What Is a Modern Example of Cultural Diffusion?

A modern example of cultural diffusion is the ubiquity of Latin food in American cooking. Enchiladas, tacos, guacamole and salsa are cultural products that originated in Latin American cuisine and diffused into American cooking as the Latin American population increased in the United States. An additional example is the popularity of sushi in America. Cultural diffusion simply refers to the transfer or movement of one cultural trait or product from its society of origin to a new society or societies.

Cultural diffusion is also known as the theory of diffusionism in Anthropology. This theory has many sub-theories, including one that concedes that modern cultures evolved from one single culture and another surmising that modern cultures grew out of a small number of original cultural traditions. Contemporary American culture is the culmination of several different cultural traditions. This is why the United States is often referred to as a "melting pot." Many scholars of cultural diffusion argue that diffusion occurs in both directions when two cultures come into contact. While taco stands in the United States are an example of cultural diffusion going in one direction, the fast-food restaurant McDonald's expansion into Latin America is an example of cultural diffusion going in the other direction.