Globalization and Cultural Imperialism Essay

The use of media as a form of communication can also refer to an interest in creating a popular culture among different regions. As media becomes one based on a sense of globalization, is also a rise to cultural imperialism that is being used. The imperialism is based on creating a sense of identity among individuals on a global basis while creating boundaries and a new sense of marginalization. Cultural imperialism through the media is one that is essential to recognize as it creates a stigma surrounding the identity of different cultures. As the media represents local cultures on a global level there is a difference in the identity and beliefs of those that live in a specific region. The result is a combination of marginalization about specific cultures as well as dominance and imperialism that is represented by other areas of the world. The media has become a form of cultural imperialism and domination that constructs both identities and marginalization at a global level.

Identifying Globalization

Globalization is an entity that has become an important aspect of vocabulary in society and through various cultures. Technology, transfers of information and media components have all created a closer link to different regions of the world. Networking and developments in communication have allowed individuals to connect on a global level. At the same time, economic and political realms are creating a difference in the developments of society, specifically with new trade agreements and breaking barriers between countries. Most that are now in society are interested in various spheres of the world that eliminate space and create close connections between various regions. These are combined with heterogeneous dialogues, which specifically combine cultural and regional perspectives and traditions into the global arena while pushing lifestyles into concepts of modernization (Thrift, 41, 2000).

An example of globalization and the media interacting from various perspectives can be seen through different types of movies produced in various regions. Bollywood is one of the prominent examples that are attached to the concept of globalization and the media. The productions in Bollywood are based on everyday life in Mumbai and India. However, this is based on the local perspectives as well as the sharing of information through the imagination of the producers. The communication that is used from Bollywood is based on a sense of transnationalism where each of the films are written and produced in the Hindi language and incorporate traditions such as dancing, lifestyle concepts and communication of the culture into the film. These each create a territorial narrative about India and the aspects of culture. At the same time, actors in India and those who are working in Bollywood are moving into transnational arenas for communication, specifically by collaborating with American or UK productions and transferring information between the entertainment realms. This concept of communication is creating more global associations with both the geography of India as well as the international associations that are opened from Bollywood (Srinivas, 319, 2005).

Defining Media Imperialism

The global and local concepts that are associated with global perspectives have also led the media into new forms of communication. The concept of media imperialism is slowly rising specifically as the media is working on influencing other cultures with the concept of local culture. The concept of dominance and power through the use of media is continuing to be incorporated into the media. The concept of media imperialism is known to create a new social fabric that is based on the dominant media forms that are focused on global culture. These are, in turn, transforming different communities to believe that a specific culture has attributes which should be incorporated into society. The global and local communities are intertwining and becoming more transparent through the media to create new types of communities and social groups that are within specific communities. Local discourses, conditions about specific communities and the concept over one culture being superior over another are continuing to be represented within the media. As these are constructed, identities that are specifically related to different cultures become more transparent while altering the institutional power into a different perspective. Those who are influenced by the powers of the media are then left with definitions that marginalized specific aspects of culture while allowing other types of culture to be held as civil societies which hold a sense of power (Smith, 244, 2005).

An example of the media and imperialism that is associated within different movies can be seen through representations of Hollywood movies. The mainstream media is not only important because of the movies and representation. The culture that is surrounding this is one that is displayed internationally with Hollywood being regarded as an international media center. The space which is created around Hollywood movies is one that shows a sense of dominance about the American movie and popular culture that is associated with this. The media imperialism is one that is able to incorporate capitalism and the use of monetary structures to offer a sense of dominance around the American culture. Other cultures then respond to this by carrying a certain belief around the American culture, specifically which is communicated by the media. Material wealth and the identity of the culture become represented with the reception of other arenas which begin to believe specifically in this identity. Hollywood is then able to dominate over other regions of the world and continues to grow with the communication about American culture and the impact in which it leaves on other regions. As more Hollywood movies are popularized in other regions, many are able to respond with the belief that there is a sense of dominance with the American culture and the materialism involved (Kraidy, 316, 2002).

Media Globalization and Cultural Imperialism

The concept of globalization is one that is not only based on interactions and networks between different regions of the world. There is also an important aspect related to how cultural identities link to each cultural sphere. The identity of space and identity is now directly associated with technology, media and the communication of specific cultures. When one looks at the media through different cultures, there is also an understanding of what the identity is of that culture and how it relates to individuals within each region. However, this type of communication is one that is often represented and is used as a boundary and division among various cultures. The result is an alteration of identities according to what the media is communicating about global regions and cultural diversity (Tomlinson, 269, 2000).

The cultural imperialism that is created through media globalization is essential to recognize as it creates bias and inequalities between different groups of individuals. When one looks at a stream of movies from a specific region, there will be a direct association with the cultural identity that is a part of the main stream. Viewpoints such as “all Americans are rich,” “all Indians are skinny” and “beautiful housewives are in Russia” are some of the misconceptions that come with globalization and media imperialism (Nielsen, 7, 1999). As these viewpoints continue to be represented with several formulated movies by different mainstream areas, communication of identities become emerged. This continues with complications in marginalization and the cultural expectations that are associated with different regions. This is combined with misconceptions that then begin to affect global exchange, specifically because of boundaries which are created as a result (Nielsen, 8, 1999).

There are several examples which indicate the marginalization which is occurring with the media and the communication of cultural identities. A current movie which shows this representation is Slumdog Millionaire. The Hollywood audience for this was in America with the storyline incorporating individuals from India. The representation in this film was identified as Muslims who were seen in a positive light as well as the Indian culture, which had a focus on the extremities of poverty in the country. The construction of these two national identities led the cultural sphere and created a sense of a culture of terror in the film. At the same time, this marginalized the identity of both Muslims and Indians as belonging to a poor class and being underdeveloped. When individuals that were not familiar with the global aspects of the culture watched this film, immediate marginalization occurred. The cultural identity created led to specific biases, combined with national construction that worked politically and culturally against India and Islam. This type of cultural marginalization then creates a sense of a lack of dominance or power of the Indian nation and results in different political affiliations and cultural associations (Thobani, 227, 2009).


The concept of globalization is one that is quickly emerging because of the media and technological components available. As the globe becomes smaller with communication and affiliations with culture and technology, are contrasting types of communication that are related to globalization. Specifically, there is a change in the cultural relationships to those who are communicating through the media. Cultural imperialism is one that is creating a sense of dominance through the media outlets that are being used. This is combined with complications that are associated with the marginalization of identities in the media by creating assumptions and biases that are a part of every culture. The cultural imperialism that is now forming is creating specific representations within each culture, all which are defined specifically by the way in which the media is communicating the cultural identity of various localities.


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