February 26, 2009

Professor Chris Ryan considers Globalization & Cultures

Explore the World in Free Slide Lecture Thursday, 7 pm

When people think of globalization, they usually think of Americans exporting their television, movies, music, dress and fast food. But globalization means that there is just as much influence coming back to us.

"In the United States the second and third fastest growing religions are Islam and Buddhism," Western Nevada College Geography Professor Chris Ryan says. "In 20 years the dominant language of the Internet will be Chinese. In the mid-'90s, 62 percent of the Internet use was in the United States; now it's less than 20 percent."

After traveling and teaching in more than 50 countries, Ryan is well suited to explore how the world is changing. Ryan will present a photo/lecture on "The Similar World We Live In" on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in Western's Cedar Building, Marlette Hall. There is no charge to attend.

Since 1992, Ryan has worked for the Education Foundation of the National Geographic Society, and for several years has taught classes on geographic information systems, cultural geography and environmental problems at Western.

"If you look at many cultures around the world in the last 20 years, you see a great number of changes," Ryan said. "For the past three or four hundred years European culture dominated the United States. After World War II, less than 10 percent of our immigration has come from Europe. Society and culture are going to change, and you'll see European languages challenged by Arabic and Chinese. If you live in Los Angeles, you can now get 137 different languages via satellite television.

"It may not be a comforting idea to a lot of people, but part of exporting pop culture means there will be reciprocity as well."

Press Release: February 23, 2009

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