Is Globalization Americanization?
Is Globalization Americanization?
Globalization refers to the interchange and exchange of views, ideas and other cultural aspects facilitating international integration across the globe. Through globalization, the world functions as a global village. Most countries exchange cultures and ideas and are therefore defined by them. This encourages creation of unity among diverse countries because they are able to relate with one another. However, globalization has rapidly evolved to Americanization, which incorporates all aspects of globalization but in terms of the American culture. Because of Americanization, many critics do not advocate for globalization since the process leads to cultural loss as evidenced by the adoption of the American culture in different countries around the world (James, 2010).
When one thinks of globalization in relation to Americanization, McDonalds is the foremost thought. Being the largest fast food chain in the United States, the restaurant is an efficient influence for the spread of the American culture. Additionally, the restaurant is based in 119 countries across the globe offering diverse menus that are not the sane in each country. The restaurant also serves an average of 68 million customers per day. Despite the autonomous growth of the fast food chain, McDonalds retains its American culture throughout the countries it occupies. For instance, there are different cultures that do not require the consumption of beef, such as the Indian culture. Hence, by understanding this notion, McDonalds creates foodstuffs such as hamburgers using other types of meat such as chicken or fish and still deliver the best quality (Gilbert, 2011).
In terms of musical culture, music has been an efficient determinant in the spread of American culture. Most countries have their distinctive genres of music that define their respective cultures. For instance, hip-hop emphasizes the U.S culture. Created in the 1970s among the African American communities, the genre has gained rapid recognition in most parts of the world. Initially, hip-hop was used as a method to convey the African American culture regarding various aspects such as women, race and freedom (Chang, 2005). However, there has been consistent change that has led to the acceptance of hip-hop by other cultures other than the pioneers. Additionally, the music reflects popular American culture, which is attractive to most youth in different countries leading to the connotation of the brand, Westernization.
The media have also influenced Americanization through various films, movies and series that reflect the American culture. One of the most popular films to date is the Titanic. The movie is one of the most viewed movies, not only locally but also internationally, as it was able to bring in a million dollars when it was released in three dimensions (3D). The film was initially developed for the North Americans to capture the historical event that happened in 1912 where the ship, Titanic. However, after gaining massive popularity and success in 1999, the motion picture was shown across the world for diverse audiences to view (DiCaprio & Winslet, 1999). The film is popular among most countries because it was based on a true and forgotten historical event and was characterized by emotional themes that associated with most people.
Globalization is indeed a force to reckon, however it has led to global communication and integration. It is true that various values and ideas have been lost because of the process but numerous benefits have accrued from integrating other cultures. For instance, the adoption of the English language by non-English cultures has facilitated the growth of trade and international business thus leading to new business ventures and economic profits. Additionally, globalization has enabled people in different countries to keep in touch by lowering costs of overseas communication. By enabling the development of profitable relationships among countries and people, globalization has proved to be beneficial.
Chang, J. (2005). Can’t stop, won’t stop: A history of the hip-hop generation. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
DiCaprio, L., Winslet, K. Paramount Pictures Corporation. (1999). Titanic. Hollywood, Calif: Paramount.
Gilbert, Sara. (2011). Mcdonalds. Creative Paperbacks Inc.
James, P. (2010). Globalization and culture. Los Angeles: SAGE.