DUBAI: Globalization has led to the weakening of national identity, according to an academic who called for governments to strengthen civic education, where citizens learn more about where they live, as well as their duties and responsibilities.
Historian and humanities professor at Columbia University Mark Lilla pointed to the decline in the younger generations’ cultural and political identities, saying globalization “has flattened the world’s cultural landscape.”
“Due to the internet culture, our children are much more alike than the people in this audience are alike, and this will become more and more the case with time,” he said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
He said people are beginning to “feel like we are elementary particles floating in space, and not part of the narrative of one particular culture or country.”
Also speaking about identities, Yale law professor Amy Chua said humans are inherently “tribal,” and that we are “hardwired to need to belong to a group.”
But Chua warned against “political tribalism,” where “members (of a group) start seeing everything through the lens of their respective groups with disregard to facts.”
She said multi-ethnic nations, such as those in Middle East, should aspire to become a “super group,” where there is strong national identity among citizens, while sub-groups are allowed to flourish.