Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

Cultural Imperialism

Cultural imperialism is defined as the cultural aspects of imperialism. Imperialism, here, is referring to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations favoring the more powerful civilization. Therefore, it can be defined as the practice of promoting and imposing a culture, usually of politically powerful nations over less potent societies. It is the cultural hegemony of those industrialized or economically influential countries, which determine general cultural values and standardize civilizations throughout the world.

Many scholars employ the term, especially those in the fields of history, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory. It is usually used in a pejorative sense, often in conjunction with a call to reject such influence. Cultural imperialism can take various forms, such as an attitude, a formal policy, military action, so long as it reinforces cultural hegemony.

read more »

April 30, 2013

Disneyfication

Disneyfication is a term which describes the transformation of something, usually society at large, to resemble The Walt Disney Company’s theme parks.

The latter term appears in Sharon Zukin’s book, ‘The Cultures of Cities’ (1996), and was popularized by Alan Bryman (Professor of Organizational and Social Research at the University of Leicester) in a 2004 book, ‘The Disneyization of Society.’ Disneyfication of urban space is explored in sociologist Jeff Ferrell’s ‘Tearing Down the Streets: Adventures in Urban Anarchy.’

read more »

April 30, 2013

McDonaldization

McDonaldization is a term used by sociologist George Ritzer in his book ‘The McDonaldization of Society’ (1993). He explains it occurs when a culture possesses the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant.

McDonaldization is a reconceptualization of rationalization (moving from an ad-hoc system into one that is based on a set of published rules). Where German political economist Max Weber used the model of the bureaucracy to represent the direction of this change in society, Ritzer sees the fast-food restaurant as having become a more representative contemporary paradigm.

read more »

April 30, 2013

Americanization

Outside the United States, Americanization is a term for the influence the United States has on the culture of other countries, such as their popular culture, cuisine, technology, business practices, or political techniques.

The term has been used since at least 1907. Within the US, it refers to the process of acculturation by immigrants or annexed populations (e.g. the Californios) to American customs and values.

read more »

April 30, 2013

Narconon

narconon

Narconon is a Scientology front group that offers purported drug rehabilitation treatment and anti-drug lectures. Both programs promote the ideology of L. Ron Hubbard. Narconon is headquartered in Hollywood and operates several dozen residential centers worldwide, chiefly in the United States and Western Europe. The rehab program has been described as ‘medically unsafe,’ ‘quackery,’ and ‘medical fraud,’ while academic and medical experts have dismissed the educational program as containing ‘factual errors in basic concepts such as physical and mental effects, addiction and even spelling.’

In turn, Narconon has claimed that mainstream medicine is biased against it, and that ‘people who endorse so-called controlled drug use cannot be trusted to review a program advocating totally drug-free living.’ Narconon has said that criticism of its program is ‘bigoted,’ and that its critics are ‘in favor of drug abuse … they are either using drugs or selling drugs,’ while Scientology head David Miscavige attributes criticism to Scientology’s ‘war’ with ‘the mental health field.’

read more »

April 29, 2013

Red Delicious

The Red Delicious is a clone of apple cultigen, now comprising more than 50 cultivars, that was recognized in Madison County, Iowa in 1880. As new cultivars with improved color and earlier harvestability have replaced the original cultivar in commercial orchards, the taste and texture of the harvested commodity have deteriorated, and many customers have begun to reject the Red Delicious at markets.

Apple expert, Roger Yepsen notes some of the Red’s less desirable qualities: ‘The skin is thick and bitter and has to be chewed vigorously… this apple ranks close to the bottom when cooked… sold year round, so shop with skepticism. Delicious retains its cheerful good looks long after its flavor has departed.’

read more »

Tags: ,
April 29, 2013

Angry White Male

An angry white male (AWM) is a pejorative reference to someone with what is typically known as a traditional conservative viewpoint, especially in the context of U.S. politics, characterized by opposition to racial quotas, political correctness, affirmative action, and other liberal policies.

The movies ‘Joe,’ ‘Falling Down,’ and Clint Eastwood’s performances in both the ‘Dirty Harry’ series and ‘Gran Torino’ have been described as definitive explorations of the angry white male. The protagonist of ‘Falling Down,’ a former defense worker who descends into a spiral of increasing rage and violence, was widely reported upon as a representative of the stereotype.

Tags:
April 29, 2013

First World Privilege

First World privilege, similar to white privilege and male privilege, is the unearned advantages accrued by an individual by virtue of being a national of a First World country.

The concept is important for those considering advantages gained, due to institutional beliefs, prejudice and legal barriers, because of one’s nationality rather than one’s race or sex. Countries included in the first world class include Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, United States, Japan and Western Europe.

read more »

April 29, 2013

Reverse Discrimination

Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group. Groups may be defined in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, or other factors.

This discrimination may seek to redress social inequalities where minority groups have been denied access to the same privileges of the majority group. In such cases it is intended to remove discrimination that minority groups may already face. Reverse discrimination may also be used to highlight the discrimination inherent in affirmative action programs.

read more »

April 29, 2013

Reverse Racism

beer summit

Reverse racism is a term which refers to racial prejudice or discrimination directed against members of one’s own race. The term came into use as the struggle for African-American rights divided the white community.

In 1966, Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), publicly accused members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) of reverse racism in their efforts to exclude or expel whites from local government in Alabama to make room for blacks. Williams argued that SNCC’s (unsuccessful) ‘all-black’ campaign in Alabama would drive white moderates out of the civil rights movement. ‘Black racism’ was a more common term in this era, used to describe SNCC and groups like the Black Panthers.

read more »

April 29, 2013

Whiteness Studies

Whiteness studies is an interdisciplinary arena of academic inquiry focused on the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of people identified as ‘white,’ and the social construction of ‘whiteness’ as an ideology tied to social status.  By the mid-1990s, numerous works across many disciplines analyzed whiteness, and it has since become a topic for academic courses, research and anthologies.

Pioneers in the field include W. E. B. Du Bois (‘Jefferson Davis as a Representative of Civilization,’ 1890), James Baldwin (‘The Fire Next Time,’ 1963), Ruth Frankenberg (‘White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness,’ 1993), author and literary critic Toni Morrison (‘Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination,’ 1992) and historian David Roediger (‘The Wages of Whiteness,’ 1991).

read more »

April 29, 2013

White Guilt

White guilt is the individual or collective guilt felt by white people for the racist treatment of people of color by whites both historically and presently. The term is generally used in a pejorative way (and in a partisan fashion within American political circles).

White guilt has been cited by some conservatives and libertarians as a way for liberals and others to induce white Americans to support the policies of affirmative action and redistribution of wealth. White guilt has been described as one of several psychosocial costs of racism for white individuals along with the ability to have empathic reactions towards racism, and fear of non-whites.

read more »