Americanization of the Australian Media
The Australian television and media have become americanised through the influence of American media and television programs in Australia.
This research will only concentrate on the extent of Americanisation in Australia through the influence on television and the film industry as the aspect of Americanisation covers a wide range from fashion to language. To fully understand the topic of the hypothesis, proper exploration of the definitions of ‘identity’ and ‘culture’ are of relevance. ‘Identity’ and ‘culture’ play an integral role in what an Australian represents as well as how the world views Australians. The meaning of ‘identity’ can be summarized as; ‘The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known’ as well as ‘the set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group’ (Meriam-Webster 2003).
Culture one the other hand, can be simply coined as ‘the way of life’, language and traditions that are common amongst a group of people (Meriam-Webster 2003). The Australian identity and culture is something that is unique and exclusive to its people, word like ‘barby’, ‘g’day mate’ and ‘tinnies’ immediately refers to Australia.
Australians pride themselves as hard-working, humourous and jovial people, who love the outdoors and good food. But in recent times we notice that Australians, are not being ‘Australian’ enough. Gone are the days where men wore rabbit-fur and trusty leather work-shoes. New York Yankees caps worn backwards and polished white Adidas Superstar sneakers coupled with denims worn below the hips instead have replaced these. Ten years ago, the mentioned situation could only exist in the United States of America. Today we see it happening in almost all major cities and suburbs in Australia (Mengel 2001, pers. comm., 11 Aug)
Throughout the years, we have heard the term Americanisation frequently invoked but seldom defined. Originally, ‘Americanisation’ was the label used to define the assimilation of immigrants and other minorities seeking citizenship in the United States of. In most cases, ‘Americanisation’ was defined broadly as ‘The process by which an alien acquires our language, citizenship, customs and ideas’. (Bell & Bell, 1998:2)
The overall term ‘Americanisation’ is most of the time no more than an assumption regarding the origin of cultural values (language, food, fashion) that come from the USA, which may not be accurate. It is applied indiscriminately within the Australian media to label array of factors seen as threatening to national identity, way of life or values. This uncomplimentary use of Americanisation sees Australia as adopting social practices and cultural values which originates in the United States. (Bennett 1999)
Television has, without doubt, received more attention from Americanisation critics on media globalization more than any of the other...