• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comics: American liberty or suppression?

Extracts from this document...


Comics: American liberty or suppression? We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html). The identity of the free American people was not just secured in its constitution. When Europe discovered the New World by the end of the fifteenth century, the dream and fantasy of it being a free world was deeply entrenched in its identity at that time. After this Europe started to colonize the land, as it colonized many parts of the globe. A significant question in cultural discourse now, as "America has irresistibly moved toward center stage" (Kroes, 1996, p. 171), is whether America is now colonizing and dominating Europe by a process called Americanization or MacDonaldization. The MacDonaldization thesis is adhered by those who believe America is replacing traditional European culture by its own standards. Comic books can be considered an embodiment of American culture. So are European comics suppressed by American culture, or are they kept free to form a particular identity itself, as the liberal country of the United States of America would logically pledge for? What is the MacDonaldization thesis? Ritzer defines it this way: "The process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurants are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world" (Ritzer, 1993, p.1). ...read more.


believes American culture has become "unavoidable" (p.173) today and we have no choice other than letting the flow of its products affect us (p.177). Ritzer, by noting "America will become virtually everyone's 'second culture'" (1998, p. 89) would agree with him. Pells forms an opposition to both as he adheres to the view that America has not culturally dominated the world so far that it can possibly have resulted in a global American replica, instead he argues the other way (2002). Whether the United States of America is dominating the world culturally will not be questioned here. The dispute will be if the world of comics is dominated by America, or not. Comics...? Comics have existed for ages and have developed extensively, especially over the last century. The history of comics has had a boost after World War II as the popularity of comics increased sharply. People had more leisure time and most important: more money to afford luxury products such as comic books. Although cartoons can be seen as luxury goods, it also had other functions in society over time. The fun part of reading comic strips is likely to be seen as one of the most important features to their readers, nevertheless, most cartoons also have a message to share with their reader. Comics need to be defined as the medium it is, as it has a deeper meaning than just the object, be it a comic book or a comic strip. ...read more.


To Conclude... Comic books has strongly stabilized its position as an artifact of nowadays culture; it can even be considered a mass media communication asset. Although comics are mainly intended as leisure, very often they contain a message for the reader. Comic books are very popular by the youth, who see them as an ideal object for hours of fun. Typical fact is that, nowadays, more and more grown-ups like to read a comic strip as well. This has been quite different during history, as comics were seen as a bad influence that America brought along with the MacDonaldization of the world. Where the youth loved comics, the parents and politicians opposed to it, which made it even more interesting for the youth to keep reading them. An own subculture of comic books was created by the youth, the underground comics. The view of the parents and politicians on American mass culture improved over time as they learned to accept the culture. Also, it became obvious that America was by far the only producer of comic books, and therefore could no longer be associated with American culture as such. Comics today are created all over the world and for this reason are not part of the MacDonaldization. The production of comic books in the Westernized world (Asia, Europe and America) can be seen as a joint venture of the coherent cultures. European comics are obviously not dominated by the Americans, but have an own identity and role in the world of comics. Nowadays comic books are accepted in our cultural society and have even become the subject of academic empirical research. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Anthropology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Anthropology essays

  1. Urban Athens: a cultural examination of the differing treatment towards stray dogs and immigrants

    And yet this idea of hospitality, of filo xenia that we can see toward dogs is not extended toward the immigrants in Athens. Jacque Derrida12 offers the view that a welcomed guest is a stranger treated as a friend or ally (in the case of Athens this is the dog),

  2. A Child Called It

    An It! You are nonexistent! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? Dead!'" This is the first time in the book that David's mother tells him she hates him, and she told him that she wanted him dead.

  1. Frankfurt School on Popular Culture

    utilises force and coercion and employs the police, the courts, the prison system and the armed forces, where necessary, to legitimise their position. The RSA represses dissent by using legitimate force. The Ideological State Apparatuses (ISA) consisted of the family, the education system and the church and their role was

  2. How differently did men and women experience youth in early modern Europe? Were young ...

    married [in church] you shall not have the use of my body"4 Urban Apprentices of the labouring class did not have the same freedom as those that entered the service. Almost without exception, exclusively a male occupation, they led a very restricted life.

  1. Discuss the view that Adorno and Horkeimer's arguments are unduly pessimistic and irrelevant to ...

    Adorno and Horkeimer's' experiences in Europe sensitised them to the danger of the manipulatitive techniques of advertising and propaganda in the consumer society, and the way in which it could be developed to usher in some form of Fascism in the political sphere, "The ruthless unity in the culture industry is evidence of what will happen in politics."

  2. How far had the 'New Soviet Man' emerged in the USSR by the end ...

    The result was the Komsomol, which was one of the outstanding successes of the New Soviet Man policy. Fundamentally it was a form of boy Scouts, but it was far more serious and was used by the government to try and control and change the entire population and not jus the children.

  1. How much power did women possess in Early Modern Europe

    These ideas lead Jurists in many parts of Europe to recommend, and sometimes execute, the re-introduction of gender-based guardianship. This meant that; unmarried women and widows were again given male guardians, and prohibited from making any financial decisions without their approval.

  2. Book Review - The book, Return to Laughter is an ethnographical work of fiction ...

    gives that individual something similar to a role of godparent for the child. This is revealed to Bohannan when Poorgbillin names her daughter ?Redwoman? after Bohannan, who then becomes her namesake (Bowen 1954: 76). She is explained that the sharing of their name creates a strong bond and each ?? took on the relatives of the other.? (Bowen 1954: 76)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work