Americanization (verb form Americanize, Audio-IPA|lang=US English|En-us-Americanize.ogg|əˈmɛɹɪkəˌnаɪz) is the term used for the influence the United States of America has on the culture of other countries, resulting in such phenomena as the substitution of a given culture with American culture. When encountered unwillingly or perforce, it has a negative connotation; when sought voluntarily, it has a positive connotation. Before the mid-twentieth century, however, Americanization referred to the process by which immigrants became American. [ ]


The spread of American media including TV, film and American music artists, has been the main component of Americanization of other countries. American TV shows are broadcast around the world. Many of the shows are broadcast through American broadcasters and their subsidiaries such as HBO Asia, CNBC Europe, Fox Channel and CNN International. All of what is known as the "big four" American broadcasters have international distributors, for example HBO broadcasts to over 20 countries. [cite web |url= | title=Time Warner: HBO. Home Box Office | publisher=Time Warner | date=2007-05-18 | accessdate=2007-08-24] Many of these distributors broadcast mainly American programming on their TV channels. According to a recent survey by Radio Times "The Simpsons", "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" are among the most watched shows, with "" being the most watched show among the surveyed 20 countries. [cite news | url= | title=CSI show 'most popular show in the world' | publisher=BBC | date=2006-07-31 | accessdate=2007-08-24] American films are also extremely popular globally. All of the top 20 grossing films ever are American made or have an American influence, either through publishers, cast or financiers. [cite web | url= | title=All-Time International Box Office | publisher=Box Office Mojo | date=2006-05-01 | accessdate=2007-08-24] "Titanic" is currently the biggest grossing film worldwide without adjusting for inflation, it currently holds the top grossing film title in various countries including Britain, Germany, France, Spain among others. [cite web | url= | title=International All Time Box Office | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-08-24] Adjusting for inflation, the highest grossing film of all time is "Gone with the Wind". Often part of the negotiating in free trade agreements between the America and other nations involve screen quotas. One such case is Mexico, after abolishing their screen quotas after the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US. [cite web|url=|title =Dual forces fuel Mexican film industry|publisher =Adelante|accessdate=2007-08-29] Recently Korea has agreed to reduce its quota under pressure from America as part of a free trade deal. [cite web|url =|title = South Korea cuts local film quotas to meet US FTA demand|publisher = M&C|accessdate=2007-08-29] Many American artists are known throughout the world, artists such as Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley are recognised worldwide and have sold over 500 million albums each. [cite web|url=|title=Frequently Asked Questions||accessdate=2007-08-30] [cite web|url=|title=Michael Jackson Biography|publisher=Virgin Radio|accessdate=2007-08-30] [cite web|url=|title=Frank Sinatra (German)||accessdate=2007-08-30] Michael Jackson's album "Thriller", at 100 million sales, is the biggest selling album of all time. [cite web|url =|title=Jackos Back|publisher=MTV|accessdate=2007-08-30]

The song "Amerika" by the German rock band Rammstein is often seen as a satire of Americanization. It has received mixed reviews: some perceive it as anti-American, others as being opposed to globalization. The band views it as a satirical commentary on "cocacolonization."

American business and brands

Of the top ten global brands seven are based in the United States. [cite web | url= | title=The Global Brands Scorecard 2006 | work=BusinessWeek | date=2006-08-02 | accessdate=2007-08-24] Coca Cola, which holds the top spot, is often viewed as a symbol of Americanization. Coca Cola has vending machines in over 200 countries worldwide. [cite web | url= | title=The Coca-Cola Company | publisher=NYSE Euronext | accessdate=2007-08-24] Of the 25 biggest companies, thirteen are based in the United States. [cite web | url= | title=The Forbes 2000 | publisher=Forbes | date=2006-03-30 | accessdate=2007-08-24] Many of these companies can be viewed as selling Americanized products. Many of the world's biggest computer companies are also American, such as Microsoft, Apple Inc., Dell, and IBM. Much of the software used world wide is created by American based companies. The two largest personal computer companies, Dell and Hewlett Packard, which maintain over 30% of the market, are American based. [cite news | url= | title=Gartner Says Hewlett-Packard Takes Clear Lead in Fourth Quarter Worldwide PC Shipments and Creates a Virtual Tie with Dell for 2006 Year-End Results | publisher=Gartner | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2007-08-24]

Fast food

Fast food, along with Coca-Cola, are often viewed as being symbols of American dominance and influence. Companies such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Dominos Pizza, among others have numerous outlets around the world.

ee also


Expansion of American culture

*American culture


Further reading

*Karen DeBres: A Cultural Geography of McDonald's UK; Journal of Cultural Geography, 2005
*Gerald K Haines: "The Americanization of Brazil: A Study of U.S.Cold War Diplomacy in the Third World, 1945-54", Scholarly Resources, 1993
*Lawrence Martin, "Pledge of Allegiance: The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years", Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd, 1993, ISBN 077105663X
*Robert W. Rydell, Rob Kroes: "Buffalo Bill in Bologna. The Americanization of the World, 1869-1922", University of Chicago Press, 2005, ISBN 0226732428

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Americanization — A*mer i*can*i*za tion ([.a]*m[ e]r [i^]*kan*[i^]*z[=a] sh[u^]n), n. The process of Americanizing. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Americanization — (n.) 1816, noun of state or action from AMERICANIZE (Cf. Americanize) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Americanization — (Amer.) A·mer·i·can·i·za·tion || É™ merɪkÉ™naɪ zeɪʃən n. adoption of American culture or lifestyle (also Americanisation) …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • Americanization — [[t]əme̱rɪkənaɪze͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] N UNCOUNT Americanization is the process by which people or countries become more and more similar to Americans and the United States. ...the Americanization of French culture. (in BRIT, also use Americanisation) …   English dictionary

  • Americanization — noun Date: 1830 1. the act or process of Americanizing 2. instruction of foreigners (as immigrants) in English and in United States history, government, and culture …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • americanization — amer·i·can·i·za·tion …   English syllables

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