Americanization and the World

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The phenomenon Americanization means the influence America has exerted on the culture and economy all over the world. It has captured socio-fabric structure of the society in the vicissitude of its economic paradigms. The concept Americanization began to exert itself since1900, when people from across the world began to land on the American soils as their dream destination. Slowly and slowly, American culture and economy began to exert itself into the new dreams and hearts from the new lands. The presence of American economy is felt in almost all over the world with Pepsi and Coke ads showing in almost every Asian City and town. Big Macs are being ordered from across the world and even Communist nations like China and Russia could not remain immune towards Americanization process.

The youth of today not only watches the X-Files, Baywatch, the new films from Tom Cruise as an entertainment but also have at their disposal parks completely Americanized. For example in American Dream Park in Shanghai, when they have to delight with the food, they have at their anvil complete range of McDonals’s restaurants.  In Russia, first McDonalds was opened in 1996 at a government building in Minsk and it came out to be a historical moment, as its opening coincided with the protest against some of the powers that the American President was using. As reported by Tim Snyder, “On my side of the street, militiamen videotaped those brave enough to speak. Across the way, their colleagues kept the hamburger line in order. Here, someone spoke of the eternity of the Belarussian nation. There, someone ordered Always Coca-Cola. I left ill at ease.” (Millet, Online edition)

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Many Canadian companies are also being controlled by the America bringing a new form of danger- danger of Canada coming under the grip of America. During recent polls in France, the feeling that people cultivated in their minds regarding the meaning of Americanization was violence, inequality, slavery and injustice instead of freedom and economic prosperity. (Millet Online Edition)

In Europe too, stereotype image of Americanization is looming large on the face of the people in general considering the mere concept of Americanization as unfathomed and shortsighted approach. In Singapore, it is associated with aggression, and disrespect for those in authority. As said by Tim Sindor, “As an American I was asked about Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and the Constitution. In 1998, I’m asked about Paula Jones, William Jefferson Clinton, and the Fifth Amendment.” (Millet Online Edition) Within these ten years, Americanization dreams began to dwindle all over the world. Most people of France began to think President Bush as “a ventriloquist’s dummy” and “the Forrest Gump of American politics.” (Lapham, 2001)

With the dominance of capitalism in the global scenario since 1990 and the establishment of the problem identity in the cultural global economy, as said by Dr. Paul Grainge, “Cultural criticism has in recent years begun to rethink ‘America’ as a coherent identity, and reconsider the place of the United States within a changing international system.” (Dr. Grainge 2001) And the first voice of Anti Americanism was heard in 1780 by French lawyer Simon Linguet, who said that, “The dregs of Europe, he warned would build a dreadful society in America, create a strong army, take over Europe and destroy civilization.” (Rubin 2004)

For many Europeans, America was an emblem of a bright new beginning, a return to the innocence and perfection of the garden and a New Hope of innovation and growth. But soon America began to be visualized as a big cultural and political rival and a threat to their culture and economy. This view was echoed by Cornelius de Pauw, in the late eighteenth century, ‘the discovery and conquest of the New World was the “greatest tragedy” ever to befall humanity”. (O’Connor 2006)

While in the postmodernism period, as visualized by Stuart Hall, the world itself is dreaming to get into the American way but since 1970, the complex world scene is slowly and slowly drifting away from its American dreams in the wake of the Vietnam and Watergate scandal.  By the end of 1973, the oil crises pushed down the American dollar rates in the world market. Besides, we all know the activities of Osama Bin Laden and thinking process that the Ramzi Yousef, a man behind the bombings of World Trade Center carries in his heart and is spreading it all over America. Ramzi Yousef and like-minded people are using very basic concept of Americanization to the America’s own disadvantage. In the other words, those sections of this global world scenario are taking the world on the razors edge of fostering hatred by using the technology, the America is boasting of, to shed off the Americanization from its roots and to prevent it from spreading into the Afghan world.

 As said by Thomas Friedman: “The American message particularly tells young people around the world that we have a better way than their fathers. This is why the Osama bin Ladens constantly speak of “American arrogance” and how America is “emasculating” the Muslims. That’s why they just want to kill America. And globalization, through its rapid spread of technologies, also super-empowers them to do just that. It makes it much easier to travel, move money or communicate by satellite phones or Internet”. (Millet Online edition)

Similarly, the word Americanization was first used in 1867 in an article in French journal. The article warned the mere import of agricultural machinery from America would mean the end of the socio and cultural life of France. (Rubin 2004)

 These waves of anti Americanism arose from the danger being posed by the power United States was showing at the aftermath of the Cold War spearheading across the world with its strong economical, political and cultural dimensions. But it is also said that the main carriers of anti Americanization are intellectuals and cultural dominators. Now France and Germany are trying to slow the trend of Americanization in their soils in the form of raising tariffs and taxes on foreign companies and investors. Predominance of local culture is also seen again in the soils of Israel, as they are trying to give in their radio half of their slot to Hebrew songs. (Millet Online Edition) But these are just few exceptions. As technological world is bringing the world into the closed doors of each other, the coming generations are bound to steer in the new waves of so named Americanization and the American way as it is only America all the way with its economic and technological power.


Dr. Grainage P. 2001. Global Media and the Ambiguities of Resonant Americanization. Retrieved on March 9, 2008 from W.W.W:

Hallin D.C. ; Mancini P. Americanization, Globalization and Secularization: Understanding the Convergence of Media Systems and Political Communication in the U.S. and Western Europe. Retrieved on March 9, 2008 from W.W.W:

Lapham, L.H. August 2001. The American Rome: On the Theory of Virtuous Empire. Harper’s Magazine, pp. 31-38.

Millet, F.C. Americanization. Retrieved on March 9, 2008 from W.W.W:

O’Connor, B. & Griffiths, M. 2006. The Rise of Anti Americanism. Routledge Publication.

Rubin B. 2004. Understanding Anti-Americanism. Retrieved on March 9, 2008 from W.W.W:

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