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Analysis Of Cultural Imperialism With Hollywood Videos Media Essay

With the increasing of electronic advertising, in the 1960s scholar Marshall Mcluhan brought up the idea of 'global village', which gives a common system of random communication without physical and geography distance for worldwide people. With this perspective, this kind of information circumstances will enforce everyone globally to be the participant of, and have difficulty for a same strategy, because our company is inevitably connected with one another (Mcluhan and Quentin, 1967). In the rest years of twentieth century, with the assistant of advanced technology and high-developing economyјthe entire world seems to increasingly move forwards to the "global town" in character. The concept of globalization, somewhat, already slowly but surely rooted in people's brain. In the process of globalization, in generally, two key constituent parts can't be neglected. An example may be the distance between time, space and place has shrunk (Giddens, 1990; Harvey, 1990; Rantanen, 2005), which is owing to the technological improvements, such as digital mass media, instantaneous communication that enable visitors to realize interaction above the restrictions of country and time, which is also the precondition of the realization of globalization. With this sense, the global communication systems fast the instant money of capital and provide possibility for the enlargement of creation and marketing strategies. The other one concerns this content of the communication. By using telecommunication technology, the diffusion of media products have surpassed the country border. Incidentally of music, press issues, movies and broadcast channels, the images, thoughts, and may seem of different civilizations are mutually moving among a vast network of people in the worldwide sphere. For this, the job of globalization identifies the communication and incorporation of culture from different areas. Furthermore, the globalization of media, especially, aspires to this content of social products can be obtained internationally (Croteau and Hoynes, 2003). In this sense, confronting the problem of the promises and fact of advertising globalization, researchers respectively hold different viewpoints. Among these debates, an important discourse called 'ethnical imperialism', which is resulted from the fret of the inequality of global media ownership, control usage and content, should be outlined. A number of scholars, due to superiority of Western mass media products on the use marketing, claim that marketing globalization equals 'social imperialism', and convey deep concerns with globally ethnical homogenization and standardization. Especially, associated with the globally prevailing consumerism, customarily national cultures of every country all hold the possibility of being unified into a typical global commercial culture system. The most typical proof is the export of American cultural goods in the number of entire world. Once we can easily see, Coca-Cola, IBM, Levis', and Hollywood movies, these global brands are all made by the U. S. . However, there are still a part of socialists understandably suspect the discourse of 'cultural imperialism' on the idea of culture and the confusion of social goods and ideological results (Tomplinson, 1999).

On the Basis of the controversy over the discourse of 'social imperialism', in this article, I intend to through the analysis of concrete and weighted American advertising product-Hollywood movies, research whether so-called 'ethnical imperialism' can work under the condition of consumerist culture, which came out as the main element representation of cultural homogenization. The emphasis of part 1 is the books review of the facts of 'social imperialism', which concerning its original description, critique and impacts. Based on the theoretical research of 'ethnic imperialism' in part1, another section will affiliate with specific data and words analysis, to examine the relative assertion of 'cultural imperialism'. Within the last part, I am going to point out my own discussion above the 'ethnic imperialism', and conclude the restriction.

The Discourse of 'Cultural Imperialism'

Before moving to the key argument of the paper, it's important to define the notion of 'cultural imperialism'. As early as the first 10 years of the nineteenth century, Lenin recommended the concept of imperialism. In his perspective, the term of imperialism was meticulously linked with current economic climate, and we can respect it as the highest form of capitalism. ( Lenin, 1939). He directed that as of this level of capitalism, imperialism came out as an activity that big conglomerates include smaller enterprises for the further earnings, and moreover, this kind of operation could surpass the national limitations. In addition, this sort of economical conduction is between the major capitalist countries, and it'll lead to specific imperialist patterns of domination. With this sense, Maybe 'social imperialism' is one result of the specific imperialist habits of domination Lenin said. Williams (1983) also has more further point of view towards the concept of imperialism. For Williams, he concludes imperialism as:

. . . Like any expression which refers to fundamental sociable and political conflicts, can't be reduced, semantically, to an individual proper interpretation. Its important historical and contemporary modifications of meanings point to real processes that have to be examined in their owen conditions (p. 160).

