What is Cultural Imperialism?
Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, separating, and artificially injecting the culture or language of one nation in another. It is usually the case that the former is a large, economically or militarily powerful nation and the latter is a smaller, less affluent nation. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. Cultural imperialism is a form of cultural influence distinguished from other forms by the use of force, such as military or economic force. Cultural influence is a process that goes on at all times between all cultures that have contact with each other. Cultural Imperialism is also very different from other imperialistic ways, in the sense that no military or economic intervention is needed to be able to influence countries. What one also needs to take into consideration is that culture is not static. Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines culture as the "total pattern of human behavior and its products embodied in speech, action, and artifacts and dependent upon man's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations."1This is just a brief Overview of American imperialism and what will be discussed. The American Empire
When discussing cultural imperialism involving the United States, one often refers to the U.S. as the "American Empire". The American Empire is a term sometimes used to describe the historical expansionism and the current political, economic, and cultural influence of the United States on a global scale. Many argue that U.S. imperialism, traces its beginning not to the Spanish-American War, but to Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory, or even to the re-location of Native Americans prior to the American Revolution, and arguably, still continues to this day. Some even argue that Imperialism didn't really start until the immigration boom in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Cultural imperialism involves much more than simple consumer goods; however, it involves the teaching and implementation American principles, such as freedom and democracy on to other nations. However, it is in popular culture that the reciprocal relationship between America and the rest of the world is demonstrated best10. Cultural Imperialism is also made possible through marketing. When selling an item, a brand, or even an entire culture, marketers have created an association of American products with this idea of "modernity" in the minds of consumers throughout the world. This marketing strategy views America as the "Land of the Cool" as marketers refer to it, associating American products with that of the "popular" culture worldwide.3 Although many argue that cultural imperialism is America's way of trying to control and benefit from other countries (an example of Anti-imperialism -- the argument is that the greater the cultural disparities in the world, the more likely it is that conflict will occur), many argue that American cultural imperialism is in the interest not only of the United States but also of the world at large. This is an argument as to why cultural imperialism isn't necessarily a bad thing. Arguably, the removal of cultural barriers through U.S. cultural imperialism could promote a more stable and consistent world. America's history, while complete with both good and bad, doesn't include that of conquest. The character of America is wrapped up in the dual needs of security and self-defense, which doesn't equate to the desire to conquer and occupy, which many believe is what America is after (especially in dealing with foreign affairs). The world both admires and fears America, in part because of it's military strength, but also because of the popularity of its culture. The popularity and pervasiveness, combined with our economic and military power make us seem relentless and thus unconquerable and threatening to...