McDonalization, Cocacolonization and Starbuckalization(?)

by whiteoxeye

What cripples a culture? Is it the idea of another culture dominating ours? Cultural imperialism is what many countries are defending against, but are we really successful?

With the presence of Mac Donalds, Coca Cola and Starbucks in most countries, I would dare say that cultural imperialism works, and it sure works well. In the video above, it is mentioned that you can find any of these three, if not all three of these American names in almost every country.

Quoting the video, “this examples of how even though cultures may be replaceable, the message is still the same”. This is true as seen from the different advertisements for Mac Donald’s in the different countries. The advertisements outside of America are fashioned in the similar way as the American media. In addition, McDonalds has been long characterized  as a symbol of cultural imperialism by anti-globalization activists, it has also been blamed for destroying local cuisines, cultivating unhealthy eating habits and promoting fast food diets around the world.

Mac Donald’s to invade space?

Coca Cola, a definite sign of cultural imperialism. Right after the Cold War, coca cola advertisements can be seen in communist countries such as China and the Soviet Union. The idea of coca cola and cold war is seemingly placed together because of the fact that American influence is still spreading despite the end of the Cold War. Such American influence is spread through the use of it’s products and advertising. Coca cola is just one of the many types of cultural imperialism that invades the world.

Clever puns that pokes at the irony of the presence of coca cola in Russia.

Moreover, the idea that coca cola harbors the capitalistic culture of America spreads with the product itself. The spread of coca cola to Asia also means the rampant spread of capitalism in Asia, in contrast to the Asian culture of frugality, such cultural imperialism undermines the values of the Asian culture.

The Starbucks outlet at the Forbidden City sparked off many angst Chinese. More than 500,000 Chinese firmly believed that this American store tramples the Chinese culture. These 500,000 Chinese signed an online petition to force Starbucks to close at the Forbidden City. Quoting China TV personality Rui Chenggang, stating that the shop’s presence “undermined the solemnity of the Forbidden City and trampled on Chinese culture”. According to CNN.com, “Kentucky Fried Chicken will be booted out of Beihai Park, another Imperial site in the city center, when its lease expires in 2002. And McDonald’s recently removed its golden arches from outlets by Tiananmen Square”.

China can be said to be one of the strongest standing protestors of American influence evident from the examples given above, but is China successful enough? There are still American brands in China, and most of all, China is one of the largest country that produces American products. Are all of China’s effort to boot out American influence futile?

We can safely say that America has taken the world by storm, the presence of it’s influence is everywhere. Besides Mcdonalization and Cocacolonization, other coined words that means American influence are Dallasification and Califonication.

I strongly believe that America has won the war in terms of its influence all over the world.

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