Archive for April 30th, 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.

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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.’

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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.

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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.

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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.’

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