Additionally, he even specifically generalized the introduction of imperialism into two categories, politically and financially. Relating with this newspaper, the economic category will probably be worth being mentioned. As Williams argued, this technique originated from Marxist examination of the development of modern capitalism, which is similar as Lenin's argument. Because of this, incorporating current modern capitalism affirmation with the attribute of imperialism, Williams stated, imperialism in modern day context is put on the practices folks and Soviet Union. However, 'American imperialism' refers to a primarily monetary denomination associated with the global reach of capitalism however, not having the politics form of 'colonialism' (John, 1991). As a result, with the post-war non-colonial process since the 1960s and the development of modern capitalism, the analysis of new imperialism has surfaced among academic circle, which considered that, in the new international configurations, the imperialist growth strategy has transferred primarily from military aggression and straight colonial domination to financial and social penetration, where, the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism' is a significant and critical theory of ethnic globalization.

About the concept of 'ethnical imperialism', there are existing different types. The earliest systematic one was given by Herbert Schiller. Furthermore, Tunstall(1977) crystalized this is of 'ethnical imperialism' as:

The ethnical imperialism thesis promises that traditional, traditional and local culture in many arts of the world has been battered out of presence by the indiscriminate dumping of large quantities of slick commercial and media products mainly from the United States.

In this sense, it is clear that the procedure of 'cultural imperialism' is managed by the merchandise import of majority capitalist countries (mainly the U. S. A. ), generally media products. With this sense, non-Marxists choose to see 'social imperialism' as 'press imperialism'. If that, the discourse of social imperialism can be approached on the sphere of press, which transforms to the empirical place rather than theoretical assumptions (Chin-Chuan Lee, 1979). Similar as Lee's bank account of 'multimedia imperialism', Oliver Boyd Barrett (1977) defines 'media imperialism' as:

The process whereby the possession, structure distribution or content of the marketing in any one country is subject to substantial external pressures from the marketing interests of another country or countries- without proportional reciprocation of affect by the country so damaged (p. 116).

He also advises four 'modes of marketing imperialism': 1) the condition of the communication vehicle 2) a couple of industrial arrangements 3) a body of prices 4) multimedia content, which could exert the ethnical dominance instead of direct economic relationship. David Croteau and Wiliam Hoynes (2003) suggested more detailed connection and explanation of Boyd-Barrett's declaration. First of all, they boasts that the linkage between ethnic imperialism and advertising imperialism is because of the marketing products, which from Western area, especially America, intensely impact other regions' culture, almost have reached the amount of cultural domination. Here, it identifies the relationship of media ownership and multimedia content. Based on the theory of mass media imperialism, both principles and ideology of Traditional western society are inlayed in the media products sold on the pursuits of Western corporations. Next, Croteau and Hoynes (2003) in their publication 'Multimedia/Society' also cite Antonio Gramsci's theory of hegemony to describe the idea and need for 'ethnical hegemony', and sociologist Stuart Hall's evaluation of how media institutions combine with this conception of hegemony. The conception of Gramsci's (1971) hegemony is joining all culture, ability, and ideology mutually. In his point of view, besides military force, power can be acquired incidentally of social and ideological domination as well. For this direction, the key strategy is to make consent, which is often realized through some sort of 'social hegemony'. Croteau and Hoynes said that 'consent is something that is earnedјєruling teams in a world positively seek to have their worldview accepted by all people of world as the general way of pondering' (p. 166). In such a sense, schools, faith, and media obviously become the sites where help the dominating class approach this kind of hegemony, anticipated to these companies will be the places where we form the means of thinking. Upon this basis, Hall(1982) suggested that media is the main site where in fact the social hegemony is exercised, because marketing images are not merely reflecting the planet, but represent ing the entire world, and could actively make things have meanings. And, associating with media possession and commercial gains, many scholars argue that media is principally on the behalf of the dominating assumptions, and making use of the widespread views of the world that a lot of people know. With all the development of the globalization of media, this conception is more convincing. For example, due to motive of advertising globalization is commercial hobbies, plus the economic distance among different countries, the inequality of multimedia globalization is inescapable and apparent. The progress of centralized mass media conglomerates will lead to a concentrated global mass media industry. And also, the ownership of the global media businesses remain in the hands of a few advanced developed countries, which also dominate the production of global mass media products.

