Exporting American culture around the world - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is the Exporting of American culture around the world a good thing?
Yes, the whole world should be like us 1 2.22%
No, we should preserving our diversity 24 53.33%
Maybe, some things yes some no 17 37.78%
Other 3 6.67%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it a good thing or not?
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#2 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thought I would answer my own question.

I think we should be importing some culture from around the world! Specifically from Canada and the Netherlands, and I'd love to see us move away from factory farms and back to smaller farms with an emphasis on quality instead of quantity.
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#3 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 06:12 PM
 
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There are some things each country could learn from each other. It just seems, though, that often the US with all it's power and wealth import and PR stuff that is intrusion - and the US learns very little from other countries

There has been some talk here about making a mandantory % of the music on the radio from Germany. France did the same and the sales of French musicians went up an astonishing amount. When one considers how the music business in run in the US with how much is invested in promoting which stars - it is not hard to se how that would influence the local stars with big music business $$ taking up all the air time! Just food for thought!
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#4 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 08:12 PM
 
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since our drongo Prime Minister has just about bought a free trade deal with the US govt by sending Australian troops to Iraq, our film and tv industry (which has produced some fabulous stuff) is about to be totally destroyed - there's no way we can compete with cheap imported products though our film and tv industry works very cheaply compared to big budget US productions

raising hand for diversity!!! we might speak (almost) the same language but we are not Americans (yet)
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#5 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 08:51 PM
 
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I voted some yes some no, but what I really mean is I think the culture is invading, but it is the dregs of the culture that is being imported!

I agree that the US ought to be learning a thing or two from other nations and I'd like to see small family farms become fesible again. Much of the America culture was derived from the family farm lifestyle.

I'm gald to hear that France and Germany are making a mandantory % of the music on the radio from countrymen. I would like to see a similar thing done in the US by allowing local (city, state) musicians air time. We have a college radio station here that plays a fair percentage of local artists and I'm amazed at the incredible amount of talent right here under our noses, that is going un-noticed!
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#6 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 09:54 PM
 
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Hilary the f &tv industry was one tiny example that spoke more to culture - and "free" must come with a big snort of horror and "free my @rse" understood!

and I never spell check - I have an infallible internal English spelling instinct

and I did say "almost" the same language

but who's splitting hairs?

T lots of to you for your latest endeavours


and also T maybe I should have strine talking sheila for my senior name?
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#7 of 30 Old 06-12-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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and furthermore I am now going to ingest some Kiwi-culture at the cinema - Whale Rider
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#8 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 09:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hilary
Dear Em,

Nah. How about "Shagged Sheila" .....

In both senses of the words :LOL

....
The Kiwi that shagged me!
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#9 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 09:25 AM
 
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I voted no because I associate the spread of American culture with the dominance of American corporations around the globe. But are culture and business the same thing? There's nothing wrong with American books in the libraries of foreign countries (as long as they don't shove aside all the other books), but I have a big problem with companies that have become symbols of the US--McDonald's, Coca-Cola, etc--spreading across the world, and I also have a problem with the notion that these corporations represent American culture. I'm an American and McD's and Coke have absolutely no place in my life or the lives of many other Americans.

Also, American culture is really an interesting mixture of other country's cultures. The Christmas tree came from Germany, carving Jack-o-lanterns came from Ireland, rock music has its roots in the music of African slaves, etc.
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#10 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 11:15 AM
 
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No - there was a recent Pew study that showed while only 22% of Americans had ever been abroad over 75% of them thought that US values and culture should be exported. It's unbeleivable BS. The thought is we want the world to be more like us yet cannot be bothered to learn or enjoy the cultural diversity in the world.

American culture should be free in the US but not imposed on it. OTH world culture I think gets fair play in the US - slowly to be sure but eventually the US absorbs and changes it to reflect the US. I would like to see more child/family freindly culture - like northern European nations.
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#11 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
And if you check your spell check directory, you will see there are two. "English" and "American".

they spell American. And talk it too.
Yep. American books, in France, are "translated from American", not from "English."

