Publish at January 24 2023 Updated January 24 2023

Globalization and local culture among youth

Local and global flows mix and lead to another world

Colored face

If we consider culture as an emanation of flows of local and global influences, then we should expect everything around us to be tinged with the color of that same flow.

"According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is a state that is totally focused on motivation. It is a total immersion, which is perhaps the ultimate experience, employing emotions in the service of performance and learning. In flow, emotions are not only contained and channeled, but in full coordination with the task at hand. The distinguishing feature of flow is a spontaneous feeling of joy, even ecstasy during an activity."

Source: Wikipedia Flow (psychology) -

What if flow, flow was the collection of small things that together make people happy?

"Happiness should not be confused with the transient sensation of pleasure, stemming mainly from the production of dopamine and not serotonin, but instead represents a state of equilibrium, pleasurable, that lasts over time.

Happiness has been studied in biology, psychology, and sociology as well as in philosophy. Most Western philosophical currents succeeding Socrates are eudemonic, doctrines aimed at achieving and maintaining the state of happiness."

Source: Wikipedia: Happiness -

The opposite of happiness consists of a set of situations experienced as unpleasant, painful, dramatic, even tragic.

How did we get to the anxiety of our young people?

One of the tracks among others, which is atypical because almost a unique phenomenon in a person's life, is the post-traumatic shock that was created by the coronavirus crisis. I use it as an example to make the point about the typology of the phenomenon we are dealing with.

Having many people affected psychologically, at the same time has changed the social flow and the cultural flow. The nature of our flow in particular results from the average between the happiness and unhappiness of people in the same community located together geographically.

The result is that if the ecosystem in which we live generates a negative, depressive, unhappy flow, then this will have an effect on the average of the perception of the whole community. This can be simplified into one sentence:

If you are surrounded by happiness, you are more likely to be happy than if you are surrounded by unhappiness. If you only watch the news with all its woes, and you've focused on the Coronavirus-induced woes, then you're going to end up seeing everything in black.

And, we can decline things endlessly.

If you are surrounded by beauty (equivalent to a flat encephalogram in humans), then you will become beautiful and tranquil from within...

"In neuroscience, beauty corresponds to a vegetative state of the brain. When everything is consensual, when no questions or grains of salt or sand get involved, as a result of which the critical brain is at complete rest, such is the paradox of beauty, which on the one hand governs a part of our world and on the other is only a cognitive state of extra flat neutrality."

How does it work?

Generating a negative social mindset that will affect youth is a mixture of several phenomena, such as that of flow. And, flow is a phenomenon that can be modified, even reversed. Which is not the case for people who have had post covid and other physical sequelae.

"Jacques Lacan's mirror theory helps us understand this process. According to the author, the construction of our personal identity occurs through the capture of self in other people. In this way, the relationships we maintain with others are reflections or projections of aspects of our personality that we like or dislike."

Source: The Mirror Theory: Wounds That Shape and Break Relationships -

If you have developed a negative seed in you that is often passed down through your family, "You won't do well in life" or "You're too fat." These are phrases that are repeated over and over again, like negative mantras and go deep into the construction of a child who later starts a family and so on.

This seed nourished by the negative "mantra" will echo in all situations, in all human beings who will reinforce it. But, if this seed is fed by a positive matra, then the phenomenon will be reversed.

What is the mirror theory?

"Just as there are parts of our body and our image that we do not like when we look in the mirror, there are aspects of our personality that we do not accept. We find in others reflections that we do not accept, all this material being repressed by our unconscious. In other words, we identify in ourselves some of the traits that we like least in others, even if only symbolically. Thus, in part, what we dislike in others we also dislike in ourselves.

We are constantly projecting a part of our being. Thus, the mirror theory is a view that proposes a change of perspective: instead of thinking that we need to protect ourselves from the other person so that they don't hurt us, we have this view that brings up a question, "Why am I in this situation with this person and what part of them that I can't stand is in me?" Since we are generally not able to see our own shadows or virtues, life offers us the gift of the relationships we experience to show us directly what is hidden within us. The other simply serves as a mirror for us: they reflect us and give us the opportunity to find ourselves."

Source: The Mirror Theory: Wounds That Shape and Break Relationships -

Small review and statistics reinforced by the Covid pandemic

"Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder... young people between the ages of 15 and 30 are particularly affected, and even more so since the Covid pandemic. That's why prevention, identification, and early intervention are so important to prevent entry into relapse and school dropout...

