Americanization

VIVIANE RIEGEL

Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs4

Americanization can be defined as the propagation of US ideas, customs, social patterns, industry, and capital around the world. It is a powerful unidirectional process stemming from the United States that tends to overwhelm competing processes (e.g., Japanization) as well as the strength of local (and glocal) forces that might resist, modify, or transform American models into hybrid forms. Moreover, the notion of Americanization is tied to a particular nation – the United States – but it has a differential impact on many specific nations. Americanization is a process that is central to globalization, but is not its equal (Ritzer 2010).

Americanization is inclusive of forms of US cultural, institutional, political, and economic imperialism. For example, we can include under this heading the worldwide diffusion of the American industrial model and the later global proliferation of the American consumption model; the marketing of American media, including Hollywood film and popular music; the selling of American sports such as NFL football and NBA basketball abroad; the transnational marketing of American commodities, including blue jeans and computer operating systems; the extensive diplomatic and military engagement with Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America; the training of many of the world's military, political, and scientific elites in American universities; the ...

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