A Study of the Cultural Imperialism Theory Essay

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This paper explores the cogency of the Cultural Imperialism Theory which says the Western civilization has dominated the civilizations of developing Nations. It examines to what extent and how the Western universe in the existent sense has dominated the developing states. The survey further examined the agencies through which the development states are being dominated culturally by the Western civilization. The paper farther looked at both the negative and the positive effects of cultural imperialism. It concluded that though the western universe is wining in gnawing the civilization of developing states and Nigeria as a survey. Nigeria as a State should set on some safety belt in safeguarding our heritage.
Culture is the manner of life of a set of people. It encompasses the cognition. thoughts. beliefs. values. criterions. and sentiments prevalent in the group. Harmonizing to Charles A. Ellwood. an American Sociologist. civilization is the collective name for all behavior forms socially acquired and socially transmitted by agencies of symbols” . Dare A. . defines Culture as the collectivity of human activities and general rules that tend to steer thoughts of a group of people with shared traditions ( general acceptableness ) . which are passed on. instilled into coevals ( socialisation ) and reinvigorated by members of the group ( sustainability ) piece Imperialism as defined by The Dictionary of Human Geography is the creative activity and care of an unequal economic. cultural and territorial relationship. normally between provinces and frequently in the signifier of an imperium. based on domination and subordination
The Theorist of Cultural Imperialism theory. Herb Schiller postulated that Western states dominate the media around the universe which in return has a powerful consequence on Third World Cultures by agencies of enforcing on them. western positions thereby destructing their native civilizations Western Civilization produces the bulk of the media ( movie. intelligence. cartoon strips. etc. ) because they have the money to make so. The remainder of the universe purchases those productions because it is cheaper for them to make so instead than bring forth their ain. Therefore. Third World states are watching media filled with the Western world’s manner of life. believing. and believing. The 3rd universe civilizations so start to desire and make the same things in their states and destruct their ain civilization. In cultural Imperialism theory. the cardinal words are civilization and imperialism.
Harmonizing to Anaeto G. . Onabajo. O. and Osifeso. J. ( 2008 ) . they wrote that the western states are technologically developed in telecasting and gesture programmes and developing states that are non technologically developed depend on the programmes from the developed states. This means that the programmes from the developed counties which portray their civilization will be imbibed by the underdeveloped states. This western civilization now dominates our local civilization merely because we are devouring their mass media messages” . The premises of the theory harmonizing to Schiller. H. . are classified into three viz. 1. Ontological Premises 2. Epistemic Premises
3. Axiological Premises
1. Ontological Premises
This theory says that worlds do non hold the free will to take how they feel. act. believe. and unrecorded. They react to what they see on telecasting because there is nil else to compare it to besides their ain lives. normally portrayed as less than what it should be. 2. Epistemic Assumptions This theory explains that there is one truth and no affair what that truth ne’er traveling to alter. Equally long as Third World states continue to aerate Western Civilization’s plans so the 3rd universe states will ever believe they should move. experience. believe. and unrecorded as Western Civilizations act. experience. believe. and unrecorded. 3. Axiological Assumptions This theory is value-neutral and nonsubjective. It does non count what beliefs the people of Third World may already keep. the telecasting plans from the Western World will pass on the same message and impact them in the same manner.
The reviews of the Cultural Imperialism theory came up with scientific theory which counter-argued the theory with the undermentioned responses: Explanatory Power: It explains what happens when one group of people with their ain thoughts sends messages through the media to a different group of people. Predictive Power: It predicts that Third World countries’ civilization will be destroyed and the people will place with Western positions. Parsimony: We can see a direct additive way from transmitter to receiver through the media channels and so watch the effects.
Falsifiability: The theory could be proved false should the Third World states non be affected by Western media and they do non lose their civilization. E. G Under the challenging rubric Seducing the Gallic ( 1993 ) . Richard F. Kuisel concedes that the Gallic underwent a procedure of Americanization. But at the same clip. they succeeded in supporting their Frenchness. ” Gallic consumers found some American merchandises appealing but they besides continued to care for and idealise Gallic national individuality. notably the thought of a superior Gallic high civilization. ”
Internal Consistency: There is a logical flow of events and effects within the theory. Heuristic Provocativeness: This theory could take to new hypotheses such as which civilizations are affected more than others ( if any ) or whether low context differ in the response of messages compared top high context civilizations? Forming Power: This fits with what we already know about differences between Western civilisation and Third World states. Another illustration the review stated is that if an International Broadcast station shows a picture picturing Nigerians as corrupt. unsafe and malnourished. should person in Nigeria ticker this the Western stereotype of Nigerians. and non affected by it. the theory have been proved false” .
