, politics, and influencers outside of their own, it opens up their perspectives on certain events. It is education and exposure to other cultures that create an influence. Cultural globalization has the most significant impact during childhood. With the exposure which globalization brings, it impacts how will navigate the complexities of life, thus changing their future and those around them.

In class, following Manfred B. Steger’s ‘Globalization’, we read ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi. The book delineates the life of Marjane Satrapi, who portrays her life experiencing childhood in Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Satrapi gives clear pictures and subtleties of how she sees her life around her while she battles to get acclimated with the new political and ideological frameworks set up as Iran turns into the Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini. Prior to this change, Satrapi lived in an all-around westernized family where she was presented to western culture. Some of the culture she partakes in all through the novel includes: western music, donning a stick of Michael Jackson, western movies, she was participated in wearing certain clothing which was forbidden like blue jeans. Even with the attempts to exclude “Americanization” in middle eastern countries such as where Satrapi lives, she is the example of how bands can’t always work: as Steger mentions, “the spread of American popular culture seems to be unstoppable”. Likewise, Satrapi’s upbringing involved books about current events, inside and outside of the world she lives in. because of her parents’ beliefs being against the revolution, Satrapi is given an opportunity which many other children around her do not have the luxury of. She is allowed to form opinions that are the opposite of what her government enforces. In this exposure to western culture, she uses what she has learned and places it into her daily life as she navigates through her childhood.

Persepolis signifies the collective effects of cultural globalization. For example, throughout the book the reader is given a cartoon like script of how Satrapi’s life plays out as she provides a view of the Iran-Iraq war that is unique compared to how the western media portrays the middle east/ or Iran. The book adheres to the images and narratives of history. Since the story is told through Satrapi’s perspective, it offers a unique perception outside that of western news organization or other outside non-western media. Satrapi is dealing with these world issues at such a young age and surprisingly, information about what is truly taking place is never withdrawn from her. It is common for parents or adults to protect children from the vulgar truth of things, but that is not the case for Satrapi. She is involved because of the danger of not knowing.

The whole topic of Persepolis is culturally globalized. As referenced, since early on, Satrapi’s life is obviously culturally global due to the assortment of media she is presented to, likewise her feelings towards the US. Since she participates in the western items like wearing a denim coat, enjoying music by Iron Maiden, and perusing a variety of books, clearly, she is encountering cultural globalization as these commodities lure her into western homogenization. The introduction of western culture shows how persuasive societies can be. It permits Satrapi to truly give her character, which is the western political and social she and her family holds. 

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