Students of Americanization are usually more interested in the producers of American cultural messages than the audience of those messages. This narrow focus on the creative aspects of production process misses out on the creativity and variety involved in the interpretation of these messages. The success and acceptance of American economic and capitalist principles spread the first waves of Americanization. Americanization is the primary culprit behind the commercialization of leisure activities around the world. American technological advancements encouraged a culture of mass consumption around the world by offering ever increasing products and services. America’s economic expansions have turned it into a favorite scapegoat of the world’s problems that are often attributed to modernism.
The growing intensity of backlashes against America worries researchers such as Robert W. Rydell. America’s mere association with noble ideas such as democracy could lead to a skeptical attitude towards them. America has become this bigger than life fantasy that inspires minds even in places outside his reach. America is the Rome of the modern world and like a Renaissance Italy, ideas only flow out of America, not in. This has caused alarm in certain European powers including France that are wary of what they perceive as America’s imperialistic ambitions. American global cultural icons can be found in all aspects of life around the world from McDonalds to Hollywood to Marlboro to Coca Cola. America’s rise in the last century was so huge and so absolute that an early British Observer, W. T. Stead called Americanization, the trend of the 20th century.
With the invention of photo and video cameras. Advertising ushered in a whole new era. Open lands and leisure life became a common theme in ads, further glamorizing the image of America. American ads whether print or media have often toyed with the theme of freedom whether consciously or subconsciously. Even today, the theme of freedom often creeps into commercial slogans. Even before America was a modern society, ads in the late 19th century showed open lands and romanticized the Wild West. Thus, European resistance to American cultural exports, though ill intentioned, has not always been off the mark. America didn’t always intend cultural expansions but this is exactly what its commercial enterprises around the world ended up doing. American commercial enterprises got so huge that they inadvertently became cultural ambassadors.
Generations and generations in other countries have been exposed to American cultural ads and commercial videos on a consistent basis and thus, it would be perfectly normal for them to become accustomed to certain American values and ideas. We often try to mimic what we see in print and electronic media and over time, they become everyday habits. America’s cultural impacts are so widespread that it would not be surprising for America to arouse jealousy in its neighbors.
Everything about America is huge. It’s not only American cultural icons that arouse jealousy in its neighbors but also its political and sociological ideologies. America is BIG in almost every way imaginable. It dominates the world where ever it sets his eyes upon. It’s influence and dominance on the world stage is unmatched. Thus, its defeats or mishaps are celebrated in the same spirit that its victories are grieved upon. The world has become so used to American dominance that it longs to see America face humiliation or troubles in whatever form. America may be the envy of the world but along the way it has also lost the sympathy of the world. America is so used to getting things her way that any defeat it faces is celebrated even by the most kindest souls as did happen on the eve of September, 11 terrorist attacks.
Success always breeds enemies and America may be the victim of its own cultural values that respects the freedom of opposing ideas and groups. The US is the world’s dominant military power. Sometimes military and political interventions are inevitable to protect its own interests around the world. This country is the most diverse country on the earth and US has more defense treaties than any other country. The country has carried out military and intelligence in so many places around the world that the reactions of certain private citizens and political dissidents didn’t come as a surprise. But 9/11 also demonstrated the importance of greater cultural collaborations between America and the world. Americans are quite used to seeing the world through their own lens but they are not quite familiar with the lens through which the world sees them.