Advertising and reality shows are not the only spheres in the US popular culture that promote individualism and materialism in their close relation to wealth as a measure of success and happiness. The whole spectrum of popular movies and music videos is filled with images of rich people.
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Rap and pop music videos show expansive cars, luxurious clothes, jewelry, and a wealthy setting thus forming an artificial model of a successful life where enormous wealth is a standard requirement (Crothers 46).
Moreover, mass feature films systematically inflict artificially developed values that do not correspond to the morality of the majority of the American population. In the real world, love and compassion, striving to help others and respect them for who they constitute the core qualities of a humane society. On the contrary, the movies impose “happy endings and triumphant individualism, spectacle and consumerism” as the most important values (Crothers 47). Yet it contradicts the reality where money is the means of life but not its purpose.
However, the ubiquity of wealth-concentrated American popular culture in the lives of modern people threatens the generally accepted system of values and causes adverse shifts in it. The global invasion of the American popular culture into the cultures of other nations imposes a significant threat to the morality and value framework of the whole civilized world. As Crothers mentions, people from less fortunate neighborhoods or countries who watch the wealthy portrayal of something that is supposed to be perceived as a standard of living will never experience the “American way of life” (1-2).
Under the circumstances of the globalization process, the exchange between different cultures contains moral meaning, and the ubiquity of richness in the omnipresent American culture diminishes the happiness of less fortunate populations.
Crothers, Lane. Globalization and American Popular Culture. 4th ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.