Cultural identity and language: A proposed framework for cultural globalisation and glocalisation

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This paper attempts to define cultural globalisation and cultural glocalisation in terms of cultural identity (CI) and language. Homogenisation, heterogenisation and glocalisation are three possible ways to face the challenge of cultural globalisation but glocalisation may be the most realistic solution as it seems to be the way to a better quality of life. The process of exporting CIs to other nations is cultural globalisation while adaptation of incoming foreign CIs to suit local needs is cultural glocalisation. Language is a CI in the domain of lifestyles as well as carrier of CIs of institutional systems and spiritual values. Incoming foreign languages and foreign CIs often cause changes in local CIs. This is an interactive process as changes of any CIs may lead to alterations of other CIs. To be an effective communicator in this multilingual world, people have to develop multilingual and multicultural competencies. The experience of Hong Kong and Singapore in glocalisation of Mandarin and the rapid growth in the number of Mandarin learners and speakers all over the world indicate the potential for development of Mandarin into an international language after English. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011



Tong, H. K., & Cheung, L. H. (2011). Cultural identity and language: A proposed framework for cultural globalisation and glocalisation. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32(1), 55-69.


  • Cultural identity
  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Globalisation
  • Glocalisation