Andrew B. Spence October 9, 2008 AP Human Geography Mrs. Rutlege Cultural Imperialism By definition cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, separating, or artificially injecting the culture or language of one nation into another. Usually the larger power or culture is imposing their culture on a smaller, less influential culture. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. The question, “Does U. S. cultural imperialism exist? might as well be rhetorical because United States cultural imperialism is evident by the global sales of our products, the promotion of our culture and democratic government, and the constant influence of our media. Here in America we have this attitude that we are the best culture and have the best government policies. We constantly promote our “melting pot” and act like we are the greatest country in the world, and considering that we are currently the world’s largest superpower everyone else wants to be in with us.
We take advantage of these countries that want to be in good terms with us by forcibly selling our products to them and their products to us. For example, when Jamaica just gained independence of Great Britain the U. S. came over and decided to make a pact with the country. America would lend money to Jamaica to help its development if Jamaica bought the American weapons, food, clothes, restaurants, stores, technologies, and so on. Jamaica saw it as an innocent helping hand from the U. S. when in reality the U.
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S. had its own agenda. Eventually American culture was starting to take over the Jamaican culture with enterprises like McDonalds and Wal-Mart taking over Jamaica’s own developing enterprises. In light of the diminishing Jamaican culture the government made a new policy to decrease their dependency on American products which effectively eradicated all McDonalds and most other products. The U. S. A. ‘s mission is to be the most influential country in the Earth and they have been successful.
We sell our products and our media to every country that will buy them and that is almost all of the countries in the world, but cultural imperialism works both ways. Since America is a so called melting pot, our culture is influenced by other cultures too. Whether it is immigrants bringing their culture here or the migration of our citizens to other places and picking up traits from the places they visit, our culture is a conglomerate of many other cultures. One obvious part of our popular culture is the adoption of Chinese food.
When the Chinese started to immigrate to the States they brought their food. For some reason it caught on with the non-Chinese citizens and is now become regular in our culture. This is actually a good example of cultural appropriation because the United States uses Chinese food for its own profit. The United States of America is probably one of the biggest users of cultural imperialism. With all its influence and ties to other countries, those countries have no choice but to accept our culture and we have no choice but to accept theirs creating a world wide melting pot.