Globalization and Cultural Homogenization

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The rapid development of economic globalization and cultural globalization enhances cultural transaction between different countries. Even though in this process culture between different countries still has its own characteristic on the whole, the cultural homogenization has been presented in social life, especially in the media industry. This essay will discuss the definition of globalization and cultural homogenization, and the popularity of Hollywood movies in China, the phenomenon of convergence of TV programmers between different countries and Japanese anime elements in video games around the world will be given as examples to demonstrate the homogenization of media culture.

Culture includes many aspects in people’s daily life such as the economic, politics, media. According to Appadurai (1990), “The key problem in the global interactions today is the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization”. The cultural homogenization is the process that local cultures are changed or assimilated by the dominant outside culture (O'Connor, 2006). Globalization has its natural barriers like the differences in languages, geographical factors, religious and ethnics. These differences between countries could undermine the cultural homogenization. Take the political system as an example. Today there are different political system in different countries like the socialism in China and the capitalism in western counties like America and Australia. However the influence of globalization for the media cultural homogenization has been widely presented in people’s daily life. Under the background of globalization, the media culture makes the meaning of the globalization equal to the cultural homogenization. In the process of economic globalization, neoliberal ideology had spread. Neoliberalism advocates that business dominate the social affairs to make the national and international policies have a new order and the market can solve social problems by itself (McChesney, 2001). As a consequence, the power of political constraint on economic activities and global trade barrier has strongly weakened. It is good for the world famous media firms to expand their markets in different countries to extract profit.

For instance, Hollywood occupied most of the world’s media market. It becomes a main medium by which people in different countries to understand American fashions, customs, scenery and the way of life (Hoynes & Croteau & Milan, 2011). According to Su (2010), between 1994-2007, China began to import 10 to 20 foreign films every year. Most of them were Hollywood movies. These Hollywood blockbusters caused unprecedented repercussion among the Chinese audience because these blockbusters could fit their aesthetic and entertaining need. At the end of 20th century, Hollywood films had occupied 70% of Chinese film market, but the nearly 100 films made in domestic just share 30% of the film market (Rosen 2002). With the rapid development of scientific technology, IMAX and 3D technology has been used in the film industry. The technologies further promote the Americanization in the world film field. The movies like Avatar and Titanic are examples of this. Hollywood movies created visual miracle and achieve large box-office profits one after another in China, even around the world. In order to have more market share, Chinese film producer also focus on importing American advanced film technology or the cooperating with the American film making companies. Recently year, China also has its own outstanding films like Tangshan Earthquake, but some Chinese audience felt it likes a Hollywood blockbuster because of American visual effect technology in the film.

In the process of economical and cultural globalization, neoliberalism has been widely spread. The Hollywood has seized this opportunity and occupied large scale of world film market. So Americanization is a reflection of media cultural...
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