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there was a recent Pew study that showed while only 22% of Americans had ever been abroad over 75% of them thought that US values and culture should be exported.
It does figure, though. Top it off with all the "Rah rah" jingoism that one constantly hears (ad nauseum these days), and one begins to feel as if some rather dim-witted, half-drunk college fraternity has conquered the world.
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#12 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 03:36 PM
 
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I vote for a freeze on exports and increased imports. I understand there's a reason for our ability to export our culture beyond all the money advantages. We export media concentrated in areas that translate well between cultures: sex and violence.
Perhaps slightly off topic; there is also concern that our culture is swarming over and eradicating other cultures. Every week another elder dies who is the last person who speaks their language, who knows their mythology and who has a unique way of living and experiencing life. Listen to (or read) Wade Davis' talk at the Commonwealth Club of California entitled, "Vanishing Cultures, Enduring Lives."

http://www.commonwealthclub.org/arch...vis-intro.html
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#13 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally posted by 3boys4us
No - there was a recent Pew study that showed while only 22% of Americans had ever been abroad over 75% of them thought that US values and culture should be exported. It's unbeleivable BS. The thought is we want the world to be more like us yet cannot be bothered to learn or enjoy the cultural diversity in the world.
This is why I shudder when I hear someone say "This is the greatest country in the world"

Umm, have you been to every country in the world???


I am trying hard to think about some aspect of American "culture" that I would want to experience and/or miss if I was living aborad.

Seems like they all fall i nthe food realm
East coast Pizza
A good New York Bagel
San Francisco Sourdough

But I certainly could live without them. And they would make visits back 'home' all the more interesting.

~Deirdre
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#14 of 30 Old 06-14-2003, 03:40 AM
 
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Originally posted by Deirdre
I am trying hard to think about some aspect of American "culture" that I would want to experience and/or miss if I was living aborad.
I can answer that one. I miss the inexpensive homes. I sometimes really miss the 24/7 grocery stores. I miss my SIL & her family and some of my relatives. I can find Bagels, but it is not easy. I just asked DH, and we arenow at a lost to think of anything else!
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#15 of 30 Old 06-14-2003, 07:14 AM
 
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I have been living overseas since '97 and am still amazed by the amount of American culture that floods other countries. Movies, food, music, clothes... Asia loves the American culture. I spent 4.5 years in Japan and my gosh... I swear I got more American culture there than I did living in Canada my whole life!!

What annoys me to no end is when Americans go overseas and EXPECT everyone to cater to them American-style. They expected the japanese to speak English, serve them food they knew and not do "strange" Japanese things that most Americans thought were rude. Now that we are in Italy, I deal with Americans dealing with the Italian work ethic which is a hoot. I say why stress yourself out over it? It's their culture... they say "They should do it our way, not theirs!!"

On an aside, in Canada we have something called "CanCon" which stands for Canadian Content. Radio stations MUST play a certain percentage of songs by Canadian artists. I can't remember the percentage now but it is pretty high. Of course, you also get into the whole "what is considered Canadian" debate. If it is a song by a Canadian artist produced by an American company in the States is it still Canadian? high about vice versa?

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#16 of 30 Old 06-14-2003, 08:48 AM
 
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Originally posted by spatulagirl
What annoys me to no end is when Americans go overseas and EXPECT everyone to cater to them American-style. They expected the japanese to speak English, serve them food they knew and not do "strange" Japanese things that most Americans thought were rude. Now that we are in Italy, I deal with Americans dealing with the Italian work ethic which is a hoot. I say why stress yourself out over it? It's their culture... they say "They should do it our way, not theirs!!"
What gets me is that not only do they expect everyone to speak English, but to be really happy with Americans. I have a cousin who took a tour of Nuremburg Castle, got mad that the tour guide wouldn't translate his talk into English as well and then also got upset that the guide mentioned how damaged the castle was from the Allied bombers. My cousin's comment was in the line of, "You fascist! All you Germans should be thankful that we got rid of Hitler for you!" (His father was a bomber in WWII) All the guy was doing was lamenting the damage and the overreaction of my cousin was that this was an ungrateful German!
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#17 of 30 Old 06-14-2003, 01:52 PM
 
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I am proud of being an American. I like most of American culture.

Yet much of it is embarassing also. Our sit-coms/game shows are exported/syndicated/imitated around the world and I truly think this is the lowest of the low.

also our government system should not be imposed on other countries. We are a young nation state on the world scene and we should keep much of our "making the world safe for democracy", the battlecry of WWI, to ourselves.

