Americanization is the influence American culture has on other countries culture of countries outside the United States. This can include political techniques, business practices, cuisine, media, popular culture or technology. The experience has been there from the start of the 20th century when critics of the target country felt that their culture was being eroded by American culture and got worried by the tendency. Americanization became more relevant after the collapse of the Soviet Union and after the widespread use of the internet. Europe has been profoundly affected recently due to growth in the use of Uber, Apple Inc., Twitter, Facebook and Google among other web-oriented products. In the mid-20th century, the American absorption and imitation of British concept manifested itself in popular culture.
After the colonization, the Americans continued to import and transform British games and sports (Maguire 67). The most evident sport that was introduced and transformed was rugby transformed to football. The British traditional music and British theater such as performances from Shakespeare's plays maintained their ascendancy in the 19th century, but this came to change in the mid-20th century (Campbell 131). It was more evident that the Americanization of Britain was more evident after the World War II signifying a period identified as consumerism. American business methods and products were more appealing as they aimed at simplifying a task and daily routines of many people and for this reason, it infiltrated many areas of British life.
Among the areas where infiltration was felt were American-style foods, customs, gadgets, coin-operated laundries, restaurants, and supermarkets. In addition, the American popular music and movies became dominant. Before the 1960s, the British food market was dominated by British meals such as vegetables, sausages, chops and roast dinner. Breakfast was characterized by simple cereals, eggs, toast, and porridge. Additionally, the food was bought from specialist vendors such as bakers, greengrocers, butchers and corner stores. However, from the 1960s, the Americanization brought in supermarkets and shopping centers in the newly built suburbs (Shaw, Gareth, Cruth & Alexander 570). Various shopping facilities were contained under one roof while American convenient food preparation such as frozen dinner and frozen French fries become familiar to new families.
The entertainment industry in Britain paved the way for the popular American music including jazz and the blues introduced by American motion pictures. The British imitated the American rock and roll music in the 1950s who then refined and improved it. The American rock and roll music became more popular than jazz, and the blues had been before the second world war. "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Rock Around the Clock," rock and roll tunes by Bill Haley were the first significant impact in Britain both released in 1954. Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley were pop singers and groups which obtained popularity and inspired other British artists (Marling 51). The number of Rock groups grew fast in the 1960s with more youths, exuberance and innovative music.
American themes were used in the 1960s in British advertising such as the promotion of a housing development in the northeast England. The American culture equally invaded the British kitchens as they used labor-saving devices and led to British families employees being reduced. In late 1950, the Americanization of the main cities was felt in London where skyscrapers were built together with other innovations.
In the 1960s, Britain had tried to resist American innovation of drinking beer in tin cans. They had maintained their culture of serving draught beer from the keg, but they crumbled to the idea. In the late 1950s, the post-World War phenomenon of Americanization of Britain was seen in the American-style supermarket were seen in London. Various advertisement of people using American product were all over screens. Such included the self-service laundromat operated by the Bendix Corporation, the hamburger at Wimpy's which was a British chain of American-style fast food restaurants and famous pubs offering beer in cans in Hampstead, London (Campbell, Neil, Jude Davies & Mckay).
The Juke Box Britain was a major influence on the teenagers in Britain. Before 1938 jukeboxes business were not available in Britain. And those who imported them were seaside resorts for use by the working class. It was until the mid-1950s that American influences became more noticeable. The increased popularity of jukeboxes led to the domination of popular music. Jukeboxes were the only way teenagers listened to pop music, and music companies explored the new sensation with new artists records being given to jukebox. The American culture was persuasive and influenced British life in the 1950s and 1960s although there was a fusion of American and British styles in fashion (Horn 127).
America emerged as a dominant global economic power after the world war II, and for this reason, it was well-placed to export its cultural product in Britain. Although there was some resistance in adopting this culture, the British were better placed to receive the American culture influences. They were more affluent especially teens who were prone to cinema, television and music influences. The enabling environment enabled by improved communication and technology transport enable easier transmission of American products. The American concepts of materialism aspiration and consumerism were equally fitted to Britain growing suburban life. The American cinema was at a higher level after the second world war due to Hollywood-produced films. As there were few local films, the American-exported theirs as well as funded some produced in Britain. The American filmmaking technology was more advanced, and for this reason, they produced high-quality films at a faster rate as compared to Britain (Marling 43). Secondly, there were abundant resources and technology that attracted the best directors, writers and actors
Americanization is more affluent in Britain after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The American culture has become more exceptional and indispensable to outside countries. Currently, the American internet technology has taken a toll in Britain. The smartphone technology and high-speed internet since 2008 have revolutionized the Britain culture. There is a growing use of American products Uber, iPhone, Twitter, Facebook and Google among other American internet-based products. The influence has made the Britain administration express concern on privacy, antitrust and taxation issues to a high level of American influence. Among the top ten known global trends, seven are the United States based. Coca-Cola as the top spot product is viewed as the symbol of Americanization and controls the largest part of the Britain cold beverage market. Fast food companies such as Dominos Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Burger King and McDonald's food outlets dominate their market. Americanization has become synonymous with innovation and progress. It has become dominant economic and social force.
Campbell, Neil, Jude Davies, and G. A. Mckay. Issues in Americanisation and Culture. Edinburgh University Press, 2004.
Campbell, Neil. "Landscapes of Americanisation in Britain: Learning from the 1950s." Issues in Americanisation and Culture (2004): 126-46.
Horn, Adrian. Americanisation and Youth Culture, 194560. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2009.
Maguire, Joseph. "American football, British society, and global sport development." The Sports Process. Champaign: Human Kinetics (1993).
Marling, Susan. American affair: the Americanisation of Britain. Boxtree in association with Carlton Television, the Principal Film Company, Vamp Films, 1993.
Shaw, Gareth, Louise Curth, and Andrew Alexander. "Selling self-service and the supermarket: The Americanisation of food retailing in Britain, 194560." Business History 46.4 (2004): 568-582.
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