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Imperialism Essay

552 words - 3 pages


Robin Hathorn

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.
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Cultural imperialism is also made possible through marketing. When selling an item, a brand, or even an entire culture, marketers have created a connotation of American products with this idea of innovation 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. Although many argue that cultural imperialism is America's way of trying to control and benefit from other countries, 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. Possibly, 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 compare to the desire to conquer and occupy, which many believe is what America is after.
American culture has spread throughout the world because it has incorporated foreign styles and ideas. What Americans have done more successfully and creatively than their competitors overseas, is in repackaging the cultural products we received from abroad and then retransmitting them to the rest of the world. That is why a global mass culture has come to be identified, however simplistically, with the United States. This suggests that the United States was the first sight for cultural imperialism and is just "repackaging" all that was promoted or "artificially injected" here, and is distributing it out to other countries. In the end, American mass culture has not transformed the world into a replica of the United States; instead, America's dependence on foreign cultures has made the United States a replica of the world.

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