The present study aims to present the phenomenon which affects the Romanian tradition. I speak here of pronounced dissemination of cultural elements from overseas in Romania. Thus, although it is well documented that the language, film, music, food and dresscode of Americans are well established in current practice, my research purpose is to analyze the frequency with which those terms appear in daily cultural manifestations. In same time, I intend to identify the possible causes of the phenomenon, from consulting the specialized literature and theories about the behavior, assimilation and affectivity. For this research, I chose a mixed methodology as to getting the most representative results. First, I will use the research done by experts in their field and my own research carried from young people.
Thus, the research base will be the secondary analysis and investigation. Also, I will make references to information from the observations of the respondents in the daily activity (linguistic and behavioral manifestations of young people in public). The information obtained with the instruments allows us to draw conclusions from the questions asked at the beginning of this research. The processing of information helps us respond to what degree American culture has penetrated the conceptions of young people in Romania and what are the causes of cultural assimilation. So I tried to emphasize the existence of the phenomenon amongst the targeted segment and try to find a possible explanation for this effect.
Research Seminar 1
American cultural influences on young people of Romania
The American influence on Romanian culture is more and more obvious: we copied the language and lifestyle overseas, we have adopted the holiday, and even the heroes.
So, with opening the doors to the West, after the fall of the Soviet Empire, has held are orientation of the Romanians regarding „ideal”. The American dream becomes an universal dream, without exception the case of Romania. Romanian society is seen in front of a giant who leaves the impression of all knowledge and power, admiration for the lifestyle, for ideals, for eating and dressing habits , for technological performance had no walls. USA was seen as a clean, fresh air, like a summer rain after a long and painful suffocation. American culture has provided freedom for the frightened and tormented Romanian people by the Communist yoke! The freedom to say what you want, wear what you desire, you externalize culturally according with the needs of the soul without negative consequences that is why the impact of the United States is so radically and so well rooted in Romanian society.
I intend to give answer to the following questions: How is this impact perceptible on the target group? This phenomenon is widespread or relatively low? I mention here that the age segment on which research was conducted is 18-23 years. Why I chose this interval of time? It’s certainly the great invasion of American culture that has bestowed upon us since 1989. So people who are most affected by this phenomenon are being exposed to a relatively low age of this cultural „flood”. This fact better serves our study. Why? Because we should not overlook „novelty” of American culture around `89 and their predisposition to influences coming from outside.
American cultural influences on young people of Romania
I have aimed in this research to investigate an actual socio-cultural phenomenon. The assiduity increase of powerful American cultural dimensions in daily activities led to the accomplishment of this survey impact on Romanian society. However, I will present in this research the main paths by which American culture is infiltrated, and the main areas that were hardest hit.
Approaching the problem
Experience of American life has crept slowly and slowly in the Eastern Europe environment especially after the Cold War provoking a real cultural movement among young people which have felt targeted by this change. It is remarkable that the break which occurred after the fall of the Soviet block brought in sight the opposite side of the socio-cultural organization (the American model versus the Soviet model) and was approved without hesitation by the representatives of the beat model. There was no question if it is better that what comes from the west, the disgrace towards Soviet system has led unequivocally to penetrate American identity among those who shared different ideas of formal orientation, and completely accepted by later generations.
But this research has been realized not only to the historical and conceptual considerations, the basic cause that has pushed me to this subject is, firstly, observation of behavior and perceptions of everyday life by young people nowadays which emerges more and more Romanian national identity, wearing cultural robe of the United States without making a distinction between what is real value in personal/social development, and simple chippings of glass that lights in the sun, but is not itself a major cultural importance. It is difficult to appreciate the opportunity of this phenomenon for Romania but in the following lines I will try to present that are orientations of the target audience against this problem and that is the general attitude towards America and all that enter on Romanian territory overseas.
Secondly, from practical point of view, my attention has been drawn to work (course test) a first year student at the Faculty of History (I will not mention the name of the student and University to respect anonymity) who wrote to Prince of Moldavia „Shtefan cel Mare a shtiut sa-shi atinga tzinta…” It is not remarkable the content that the spelling surprised me greatly, and I am still more disappointed that he is not the only case and the number of those who do not know how to use the diacritical marks of the Romanian language is increasing.
Then I started to be more circumspect regarding the words used by young people in their expression. It is evident that after the collapse of communism the change was inevitable and that change has come to the other side of a barrier by causing a boom in the thinking and behavior of Eastern European society, including Romania, who has swallowed very obedient, effectively satisfied, all brands, heroes and icons coming on conveyor from the American continent, as if the holidays, the myths that have not essentially R
American cultural influences on young people of Romania connection with the Romanian cultural practice but which nevertheless have been adapted and animated by the society. However, new socio-cultural changes aimed mainly “the proletariat” (which represents the vast majority of people in the country), the American socio-political orientations entering in their subconscious particularly in terms of equal rights and opportunities. Practices of life under communism are in conflict with that proposed by the United States in the ’90-s – the collectivism is substituted with the individualism, what about 50 years was held in the iron gloves today has been given free hand and offers the possibility to operate in personal interest, in a personally manner and not society as a whole, America has introduced the concepts which was communist regime.
