Is Globalization Americanization? In my opinion, I don’t believe an item’s history and origin make it inevitably American. This is partly because some items don’t gain the popularity here, but rather outside the country. In addition, some franchises are seen in so many countries that while it’s likely known that it originated in America, that’s the only “American” thing about it. Lastly, some For the fast food examples such as McDonald’s or Starbucks, they are probably best known in terms of their origin and the most popular in terms of being “American”.
Both chains have been around for decades – McDonalds, since 1955 (mcdonalds. com, 2012) and Starbucks, since 1971 (starbucks. com, 2012). Both chains have continued to grow and expand to immense proportions. McDonalds currently has locations in 119 countries (en. wikipedia. org, 2012), while Starbucks follows at a respectable 50 countries (starbucks. com, 2012). They are both good examples of “American” chains however I don’t think that simply originating in America created that label.
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I think that if that were the case, there wouldn’t have been as much success in other countries. I think that these chains have been able to expand so much simply because they’re so popular. In theory, much of their popularity might come down to the attraction from tourists, whether famous and popular or unknown. One public message about a great restaurant is good press alone and can cause frenzy. For the television show example, I think Oprah says it all.
The Oprah Winfrey Show became its own in 1986 (en. wikipedia. org, 2012). Since then, she has become has become a household name both in American and internationally. At its height, the Oprah Winfrey show aired in 149 countries (en. wikipedia. org, 2012). I think that with the viewership in other countries, it just goes to show that while the Oprah phenomenon started in America, it has certainly branched out; therefore, America is only where she’s from, not who she is.
The musical example falls on the Beatles. I think they are maybe an especially important example of the American versus not question. The reason being is that although they originated in England, due to their talent of singing, if you didn’t already know where they were from, there was no immediate awareness as to their origin ??? at least for later generations such as myself who still love their songs years after the initial release. The point is that with the Beatles as n example, if the theory about popularity or globalization meaning American is true, then one could think they originated here because they became so popular. Obviously it has been well known for years that they originated in England; but if that knowledge was not immediately known, then they could have been from anywhere. In all fairness, the argument is probably strong both ways. I can absolutely see the point of view that Globalization can be perceived as originating from America.
However, I feel even more strongly, that when you take a closer look, it really doesn’t matter when an item actually originated; it all comes down to popularity. References: Our Heritage. (2012, January 9). Starbucks. com. Retrieved from: http://www. starbucks. com/about-us/our-heritage Our History. (2012, January 9). McDonald’s. com. Retrieved from: http://www. mcdonalds. com/us/en/our_story/our_history. html McDonald’s. (2012, January 9). McDonald’s Global Operations. Retrieved from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/McDonalds#Global_operations