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Spread Of United States Culture Through Technology

1583 words - 6 pages


In today's society, the way in which information is spread drastically differs from that of yesterday, especially in different parts of the world - more specifically, the Commonwealth of Nations.

As the United States continues to dominate almost every aspect of the world, including culture, many different nations scurry to keep up with them, sometimes adopting an identity which is in great contrast to their own, and in many cases, shadow their own identity as a whole. With the ever-advancing technology, the spreading of U.S. culture seems to be easier, and this has many countries worried. Hence, a reason - or need - to censor what enters the country via print, airwaves or Internet.

In "Global Communications of the Twenty-first Century," a Hungarian novelist gives his depiction of what he think American culture entails:
Issue Paper

As an American I'll have a credit card. Or two. I'll use and misuse them and have to pay the fees ... And I'll buy the best dishwasher, microwave, dryer and hi-fi in the world - that is, the U.S.A. I'll have warranty for all - or my money back. I'll use automatic toothbrushes, egg boilers and garage doors. I'll call every single phone number starting with 1-800 ... I'll buy a new TV every time a larger screen appears on the market ... My life won't differ from the lives you can see in soaps: nobody will complain. I won't complain either. I'll always smile (Stevenson 45).

This is an example of the stereotype that other nations have about the United States. Such behavior may seem all right to Americans, but to other countries, it may be viewed as shallow, hence the need to censor what comes over the airwaves in an attempt to preserve their own culture.

Most U.S. television shows are exported worldwide. The image countries see on these shows is the image they have embedded about the United States. Some governments are uncomfortable with the fact that the United States seems to pose a better lifestyle to their people and try to limit the amount of American shows imported, or the amount of time the shows are viewed.

In Jamaica, for instance, there is currently one local television station, the JBC (Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation). However, it does not broadcast until late afternoon (around 4 or 5 o'clock). The first half-hour is cartoons (imported from the United States). Then, for the next two to three hours there is nothing but local programs, including news, gardening and cooking shows, local sitcoms, the most popular being "Lime Tree Lane," "Titus," and the long-running "Oliver at Large," all of which contain Jamaican actors. The quality of the shows is shoddy mainly because there is not much of a budget and resources are limited.

Most of the citizens - especially those without a satellite - do not see an American on television until later in the evening (around 8 or 9 o'clock), and it is only for a couple of hours, as the station quits broadcasting for the day at around 11. The...

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