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Indigenization is a term that is used in a variety of ways depending on the context. The term is primarily used by anthropologists to describe what happens when locals take something from the outside and make it their own (e.g. Africanization, Americanization). [1] Pseudo-indigenization occurs when outsiders try to force the infusion of their culture into another culture. [2]

In world politics, indigenization is the process in which non-Western cultures redefine their native land for better use in agriculture and mass marketing. Due to imperialism and the impetus to modernize, many countries have invoked Western values of self-determination, liberalism, democracy and independence in the past. But now that they are experiencing their own share of economic prosperity, technological sophistication, military power and political cohesion, they desire to revert to their ancestral cultures and religious beliefs.

Since the 1980s and the 1990s, there has been a resurgence of Islam and "re-Islamization" in Muslim societies. In India, Western forms and values have been replaced in the process of "Hinduization" of politics and society and in East Asia, Confucian values are being promoted as part of the "Asianization" process. Japan has also had its share of Indigenization in the form of "Nihonjinron" or the theory of Japan and the Japanese.

However, the word indigenization is also used in almost the opposite sense, according to, it means: to increase local participation in or ownership of: to indigenize foreign-owned companies. to adapt (beliefs, customs, etc.) to local ways.

Types of Indigenization[edit]


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  2. ^ Rod Usher, "Cult Control", TIME Magazine, January 27, 1997