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Diffusion is the global spread of ideas, inventions, or discoveries. It can happen through exploration, military conquest, missionary work, mass media, tourism, and the internet. Examples include American fast food in Asia and Spanish language growth in the U.S. Today, ideas spread faster than ever, thanks to social media and the internet.

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Diffusion is the spread of an invention or discovery from one place to another. The spread of ideas such as capitalism, democracy and even religious beliefs has brought about changes in human relationships around the world. Also, the spread of many types of music, phone technology, and computer hardware and software have played an important role in how connected people are with others around the world. So, diffusion often involves the expansion of ideas across the globe and it can occur many different ways. Some ways that diffusion can occur would be through exploration, military conquest, missionary work, mass media, tourism, and even through the internet. So here are a few examples that will help us better understand diffusion from one culture to another. So food originating in America can be seen in countries around the world. For example, here is a McDonald's in Asia. Also, clothing companies like Nike located in Australia or Japan would be another example of cultural diffusion. Spanish is one of the fastest growing languages in the United States and now it has grown so much that being bilingual is a valuable asset to have when you're looking for a job and it's just a good skill to know. So there are also many examples of diffusion, but the big take away is that ideas have spread from one culture to another throughout history. And an interesting thought is that today, ideas are able to spread quicker than ever before through social media and the internet. Also, a most recent example that comes to mind is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I'm sure that you can think of many other examples on your own.