Transculturality: The Changing Form of Cultures Today


  • Wolfgang Welsch


transculturality, aesthetics, philosophy of culture, globalisation


The concept of transculturality suggests a new conceptualization of culture differing from classical monocultures and the more recent conceptions of interculturality and multiculturality. The traditional description of cultures as islands or spheres is descriptively wrong, because cultures today are characterized internally by a pluralization of identities, and externally by border-crossing contours. Furthermore, this traditional concept, which emphasizes homogeneity and delineation, is normatively dangerous in structurally suppressing differences and encouraging separatism and violent conflicts. The concepts of interculturality and multiculturalism tackle some of these ills, but their basic flaw remains the presupposition of cultures as homogeneous islands or enclosed spheres. The concept of transculturality seeks conversely to articulate today's cultural constitution, one characterized by intert¬winement, and to elicit the requisite conceptional and normative consequences. Furthermore, transculturality is found at the individual microlevel too: most of us are cultural hybrids. Transculturality aims for cultures with the ability to link and undergo transition whilst avoiding the threat of homogenization or uniformization. Cultural diversity arises in a new mode as a transcultural blend rather than a juxtaposition of clearly delineated cultures. While it is currently assumed that we are going global and are, by doing this, uniformizing more and more, the concept of transculturality questions this line of thinking. The tendency towards transculturality does not mean that our cultural formation is becoming the same all over the world. On the contrary, processes of globalization and becoming transcultural imply a great variety of differentiation. Transcultural webs woven from the same sources can differ greatly and be quite specific and even individualistic. The concept of transculturality counters the one-sidedness of both globalization and particularization diagnoses.


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How to Cite

Welsch, W. (2016). Transculturality: The Changing Form of Cultures Today. Filozofski Vestnik, 22(2). Retrieved from