What Is the Meaning of Cultural Imperialism?

Topics: Globalization, Culture, English language Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: April 3, 2012
When a sub-ordinate nation is ruled by a more dominant nation, the dominant nation passes on most of its cultural traits, most notably language, onto the sub-ordinate nation through power. This transfer of one culture onto another, is what we call, cultural imperialism. The language that is believed to be the dominant language today is the ‘English’ language, which obviously comes from the western culture. In today’s world you see English spoken almost everywhere, in India its even the co-official language along with hindi, the status of the English language as international language is well recognized and seems to be spreading fast, even in places such as Nigeria where English medium schools are growing in number. Robert Phillipson, a well known scholar of applied linguistics, in his book, ‘Linguistic Imperialism’ (1992), discussed how organizations such as the British Council, IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank, have promoted the English language. They regard the English language as extremely well established and as ‘a gateway to the world’. With the increasing dominance of the English language the entire western culture too, takes up an imperialistic form. Especially in developing nations such as ours, where to an extent we really do rely on already developed nations such as Britain, for our prosperity. Now coming to Pakistan, as I discussed earlier that through power or authority English language has spread, and this authority usually lies with colonizers, in our case, Britain. We’re aware of the fact that in the 1800s Pakistan was a part of United India, and the rulers were the English. During that time English had become an important language to learn for the purpose of attaining influential posts, and unfortunately the Muslims of that were vastly uneducated and unable to attain the high ranks, even though there were efforts by the Great Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to urge the Muslims to learn English, the Muslims continued to be discriminated...
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