Power of media

Poster¡G Nancy Lin at 13:4:34 1/14/98 from c550-3.svdcc.fju.edu.tw

The term "Americanization" is wildly used nowadays to say that American culture dominates other cultures. However, in what ways do people, outside Americans, think that they are dominated? One might list a long answers like economy, films, politics, music or even way of thinking or valuing etc. Yet, it strikes me that during the process of "being dominated" as we call ourselves, do we actively(be able to ) "select" and "delete" certain culture or we just passively(not being able to)import certain culture? I want to take food as example to surmise the possibilities. We have all kinds of choices of foods like Chinese, American, Japanese, Italian and local foods etc in Taiwan, and each is famous for its flavor and reputation. However, why do American food of "Macdonald" still overwhelming and attracts people a lot, especially youngsters and kids? One of the important factors is "media". We don*t* see many advertisements of French, Italian or many local foods, but I suppose a lot of people know "Uncle Macdonald". Because it*s so overwhelming, people are not even aware that M has taken place and defeated many local foods, which are tastier but unknown. On the other hand, we cant* deny that even though M is powerful all around the world, there are quite a few people who criticize it a lot. But still, the fact that M is still appealing to many people and is regarded as a sign of progress say a lot of its power and dominance. (Like if we go to¥xªFsome day and see a M there, we probably will exclaim "Wow! It*s prosperous! They got Macdonald here!)
But if we ask further, why do people like to go there? Is it because of food there? Or people go there because it*s so famous and everyone goes there? Or we choose to go cause we don*t compare too much with other foods that are not so famous or known to us? Three of them could be possible. However, I think the third one is becoming more obvious nowadays. If we don*t even know Asia or African foods or cultures, which might be good and astonishing, we accept American or Western foods like Macdonald or Pizza etc, which are known and familiar to us. That*s why the competition of different cultures are not on a line. Because before we can select or compare cultures, we have to, at least, know them first. That*s why American culture could be so appealing through the support of politics, economy and media etc whereas other cultures might not even known as a result of losing their competition. Therefore, whether people select culture as "objects" or are "subjected" to certain cultures seems to be more argumentative based on modern way of consuming and valuing.


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