American Popular Culture and Globalization
Introductory Course Comments by Professor Robert C Allen, UNC-CH
FAST-US-7 United States Popular Culture (Hopkins)
Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere
What is the influence of American popular culture around the
world? Today 85% of all “screen time” (the total number of minutes films
are shown in theaters) worldwide is occupied by Hollywood movies.
Audiences and consumers from Tokyo to Timbuktu are familiar with American
television programs, fashion, music, and advertising. For hundreds of
millions of people around the world, their understanding of the American
people and America as a nation has been profoundly shaped by
representations of the United States in American popular culture.
Ironically, Americans are seldom aware of the influence of their popular
culture worldwide until or unless they leave the U.S.
What happens when popular culture products which are designed and
produced (in the first instance, at least) for one culture are circulated
to many other, quite different cultures around the world? What are the
cultural and social implications of the worldwide reach of U.S. popular
culture? How do the meanings of popular culture products change when those
products are experienced in different cultures? [Or, related to this, how
might popular culture considerations prevail when an artifact from one
cultural medium is 'adapted' to appeal to a much larger audience? See
Neea Paatero's paper on
Journey From a Mediocre Novel to a Six-Oscar Movie for an
(see also an
interview with Robert C.
Allen in Americana: the Journal of American Popular Culture).
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Last Updated 07 January 2010