An awareness program

"Raise your hand if you've ever felt numb or disconnected. If you've cried in transit. If you make your family and friends think everything is fine. If there are times when you feel all alone..." These are the questions posed to young people in a video introducing the Brave Together outreach program. "You are not alone, you are never alone," the host insists when everyone raises their hands at the last question.

A worrying observation

Adolescence and the entry into adulthood are periods of important changes in terms of physical development, identity construction, acquisition of autonomy... "It is during this period of life (particularly 15-25 years old) that there is a peak in the appearance of psychiatric disorders" notes the Social and Environmental Economic Council (Improving the Psychiatric Care Path, 2021). A period of great fragility, suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 25.

And the situation has been worsening for a few years and has been aggravated by the health crisis. According to the results of a survey conducted by Ipsos for the FondaMental Foundation in December 2020, 32% of 18-24 year olds have a mental health disorder, 40% of those under 25 report a generalized anxiety disorder, 21% of those under 25 report symptoms of moderately severe or severe depressive disorders (24% of 22-24 year olds), nearly 1 in 2 young people do not know who to consult, and 2 out of 3 young people believe that the Covid-related crisis will have a negative impact on their health."

Source: YOUTH SICKNESS: ACT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - Publication - January 13, 2022

Taking some of this complex phenomenon of the interactions between flows and inner seeds of each individual, let's take a look at what happens in young people when we talk to them about their future?

What was the situation in 2016?

"While three quarters of young French people believe they will have worse job prospects than their parents, more than half of young people in developing countries believe the opposite! Faced with their future, they are far more optimistic than young people in the United States, Australia and the Old Continent."

Source: How the World's Youth See Their Future - 18.01.2016

What's the situation in 2023?

"You are not unaware that we are facing multiple crises. Climatic, democratic and economic. And in the context of the latter, we notice that prices are only increasing, that it is more and more difficult or even impossible for some people, to feed themselves, to have a decent home, to fill their tank, etc. And then we notice that young people are inevitably victims of this situation, and that precariousness explodes. It's an untenable situation, and as young activists, we decided to carry out this collection," explains Hélène Magnin-Feysot, co-responsible for the Young Insoumis group in Besançon."

Source: Besançon: The Young Insoumis organize a food collection- Jan 2023

The observation is that the situation was already not very optimistic in 2016 professionally, but the situation of young people has worsened in precariousness with the surrounding crises. Local thoughts are even more negative in a deteriorating ecosystem.

So where to turn?

They turn to the dream, to elsewhere. While young Africans for example turn their eyes to the West as a paradise to reach for the most courageous and for those who remain it is rather despair, drugs, alcohol and delinquency.

Western youth for their part do not yet have a new planet to reach, so they dream of success in the dream with musical challenges, dance...with the dream for young entrepreneurs to become unicorns and so they rush with joy in the dream of startups financed with millions for in the end that there is only one in 10 that survives and one survivor for 1000 that becomes this famous dream.

The phenomenon is the same in all these cases: the rejection of the ecosystem, the culture, the local roots in favor of a flow based on the dream. They no longer build step by step, they try to jump as far as possible, as they would jump from one building roof to another hoping to be one of those who will not crash to the ground.

What happened that didn't exist before?

The erasure of local roots in favor of a single cultural model disconnected from local environments. The great change is called globalization.

"Uniformity and Westernization of the World

Globalization results in uniformity of leisure as well as of lifestyles and consumption.

We are thus witnessing the birth of a globalized culture, which can be defined as a set of cultural practices or manifestations common to all the peoples of the planet. And, since it is under the influence of the United States, and to a lesser extent Europe, that culture is becoming standardized, we speak of a westernization of the world.

How does this globalized culture spread?

The multiplication of exchanges, the development of new technologies as well as the diffusion of standardized (identical) products by TNFs (transnational corporations) have favored the globalization of culture. Thus, the number of cell phone subscribers has increased from 91 million in 1995 to nearly 5 billion today!...

Protected linguistic diversity

5 languages are spoken by 50% of the world's population. The 2 most widely spoken languages are Chinese (Mandarin), due to China's demographic weight, and Spanish. English comes in 3rd place. It is the most used language in world economic exchanges, due to the place of the United States in the world economy.

Globalization thus favors the predominance of English, which is spoken by 17% of the population but corresponds to 36% of world exchanges.

At the same time, 2,500 languages are disappearing and 25 languages disappear on average per year.

Language being an element of identity that allows a person, to know to which culture he belongs, national or regional languages resist linguistic standardization. For example, there are 1,650 languages in India, of which 22 are spoken by 75% of Indians while the 2 official languages, recognized by the state, Hindi and English, are spoken by only 40% of the population."

