Explain What Is Meant by Cultural Imperialism

Topics: Canary Islands, Culture, Colonialism Pages: 2 (758 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Explain what is meant by cultural imperialism

Cultural imperialism, the practice of promoting the culture or language of one nation in another, has emerged in the 1960s along with other terms of radical criticism. It can take various forms, such as an attitude, a formal policy, military action, so long as it reinforces cultural hegemony. The term “cultural imperialism” is mainly shaped by the three postcolonial theorists Foucalt, Derrida and Said. Within their view, cultural imperialism can be seen as actions contribution to the reshaping of colonialism, often between former colonialist states and their inferior colonies. However, despite actuality of cultural imperialism, the model can be traced back to the Greek and Roman Empires. One major example of cultural imperialism was the “Scramble for Africa”, in which various European countries were involved in the acquisition of colonies in Africa. This stage of cultural imperialism ended during the 20th century when African and Asian colonies gained independence from direct political domination. However, the formal political independence is not necessarily followed by an economic, social or cultural independence. Most colonial powers still exerted a strong economic and cultural power on their former colonies, signified by the use of the same language, currency or political system. For example, even today many former colonies are financially dependent from their former colonial powers that provide financial aid. Cultural imperialism is said to be influencing local and even regional cultures in many parts of the world due to the pressure of globalization on that particular area. There are five main factors that support cultural imperialism to different extents: Firstly, language has – as mentioned in the introduction – a tremendous influence on cultural diversity and hence is a factor supporting cultural imperialism. Due to the influence of more distributed languages such as English, Spanish and Chinese it is...
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