We need to do much housecleaning and take care of the people we have here.

That said, I am married to a Vietnam Vet who feels the Vietnam Conflict was a fancy show of force- "Look what we can do with our big guns!" ; my oldest son is in the new-fangled "Homeland Security" branch of the government; and when I retire, I am going to look into working for the Peace Corps, only because I feel it is a way of peacefully working with people of the world; I would never think of imposing my culture on someone else, although this may be the unintended consequence of something as the Peace Corps.

These civilizations predate the American experience/experiment by centuries. Maybe I can learn something from them. This has been the experience of many Peace Corps volunteers; the "snugli" was an adaptation of what a young woman in the Peace Corps in Africa had observed about the mothers and thier babies in the 1960's. She came home and became a mother herslef and imitated the practice of carrying the newborn constantly while going about her business..

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#18 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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I live in a very high-tourist area, and a neighborhood known for its very liberal values. That said, I am (as are the other members of my family) visibly definable as members of our religious group.

The intolerant comments I get on the street are almost always from someone who is a foreign tourist ... well, because they have a map, and don't speak English, I make the guess that they are ... people who don't know English, except enough to make derisive comments about me&mypeople as they pass us or we pass them.

WTF?

So now let's hear more posts about how Americans abroad are arrogant an insensitive and the rest of the world superior.

And the garbage level on NYC streets is legendary, but I can tell you that the visitors leave as much slop as anyone. I've watched them do it ... (while DS says, "Ima, that person isn't taking care of the Earth like we're supposed to ... " )

Anyway, no arguments here about American cultural imperialism. Though the local distributors in these other countries are locals, remember.

Please acknowledge that it cuts both ways.

It does cut both ways.
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#19 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 01:04 PM
 
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The intolerant comments I get on the street are almost always from someone who is a foreign tourist ... well, because they have a map, and don't speak English, I make the guess that they are ... people who don't know English, except enough to make derisive comments about me&mypeople as they pass us or we pass them.
I don't know about that - I've lived in popular tourist destinations almost all my life and I have never had a bad experience with a foreign tourist (and I lived in the French Antilles - so you could probably make lots of mean French tourist jokes there). By and large the American tourist is a welcome sight because of $ but most Americans barely speak the language, often are confused geographically (once I had an American women in the BVI's ask me how close Hawaii was), and can be extremely rude. Tourism as a whole generates tons of trash and most people traveling are American (cruise ships pulling into Caribbean islands often generate more trash then the people who live there).

Dh worked in hotels in Las Vegas - by and large its US tourists who have sex in the elevators and drink large quantities of alcohol by 11:00 am. Not to say that foreign tourists don;t do these things as well in Vegas but the majority of tourists come from the US and if you want a true vision of hell take the red-eye either to or from Vegas at the wee hours with kids. Nothing but rude American drunks.......

I am sure the cultural rudeness goes both ways but when it comes to plain old cultural imperialism - you just can't beat the US.
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#20 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 04:22 PM
 
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Rene not disagreeing with you. "Ugly Americans" got their reputation for good reason.

And as often as drunken jerks are screaming and partying on the street outside our window at three in the morning, they're not always screaming and partying in English.

Why anyone feels they have the right to scream and party outside people's windows at three a.m. is another question ...

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#21 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally posted by amyrpk
Why anyone feels they have the right to scream and party outside people's windows at three a.m. is another question ...

T The night before last at 3 ish AM on this hot summer night, some drunks were carrying on a conversation outside our bedroom windows and I thought to myself in my exhausted stupor, "It shouldn't be against the law to just shoot people who are so loud in the middle of the night in a highly populated area, just POP - they asked for it!"

