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Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the argument that Britain has become increasingly 'Americanised' since the Second World War

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Introduction

British Media with Cultural Studies Essay Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the argument that Britain has become increasingly 'Americanised' since the Second World War In the following essay I will attempt to justify both the strengths and the weaknesses of the argument over the Americanisation of Britain. Firstly I will attempt to define the term itself, and then introduce the critics who agree on its existence but are for and against the Americanisation process, followed by the theorists who argue against its influence before concluding the matter. The term Americanisation is very hard to define as a single movement or transformation, it is generally used to describe the changes that took place during the first quarter of the 20th century, when the First World War resulted in great emigration from east and south Europe to America and the people were taught to assimilate American speech, ideals, traditions and ways of life. ...read more.

Middle

Populists say 'Americanism represents the true spirit of capitalism, 'real capitalism' (1992: p52) and that making money has become very profitable or that they enrich British social values and elite cultural values, if this is the case then Americanism can be used to criticise British traditionalism and its prior world dominance. Both of these views can be criticised for taking a single viewpoint, even if they are at opposite ends of the cultural scale, the elitist from the top looking down and the populist from the bottom looking up. 'These problems are compounded by the fact that it does not tell us how real audiences actually consume, understand and make use of popular culture' (Allen 1990) the difficulty of defining Americanisation is again reiterated and the populist and elitist views cannot be proved. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the pre-war years of the 1930s, the mass media was seen in the forefront of the emerging forms of commercial mass culture, through Hollywood cinema, 'cheap' American crime novels and pop music. This identified America as 'the home of the mass revolt against literary taste' (Strinati: 1995; p22-23) The Americanisation of Britain has been a concern of many intellectuals over the last century; its predominance and therefore a strong argument of its influence on Britain came about with the end of the Second World War. This was due to the fact that America was the only nation to come out of the war in better economic shape than when it entered, Britain was in debt to America and had to continue its policy of rationing while it attempted to pay it back as a result of the threat from another superpower, the then Soviet Union. ...read more.

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