As an outcome, from this admiration, major researchers will probably connect the elite status of Western press products with 'social imperialism'. The most typical you need to be the impact of American press items internationally. Coca-Cola, the products of Disney series, McDonald, Hollywood videos, etc American products are all prevailing around the world due to propaganda of American mass media. The supporters of 'cultural imperialism' claims that these foreign imports will threaten and even dominate the local culture. (Coteau and Hoynes, 2003). For example, according to the data of Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2001, North american films occupy 54% to 92% of the performing movie in theaters in countries of europe, in contrast, Western european films constitute only 3% of films shown in the United States (Ministry of culture and Communication, 2001). Schiller (1992) also from the tv set program export to describe the higher level of American mass media domination globally. He suggested that 'commercial television set is becoming an important and flourishing national export' (p. 129). He also quoted the past official of USA Information Agency Woilson P. Dizard's (1964) words to verify this aspect, who said that 'today, overseas sales account for 60 percent of all U. S. telefilm syndication activities and represent the difference between profit and loss for the whole industry' (p. 58). Besides, in 1967, Dizard reported that 'the amount of [Television commercial] exports, now getting close to $100 million per year, is in a way that the television display screen is becoming the primary way to obtain the "American image" for increasing millions of people abroad' (1967, p. 59). From all these data, it is clear that American press industry, to a sizable extent, is relying on foreign markets, and its impact of mass media products is intensifying. Associating with Hall's examination of media and culture, through advertising products to diffuse American prices and ideology seems wise. The discourse of 'cultural imperialism' appears like could be used to spell it out one phenomenon of social globalization, which through exporting mass media products to diffuse own country's prices and ideology, to be able to the last culture domination.

However, there are incomplete scholars who don't trust this discourse of 'ethnical imperialism' or 'advertising imperialism''. The main critic of the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism'-John Tomlinson, provided a thorough critique pinpointing each part of cultural imperialism. Schiller's theory of 'ethnic imperialism' focuses on the press, and from monetary and political perspective to view the unequal composition of global social production and distribution. Because of this, Tomlinson (1991) argues that we now have two mistakes underlying in this theory. First, though press can be an important component of culture, it cannot substitute all areas of culture, and its effect on indigenous culture is strongly linked with local audiences' understanding and specific experience of multimedia products. Second of all, Tomlinson argues that it's a kind of exaggeration to attribute the overwhelming significance of 'ethnical imperialism' to the media. It is problematic to equate ethnical imperialism with 'mass media imperialism'. Each one of these studies are very helpful in the depiction of the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism', either proponent or sceptic. In next part, I am going to combine the specific advertising text-American Hollywood films, to investigate the expression of 'ethnic imperialism' based on American primarily ethnic values.

Hollywood Films

Like I talked about in last section, multimedia products are a highly effective way to diffuse certain ideals and ideology, consequently, realizing the goal of cultural domination. In this admiration, in order to investigate the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism' through the dissection of 1 concrete media word, it is inescapable to mention what kind of worth or ideological theory is implied in that media word, and these ideas is portion for whose benefits. Definitely, in recent ages, america of America through its powerful economical and technological strength, its ethnical perpetrator to the less advanced countries is visible, either materials products or spiritually ethnic products and communal political values. For instance, the standard North american icons-Mickey Mouse button, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Hollywood are typical evidences. Then, what American ideals have been propagated through these popular issues? Generally, white people's traditional culture is the leading culture in America, what is also known as 'WASP' culture (White Angle-Saxon Protestant Culture) (Kennedy, 2001. p. 913). American main stream culture happens to be the 'special mixture of Christianity, Capitalism and democracy' (translated from: Majie Zhu, 2003). Modern day Hollywood videos can, somewhat, through this specially cultural value, gain the marketplace and extraordinary box office receipts, and subsequently, become the key approach for the extension and penetration of culture imperialism.

