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Broadly, defined, cultural imperialism is the dissemination of cultural values as a byproduct of globalization. Globalization has the effect of propagating of the American culture. The undermining fact about this is the loss of cultural diversity as most cultures are lost due to the overpowering effect of the American culture.
Statement of purpose
This research will focus on the effects that cultural imperialism has on Arab cultures, tradition and religion. The research will also focus on the avenues which America pursues its global dominance particularly in the Arab countries.
The strengthening of the American culture has gnarled local cultures and in turn replaced them with a globally homogeneous culture. Highly effective avenues of globalization have been the use information technology and media. Claims that through globalization of information sources people are enriched as they can have all information they want. The use of internet for such information is however restricted to those who are proficient in English. Languages such as Arabic are not accommodated in the internet that leads to faster spread of the western culture. The internet is also used to give selective information as it is heavily filtered. Filtration ensures that the information given is in line with the objectives of the west to spread their culture. Globalization uses international media and the internet to promote a specific lifestyle of consumption and materialistic people. By implanting these aspects of the Americanized culture, the multinational corporation will benefit from cheap labour source, natural resources of under developed countreis, and a global market
Proponents of the American cultural imperialism state that the spread of American culture has been a result of the demand of an improved culture by the whole world. One way of improving cultures is by uniformity with the superior culture, to achieve this imperialist states have encouraged the use of a common language. The language borrowing or tutoring of foreign language has been viewed as a form of geographical, religious and linguistic colonization. There are evident changes in cultural dynamics, it has been necessary to reevaluate the position taken by the English language. English has brought with it alcoholism, homosexuality and so many other undesirable aspects of the western culture. These are not incompliance with the religious doctrines of Islam. Extensive sociolinguistic and religious investigation is imperative to determine the actual necessity of having the English language in Islamic setting such as in the Arab countries.
Relation to previous research
Ham and Smandych review the importance of the cultural diversity (205). This is important as small centers of powers have noticeably come up and are trying to recolonize the world through the spread of their own cultures. These attempts demean the existence of present cultures making them seem inappropriate and inferior. Petras aims at explaining the main goals of the American cultural imperialism; these are mainly economic and political (139). Elteren elaborates on some effects of cultural imperialism (169). Noah indicates that the attempts to create a secure economy in Iraq have resulted in America duplicating its political policies into Iraq (632).
Paul and Piscatori explore the struggle of Arab states to resist being taken for pawns by the western states (145). This book shows how the Arab countries try to resist cultural imperialism and maintain their own identity. Paul and James examine issues such as the role of women, immigration because of hajj, and Arab owned international media. Alterman argues that America is using technology to create a cut-off for those who do not want to give in to cultural imperialism (21). Internet use has been restricted to English users or those who have adopted the English culture. Languages such as Arabic are not accommodated so to use the internet, one has to learn English. In learning the language, it is evident that some aspects of the American culture are taken up.
This research will deliver and explicit analysis of the effect of cultural imperialism and contribute to the already existing criticism. It will differentiate propaganda from the truth and give a clearer truth the effect of cultural imperialism. It will also highlight how the American culture has affected and eroded the Arab culture.