John. T. . further argues that Cultural imperialism consists of the spread of modernness. It is a procedure of cultural loss and non of cultural enlargement. There ne’er were groups of plotters who attempted to distribute any peculiar civilization. Alternatively. planetary technological and economic advancement and integrating reduced the importance of national civilization. Therefore. it is misdirecting to set the incrimination for a planetary development on any one civilization. The impression of imperialism that is. purposeful cultural conquering is irrelevant ; alternatively. all states. regardless of whether they are located in the northern or southern hemisphere. are victims of a world-wide cultural alteration
Tracing universe history all through the epoch of colonialism. there have been histories of cultural imperialism which will look the lone manner to explicate the popularity of the very-British game cricket in all states that one time served as British settlements. Invasion of a state most frequently doesn’t terminal with an invasion of the geographical districts within the political boundaries entirely. Religious and cultural invasion are frequently inseparable parts of a political conquering. It’s much easier to govern if your topics portion the same spiritual and cultural platforms as the encroachers? The cultural imperialism theory is founded upon the premises of enforcing the influences and beliefs of the stronger civilization ( the encroachers ) upon the weaker or more submissive civilization ( the invaded ) . How does this cultural Imperialism take topographic point?
Dare A. . provinces that Cultural imperialism takes topographic point when one civilization overtakes another in such a manner that the latter ends up following a important figure of values. traditions. beliefs and influences of the former either wholly or in a manner merges the influences of the ascendant civilization with those of its ain. Such a cultural invasion can either be active or inactive. In its active signifier. the dominant civilization forcefully imposes its cultural influences upon the dominated civilization. This is a dynamic phenomenon where the low-level civilization is compelled to follow the ways of the encroachers. The inactive signifier is when one civilization ( non needfully subordinate ) voluntarily embraces the influences and traditions of another civilization. Here. the dominant civilization makes little or no forceful attempts in enforcing its cultural ideals upon another but the latter gets influenced as a effect of its receptiveness to the former’s cultural impacts. The inactive signifier of cultural imperialism is what mostly takes topographic point today.
Cultural imperialism can besides happen due to the important commercial dealingss between two states. A state to a great extent importing merchandises and services of another state may acquire significantly influenced by the exporting country’s life style properties and societal values. We can see this phenomenon in the signifier of Westernization of a figure of Eastern states. This is a type of inactive cultural imperialism as the receiving civilization adopts the foreign values without comprehending the fact that they are. in fact. going slaves of a foreign civilization.
English cultural imperialism has been rife in the history of cultural imperialism. Latin which has the Church’s functionary linguistic communication to popularising its national game all across its settlements was changed to English. The British Empire left no rock unturned to do certain that its topics adhered to its cultural foibles even decennaries after discontinuing to be its topics. The fact that Cricket is among the top 10 most popular athleticss around the universe with an estimated 3 billion fan following. particularly in states like Australia. India. Pakistan. Bangladesh. Sri Lanka. United Kingdom. New Zealand and certain African and Caribbean states proves the strength of the English cultural imperialism. It is besides a known fact that English is the 3rd most spoken linguistic communication after Mandarin and Spanish.
Decades of rule and inhibitory policies towards Tibet. Taiwan and assorted other neighbouring parts by China has had a important influence upon the faith and civilization of these parts. The aggressive publicity of a standardised Chinese linguistic communication across Mainland China and Taiwan indicates towards an attempted cultural imperialism aimed at catching regional idioms in these countries. Besides. the fact that most traditional facets of the Chinese civilization refering to spiritual beliefs. festivals and societal norms significantly inundate the socio cultural buildings of assorted Oriental states indicate towards strongly bing cultural imperialism.
The most widespread and still go oning case of cultural imperialism can be seen in the signifier of Americanization. This is largely due to the battalions of commercial relationships the United States holds with a big figure of states in all parts of the universe. This is decidedly inactive cultural imperialism and the states that are most affected are those that have voluntarily adopted the stereotypic American life style values and specific cultural facets
The Issue of Saging
Saging has become the latest phenomenon among the male young persons today in Nigeria. It is what is in trend ; if you have non exposed the lower portion of your private. you belong to the old school system. What is drooping and where did it come from? Harmonizing to Greg. M. . sagging was adopted from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited. Belts are sometimes prohibited to maintain captives from utilizing them as arms or in perpetrating self-destruction by hanging themselves. The manner was subsequently popularized by hip-hop creative persons in the 1990s. It has since become a symbol of freedom and cultural consciousness among some young persons or a symbol of their rejection of the values of mainstream society. Jails are typically province tally establishments. What normally happens is the province will order a set figure of inmate uniforms. These uniforms are normally in general sizes like little. medium and big ; doing them ill-fitting for most inmates.
