Cultural Imperialism free essay sample - New York Essays


cultural imperialism essay

This process of dominating and influencing the mass through the media texts is known as cultural imperialism, which is the main component of capitalism and . Cultural imperialism, in anthropology, sociology, and ethics, the imposition by one usually politically or economically dominant community of various aspects of its own culture onto another, nondominant community. It is cultural in that the customs, traditions, religion, language, social and moral. Cultural imperialism also called cultural colonialism comprises the cultural aspects of imperialism.. “Imperialism” here refers to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations, favoring a more powerful, cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting and imposing a culture, usually that of a politically powerful nation, over a less.

Globalization or Cultural Imperialism Essay Example

Cultural imperialism also called cultural colonialism comprises the cultural aspects of imperialism. Thus, cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting and imposing a culture, usually that of a politically powerful nationcultural imperialism essay, over a less powerful society; in other words, the cultural hegemony of industrialized or politically and economically influential countries which determine general cultural values and standardize civilizations throughout the world.

The term is employed especially in the fields of history, cultural studiesand postcolonial theory. It is usually used in a pejorative sense, often in conjunction with calls to reject such influence. Cultural imperialism can take various forms, cultural imperialism essay, such as an attitude, a formal policy, or military action, insofar as it reinforces cultural hegemony. Although the Oxford English Dictionary has a reference to the "cultural imperialism of the Russians", [1] John Tomlinson, in his book on the subject, writes that the term emerged in the s [2] and has been cultural imperialism essay focus of research since at least the s.

Various academics give various definitions of the term. American media critic Herbert Schiller wrote: "The concept of cultural imperialism today [] best describes the sum of the processes by which a society is brought into the modern world system and how its dominating stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping cultural imperialism essay institutions to correspond to, or even promote, cultural imperialism essay, the values and structures of the dominating centre of the system.

The public media are the foremost example of operating enterprises that are used in the penetrative cultural imperialism essay. This occurs largely through the commercialization of broadcasting. Tom McPhail defined "Electronic colonialism as the dependency relationship established by the importation of communication hardware, foreign-produced software, along with engineers, cultural imperialism essay, technicians, and related information protocols, that vicariously establish a set of foreign norms, values, and expectations which, in varying degrees, may alter the domestic cultures and socialization processes.

Downing and Sreberny-Mohammadi state: "Imperialism is the conquest and control of one country by a more powerful one. Cultural imperialism signifies the dimensions of the process that go beyond economic exploitation or military force.

In the history of colonialismi, cultural imperialism essay. Western advertising has made further inroads, as have architectural and fashion styles. Subtly but powerfully, the message has often been insinuated that Western cultures are superior to the cultures of the Third World. The issue of cultural imperialism emerged largely from communication studies.

Many of today's academics that employ the term, cultural imperialism, are heavily informed by the work of FoucaultDerridaSaidand other poststructuralist and postcolonialist theorists.

The work of French philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault has heavily influenced use of the term cultural imperialism, particularly his philosophical interpretation of power and his concept of governmentality. Following an interpretation of power similar to that of MachiavelliFoucault defines power as immaterial, as a "certain type of relation between individuals" that has to do with complex strategic social positions that relate to the subject's ability to control its environment and influence those around itself, cultural imperialism essay.

Cultural imperialism may be an example of this. Foucault's interpretation of governance is also very important in constructing theories of transnational power structure. A self-described "practical Marxist-feminist-deconstructionist" [18] Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has published a number of works challenging the "legacy of colonialism" including A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing PresentOther Asiasand "Can the Subaltern Speak?

In "Can the Subaltern Speak? Because of this, Spivak argues that the subalterncultural imperialism essay, referring to the communities that participate in the Sati, are not able to represent themselves through their own voice. Spivak says that cultural imperialism has the power to disqualify or erase the knowledge and mode of education of certain populations that are low on the social hierarchy. Throughout "Can the Subaltern Speak? In A critique of Postcolonial ReasonSpivak argues that Western philosophy has a history of not only exclusion of the subaltern from discourse, but also does not allow them to occupy the space of a fully human subject.

Cultural imperialism can refer to either the forced acculturation of a subject population, or to the voluntary embracing of a foreign culture by individuals who do so of their own free will. Since these are two very different referents, the validity of the term has been called into question, cultural imperialism essay. Cultural influence can be seen by the "receiving" culture as either a threat to or an enrichment of its cultural identity. It seems therefore useful to distinguish between cultural imperialism as an active or passive attitude of cultural imperialism essay, and the position of a culture or group that seeks to complement its own cultural production, considered partly deficient, with imported products.