Individualism as the social value comes from the thinking of Western european burgeoning bourgeoise, which was used to oppose the autocracy feudal aristocracy through the renaissance. The early North American Puritan as identical to the reason for getting rid of the European faith oppression migrated to America. And, in American 'The Declaration of Freedom', some 'self-evident fact' is roofed, 'all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the quest for delight' (Tefferson and Fink, 2002, p. 21-23). In American people's thought, individual liberty is the final purpose, and society just the route to attain this aim. In addition, People in the usa advocate surpass others by own work, against almost any inference to personal liberty from country or culture. In short, individualism, is 'I will need responsibility of each thing by myself'. In 1998, when American chief executive Clinton seen China, he has said that the privileges of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, clear of government interference expressing different views and the right of free trust, are the central idea of the founding of america. And this is also the thought that leaded People in the usa from one aspect of continent to another side, and finally stand on the top of the world, and so far, American people still value it as a valuable thinking (translated from: Zheng Yuan, 1998). In this admiration, individualism is the key motive stimulating not only American continuous creativity, but also the reckless expansion with the indifference of other countries' interests. Based on above release of several American mainstream beliefs, it is timing to relate it with the evaluation of concrete Hollywood movies to analyze the discourse of 'cultural imperialism' in American way.

The basic film-'Forrest Gump' in 1995, ever before gained the very best Film Praise of Oscar Honor. With the picture of the life span of retarded Gump, we can get in touch with many areas of American social life. This film was designed from the same known as novel of Winston Bridegroom. The original reserve is fantastic fiction filling with ironic senses, however, the film has embellished and beautified the whole story. The initial fantastic and ironic interpretation have been removed, and the rebellious fighting spirit was sacrificed as well. Gump in the film has been shaped as an idealized American 'civilian hero', who have noble morality, and his way of earning life and going after joy is on the effort to glorify America. The role of Gump in film, can be seen as the representative shape of North american individualism, which image is advocated by American population, that can be testified from the world that Gump is endowed of congress badge. Another case is the extremely priced at Hollywood war film- 'Cutting down Private Ryan', which is an propaganda of American individualism. The whole story is control along with the group save of individual life. This theme matches the Jewish traditional process in the film 'Schindler's list'- 'he who will save one life saves the world entire'. On top of that, Hollywood motion pictures always put the mission of keeping all the globe on the shoulder of an individual. Within the film 'Air Power One', the image of North american President Tim Marshall is an excellent example. For safeguarding own country's people and reputation, he insists on not reducing above the terrorists. In the condition of utter helplessness, by the familiar with each exact device of ' Air Force One', Marshall battled with those terrorists by himself, and lastly, realized the offer of 'zero-tolerance' and 'save the world' (lines in the film 'Air Push One', 1997). Through this film, American Chief executive is wanting to grow the liberal-democracy, the Christian faith and the concept of American family to global people. However, in natural life, this type of omnipotent heroism is only a myth. What anti-terrorism really need is the cooperation of all nations, which includes been proved through the actual fact of Somali Piracy event in Apr, 2009.

