The process of globalization has swept the entire world, unifying countries and nations and bringing people across the world closer. Although the specified process has been reasonably viewed as mostly positive, one cannot argue that it is likely to entail multiple confusions and misunderstandings due to the differences in cultures and perceptions. Moreover, like any other trend that involves cross-cultural interactions on a massive scale, it is bound to cause culture clashes, confrontations, and, possibly, even the effects that may turn out to be detrimental to some cultures. Specifically, the issues of acculturation and assimilation need to be considered as some of the most tangible and probable side effects of globalization. Although the threat of Americanization and the following dissipation of cultures of lower influence cannot be seen as a certain outcome, the risk of American culture devouring lesser-known ones is quite high, which is why the focus on preserving cultures and encouraging cross-cultural sharing of experience should be prioritized.
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One could argue that the process of globalization is tied inherently to the process of Americanisation due to the power that the American popular culture ostensibly has over the ones belonging to other countries. However, the specified assumption seems to represent a lapse in judgment caused by the skewed perspective and the lack of awareness about the scale and scope of popular culture in other states. Namely, it is not the crushing power of the American popular culture but the absence of knowledge about the influence that popular cultures in other states hold over their audience that leads to the specified conclusion. For instance, when considering the content viewed on Youtube, the most popular video content aggregator in the world, one will realize that the channel with the most views and the greatest popularity provides the content aimed not at American but Indian viewers primarily (Metaxas, Bouka, & Merkouri, 2016). Indeed, T-Series, which currently tops the charts of the most popular channels on Youtube, is hosted by an Indian owner and broadcasts Bollywood soundtracks and Indian pop music (Hemrajani, 2019). Therefore, considering that the American culture will immediately stifle other ones with the power of its popular culture does not seem plausible currently given the representation of other cultures in their home states.
However, of the cultures that are already facing significant challenges in an attempt at preserving their legacy for specific reasons, the rise in cultural globalization may, indeed, imply a faster demise. The specified issue also implies following the money and tracking down the states with the industries that dominate the world pop-culture content due to their ubiquity. Namely, the fact that the American popular culture and especially American movies have been dominating the global cultural environment is doubtless since the products created by Hollywood have been consumed on a worldwide scale.
That being said, the ubiquity of the American movie industry does not imply that it trumps the ones created in other countries. The examples of multiple countries and their cultural development show that American cinema can coexist with local one quite peacefully. Moreover, in most states, local movie productions are known much better and watched much more often than American ones (Pieterse, 2019). In other words, the fact that the American population is unfamiliar with the movies created in other states does not imply that the latter are underrepresented in their cultural environment; instead, it suggests that the Hollywood industry does not allow an average American viewer to consume any product other than the one manufactured by Hollywood producers.
In this context, the idea of globalization will not suggest the Americanisation of the world in the slightest, mostly because the rest of the world has already been largely exposed to American culture. Moreover, a range of more vulnerable cultures may have developed significant immunity to the impact of the American culture, learning to adapt in the way that allows them to thrive even in the context of the prevalence of American content. Quite the contrary, the immediate effects of globalization as a part of the cultural fusion process may suggest that American culture will be diluted by a range of other influences and imbued with new meanings and ideas.
However, reverting the discussion to the economic issue, one could claim that the threat of Americanization as a significant part of globalization may still be possible major industries vow it as a source of financial rewards. Indeed, by establishing world dominance and prevailing over other cultures in terms of producing pop-culture content, companies such as Hollywood and Sony music Entertainment may stifle the development of other cultures and their introduction into the fabric of the global culture. The specified outcome concerns not only the aspects of culture associated with music and cinema but also other types of art and elements of culture, some of them being more subtle. For instance, large food chains are likely to oust local ones, leading to the slow demise of local businesses along with the increase in the stifling of local culture.
The problem of other cultures being stifled by American one as the process of globalization takes a faster pace could also be viewed from the perspective of the people that represent the said endangered cultures. One could argue that, as long as there is at least a single person who can be characterized as the descendant of a particular cultural group, the said culture cannot be deemed as extinct. However, in the contemporary environment where mass media leads to reinforcing specific cultural fads, the threat of people losing their cultural identity and accepting the fads mentioned above becomes highly probable. In the pursuit of the idea of being popular and acquiring the characteristics that will allow making the conversation between the dominant culture and the minority ones more effective, the latter may face the risk of losing their identity. The same outcome may await the cultures that are willing to make the results of their self-expression, as well as their perspective and philosophy, more palatable and accessible to the Western world (Zhen, 2016). Therefore, the representatives of the ethnic and cultural minority must retain cultural integrity during the globalization process, while not refusing the idea of expanding the bandwidth of their cultural perspective.
