Why do some people oppose the influence of American culture on their society?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To many societies, American society represents an abdication of traditional values.  For example, the fear of American social emphases on mass consumption, American name brands and the materialism associated with American culture can cause fear in traditionally bound societies or social orders where individuals seek to maintain their own traditions and manners.  To these settings, American jeans, McDonalds, Starbucks, and Coca- Cola helps to bring images that contrast with their own traditional notions and this brings fear.  Additionally, some social orders associate American culture with American politics and a form of cultural imperialism that, again, strikes a note of fear and resistance in these settings.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Americanism characterizes the influences that the United States has on other cultures. Many other cultures feel that if American culture is allowed to enter into their own culture then it will become corrupted. What people think of American culture really depends on numerous things such as race, ethnicity, and upbringing.

An example of this would be religious conservatives in Saudi Arabia. They blame American culture when they see their own youth wearing their hair long, adopt American-style dating rituals or spending time at coffee shops. These are things that they find unacceptable.

Democracy is another reason people oppose any kind of American culture imposing on their society.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a couple reasons that this can happen.

First, there are societies where people think that American values and American culture are immoral.  That means that they do not want their culture to be "contaminated" by American stuff like movies with nudity and such.

Second, there are societies that feel that they do not want American "cultural imperialism" to take away from their native cultures.  They want to remain unique.  An example of this is France where they want to keep their language pure and they want to have their own restaurants instead of McDonalds.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to these, most other cultures in the world are both 1) older than ours, with longer and more distinct traditions and customs and 2) more homogeneous, that is, less diverse in beliefs and practices.  American "culture" is mostly borrowed and blended from many societies, peoples and histories, so much so that there aren't many American cultural characteristics that are unique to our country.

Some other socieities view this kind of diversity as a threat.  Add that to the materialist values of Americans, and it seems pretty unappealing to some in other countries.

kc4u | Student

This is so, primarily because of what is called 'cultural resistance'. American culture or Americanism is looked upon as heterogeneous, having no clear unified identity. That's the reason why many tradition-bound societies find American culture and cultural standards suspect. America has been a land of all nations and races, highly urbanised and technologised, with supposed moral  libertarianism, an epitome of socio-cultural amorphisity.

The oldish, traditional societies, trying to stick on to their nativist/nationalist beliefs and practices, tend to ward off whatever is American. A bit too frank & open, too independent American life is not acceptable to many societies.

coachtodd23 | Student

Seems as though, the world is entering into "The Age of Political Correctness".  As a result, there are those in this country that feel that America should appologize for all that we have.  In addition, since there is no real other Super power in the world to challange us like the Soviet Union did, many countries think of us as the bully on the block.  So when ever the U.S. gets involved in any world issues, immediately, you will hear cries of disdain.  Finally, sometimes, I feel like many countries are just flat out jealous of us...