The imported products or services can themselves represent, or be associated with, certain values such as consumerism, cultural imperialism essay. According to one argument, the "receiving" culture does not necessarily perceive this link, but cultural imperialism essay absorbs the foreign culture passively through the use of the foreign goods and services. Due to its somewhat concealed, but cultural imperialism essay potent nature, this hypothetical idea is described by some cultural imperialism essay as " banal imperialism.

Some believe that the newly globalised economy of the late 20th and early 21st century has facilitated this process through the use of new information technology. This kind of cultural imperialism is derived from what is called " soft power ". The theory of electronic colonialism extends the issue to global cultural issues and the impact of major multi-media conglomerates, ranging from ViacomTime-WarnerDisneyNews Corpto Google and Microsoft with the focus on the hegemonic power of these mainly United States-based communication giants.

One of the reasons often given for opposing any form of cultural imperialism, voluntary or otherwise, is the preservation of cultural diversitya goal seen by some as analogous to the preservation of ecological diversity.

Proponents of this idea argue either that such diversity is valuable in itself, to preserve human historical cultural imperialism essay and knowledge, or instrumentally valuable because it makes available more ways of solving problems and responding to catastrophes, natural or otherwise. Of all the areas of the world that scholars have claimed to be adversely affected by imperialism, Africa is probably the most notable. In the expansive "age of imperialism" of the nineteenth century, scholars have argued that European colonization in Africa has led to the elimination of many various cultures, worldviews, and epistemologiesparticularly through neocolonization of public education.

Abdiclaims that imperialism inherently "involve[s] extensively interactive regimes and heavy contexts of identity deformation, misrecognition, loss of self-esteem, and individual and social doubt in self-efficacy.

Neoliberalism is often critiqued by sociologists, anthropologists, and cultural imperialism essay studies scholars as being culturally imperialistic. Critics of neoliberalism, at times, cultural imperialism essay, claim that it is the newly predominant form of imperialism. In Dunn's work, Privatizing Polandcultural imperialism essay, she argues that the expansion of the multinational corporationGerber, into Poland in the s imposed Western, neoliberal governmentalityideologiesand epistemologies upon the post-soviet persons hired.

In Elyachar's work, Markets of Dispossessionshe focuses on ways in which, in CairoNGOs along with INGOs and the state promoted neoliberal governmentality through schemas of economic development that relied upon "youth microentrepreneurs. Often, methods of promoting development and social justice to are critiqued as being imperialistic, in a cultural sense.

For example, Chandra Mohanty has critiqued Western feminismclaiming that it has created cultural imperialism essay misrepresentation of the "third world woman" as being completely powerless, unable to resist male dominance. Some scholars even question the intentions of those developing the field of study, claiming that efforts to "develop" the Global South were never about the South itself.

Instead, these efforts, it is argued, were made in order to advance Western development and reinforce Western hegemony. The core of cultural imperialism thesis is integrated with the political-economy traditional approach in media effects research.

Critics of cultural imperialism commonly claim that non-Western cultures, particularly from the Third World, will forsake their traditional values and lose their cultural identities when they are solely exposed to Western media. Nonetheless, Michael B.

Salwen, in his book Critical Studies in Mass Communicationcultural imperialism essay, [29] claims that cross-consideration and integration of empirical findings on cultural imperialist influences is very critical in cultural imperialism essay of understanding mass media in the international cultural imperialism essay. He recognizes both of contradictory contexts on cultural imperialist impacts.

The first context cultural imperialism essay where cultural imperialism imposes socio-political disruptions on developing nations. Western media can distort images of foreign cultures and provoke personal and social conflicts to developing nations in cultural imperialism essay cases.

Although he admits that outward manifestations of Western culture may be adopted, cultural imperialism essay, but the fundamental values and behaviors remain still. Critics of scholars who discuss cultural imperialism have a number of critiques. Cultural imperialism is a term that is only used in discussions where cultural relativism and constructivism are generally taken as true. One cannot critique promoting Western values if cultural imperialism essay believes that said values are absolutely correct.

Similarly, one cannot argue that Western epistemology is unjustly promoted in non-Western societies if one believes that those epistemologies are absolutely cultural imperialism essay. John Tomlinson provides a critique of cultural imperialism theory and reveals major problems in the way in which the idea of cultural, as opposed to economic or political, imperialism is formulated.

Tomlinson suggests that cultural cultural imperialism essay is growing in some respects, but local transformation and interpretations of imported media products propose that cultural diversification is not at an end in global society.

He thus supports his argument highly criticizing the concept that Americanization is occurring through global overflow of American television products. He points to a myriad of examples of television networks who have managed to dominate their domestic markets and that domestic programs generally top the ratings. He also doubts the concept that cultural agents are passive receivers of information.

Other major critiques are that the term is not defined well, and employs further terms that are not defined well, and therefore lacks explanatory power, cultural imperialism essay, that cultural imperialism is hard to measure, and that the cultural imperialism essay of a legacy of colonialism is not always true.

