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Dominant Cultures and Subcultures

The more globalized the world becomes, the more interconnected separate cultures become. Prior to the great geographical discoveries, the civilizations of the planet existed in relative isolation and had little in common. Later, as the countries began to cooperate, mutual influence became increasingly strong, which led to today's unifying cultural environment. Naturally, there are the so-called dominant cultures and the subcultures that vary from country to country depending on the historical and cultural background of the latter.

The impact of culture, both dominant and minor one, and of their interaction, is tremendous because it virtually shapes the society and gives it its unique face. The cultural values, the visual and audio legacy of different groups of people determines, to a large extent, the everyday life of society members.

There are several interaction patterns between the dominant culture and the subculture. First, it's the assimilation, when one of the cultures devours the other. For example, the culture of the European conquistadors in Latin America finally became the dominant one, having forced the indigenous tribal culture into a protective subculture, although formerly it used to be the dominant one itself. Second, the cultures are able to coexist without evident supremacy of one of them, however, for this option a highly developed civil society and a culturally loyal legislation is needed to prevent assimilation.

Coexistence of different cultures is often associated with discrimination and stigma as the negative effects. Prejudice and discrimination are all parts of an interconnected chain: first appear the stereotype that limits a person's perception of other people and events, then it transforms into a more stable and harmful form called the prejudice. According to Albert Einstein, common sense is just the deposit of prejudice (Isaakson, 78). Stigma comes in discreet and open forms; sometimes discrimination is justified at state official level and proclaimed to be the national policy. Such was, for instance, the apartheid regime in the South African Republic. Also, African American suffered from numerous cases of discrimination and violence against their culture (Hine, 2011).