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Transformation of culture, or cultural change, is the dynamic process whereby the living cultures of the world are changing and adapting to external or internal forces. This process is occurring within Western culture as well as non-Western and indigenous cultures and cultures of the world. Forces which contribute to the cultural change described in this article include: colonization, globalization, advances in communication, transport and infrastructure improvements, and military expansion.
Various scholars have proposed different theories of cultural change. Thomas R. Rochon proposed a differentiation between three modes of cultural change:
"Western" or European culture began to undergo rapid change starting with the arrival of Columbus in the New World, and continuing with the Industrial Revolution. The Modern Period, from 1914–1945, is characterized as a highly transformative era, with World War I serving as the watershed moment initiating and forever marking the Modern period. In literature, the work of the High Modernists ruled this period. Notable High Modernists include: T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce. The High Modernists were predominantly American expatriates living abroad after the war and strongly marked by the war experience. A great deal of literature was written attempting to convey the World War I experience. Among these is Ezra Pound's poem, "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley", published in 1920. The poem points out the perceived pointlessness of World War I, but also the loss of faith in the British Empire and Western ideals. Another example of literature during this time is the anti-war poem "Dulce et Decorum Est.", written by Wilfred Owen. This poem contests the deep-seated tradition of noblesse oblige, and questions the idea of dying for one's country.
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