Another film 'Bable' in 2006 provides another angle to see 'ethnic imperialism' in Hollywood film. An accidental gun shooting event causes the complete plots within the next story. Western people in this film enact exceptional indecision when they are encountering mishap, which appears to lose the traditional image of the leadership globally. However, it cannot say that Hollywood movies give up to play the role as an assistant of executing American ethnic imperialism. One made-up clip history in the film that American travelers get innocent attacked, is having the colour of ethnic imperialism seemingly, because we can see the scene in the manner that it tells the tremendous audiences that terrorism is prevailing in East as well, and Americans in this switch have become innocent victims. Even though director of this film attempts to utilize a large amount of Eastern images to pay the hegemony of American social imperialism, the propagated North american universalism and human right have been performed naturally. Furthermore, another kind of Hollywood videos should be paid attention in particularly-Hollywood animation, some of which are coated by Chinese traditional culture. The film 'Mulan' presented by Disney company was adapted from Chinese language folktale. The protagonist Mulan made her guarantee to resist external invasion, and protect family reputation, which appears as if indicated Chinese traditional loyalty and filiality. But, the role of Mulan enacted in the film is self-employed and going after the confirmation of self-value and the erotic equality, which is against the original Chinese convention. Also, her rigorous desire of specific happiness and flexibility are all representing the individualism of America. As identical to the elements of 'KungFu Panda' presented by Dreamwork, which are not real Chinese culture. As the first animation that has over hundreds million tickets sale in Chinese market, 'KungFu Panda' benefited from the costume of Chinese language culture and the inside substantive items of European culture. On the top, there are many Chinese language culture facts in the movies, like the architecture music, fighting techinques, firecrackers, and Chinese food. Even many storyline details have exactly conformed to the comparative characteristics of Chinese culture. In spite of all these work, the protagonist Po, it still a hero in the context of American culture principles. The procedure of how he becomes to renowned warrior just from a cooker is an average example of Americanized value. Actually, Po is a standard people, although because of an unintentional opportunity he becomes the candidate of renowned warriors, he is indeed attending the selection service. In another words, although his hero role is destined officially, he also comes after the contest policy. This is a vintage paradox logic in American culture: advocating everyone possesssing equivalent right to be a hero, although frequently, the hero is destined. Po's success is through defeating the bad guy-Tai Lung, to gain the ultimate hero coronation wedding ceremony. This kind of deal with between justice and evil, and the procedural of how the justice area defeats the bad aspect are the fact of North american heroism. Po's success, simultaneously, is taking the peacefulness to the complete village, which as same as the range in 'Spiderman'- 'great electricity includes great responsibility' (cited from the lines of the film 'Spiderman', 2002). In American individualism, the standard of being a hero is to beat the evil ability and also have the sense of bearing huge responsibility, which consequently, might be advanced into the thinking that only the supremacy of durability is equivalent with the duty of guarding the globe peace. Within this sense, we can easily see the color of 'social imperialism' is inlayed in 'KungFu Panda'. Thus maybe we can think in this manner like that the group of films such as 'Mulan' and 'KungFu Panda' are filled with Chinese culture, but actually, are the method of distributing American ideology through adaption.

Further Dialogue of 'Culture Imperialism'

In modern-day global market, Hollywood movie is only one of the popular import press products of America, but from the research of its underlying elements of 'culture imperialism', maybe we can consider the marketing products, tv set programs, advertisements, and music in the similar way. However, in this esteem, I don't mean that the discourse of 'social imperialism' does seem sensible, or even could be totally equaled with mass media imperialism, because after all, it is just a researching theme raised in the backdrop of globalization and consumerism, and the argument about it remains taking place, therefore I cannot arbitrarily suggest its personality here. What I wish to do here is to make use of already existing facts to show that the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism' somewhat specifically time and condition may be could have an impact, but with the moving old and society, in certain environment, another likelihood maybe emerge.

