Globalisation – The American way …. OR is it ?

Globalisation  – The American way …. OR is it ?

Imagine how life was 20 years ago, where there wasn’t a thing called cellphones, laptops, email and there was no Internet. Because of this communication and trade proved to be a challenge, not only between countries but also between people located in the same region. People were forced to send letters and connect by calling each other by home phones; you got your news from your television , local newspapers and radios. But this all changed because of “Globalisation”, so what exactly is globalisation? Globalisation is a term that is hard to define, but according to O’Shaughnessy and Stadler (2008) regards the term as an “international community infused by technological development and economic, political and military interests” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.458). Crane, kawashima and kawaka (2002, p.1) suggest that it is important to realize that “cultural globalisation is no longer conceptualized in terms of the emergence of a homogenize global instead it is a now more complex and diverse phenomenon consisting of global cultures, originating from many different nations and regions”. Globalisation is commonly thought of as a “global village” (appadurai, 1996) But with anything there is always going to be a positive and negative affect, it was Tom Gitlin (2001) that argued that a “global village” speaks American (cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.465).

Cultural imperialism describes, “how one culture spreads its values and ideas culturally” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.465) through media instead of using direct economic trading with a country that has economic means to produce a majority of the world cultural media. The fear is that this will lose dependency from traditional cultures and be influenced from our western values as suggested by Thompson (cited in cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2008). “We are not living in a global village, but in customized cottage globally produced and locally disturbed” (castells, 2010)(cited in cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2008).

Looking at examples it is easy to see why Thompson and Castells believe this. The world is so familiar with American brands, we look around and we see people wearing Nikes in all sought of colours and styles. We know that if we are Hungary and want food fast we look for a McDonalds. We are influenced from TV shows and movies that are vastly American, music, literature, Internet content, western advertising and so on. We begin to see these corporate brands everywhere and influencing and promoting our culture and lifestyle to the point where they become blended or shifted into other cultures. Shaughnessy and Stadler (2008,p.465 ) argue that globalization and communication is not led by America presence but suggest that globalisation results in “adaptation, appropriation, hybridisation and mutual incorporation of different cultural texts and traditions”


An example is the well-known American television show The Simpsons. Showing a typical American family, it’s a hugely successful show that has been translated in multiple languages and shown around the world. The show alters their episodes to what is shown to various cultures and countries in order to make it more appealing and appropriate for those outside the USA. Jarstad (2005, p.2) states, “it does not aim to infiltrate foreign audience ideologies in hopes to spreading “good American values” but rather aims to liberate audiences to analyze the flows of power and culture around them”

Globalisation has both its pros and its cons and it is easy to see why people believe that the western world is highly influenced by America culture. Though shown by O’Shaughnessy & Stadler (2008) and jarstad (2005) we accept that the power of globalisation exists and plays a huge part in our culture, but as we continue to analyse cultural imperialism by both these text and more. It arises that the USA are criticized for dominating the global economy but we tend to forget that there are several big players beside the USA, for example china ,we shouldn’t just be blaming The USA.

What do you think? Are we dominated by America or do u agree with O’Shaughnessy & Stadler (2008).


– Crane, D, &Kawashima, N, & Kawasaki, K 2002, Global culture: media ,arts ,policy and globalization , Psychology Press ,   London & USA.

– O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471

– Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.

– Jarstad, S 2005, A case study on “the Simpsons as a mediated global culture product , Weebly, viewed 12th August 2015, <;

– Khorana, S 2015, ‘Globalisation, Media Flows and Saturation Coverage’, PowerPoint slides, International Media and Communication, BCM111, university of Wollongong, viewed 12th August 2015