When a medium sized inmate comes in and there are no staying medium uniforms this inmate will have a big alternatively. Prisoners are non allowed to hold shoe lacings or belts for fright they’d utilize them to kill themselves ( by manner of choking or hanging ) . or as arms to kill or wound other inmates. The combination of over sized vesture and deficiency of fixing devices created the perfect storm for falling bloomerss. Many street hungry rappers latched on the frock of their incarcerated friends and household and brought the manner to the multitudes. Thus a new tendency was born and Nigerians have fallen into this tendency Linguistic Imperialism Language is one of the chief elements in placing a peculiar civilization and the absence of it makes a civilization unidentifiable. It is critical for cultural transmittal and saving.
With the gradual loss of our autochthonal linguistic communications in Nigeria. what civilization are we so continuing? Ogwu. M. . Agbanu. N. and Ofordile. J. describes Linguistic Imperialism as People who can associate with each other merely through the medium of communicating foisted on them by a former settler are victims of a curious sort of Schizophrenia” . The usage of our linguistic communication is worsening in Africa particularly Nigeria because we are compelled to encompass Western civilization and civilisation as Western linguistic communication. Western linguistic communication has created a division between an elite and mass of our people who still can non make concern with foreign linguistic communication. It causes disaffection for people who can non talk English or Gallic. Language is a vehicle of civilization ; we are in a really serious job. e. g. Professor Babafunwa undertaking on local linguistic communication as a basic tool of learning in Nigeria was aborted because of the nature of our state. ”
Parents besides do non promote their kids or wards to talk in their local linguistic communication as they belief it causes reverse in their instruction. Fashion imperialism You barely find few of our work forces. adult females and the young persons who still embrace our cultural manner of dressing. Our people are traveling ‘gaga’ with the western manner of dressing thereby losing their root of African manner of dressing. It’s rather unfortunate that when exiles and tourer who come to Nigeria appreciate our native garb while the proprietors of the heritage has seen it as something of old school and manner.
Tattoos have besides become a common phenomenon. Both the immature and old are stomping themselves all over the organic structure with symbolic ‘devilish’ tattoos. Religious Imperialism Most churches in Nigeria today have gone the western manner. When you go to some churches today. you marvel at the manner some our ladies apparel. The usage of covering of hair has been eroded by the western manner ; all sorts of dressing are acceptable. The work forces or immature male grownups put on all kind of gems and frock ‘haggardly’ . The sense of traveling to commune with God is lost.
Through the float of western civilization into Nigeria through the coming of engineering and globalisation. there has been obvious moral diminution in Africa and in Nigeria in peculiar. This moral degeneracy has permeated about all domains of our civilization. Moral consciousness has been equated with awkward and uneven life manners. Harmonizing to Oshafu. H. . in his article Cultural Imperialism” . this resulted due to Africa’s sloppiness and failure to keep their civilization with high regard. He added that the moral excellence of African society has over dark transformed into moral decay. Elders are no longer respected. our rapid festivals and ceremonials are now seen as old school” and we now have kids of individual parents. a phenomenon that is identifiable with America. People no longer communalise. cipher wants to be anybody’s brother’s keeper. Our manner of dressing has been wholly distorted by western civilisation through foreign movies and media content.
Today we seem non to hold any cultural garb. Our people now prefer to travel bare on the streets as against our civilization. micro minis with grip tops has this to demo. The socialization of blue denim and hamburger” has bit by bit found it manner into immature people in African society. The issue of frock codification has led to contentions in our high institute in today. Cases of immoral dressing have besides gave manner to rapid sexual torment among pupils and lectors. foremans and their employees. Raping in our society today came as a consequence of foolhardy dressing codification by ladies The traditional impression of celibacy and virginity have been rendered absurd by adult and sleazy stuffs displayed on screens. falsifying gender and excusing promiscuousness. which has given rise to active homosexualism and sapphism in our society today.
These instances of foolhardy sex have led to the rapid spread of STD’s peculiarly. HIV/AIDs in our society today. Innocent kids are deceasing of this disease. They paid in a heartfelt way for the offense committed by their parents. This is immoral evil militating against the self-respect of human individual. Increase in Crime Rate With exposure to the western manner of life. addition in offense rate is on high. Most of the movies we watch on the telecasting set are offense oriented thereby taking to increase in offense rate. In every bit much as there is positive impact of the telecasting set. the negative facet outweighs the good portion. as the western universe is learning modern ways to offense though the sort of programmes being disseminated. which includes snatch. consecutive killing etc.
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We have bookmans who nevertheless belief that Cultural Imperialism theory regardless of its negative consequence has its positive side. Cultural imperialism they say is non wholly bad as it increases the gait of development in Nigeria and other less developed states. For illustration. in the giving off of media merchandises free of charge or selling them at a really low monetary value to these developing states. the US really accelerates the growing of the media industry and the promotion in engineering. hence increasing the cognition and accomplishments of the people at that place. Their actions non merely add on to existent growing ; the subsequent addition in human capital further boosts possible growing. which is indispensable for the existent growing to be sustained in the long tally. This investing in human capital goes a long manner and benefits the state as it strengthens the competitory border and increases productiveness of the work force.
