Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
H. Mark Ellis
In its simplest form, cultural diffusion is the borrowing of cultural elements from one culture by another. Aspects of material culture include clothing styles, musical structures, medicine, and agricultural practices, whereas normative traits such as ideas, behavioral patterns, religion, language, and values are another component of culture. Borrowing occurs either between two different cultures (intercultural) or within the same cultural grouping (intracultural). For example, in the case of intercultural borrowing, a non-democratic developing country can borrow the political processes and structures of democracy and feminism to change tyrannical rule. Intercultural diffusion is a result of patterns of involuntary and voluntary migration. On the other hand, an example of intracultural borrowing would be baby boomers adopting iPod technology from the MySpace Generation. Ideas and material culture can also spread independently of population movement or direct contact between the inventor and receptor cultures. Borrowing from one culture to another is common although ...