American Influence Abroad Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

American Culture

Writers such as Pico Iyer, Richard Pells, and Joseph Nye are in fact correct that the world culture has not and will not be Americanized. These writers are correct in asserting that American culture is ever forceful, but still America remains just one influence in a multicultural world: a manifestation of globalization. With such a supreme focus on America, it can seem like America is the dominant force; however, this is just a result of a skewed perspective. It is true that other cultures have also spread outwards and that local cultures cannot and will not be destroyed.

The phenomenon of culture shock is direct evidence of the fact that American culture is not as pervasive as many people would like to assert that it is. As centers for study abroad programs in various universities explain, culture shock is a logical reaction to the body and mind in response to the differences encountered in foreign culture. This is something that can occur even when one visits countries which are similar in feel in language and culture to the UK. Consider the following explanation that Chapman university provides: "After the first stage of excitement, you may start to feel frustration. This frustration occurs because some of your initial excitement wanes because of misunderstandings, or feelings of anxiety arise. Homesickness may also start to creep in and you might reject your new environment. You will become frustrated with trying to speak a foreign language, and you may even feel that you have lost some of your identity because you cannot fully communicate what it is you would like to say" (, 2014). Thus, if the rest of the world was so Americanized as so many people say, then the phenomenon of culture shock just wouldn't exist. Travelling to foreign countries wouldn't feel so foreign. People would simply be better equipped to make these transitions because the new culture encountered would be more riddled with Americanization and more familiar. But of course this just isn't the case. For instance, one can go to Delhi, India, and still find a McDonalds, but that doesn't mean that the nation has been Americanized. Finding vestiges of American culture in a foreign country simply means that there has been some transfer of American culture: one can by no means draw the conclusion that some sort of massive Americanization has taken place. In fact, one can argue for just the opposite: one can say that these other cultures are actually influencing and changing American cultural pillars once these pillars enter their country. A great example of this would be McDonald's in India. McDonald's is a classic fast food chain that was founded in America of course, and is synonymous with completely American things, such as apple pie, tractors and cheeseburgers. However, other nations like India, have put their unique cultural stamp on McDonalds. For instance, McDonald's in India have spicier sandwiches to appeal to the cultural palette. The classic sandwich the McChicken has been renamed to the "McSpicy" chicken. There are other dishes which…

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Works Cited

Balko, R. (2014). Globalization & Culture. Retrieved from (2013). Culture Shock. Retrieved from

Kitamura, H. (2010). Screening Enlightenment. NewYork: Cornell University Press.

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