7 different continents, 196 countries, 7 billion people in the world and still just one name all over- AMERICA! Today the world has become a global village with America as its village headman. Mind you, America here doesn’t refer to the 2 American continents but only to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Oblivious to the fact that there are 38 countries that together should represent ‘America’, it is only the USA that has received this privilege. The culture of the US has come to dominate the entire world through this new phenomenon that is referred to as Americanisation. Even the earlier phenomenon of westernisation now is exclusive only to the US(and no more the European countries). Be it popular culture, clothing, cuisine, technology or even politics, US influence is present everywhere.
Though the term seems to be a little complicated, yet Americanisation is a phenomena that is visible everywhere. Looking at popular culture and media, Hollywood today dominates the global film and TV show industry. Godfather, Pulp fiction, Spider man and Big Bang Theory, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, these are some names that people from all cultures, all religions and all countries are fond of. HBO, TLC, Star World are some channels that the youngsters today can’t survive without. Oscars is something that all actors and directors crave for, regardless of the country they belong to or the cinema that they make. No matter you are an African, Australian or an India, if you don’t listen to American pop music, you are not considered to be cool. Indigenous songs and folklore have been replaced by songs of Rihanna, Michael Jackson and Linkin Park. American rock culture has come to dominate all other forms of music across the globe. Gone are the days when people were acknowledged for their proficiency in classical dances. Today Hip-Hop, Rap and Contemporary are creating a buzz everywhere.
In the field of business and brands, its the US that rules the world. Be it China, Thailand or India, people can’t do without McDonalds, KFC, Dominos and Subway. When it comes to American food, the country is best known for its fast, junk and processed food that is today available in every corner of the world. American brands have become a symbol of prestige across nations. If you are not wearing a Levis, CK or a GUCCI product, you are not considered to be hep. Local brands in garment and accessories have been pushed into background and what we see all around is Guess, Armani and D&G.
We are so used to being ‘American’ that we just don’t realise it. Just go into a market one day and look at all the shops around. Barring some food vendors, all the shops in the market will be franchises of one or the other American brands. Even 8 out of 10 dishes with the street vendors would be actually American. All the Chevrolet’s and all the Ford’s are American. All the I-pads and DELL computers are American. Coca Cola, Google, Adidas, Facebook, Malibu- all these are some of the many names that are associated with our day to day lives and are all ‘American’ in origin. Even the famous MBA degree was a US brainchild.
The ‘American culture has so strongly influenced all nations that today being modern and advanced actually refers to be American. This hegemony of the US is not only present in cultural sense but can be seen in political and economic spheres also. In terms of Commerce and Economy, US is the largest economy of the world with the largest share of trade in the world. The combined economies of the next 7 rich nations is still less than the economic wealth of the US. In politics, US dominates the official and governmental activities across the globe and plays an important role in deciding the fate of many nations. Militarily as well, US has the largest military expenditure in the world, its combined armies are bigger than the armed forces of other nations and its rate of technological development in field of defence is also commendable.
The ,Americanisation, of the world is not a budding concept but has been developed over decades. Today we live in a world, where a life without ‘america’ is unimaginable. Be it NASA, UCLA, Disneyland or Twin Towers, everything is American. This growing wave of Americanistion has many repercussions. It is leading to loss of identity and peculiarity of the indigenous cultures of individual nations. Everything everywhere is being mixed with the ‘American style of living’. Jazz is being mixed with Hip-Hop to form Jazz-Funk and American ‘dude’ and ‘bro’ are being mixed with chaste english across the globe. Though American culture is also being influenced by the cultures of other countries yet the vice-versa is more prominent. This is leading to creation of a world where all the people speak the same language, eat the same food, watch the same movies listen to the same music and and wear the same clothes. The diversity of the world in terms of ethnicity, culture and language is getting increasingly lost. The culturally heterogeneous world is now endorsing cultural heterogeneity as everyone today is – Crazy about America!