David Rothkopfmanaging director of Kissinger Associates and an adjunct professor of international affairs at Columbia University who also served as a senior U. Commerce Department official in the Clinton Administrationcultural imperialism essay, wrote about cultural imperialism in his provocatively titled In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Rothkopf says that the United States should embrace "cultural imperialism" as in its self-interest.

But his definition of cultural imperialism stresses spreading the values of tolerance and openness to cultural change in order cultural imperialism essay avoid war and conflict between cultures as well as expanding accepted technological and legal standards to provide free traders with enough security to do business with more countries. Rothkopf's definition almost exclusively involves allowing individuals in other nations to accept or reject foreign cultural influences, cultural imperialism essay.

He also mentions, cultural imperialism essay, but only in passing, cultural imperialism essay, the use of the English language and consumption of news and popular music and film as cultural dominance that he supports. Rothkopf additionally cultural imperialism essay the point that globalization and the Internet are accelerating the process of cultural influence. Culture is sometimes used by the organizers of society—politicians, theologians, academics, and families—to impose and ensure order, the rudiments of which change over time as need dictates.

One cultural imperialism essay only look at the 20th century's genocides. In each one, leaders used culture as a political front to fuel the passions of their armies and other minions and to justify their actions among their people. Rothkopf then cites genocide and massacres in Armeniacultural imperialism essay, Russia, the HolocaustCambodiaBosnia and HerzegovinaRwanda and East Timor as examples of culture in some cases expressed in the ideology of "political culture" or religion being misused to justify violence.

He also acknowledges that cultural imperialism in the past has been guilty of forcefully eliminating the cultures of natives in the Americas and in Africa, or through use of the Inquisition cultural imperialism essay, "and during the expansion of virtually every empire. The most important way to deal with cultural influence in any nation, according to Rothkopf, is to promote tolerance and allow, or even promote, cultural diversities that are compatible with tolerance and to eliminate those cultural differences that cause violent conflict:, cultural imperialism essay.

Cultural dominance can also be seen in the s in Australia where the Aboriginal Assimilation Policy acted as an attempt to wipe out the Native Australian people. The British settlers tried to biologically alter the skin colour of the Australian Aboriginal people through mixed breeding with white people. The policy also made attempts to forcefully conform the Aborigines to western ideas of dress and education. Although the term was popularized in the s, and was used by its original proponents to refer to cultural hegemonies in a post-colonial world, cultural imperialism has also been used to refer to times further in the past.

The Ancient Greeks are known for spreading their culture around the Mediterranean and Near East through trade and conquest. During the Archaic Periodthe burgeoning Greek city-states established settlements and colonies across the Mediterranean Seaespecially in Sicily and southern Italyinfluencing the Etruscan and Roman peoples of the region.

In the late fourth century BC, Alexander the Great conquered Persian and Indian territories all the way to cultural imperialism essay Indus River Valley and Punjabspreading Greek pagan religion, art, and science along the way. This resulted in the rise of Hellenistic kingdoms and cities across Egypt, the Near East, Central Asia, and Northwest India where Greek culture fused with the cultures of the indigenous peoples.

The Greek influence prevailed even longer in science and literature, where medieval Muslim scholars in the Middle East studied the writings of Aristotle for scientific learning. The Roman Empire was also an early example of cultural imperialism. Early Rome, in its conquest of Italy, cultural imperialism essay, assimilated the people of Etruria by replacing the Etruscan language with Latin, which led to the demise of that language and many aspects of Etruscan civilization.

Cultural Romanization was imposed on many parts of Rome's empire by "many regions receiving Roman culture unwillingly, as a form of cultural imperialism.

For instance, the Greek habit of stripping naked, in public, for exercise, was looked on askance by Roman writers, cultural imperialism essay, who considered the practice to cultural imperialism essay a cause of the Greeks' effeminacy and enslavement.

The Pax Romana was secured in the empire, in part, by the "forced acculturation of the culturally diverse populations that Rome had conquered.

British worldwide expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries was an economic and political phenomenon. However, "there was also a strong social and cultural dimension to it, which Rudyard Kipling termed the ' white man's burden '. Robin A.


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cultural imperialism essay


This theory has been developed through a long line of historical events, especially ones that developed around the relationship of the west with the rest of the world and led to our contemporary society and whether or not this society is a big global culture due to cultural imperialism. In this essay I intend to explain the difference between. Cultural imperialism, in anthropology, sociology, and ethics, the imposition by one usually politically or economically dominant community of various aspects of its own culture onto another, nondominant community. It is cultural in that the customs, traditions, religion, language, social and moral. This theory has been developed through a long line of historical events, especially ones that developed around the relationship of the west with the rest of the world and led to our contemporary society and whether or not this society is a big global culture due to cultural imperialism. In this essay I intend to explain the difference between.