Economic growing is besides achieved Even more so. being a developing state. Nigeria would non hold had the latest engineering available to bring forth media merchandises ; it is merely through the proviso of the American companies that they are able to obtain state-of-the-art equipment. The protagonism of production of local-helmed plans would therefore farther heighten American influence on the state. Despite authorities attempts to impede cultural imperialism. they can non wholly extinguish the impacts of this influence as American media merchandises have already found their manner into the market and go a portion of Nigeria’s media production attempts. They need such interference” in order to maintain their media industry alive WAY FORWARD Long Term Investment in the Development of our Mass Media
One manner cultural imperialism spreads is through the mass media. The local media imports foreign stuffs because it is cheaper than holding to bring forth local autochthonal content. An illustration of this issue is that autochthonal journalists have to larn to transcribe and rewrite intelligence by foreign intelligence bureaus instead than beginning for their ain narratives. Sometimes even rewriting local narratives covered by the foreign intelligence bureaus. Our authorities and private investors should put to a great extent in our local media and promote the development of autochthonal content that will reflect our civilization. values. advance our linguistic communications etc. Media merchandises like films. intelligence. music. advertisement etc should be regulated to avoid the inflow of foreign content. This is where organisations like the Nigerian Broadcasting Service come in. They should develop stronger Torahs and be strict in its enforcement of the Torahs such as the 60/40 % regulation ( 60 % autochthonal. 40 % foreign ) . If the autochthonal media merchandises are of high quality. the citizens will be encouraged to devour them.
This is so because a batch of people give the low quality of the merchandises ( films. music. adverts. intelligence etc ) as grounds for non devouring them. If Nigerians consume autochthonal media merchandises. it will reflect in every country of our lives ( culturally that is ) . An illustration is what is go oning in the Nigerian music industry. . Because of the addition in local content in our music. it is now going acceptable and even encouraged to sing in our autochthonal linguistic communications ( Hausa. Yoruba. Igbo etc ) . frock in our native garbs most particularly Ankara and have on our national colourss. There has been a rise in the popularity of Pidgin English as opposed to merely talking apparent English. Besides the instruction of our autochthonal linguistic communications should be encouraged in our schools. All primary and secondary schools should be encouraged to learn at least one Nigerian linguistic communication at all categories particularly in the minority parts of the state where the minority linguistic communications are in danger of going nonextant.
Parents should farther talk their native idiom with their wards or kids to help them to be conversant in their local idiom. Young grownups today see it as a tabu or as lower status complex speech production in their local idiom ; it does non sound ‘tush’ instead local” parents more significantly should be more alert and observant in the sort of foreign Stationss their kids tune to for their programmes as media has become the primary agencies by which many of us experience or larn about many facets of the universe around us” Stanley and Dennis. 5th edition. p. 200 ) . With the presence of engineering. entree to International broadcast station is at the tip of the manus. we have overseas telegrams environing us and with merely a distant control. you can be anyplace in the universe acquisition and absorbing what is been impressed on you. As such supervising is needed to modulate what is been watched.
Parents should devout clip for their kids while they are still immature as most of the western values tend to catch them while they are still immature merely as the catch them immature phrase” . Another solution is to seek to export our ain civilization as this will assist in hiking touristry in Nigeria. We should conscious seek to sell and advance our media merchandises to the remainder of the universe. This will better our image globally and assist aliens understand our civilization. values. culinary art better. I would wish to state at this point that we should non devour entirely indiginous media merchandises. A small foreign content is still advisable as there has been some good facets of cultural imperialism such as technological and educational promotion. political construction ( democracy ) . obliteration of some harmful patterns like the violent death of twins etc. We should take a balanced attack. like an 80 ( autochthonal ) ) /20 % ( foreign ) .
As a consequence of globalisation and technological promotion. the western universe has succeeded in ruling the 3rd universe states. This notwithstanding should non be an alibi for Nigerians and other 3rd universe states to be subjugated by the western universe. Nigerian as a state should contend cultural imperialism and battle back for our lost civilization. One manner by which this could be done is through Long Term Investment in the Development of our Mass Media as it is the major agencies by which cultural imperialism spreads.
The local media imports foreign stuffs because it is cheaper than holding to bring forth local autochthonal content. An illustration of this issue is that autochthonal journalists have to larn to transcribe and rewrite intelligence by foreign intelligence bureaus instead than beginning for their ain narratives. Sometimes even rewriting local narratives covered by the foreign intelligence bureaus. Our authorities and private investors should put to a great extent in our local media and promote the development of autochthonal content that will reflect our civilization. values. advance our linguistic communications etc.
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