“Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once compared liking next to the United States to sleeping with an elephant. He said, ‘You cannot help but be aware of its every movement.’”
The issue of American culture and its globalization has raised a lot of controversy. “The era of globalization” is becoming the preferred term to describe the current times. The term Americanization has been around for years. It was first used when the United States was being heavily immigrated into. The new Americans began to enjoy the freedoms associate with our country and gradually began to act less like a foreigner and more like a real American.
Today we are able to witness an essence of American culture almost everywhere around the world by what we call cultural icons of our times. Sneakers, blue jeans, burgers, Hollywood blockbusters are only a few. To many, globalization is synonymous with Nike, Levi's and MTV. In fact, the most visible sign of globalization seems to be the spread of American burgers and cola to nearly every country on earth. It crowns the United States the king of pop culture.
Globalization does more than allow businesses to operate in countries all around the globe. In addition to global commerce, globalization allows for social activism, journalists, academics, and many others to work on a global stage. According to Keith Porter, a co-host and executive producer of a nationally syndicated radio program on world affairs globalization can be both a good and bad thing. He quotes, Thomas Friedman in saying
“Globalization can be incredibly empowering and incredibly coercive. It can democratize opportunity and democratize panic. It makes the whales bigger and the minnows stronger. It leaves you behind faster and faster, and it catches up to you faster and faster. While it is homogenizing cultures, it is also enabling people to share their unique individuality farther and wider."
Without the role of globalization it is not possible to speak of a term called American dominant culture. The dramatic effect of globalization has and will be strengthening this term. People around the world have become less like themselves and more like each other. The most common name that puts this in front of our eyes is McDonald’s.
When a McDonald’s restaurant opens in a foreign country, it represents the penetration of a foreign symbol into a host country. The adoption of that symbol invariably initiates a metamorphic transformation whereby that symbol is refined within the culture in question, including the use of the products in question and the role they play in the particular cultural setting. So with the introduction of a foreign symbol into a host country like a new McDonald’s restaurant, the impact is not so dramatic and the host country does not fully take in the American culture but shapes it in a way to suit their lifestyle and tastes. For example,...