The Role of the Educational System in Promoting Local Culture Within Rural Areas in Romania

The Role of the Educational System in Promoting Local Culture Within Rural Areas in Romania

Cristina Iridon (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania) and Cristina Gafu (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2965-1.ch010

Abstract

The present chapter presents the results of a research developed within a series of rural schools in Romania (Prahova and Buzău County) regarding the role of the educational system in preserving the individuals' cultural identity and in promoting the local culture within the rural areas. Schools, be they urban or rural, are meant to contribute to capitalizing, reevaluating, and valuing the local cultural identity. The present analysis takes into account both the formal activities (included in the study programs or in the units of study planning: topics of discussion, study themes, optional courses, etc.) and non-formal events (traditional local festivals, school feasts, religious/folk celebrations, etc.) organized with the support of the local community projects, workshops conceived by the teachers in order to preserve the local culture and to make the young generation aware of their identity values.
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Background

The concept of globalization has been over popularized in its raw, narrow interpretation, the intense contact between different societies, civilizations and cultures being understood from a perspective which sharpened the tendencies to borrow, to import, to reproduce all kind of patterns which mold the individual and collective mentalities in the contemporary world. The homogenization (convergence) theory for example reverberates in different syntagmas such as “standardized and unique world culture”, “universal culture” (Hassi & Storti, 2012, p.8), “replication of uniformity” (Hannerz, 2009, p.1). Seen as the new doctrine of the XXth century civilization, globalization has been considered the result of “a multiplicity of linkages and interconnections that transcend the nation states (and by implication the societies) which make up the modern world system”, defining a “process through which events, decisions and activities in one part of the world can come to have a significant consequence for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe.” (McGrew, 1990, p.470) From this point of view, the impact of the phenomenon has been assessed as pertinent to all the world’s five billion people, their environment, their roles as citizens, consumers or producers with an interest in collective action designed to solve common problems (Rosenau, 1996, pp. 3.4). More than that, there are opinions which envisage globalization as a functional variant to deal with the challenges of the modern/postmodern world, the process ensuring “an increasing homogenization of all human societies, regardless of their historical origins or cultural inheritances.” (Fukuyama, 1992, pp.XIV, XV).

The overestimation of the effects generated by the increased circulation of economic, social, cultural values, of ideologies, of mentalities during the last decades is reflected in theories which release restrictive concepts such as global culture/world culture, Americanization or McDonaldization. The availability of contemporary communities and individuals to become attached to similar life experiences, to social and economic practices, to material and spiritual goods (in the sense that there is an worldwide open access to the same products and services, cultural brands, commodities, or consumerism assets) has been comprehended as a facilitator of a new cultural paradigm – the global culture/the world culture.

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