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For the the process by which immigrants to the United States became American, see United States naturalization.
For other uses, see Americanization .

Satirical allusion to globalization and expansion of U.S. influence around the world
Americanization (or Americanisation) (verb form Americanize, ) is the term used for the influence the United States of Americamarker has on the culture of other countries on such matters like technology, culture, lifestyle, etc. It is often considered a negative process. However, Americanisation may also refer to the process by which immigrants to the United States became American.


Since the United Statesmarker is sometimes considered the greatest economic power in the world, its influence can have a large impact around the world. For instance, American television channels and programs like MTV, CNN, MSNBC and others are broadcast throughout the world using domestic carriers. The television commercials that some of these broadcast mediums carry advertise U.S. based brands such as Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, GAP, and Levi's around the world. Hollywoodmarker, the American film industry, is often considered the biggest and most influential in the world, people in other countries are often exposed to American ideals and way of life. These aforementioned elements especially affect youths in other countries who are exposed to the "exciting" aspect of American culture and are more receptive to the Americanisation process.On the other hand, some cultures and countries, especially older people, might not have positive reception of U.S. cultural influence, afraid of losing their unique cultures and ideals to the more mainstream and popular American ones.


The spread of U.S. media, including television, film and music, is considered the main component of the Americanisation process. U.S. based TV shows are broadcast around the world. Many of them through American broadcasters and their subsidiaries (such as HBO Asia, CNBC Europe and CNN International). Many of these distributors broadcast mainly American programming on their TV channels. According to a recent survey by Radio Times, The Simpsons, Lost and Desperate Housewives are among the most watched TV shows, with CSI being the most watched show among the surveyed 20 countries. American films are also extremely popular around the world, often dominating cinemas. On the List of highest-grossing films, 12 out of the top 20 highest-grossing films are U.S. made. Titanic is currently the biggest grossing film worldwide (without adjusting for inflation), and currently holds the top grossing film title in various countries, including Germanymarker, Francemarker and Spainmarker among others. Adjusting for inflation, the highest grossing film of all time is Gone with the Wind. Often part of the negotiating in free trade agreements between the U.S. and other nations involves screen quotas. One such case is Mexicomarker, after abolishing their screen quotas following the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US. Recently South Korea has agreed to reduce its quota under pressure from the U.S. as part of a free trade deal. Many U.S. based artists are known throughout the world, such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson (considered kings of Rock and Pop accordingly), are recognised worldwide and have sold over 500 million albums each. Michael Jackson's album Thriller, at 100 million sales, is the best selling album of all time.

American Business and Brands

Of the top ten global brands seven are based in the United States. Coca Cola, which holds the top spot, is often viewed as a symbol of Americanisation, and has vending machines in over 200 countries worldwide. Many of the world's biggest computer companies are also U.S. based, such as Microsoft, Apple Inc.marker, Dell and IBM. Much of the software used world wide is created by U.S. based companies.

Fast Food

Fast food, along with Coca-Cola, are often viewed as being symbols of U.S. influence. Companies such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Domino's Pizza among others have numerous outlets around the world.

See also



Further reading

  • Karen DeBres: A Cultural Geography of McDonald's UKmarker; Journal of Cultural Geography, 2005
  • Gerald K Haines: The Americanization of Brazil: A Study of U.S.Cold War Diplomacy in the Third World, 1945-54, Scholarly Resources, 1993
  • Lawrence Martin, Pledge of Allegiance: The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years, Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd, 1993, ISBN 077105663X
  • Robert W. Rydell, Rob Kroes: Buffalo Bill in Bologna. The Americanization of the World, 1869-1922, University of Chicago Press, 2005, ISBN 0226732428

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