Source: Globalization and Cultural Diversity

Languages are resilient, but are they appreciated by their users who dream of a unique world of dreams and glitter?

Young people live in their local environment that they no longer appreciate. Language is the symbol of their ecosystems. If they no longer like their ecosystem can they still appreciate its language, especially since it is the cement of a foundation where they no longer wish to plant their roots?

This is true of local languages, it is true of religions that used to help overcome hardship and adversity through belief in a higher more just and better. Now, these young people are growing out of the ground with all the frailties that this situation can generate.

Globalization and local culture among young people

The dichotomy between local and global culture can go as far as the rejection of local culture and family culture. The super valorization of global culture and its glitter creates an undervaluation of local culture and local roots.

The effect of this phenomenon is that young people project themselves and their future outside their territory. They project themselves outside their temporality and their real possibilities.

This can generate despair and a rejection of local social norms. And so this phenomenon is also found in school.

"Up north, in Greenland, Inuit youth are also desperate, alcohol takes its toll in these communities, which are also without work. The suicide rate of young people is 8 times higher than in France. The reasons for this are parental mistreatment, including sexual abuse, exacerbated by permanent despair. As in Africa, no or few support resources, with the Internet as the only window to the world.

If in Africa young people have the hope of Europe or Canada as new lands and take risks, even deadly ones to follow hope, what about Western youth?

For Western youth, apart from topics on suicides, thus hyper-hopelessness, there is no topic on the hopelessness of young people who take refuge in video games, or else they are put in the category of game addicts. There seems to be a lack of awareness or a taboo on the subject. Yet each of us knows one or more young people who have given up on their future. And, if there are none, it is perhaps because we do not see them or we do not want to see them.

Sources of despair

The denial of the past, the absence of roots is one of the first causes, they are flagrant in post-colonialist contexts where only the values, the knowledge, the school (and management) of the Westerners had their place, to the detriment of thousand-year-old cultures. Roots allow us to have reference points between right and wrong, between what is done and what is not done. They are our common threads in times of violence and crisis. Without its roots, there are no landmarks, just the despair of being even more lost.

Globalization has had an accelerating effect on the process, sweeping away the surviving bits of culture. One culture for all, modeled on one-sided values. This is what has been proposed to young people for the last 20 years. And all this while sweeping away all the local cultures that no longer have any value, those that link us to our ancestors and to our family. All this disappeared, leaving young people lost in the universe with only one goal: to become the star of a night.

Hyper-communication where no one can escape the misfortunes of others anymore with the result of numbing empathy and fostering indifference on all scales. This also creates monsters of indifference or aggressors who transmit the violence they suffer into new, even crueller violence. There is no more private space, no more cut with its fellow men to the great pleasure of the extroverts, but to the great tragedy of the introverts who are permanently in the social malaise.

Incertainty of the future, in which no young person can project himself serenely, in a planet in distress and countries in crisis. The framework is gone, stability is a word lost in the complexity of our world that some can understand but not necessarily accept. And there are those who have dropped out of everything. Those will live on welfare or end up on the street with no prospect of a better life."

Source: What to do about youth despair? - June 16, 2019 - Virginie Guignard Legros -

Fighting against globalization?

For my part I think this solution is no longer valid because there is too much miscegenation to go back. And, there is this hope of an elsewhere that replaces religions when everything is desperate as in the case of the young Inuits mentioned above. We must bounce back on this wave. It is a mutation and the current situation is an in-between.

If young people today build themselves out of the ground and no longer plant their roots in the soil of their ancestors, which seems to them to be poor in all their hopes, it is because the flow is pushing them towards something else. It is the period of vertigo before jumping into something else, another world that has been realized day by day for a few years, a digital world that must plant its roots in reality.

There, the school has a strategic role to play...

...of valuing roots, ancestors, heritages mixed with all the philosophical and technological potentials that are opening up before us.

  • First step, get out of natural learning after primary school and focus on equal opportunities of digitalization in knowing how to do and knowing how to be, so that all have the potential to find their way, small or big, in the ecosystem.

  • Second step, work on healthy and constructive news that should attract all students in the first place rather than letting it flow to unhealthy attractiveness. Try to reverse the flow of negative thoughts, culture, beliefs.

  • Third step, find a constructive maieutic that repairs the link between the past and the future, to allow young people to serenely build their future and by presenting them with models of generalized success, integrated into the community, and no longer of a single personal success in the face of multiple collective failures.

  • End the cult of the stars and the star system.

Image source: Pixabay: White Daemon

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