In the early 1900's, "Americanization" referred to the movement where immigrants were developed into Americans. Now, in today's world, the term has a different, but similar meaning - the globalization by the U.S. of the world. The American economy is an ever-present force in the world today.
Some people will argue that this kind of globalization has gone too far - Americans are using their advantage of being one of the world's most powerful nations in a dangerous way - by interfering and forcing their culture on countries that do not want to be "Americanized". Americanization can give other countries a false sense of the American way of life and, in the end, cause hatred for the U.S.
Since the United States is the greatest economic power in the world, its influence can have a large impact around the world. For instance, American television channels and programmes like MTV, CNN, 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. American TV shows are widely distributed and the younger generations of the world are greatly influenced by shows like The Simpsons, Jackass, Lost, CSI, among others. Hollywood, 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 through movies. Music is also a form of Americanization, since many American ideals are spread by lyrics and music videos.
These aforementioned elements especially affect young people who are exposed to the "exciting" aspect of the American culture and are more receptive to the Americanization process. On the other hand, some cultures and countries, especially older people, might not have a positive reception of the U.S. cultural influence, afraid of losing their unique cultures and ideals to the more mainstream and popular American ones.
Americanization is not only changing the world, but it can also cause wrong judgments to be made about the American way of life. In Europe, Americans are stereotyped by globalization as being shallow, spoiled and shortsighted.
Americanization is also considered one of the possible causes of terrorist attacks on September 11th.
Isabela Bica, nº14, 10ºB