Sociology Index


Cultural Colonialism, Neocolonialism

Cultural imperialism is the practice of systematically spreading the influence of one culture over others by means of physical and economic domination. The term 'cultural imperialism' is usually used in a pejorative sense, usually in conjunction with a call to reject foreign influence. Cultural imperialism usually involves an assumption of cultural superiority (ethnocentrism). '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.

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. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. The term cultural imperialism is understood differently in particular discourses as in "media imperialism."

Cultural imperialism and resistance in media theory and literary theory - Colleen Roach
Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 19, No. 1, 47-66 (1997)
This article places particular emphasis on the criticism of cultural imperialism that began in the mid-1980s and that is now subsumed under the rubric of 'cultural studies' and its key concepts: the active audience, audience `resistance' to media messages, and polysemy. The author concluding that while Schiller still asserts the validity of cultural imperialism thinking, Mattelart has moved in a slightly different direction. The article also contrasts the way 'resistance' has been used by postmodernists (postmodernism) in the field of communications. Writers still validate the notion of cultural imperialism and use the term 'resistance' to refer to the struggles against Colonialism, and Imperialism in the countries of the South.

Twenty Years of Cultural Imperialism Research: Some Conceptual and Methodological Problems. - Burrowes, Carl Patrick
While the notion of "cultural imperialism" has received significant attention in communication studies since the early 1970s. Cultural imperialism paradigm presents some serious problems in terms of data measurement and research design models. The cultural imperialism model, while yielding extensive and often useful analyses, so far has explicated little on the specifically cultural dimensions of relations between nations or between media and their audiences.

Beyond Cultural Imperialism: Cultural Theory, Christian Missions, and Global Modernity
Dunch, Ryan, History and Theory, Volume 41, Number 3, October 2002 , pp. 301-325(25)
Abstract: “Cultural imperialism” has been an influential concept in the representation of the modern Christian missionary movement. This essay calls its usefulness into question and draws on recent work on the cultural dynamics of globalization to propose alternative ways of looking at the role of missions in modern history. The first section of the essay surveys the ways in which the term “cultural imperialism” has been employed in different disciplines, and some of the criticisms made of the term within those disciplines. The second section discusses the application of the cultural imperialism framework to the missionary enterprise, and the related term “colonization of consciousness” used by Jean and John Comaroff in their influential work on British missionaries and the Tswana of southern Africa.

Cultural Imperialism on the Internet - by Seongcheol Kim
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review the cultural imperialism argument in terms of the developments of the Internet through some case studies. In trying to explain problems of global unequal flow of media including the Internet, the cultural imperialism argument seems to be uniquely helpful. Because of the structural differences between the Internet and traditional forms of mass media, it may not be appropriate to apply the argument to the Internet. Furthermore, it can be said that the cultural imperialism argument has some limitations in the research of not only the Internet but the other new interactive electronic media.

The Orientalist Perspective: Cultural Imperialism in Gaming? - By Elmer Tucker
Abstract: Conceptualization of Orientalism both in the Western consumption of Japanese games and in Japanese games' depictions of Japanese-ness in the games. Japan's continuance of the commodification of Japanese icons, specifically seen with the Samurai and Ninja figures, reveals the use of Orientalist perspective in selling games such as Onimusha and Tenchu that rely on distinctly Japanese archetypes. The third form of Orientalism found in gaming relies on both prior forms. This form is the culturally imperialist and Orientalist stance that Japan takes in regard to other Asian nations.

Cultural imperialism: A critical theory of interorganizational change - Joseph W. Grubbs
Journal: Journal of Organizational Change Management
Abstract: Current theories of organization tend to discuss the management of change across networks in a grammar of instrumental reason, thereby offering legitimacy to the cultural imperialism that emerges when groups come together in a shared-change experience. However, by adopting principles of critical theory, the social research project initiated by a group of scholars known as the “Frankfurt School”, we may challenge this degradation of knowledge and its companion, human domination. A critical theory of interorganizational change reveals three forms of organizational imperialism: cultural domination, cultural imposition, and cultural fragmentation.

U.S. Cultural Imperialism: Today Only a Chimera - Elteren, Mel van.
SAIS Review - Volume 23, Number 2, Summer-Fall 2003, The Johns Hopkins University Press
Abstract: After revisiting the notion of "cultural imperialism" and reclaiming its valuable components, the article focuses on the most significant aspects of U.S. cultural imperialism in the current era of globalization. It goes beyond media imperialism to examine other domains of U.S. cultural influence at the heart of capitalist globalization, including business culture, management and labor practices, and cultural and political "development policies." U.S. cultural imperialism as understood here is neither essential for, nor inherent to, globalization, but a contingent form of the global diffusion of consumerist beliefs and practices. The concept of "cultural imperialism" has generally been discredited. Primarily, European intellectuals and politicians warning against the purported threat of the "Americanization."

The Death of Cultural Imperialism, and Power Too?
A Critical Analysis of American Prestige Press Representations of the Hegemony of English
Christof Demont-Heinrich - Mass Communications and Journalism Studies Department, University of Denver.
This article critically examines selected texts taken from a pool of 275 accounts of the global rise of English published from 1991 to 2003 in five American-owned prestige press publications - the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. In particular, it interrogates representations that declare the death of cultural imperialism.

In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Foreign Policy - David Rothkopf
Globalization has economic roots and political consequences, but it also has brought into focus the power of culture in this global environment-the power to bind and to divide in a time when the tensions between integration and separation tug at every issue that is relevant to international relations.
The impact of globalization on culture and the impact of culture on globalization merit discussion. The homogenizing influences of globalization that are most often condemned by the new nationalists and by cultural romanticists are actually positive; globalization promotes integration and the removal not only of cultural barriers but of many of the negative dimensions of culture.