Sociology Index


Imperialism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism

Cultural colonialism is the desire of wealthy nations to control other nations' values and perceptions through cultural means, such as media, language, education and religion, ultimately for economic reasons. It is argued that people, once subject to colonial or imperial rule, latch onto physical and cultural differences between the foreigners and themselves, leading some to associate power and success with the foreigners' ways. Cultural colonialism eventually leads to the foreigners' ways being regarded as the better way and being held in a higher esteem than previous indigenous ways.

In cultural colonialism the colonised may over time equate the colonisers' race or ethnicity itself as being responsible for their superiority. Cultural rejections of colonialism, such as the Negritude movement, or simply the embracing of seemingly authentic local culture are then seen in a post colonial world as a necessary part of the struggle against domination. Cultural colonialism, importation or continuation of cultural mores or elements from former colonial powers may be regarded as a form of Neocolonialism. A metaphor of colonialism is employed in cultural colonialism: the cultural products of the first world "invade" the third-world and "conquer" local culture. - Alexander, Victoria D. (2003). "The Cultural Diamond - The Production of Culture." Sociology of the arts: exploring fine and popular forms. Wiley-Blackwell.

Cultural Imperialism is the practice of artificially injecting the culture or language of one culture into another. It is usually the case that the former belongs to a large, economically or militarily powerful nation and the latter belongs to a smaller, less important one. The term 'cultural imperialism' is usually used in a pejorative sense, usually in conjunction with a call to reject foreign influence.