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The Americanization of Canada

Oct 08, 1999 719 Words
When the topic of Canada comes up among peoples, immediately the thought of ice hockey, the Mounted Police, and beavers comes to mind. In fact, Canada has truly lost its true identity that we once knew. It is slowly being assimilated and in fact “Americanized” in aspects of social identity, national identity, and cultural identity. First, Canada is being slowly “Americanized” in its social identity. When we talk about a country’s social identity, we examine a few areas. First is the media, which is constantly bombarding Canadians with images and values of American culture. Through the images we see Americans constantly fighting, either in aspects of global policing in their own backyard with Americans killing Americans. Through situation comedies and news we Canadians are hit with a whole other value system not of our own, saying it’s okay to fight to solve our differences. The second aspect of the social identity is sports. This is quite financially the one factor that affects everyone. Every Monday night during the summer and on Sundays, the Fox network broadcasts the NFL. How many Canadians would rather watch the Tiger Cats and Argos battle, when they can watch the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots play some football and then to watch the cheerleaders? All of them, practically. In summary, this apparent coca-colonization of the Canadian social identity is on the uprise of one specific medium, the medium. Second, not only is the Americanization happening in the aspect of social identity, but it also flows over into national identity. What can be said about the national identity of Canada? First thought that comes to most peoples’ minds is that of the mounted police, beavers, ice hockey, and wide land mass. In fact, our national identity has been brought about by the American way of life. This buying spree essentially started when Walt Disney purchased the Mounted Police’s image o it could be displayed in the Ebcot center. The most powerful, stunning uniform is to be adorned by some no-account, flag-waving, hillbilly yokel. Another national image wh8ich spans all three topics of social, natural and cultural is that of Tim Horton’s. The one place where we all go almost every day, has been bought by an American, Dave Thomas. The image of hockey is distorted as well for there are 28 teams in the NHL, and only 6 of those teams are based in Canada. That means that Canada only has 21% of what is considered to be a national sport. The government image is distorted in the Canadians’ mind as well. All of the American’s television shows and news would have some Canadians believe that our governments work the same, and all courts operate in the same way as Judge Judy’s and the People’s Court. In summary, not only are Canadians losing the social identity but their national identity as well.

Third, not only is the Americanization of Canada taking place through the social and national identities, but also through cultural identities. Canada is viewed as a mosaic and not a melting pot such as in the States (multi-culturalism vs. mono-culturalism). Canada has been described as having cultural schizophrenia, which is in essence an identity crisis where America has cultural messianism. Canadians are down-playing their history as Americans celebrate theirs and puch it on Canadians via many different mediums. Culturally you can think of Canada’s motto as E Unum Pluribus (one in many) and the Americans’ as meaning many people become one “American”, or E Pluribus Unum (many in one). In summary, Americanism is effecting not only the Canadians’ social and national identities, but the cultural identity as well. When the topic of Canada comes up among peoples, immediately the thought of ice hockey, the Mounted Police, and beavers comes to mind. In fact, Canada has truly lost its identity that we once knew. It is slowly being assimilated and in fact “Americanized” in aspects of social identity, national identity, and cultural identity. In conclusion, to put it slightly, both are “coca-colonized” meaning that Canada is becoming socially very fast-paced, industrialized, mechanized, and computerized.

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