American influence in spreading rapidly, and although some countries enjoy American movies and television, they do not support the widespread of American ideals. Some countries, on the other hand, are entirely anti-Americanization due to how America displays their values on the media. This paper will discuss these fundamentals as well as dive into the role the media has to play on America’s influence on the rest of the world. This paper will also discuss some of the ways the world perceives American culture and how its international wide spread of mercantile, media, and influence is causing cultures to lose their unique identity and become Americanized. Utilizing many sources, some of which include scholars, teachers, publishers, acclaimed writers, and reporters, this paper will argue the impact of Americanization around the globe.
Popular culture and the media today construct a unique image of American culture; it manifests advertisements, controls spending habits, and promotes the American way of life. For many countries, American movies and television are the only sources that depict the values and customs for the entire United States; however, these forms of media are not a valid source to determine American customs and beliefs, therefore contributing to the misunderstanding and misperception of American habits and influence. Americans view themselves differently than the rest of the world, and their influence is diminishing the identity of other countries. Popular culture and mass media convolute the way American values, customs, and beliefs are perceived; to Americans, their influence and way of life is for the better, yet other countries say otherwise.
According to an article by Michael Medved, the action packed thrillers that exhibit guns and violence exert a powerful influence on countries overseas, and, although citizens of these countries have never been to the United States, they get a dose of the streets of Los Angles and New York. Unfortunately, this dose depicts these places as having never-ending episodes of gun crime, a corrupt police department, drug trade, and mindless murders that goes without consequence. Interestingly enough, the same article discusses that some Londoners will not venture to the United States for fear of street crime; however, recent statistics show there is a greater chance of getting mugged or assaulted on the streets of London than the streets of New York. Similarly, Medved also discusses the following:
“A recent traveler in rural Indonesia met a ten-year-old boy who, discovering the American origins of the visitor, asked to see her gun. When she insisted that she didn’t carry any firearms, the child refused to believe her: he knew that all Americans carried guns because he had seen them perpetually armed on TV and at the movies.”
This demonstrates some of the deleterious effects of American media. Although, these examples do not promote effects that are entirely serious or life threatening, there are some examples that do. For example, Medved also discusses that watching American movies in Pakistan provokes riots and other serious issues.
Americans, on the other hand, view their movies, no matter how violent or unrealistic, as a general source of entertainment and not a crash course on American pop culture, morals, habits, and beliefs. Reality television, for example, is another contributor to the lack of sagacity toward American morals by countries overseas. Americans view reality television ultimately as a source of comedy that is edited to render entertaining stereotypes; whereas many other cultures view reality television as actuality television. Concepts depicted in many reality television shows do not set well with Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghani, and Turkish beliefs nor many other countries that manifest Muslim religious values. These types of shows characterize American men as shallow-minded party animals bent on sex and women as merely whorish flibbertigibbets for the men to have sex with. The way the characters act and dress is understood to be the way all Americans act and dress, thus contributing to the demise of Americanism within Muslim countries. Intuitively Americans do not perceive themselves in this a manor. However, according to Arnovitz’s research on reality television perceiving American ideals through reality television is futile. Frankenbite, the act of editing an interview to manufacture a story, is just one of Arnovitz’s terms utilized to describe some of the key concepts of reality television; it disproves truth within the show.