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In other words, it will be necessary to threaten an incredibly fine line between incorporating the elements of other cultures, including the dominant, or American, one to evolve and embrace innovative ideas, and succumbing to the presence of the prevailing thought, thus casting aside those of the local culture. The specified task might seem barely possible when considering the scope of the challenge, yet persistent efforts may help in addressing the problem. Thus, to avoid the scenario in which globalization is reduced to mere Americanization of other cultures, one will have to ask oneself a question of how the cultures that currently have a very minor voice within the global community could be provided with greater support.
Specifically, tools and strategies for keeping the cultures in question alive and thriving will have to be created. For this reason, strategies geared toward the exploration of other cultures by using modern forms of media will have to be created. Given the power that American mass media currently possesses, namely, the one of the U.S. movie, pop culture, and entertainment industry, it will be necessary to support the promotion of a popular culture of other states (Martell, 2016). Thus, the global media environment will be imbued with the elements of multiple cultures as opposed to the presence of the omnipotent American one.
The intrinsic connection between the economic progress and the development of the globalization process may imply that the dominance of American culture over others may be reinforced by major U.S. corporations willing to take an important and lucrative place in the global market. The reasoning behind the promotion of Americanisation by the companies that offer products of American culture is quite understandable since the specified approach allows them to expand the bandwidth of their potential target audience and attract new customers easier (Júnior, Carlos, & Carlos, 2019). However, the specified approach toward economic advancement will come at a price since it will lead to the detriment of multiple vulnerable cultures that may already be jeopardized by the prevalence of American ideas and cultural artifacts in media. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce tools that will reduce the influence of American corporations on the development of other cultures.
It would be wrong to claim that the process of Americanization substituting globalization in numerous countries has been going on unnoticed. On the contrary, a range of states has identified the issue, which was followed by their governments issuing policies aimed at preserving the national culture and identity (Sahin, 2018). For instance, the Turkish government, which has developed awareness about the threats that Americanization held for Turkish culture, decided to address the issue by controlling the extent of its influence with the help of the support provided by the European Union (Sahin, 2018). As a result, the Turkish culture remains reasonably distant from the American one, at the same time receiving the required amount of innovations. However, the described strategy has not been successful in other states, as further research indicates (Sahin, 2018). Therefore, it is important to consider each scenario on a case-by-case basis to create a strategy that could assist different countries in preventing the Americanisation of their cultures and the compromise of their cultural integrity.
To explore the probability of Americanization becoming the substitute for the concept of globalization, one may need to consider some of the recent examples of the specified phenomenon. For instance, the situation observed in Lithuania could be considered a rather accurate portrayal of the challenges that the conflation of globalization and Americanization will cause. The specified argument is supported by the evidence that shows a disturbing rise in the levels of emigration within the state. The perception of American culture as the superior one and the American cultural environment as a more desirable one than that one of Lithuania has been observed among citizens. As a result, the state has been witnessing a troubling increase in the extent of the so-called brain drain, or emigration of experts from different fields to the U.S. in pursuit of better opportunities for economic and cultural development (Šimelytė, Korsakienė, & Ščeulovs, 2017). The results have been quite dire for Lithuania so far as the phenomenon of cultural hybridization has been substituted with the rapid development of imperialism of American culture in the target setting (Zhen, 2016). Specifically, the music industry, as well as other aspects of Lithuanian popular culture, along with some elements of its cuisine and lifestyle choices have been resembling the American ones increasingly over the past decade, stifling the development of the Lithuanian cultural identity to a significant degree. As a result, a range of people has started t perceive their own culture as an inferior one, which has led o a spike in emigration levels.
Even though the Americanization of cultures with fewer members and less extensive impact is less likely than one might imagine, the colonizing impact of the American culture still calls for the reconsideration of how the cross-cultural dialogue is performed nowadays. Namely, the impact of industries needs to be reduced so that, with the rise in globalization, countries with lower GDP could afford the development of their own popular culture and entertainment industry. Thus, the risk of American culture erasing the ones of lesser influence will be minimized, whereas the opportunities for the development of those that have been facing extinction will be created.
Hemrajani, N. (2019). T-Series: The Bollywood record label that conquered YouTube. BBC.com. Web.
Júnior, J. D. R. S., Carlos, S., & Carlos, S. (2019). Globalization of Higher Education: notes about economy, knowledge production and impacts on civil society. Open Access Library Journal, 6(11), 1-17. Web.
Martell, L. (2016). The sociology of globalization. John Wiley & Sons.
Metaxas, T., Bouka, E., & Merkouri, M. M. (2016). Bollywood, India and economic growth: A hundred years history. Journal of Economic and Social Thought, 3(2), 285-301.
Pieterse, J. N. (2019). Globalization and culture: Global mélange. Rowman & Littlefield.
Şahin, M. (2018). The influence of globalization on Turkish sports. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 6(4), 26-31. Web.
Šimelytė, A., Korsakienė, R., & Ščeulovs, D. (2017). Americanization in Lithuania as a driving force for globalization. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 3(3), 3-16. Web.
Zhen, L. I. U. (2016). Hollywood movies as commodity and culture: A historical review. Cross-Cultural Communication, 12(1), 12-15. Web.