What are the negative consequence of Americanization to other countries?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For those individuals who are extremely wedded to the idea that indigenous cultures should not be permeated by globalization or Americanization, the negative consequences are evident. Americanization results in an automatic embrace of values strongly associated with America.  In what Barber would call the "McWorld" predicament, Americanization is predicated upon the automatic acceptance of "American values."  This can result in a rejection of indigenous cultural values.  For those who tend to view reality through the prism of cultural identity, Americanization can be a negative because it advances American cultural values at the cost of one's own cultural notions of the good.

In its most blunt form, "Americanization" removes the ability to appreciate cultural diversity.  If Americanization results in products, goods, and consciousness that reflects only what is present in America, heterogeneity is lost.  Americanization tends to expand and subsume other cultural notions of the good.  Barber points out that this dependence on market- driven notions of the good and economic imperatives results an Americanized view of the world: "Every nation, it turns out, needs something another nation has; some nations have almost nothing they need."  For some, this becomes the fundamental problem with Americanization.  It replicates its own problems all over the world.  It is in this light where some would suggest that there are negative consequences to Americanization.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "Americanization" refers to the near-hegemony gained by certain aspects of American culture around the world. This has happened for many reasons, but the power of American corporations like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike, and others has been the main factor. In a very famous 1992 essay, Benjamin Barber described this process as the creation of a "McWorld," and claimed that it threatened to create a "commercially homogenous global network" in which "integration" of the global economy would foster "uniformity." The obvious problem with all of this is that these developments threaten to efface regional and local cultural practices. In some instances, people have argued that this is a good thing--the infusion of Western values has promoted more rights for women than were previously available, for example. But even if one accepts that the spread of American mass culture is a good thing, it has to be acknowledged that it has proved destabilizing in many areas. The rise of Islamic extremists in many states, for example, has been interpreted as a backlash to the spread of what they view as decadent and immoral American culture. Americanization has created other problems as well. In many countries lacking sufficient regulations, industries have exploited workforces, cornered markets, and basically stifled local business growth. In the interest of creating market stability, they have accepted, even supported, repressive regimes in many countries.