You are right about the tourists in every country getting carried away at times, but there is no excuse for intolerence - especially to the "hosts" of the visitors' place of holiday. I am really sorry for the abuse you get!
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#22 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Growing up in LA and living there for over 30 years I can say I've seen more than my fair share of tourists. While I'm sure that tourists leave trash, I've never seen any be blantantly rude or racist to anyone. In fact the French boys we let stay in our home because they had no hotel reservations, that my sister met on the airplane were very nice. So much for the uppity french assumptions often made.
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#23 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 05:25 PM
 
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Why anyone feels they have the right to scream and party outside people's windows at three a.m. is another question ...
Ummm I have a horrible confession - in college every once in a while a bunch of friends and I would get horribly drunk (usually after exams) and go play in the playground in a residential area in DC. I know - completely rude and uncalled for. I just liked to swing (and now I realize how badly this looks written down)
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#24 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 05:32 PM
 
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Originally posted by 3boys4us
Ummm I have a horrible confession - in college every once in a while a bunch of friends and I would get horribly drunk (usually after exams) and go play in the playground in a residential area in DC. I know - completely rude and uncalled for. I just liked to swing (and now I realize how badly this looks written down)
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#25 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 06:05 PM
 
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Originally posted by emmaline
since our drongo Prime Minister has just about bought a free trade deal with the US govt by sending Australian troops to Iraq, our film and tv industry (which has produced some fabulous stuff) is about to be totally destroyed - there's no way we can compete with cheap imported products though our film and tv industry works very cheaply compared to big budget US productions

raising hand for diversity!!! we might speak (almost) the same language but we are not Americans (yet)
OH, NO! I love Australian films.

I voted NO. I hate "American" Culture. I hate having a McDs on every other block. I hate having a Starbuck's every where I look. I hate that small mom and pop stores can't survive in the face of WalMart, Barnes and Nobel, Home Depot, Rite Aid and Stone Cold. I hate that most of our movies are utterly predictable and a waste of time and money. I hate network TV (thank goodness for cable).

I don't think you can refer to what the U.S. has as culture. It is homogenized crap. I love the differences in other countries.

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#26 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 07:03 PM
 
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Au contraire, the United States has a culture and it has nothing to do with McDonalds or Nike or The Gap. There is an amazing body of American literature dating from the 1600's. We have rich traditions in dance, visual arts and music that are different from the arts in other countries. Our language, American English--love it or not--is a vital and wonderful part of our culture.

I don't think our culture should be forced on the rest of the world, but let's acknowledge that in the US, we have a culture that we can be proud of.

edited for grammer.
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#27 of 30 Old 06-16-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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Originally posted by daylily
Au contraire, the United States has a culture and it has nothing to do with McDonalds or Nike or The Gap. There is an amazing body of American literature dating from the 1600's. We have rich traditions in dance, visual arts and music that are different from the arts in other countries. Our language, American English--love it or not--is a vital and wonderful part of our culture.

I don't think our culture should be forced on the rest of the world, but let's acknowledge that in the US, we have a culture that we can be proud of.

edited for grammer.
But, the culture we can be proud of is not the culture that is being forced on other countries. Sure our literature is available elsewhere, but it is the crappy movies and crappy food that is the focus of exported culture.

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#28 of 30 Old 06-17-2003, 05:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by daylily
Au contraire, the United States has a culture and it has nothing to do with McDonalds or Nike or The Gap. There is an amazing body of American literature dating from the 1600's. We have rich traditions in dance, visual arts and music that are different from the arts in other countries. Our language, American English--love it or not--is a vital and wonderful part of our culture.

I don't think our culture should be forced on the rest of the world, but let's acknowledge that in the US, we have a culture that we can be proud of.

edited for grammer.
JAZZ!!!
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#29 of 30 Old 06-17-2003, 09:15 AM
 
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But I think we could argue that what is being exported isn't culture at all. It's business. The typical Hollywood movie isn't artistic the way a really great film is, it's just a product.
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#30 of 30 Old 06-17-2003, 12:56 PM
 
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I agree that the import of American Pop culture is obscene, however, I think that at least some of the population of the world is wanting it, otherwise we wouldn't be seeing the "McDonalds" flooded with nationals!

That said, I think the rude tourist thing is not limited to americans, but exisits in the "tourist mindset" everywhere. I recently ran into a family of tourists in a local (US) coffee shop. The young woman spoke english so was ordering for the family. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone be so rude to the people serving them in my life. Nothing was right and she made a point of telling them it is done her way, in every other place she has ever been. I felt so bad for the girls serving her, as they were honestly trying their best to please her and not lose their cool. It made me think about what a bad impression this woman was making for her fellow countrymen and women. I'm sure after running into a few tourists (American or any other) who act this way, one would tend to lump all of that cultural group into the same basket.
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