But I would pick up another issue here: How can young Romanians (born after 1989) detest a system if they have not lived in that period, if they have not had direct contact with the principles and realities of the communist era? From historians? From parents, grandparents and friends who have got those years? From press, literature? But can we be objective in this situation? And can we fall from one extreme to another without covering the essence? More so, young people today do not really know history and I think here we can talk about the herd instinct – if 1-2 people came out with something, some 20 -30 have to follow to do not to appear lower than the „colleague”, so such formed mentality and personality of young man who always wants to look in the crown on near one.
And this kind of expressions of personality is manifested not only in the circle of friends but also in public, in the family, which is why often occur conflicts child-parent, student-teacher etc. Young people learned that they had rights and liberties but they forgot that they also have obligations, good manners and respect for history, the ancestors, and symbols of the country… I am critical of this perspective because due to American principles which roam free in our country I think that people around me are held at indigo, without style, without personality, only copies of Americans who believe that the world is at their feet and everything revolves around it.
And I consider inappropriate to live an experience of a culture that has 300 years in back to the detriment of the value of national history and archeology over 1,000,000 years. At least I believe that what happens to young Romanians in terms of cultural experience is just a manifestation of the unconscious and not degradation. Moreover, for the first time in many centuries or even for the first time in the history of Romania, ordinary people have access to the cultural values of a state needed for Est-European’s for raise the hole where had during the considered standard, they can to study the language and traditions of this state, which was American cultural influences on young people of Romania more difficult to accomplish two centuries ago when there was a similar phenomenon by the massive penetration of the French element in the the Romanian art and society.
The adoption of lifestyle and clothing, reorientation in literature in accordance with French tendencies, and at least use in the everyday vocabulary of many words borrowed from French has been achieved by the country’s elite, with access to the middle class. Social scientists insist that the middle class is more susceptible to change and imitation that intellectuals who have the tendency to filter information and accept what is truly valuable and worthy of being followed / used in their work ( that are reflected literals trends and those that occurred primarily in art). But American culture has touched all at once. An important channel through which American values have crept into the Romanian society is Hollywood. Overseas films have brought with them not only heroes, success stories about “American dream” or stereotypes about a new lifestyle, but, first, and „cool” language, which quickly caught on.
Children no longer see cartoon with Red Riding Hood or The Goat and Her Three Kids, they were replaced with Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo and Mickey Mouse, and the story of the evening was easily assimilated by overseas comics. Besides the movie industry, American culture had a strong point in its orientation to Romania: great brands. „When they penetrated here, they brought with them, besides the wellknown products, and values and symbols of American culture”, explains the sociologist Mircea Kivu1. The starting point of research is American mass culture (popular culture), with basic components found in the majority cultural manifestations: myths, icons, brands.
According to Nachbar and Laus’s theory2, the human mental structure is based on traditional values and beliefs that are found in or giving rise to the myth narrative value and iconic representations. Popular beliefs and values are those unseen convictions about the world which form a culture’s mindset and thus mold and color the way that that culture sees and interprets reality. The range of beliefs and values characteristic of a cultural mindset is as vast as the culture’s history, its present circumstances, and its hopes and dreams of the future.
This in turn generates culture brands. Thus, in American mass culture generally focused electronics and images, myths, icons and brands need a concrete, physical representation3. As mentioned in the introduction and research will be based primarily on observation, field research and conclusions obtained by other researchers who were interested in studying of this phenomenon. The basic tool used is the interview that contains 10 open questions asking respondents their own opinion across the cultural influences that come from the Americans and that are the attitude in relation to these experiences. The application of the interview took place in two stages.
Thus it was applied once in person, a total of 12 subjects. They were in the dorms of the Regie, and they were approached in their individual rooms. Those who said they are willing to answer at questions have been informed about the purpose of investigation. Another method of application of the interview was to send it via e-mail to a number of people (35 in number) that satisfies the target group. Instruction was included in the letter sent, as well as survey. Interview, once completed, was returned also by email in PDF format (for data security). It was well perceived and reported no complaints or problems item by participants. The participants were assured confidentiality and anonymity. The research results are available to those interested in. The results did not hold a surprisingly character or bring a novelty in the developed the idea by me, on the contrary, have strengthened my belief about this. But I will expose at length answers given by respondents.
Say at the outset we made a distinction between activity environments: urban and rural areas in order to make it a more efficient and accurate interpretation of results. Of course, urban areas are most exposed to external influences as more frequent and direct contact with what comes from outside, this is evident from the responses obtained from interviews of respondents, in rural areas being less attached and attracted what means fast food, music, fashion style, etc.
Also is observed certain tendency to align with young people from urban areas and to take certain elements of their customs. One aspect that I noticed in equal measure to both areas – respondents of rural and urban zone – is borrowing of words from English. Some have to remark that English = United Kingdom, but I do not think so. Young people learn English through movies utmost (which we 3 Each generation seems to subscribe to a different set of values based upon the cultural trends. Coomes (2004) stated that “history and popular culture-play an important role in shaping the values, beliefs, attitudes, and worldviews of individuals and groups – Michael Coomes (2004).