American popular culture and its effects on the global community is a hiding plain site idea. The United States has grown into an “I want it now” belief system. The United States has somewhat perfected this idea, from our fast food to our fast everything. But should everyone live in such a luxurious attitude, is the United States popular culture and ideal that the rest of the world should live by? Is this just another phase in our modern society’s history? Lane Crothers’ book Globalization and American Popular Culture shows us the history of America’s rise to popular culture power and how most people are wanting to become Americans without living in the United States. But is this what the world needs or is this just another way for America to control the world and spread our democracy. The intention of Lane Crothers’ Globalization and American Popular Culture is to show the reader the connection of American popular culture and the effect it has on the global community. “By 1998 trade in movies, music, and television programming had become the leading U.S. export…this was true even without factoring in the economic and cultural power of American brands like McDonald’s, Levi’s, and Starbucks, American pop culture is a global phenomenon.” Crothers first compares the two ideas, globalization “…the profound economic, social, political, and cultural changes going on in the modern world…” and popular culture “…the movies, music, and television programs…” how globalization seems “…heavy…” and popular culture seems “…light…” then explains how at the end of the Cold War and the advancements of new technologies “…the internet, cellular phones, and small dish satellites television systems have allowed American popular culture access to an ever bigger global market.”
Crothers tells the reader “American popular culture is the latest in a long succession of bidders for global unification…” which makes the reader think this book is a personal depiction of American popular culture and the effect on the world. Crothers also, provides the link of American popular culture and global politics “…first is the Cold War…second is the controversial U.S. Global War on Terror…” which makes the reader, depending on their age, if they are American, if they have been affected by any terror attack, have a personal relationship with this issue. First, during the Cold War, “The Western bloc advocated relative freedom in personal choice, economic trade, and immigration…the Eastern bloc practiced in state control, the limitation of personal freedom, and government ownership of factories and other productive enterprises.” This is a defining moment in the history of the world, because when country wants to promote individualism and create an integrated free market, that idea is going to spread more quickly to the people, rather than being suppressed by the government. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attack and the world sympathize with us. A French newspaper on September 13, 2001 stated, “Today we are all Americans,” but this would grow into fear and concern in the world because when the rest of the world found out on how we responded to the 9/11 attacks.
Crothers tells the reader, “Time magazine asked 250,000 people across Europe which country posed the greatest threat to world peace: Iraq, North Korea, or the United States…8 percent said Iraq and 9 percent said North Korea…” But with all of this fear which the United States has placed on the rest of the world, people were still embracing our popular culture, “…people continued to embrace American popular culture…iPods and smartphones…led to explosive growth…” The United States and the popular culture which we have given the world, whether for better or for worst, has brought the global community more informed about global issue. With the advancement of the internet and the high speed that news travels now, would not have ever been accomplish without the United States pressing our culture to everyone. Crothers states that “culture is not an all-or-nothing concept in which everyone believes the same thing and behaves the same way.” This is an important statement because, not everyone is going to strive to become Americans; we are unique. Some of your ideals and products are always going to be reacted in different ways depending on the group of people who are receiving it. We just have to believe that most of the culture we are giving the rest of the world is creating a more unified global community.
Crother, Lane. Globalization and American Popular Culture. Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield, 2013