Over the past few years, there have been many debates and theories made regarding the concentration of world popular culture on Western – particularly, American influences. American consumer symbols such as McDonald and Mickey are among the most popular manifestations of the tremendously increasing sway of the U. S. on various countries all around the globe. As American consumer culture continues to embrace a worldwide cultural sphere, the issue of globalization through cultural imperialism also rises. Cultural imperialism refers to a whole new form of colonialism.
Basically, it is the act of invading a country at a cultural level, thereby gradually replacing the predominant local culture with a foreign culture through commercial influences. Undeniably, American consumer culture does not only pervade worldwide commercial ventures. It also permeates everyday life as worldwide consumers continue to patronize American cultural commodities. The term “cultural commodities” refers to a wide range of products and services that can potentially alter or affect culture in varying degrees.
Cultural commodities can be in the form of technological products, scientific procedures, learning systems, educational services, and media merchandising. Among all these, the media commodities are regarded as the most effective vehicle for transmitting lifestyles, values, and ideologies. In this paper, the research focuses on a particular medium of cultural transmission – films. Film, as a popular form of entertainment worldwide, is regarded as an important venue for cultural transmission as it reaches a massive amount of audience.
Hollywood’s worldwide dominance has raised concerns about the erosion of local film industries, as well as the themes and resources that it involves. In an attempt to critically examine what effects does globalization through media-based cultural imperialism pose on local cultures and industries, this research centers on the British film industry. Since the British nation once had the same cultural dominance that the US enjoys nowadays, it is only fit to examine how the cultural commodity of a once-powerful nation can possibly withstand the challenges posed by today’s dominant culture.
In this research, the status of the British film industry in a highly US-dominated field will be explored based on the theoretical explanations of why Hollywood continues to prosper amidst supposed local competency and resistance. As the manifestations of cultural imperialism in the British film industry are described, this research will also involve an exploration of what qualifies as a British film in a cultural sense.
Moreover, the study also presents some steps on how the British film industry can thrive in today’s free trade setting. Pondering on the debates of free trade and dependency theories, this research works on the argument that although the British film industry is much propelled by globalization and US cultural imperialism, the most appropriate marketing proposition for it remains to be the nation’s local creative resources and utilization of overseas investment, not the application of US-patterned strategies on a domestic level.