Sociology Index

Cultural Imperialism

Cultural Colonialism, Neocolonialism

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

Edward Said and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o 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. The term cultural imperialism is understood differently in particular discourses as in "media imperialism." Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. Cultural imperialism is the practice of artificially injecting the culture or language of one culture into another culture. It is 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 criticism of cultural imperialism that began in the mid-1980s and that is now subsumed under the rubric of cultural studies. The positions of Herbert Schiller and Armand Mattelart on the 'resistance debate' are outlined. Schiller still asserts the validity of cultural imperialism thinking. The article contrasts the way resistance has been used in postmodernism. - Cultural imperialism and resistance in media theory and literary theory - Colleen Roach.

Twenty Years of Cultural Imperialism Research: Some Conceptual and Methodological Problems. - Burrowes, Carl Patrick - 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, 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).
Cultural imperialism has been an influential concept in the representation of the Christian missionary movement. Cultural dynamics of globalization, alternative ways of looking at the role of missions in modern history. The application of the cultural imperialism framework to the missionary enterprise.

Cultural Imperialism on the Internet - by Seongcheol Kim.
To review the cultural imperialism argument in terms of the developments of the Internet through some case studies. In explaining problems of global unequal flow of media, 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. It can be said that the cultural imperialism argument has some limitations in the research of not only the Internet but the other electronic media.

The Orientalist Perspective: Cultural Imperialism in Gaming? - By Elmer Tucker
Oriental subject is founded on the exploitation of Otherness. The Oriental subject allows an auto-exoticizing Japan to use cultural tropes and stereotyped icons to market themselves to a Western audience and also to enforce a culturally imperialistic policy for Asia.

Cultural imperialism: A critical theory of interorganizational change - Joseph W. Grubbs
Journal: Journal of Organizational Change Management.
Theories of organization tend to discuss the management of change across networks in a grammar of instrumental reason, offering legitimacy to the cultural imperialism that emerges when groups come together in a shared-change experience. 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.

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.
After revisiting the notion of cultural imperialism and reclaiming its valuable components, the article focuses on the aspects of U.S. cultural imperialism in the current era of globalization. The author posits the sustained dominance of consumer culture. U.S. cultural imperialism is neither essential for, nor inherent to, globalization, but a 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 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. It interrogates representations that declare the death of cultural imperialism.

In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Foreign Policy - David Rothkopf.
The impact of globalization on culture and the impact of culture on globalization merit discussion. Globalization promotes integration and the removal not only of cultural barriers but of many of the negative dimensions of culture.