Among several suspicions of the probability of 'social imperialism' or 'press imperialism', an important some may be to oppose to mix the material multimedia products with complicated ideology jointly. In other words, the sceptic promises that just how of thinking that advertising products could diffuse Traditional western prices or ideology is absurd and doubtful, all of those analysis, such as the one above about Hollywood movie, are just assumption. In this particular point of view, if by some way I can demonstrate the causal marriage between multimedia productions and ideology or brain, the discourse of 'social imperialism' at least will be more convincing. I am going to still utilize videos as the evidence. Through the 1980s there have been two popular film genres-action adventure and armed forces/war films deserving research, including the videos 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'Romancing the Rock' and the series of 'Rombo' were all effective and traditional in that years. The most historical and typical one, I believe should be 'Rombo'. From your presentation time, we can know that it was following the Vietnam War and during the period of the Cold Conflict, which represented by america and Soviet Union. The protagonist Rombo is a Vietnam Veteran, his quest is to come back to Vietnam for rescuing American prisoners who have been abandoned by the U. S. federal government. And the common ending of this series of videos was that the protagonist gained the final win and he become the hero in followers' mind. Following story of these motion pictures, American people as though go back to the struggle of Vietnam Conflict, but in this struggle there are no vanquish and shame any longer, American soldier will always be the victor. An integral part of scholars analyzed these films could be seen as one political way of Regan's presidency, which was beneficial to re-shape countrywide image and regain nationwide conviction. And actually, in the past due 1980s, American people indeed overcame the so-called 'Vietnam symptoms', that was the subsequence of American inability of Vietnam Warfare (Croteau and Hoynes. 2003). Out of this example, we can see that there actually exists some connection between media texts and people's thought process. So in this sense, the discourse of 'social imperialism' maybe really can have an impact. However, the analysis of media text messages is a plural item, which should be connected with special time and conditions, because of multimedia texts are created under special traditional background and people. We also cannot use one example to explain all the other terms. Also, the discourse of 'cultural imperialism' was raised under the context of global culture, which maybe impact on global people, who have different religious beliefs, education, countrywide culture and ideology, the likelihood of their reactions on the media content material are so hard to define. As a result, the relation between media texts and ideology maybe exist, but it is hard to say when input it in the global environment, then, don't even say the realization of 'social imperialism'. Tunstall (1977) also remarks that there are at least two problems on the discourse of 'cultural imperialism' of America. Firstly, the precondition of 'cultural imperialism' is the superiority of Western countries on the aspect of multimedia product market show, especially the United States of America, however the researchers considers that with the economic and technologic development globally, other countries will swiftly create local media products, which would swap the dependance on exporting American mass media products. Second, Tunstall said that the range of media is fairly wild, we can not only concentrate on the popular American mass media products to analysis its impact of global culture. And in the aspect of some media forms, such as music, the tendency of internationally incorporation is ongoing. If another advertising texts develop in the same way, the likelihood of ethnic imperialism will reduce. Furthermore, the question of central status of marketing of cultural imperialism, like what Tomlinson said above, it is inappropriate to make marketing equal culture. The word of culture is a complicated to be plainly explain, and add the various way of understanding in various places, Traditional western countries' motive of performing culture penetration or invasion is not a simple progress.


Combining all the helping factors and scepticism of the discourse of ethnic imperialism mutually, maybe we can conclude this question in this manner, firstly, we ought to consider the wholly global world condition and the precise situation of relative areas. As what Tunstall (1977) suggested, the arise of the mass media products is merely an assumption up to now, it still needs the time to testify. According to the current condition of global marketing distribution market, the diffusion range and impact of American advertising products is substantial, so if in this value to argue the discourse of 'cultural imperialism', it indeed is out there the possibility. Second, confronting a number of differences between culture and nations, for the pursuit of commercial benefit, the best media corporations has start making relevant plan to eliminate the obstacles. For example, some media manufacturers will request global superstar to propagate their products, and yet another way is to use the resources within local culture, and beautify the products to coherent to the neighborhood character, in truth, the global growth of American advertising company is an excellent example. Actually, to a huge extent, the acceptance of American products is the direct consequence of North american transnational advertising. The central office in the U. S. A first of all send the advertising campaign method to the relevant branch companies about the world sphere. And then on the basic of remaining the essence of original advertisements, the local organization will combine the indigenous elements into it for fulfilling the regional tastes and culture. By this way, the impact on some places is 'this country is occupied, and there is absolutely no awareness of that' (Escobar and Anne. 1995). From this example, the threat of the discourse of 'ethnic imperialism' will deserve cautions, although maybe as Tomlinson's suggestion, there is absolutely no necessity to see press as the central research of the argument towards 'ethnic imperialism', the power of it can't be dismissed, because in current consumption society, for the economic interest, the mass media consortiums are moving to make any insurance policy to break down the obstacles on the path to maximize global market talk about. What I suggest here is when we are facing the discourse of 'social imperialism', first of all, we ought to have the correct attitude, high reception and neglect are both incorrect. Especially when we have been surrounded with the numerous foreign media texts, the principal thing is to recognize the innate personality inlayed in them, and distinguish which part than it is useful for all of us, and which is ineffective. The discourse of 'ethnic imperialism' is more like some sort of trepidation in the framework of globalization, experts just around the necessity of this anxiety offer their different viewpoints, which are having different standpoints, perspectives, and conditions. So for the people, what they can do is to really have the cautious consciousness towards foreign multimedia products, and rely upon own principles to make correct judgement.

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