Americanization of the Australian Media

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Americanization of the Australian Media

The Australian television and media have become americanised through the influence of American media and television programs in Australia.

This research will only concentrate on the extent of Americanisation in Australia through the influence on television and the film industry as the aspect of Americanisation covers a wide range from fashion to language. To fully understand the topic of the hypothesis, proper exploration of the definitions of ‘identity’ and ‘culture’ are of relevance. ‘Identity’ and ‘culture’ play an integral role in what an Australian represents as well as how the world views Australians. The meaning of ‘identity’ can be summarized as; ‘The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known’ as well as ‘the set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group’ (Meriam-Webster 2003).

Culture one the other hand, can be simply coined as ‘the way of life’, language and traditions that are common amongst a group of people (Meriam-Webster 2003). The Australian identity and culture is something that is unique and exclusive to its people, word like ‘barby’, ‘g’day mate’ and ‘tinnies’ immediately refers to Australia.

Australians pride themselves as hard-working, humourous and jovial people, who love the outdoors and good food. But in recent times we notice that Australians, are not being ‘Australian’ enough. Gone are the days where men wore rabbit-fur and trusty leather work-shoes. New York Yankees caps worn backwards and polished white Adidas Superstar sneakers coupled with denims worn below the hips instead have replaced these. Ten years ago, the mentioned situation could only exist in the United States of America. Today we see it happening in almost all major cities and suburbs in Australia (Mengel 2001, pers. comm., 11 Aug)

Throughout the years, we have heard the term Americanisation frequently invoked but seldom defined. Originally, ‘Americanisation’ was the label used to define the assimilation of immigrants and other minorities seeking citizenship in the United States of. In most cases, ‘Americanisation’ was defined broadly as ‘The process by which an alien acquires our language, citizenship, customs and ideas’. (Bell & Bell, 1998:2)

The overall term ‘Americanisation’ is most of t...

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...sed, as cultural absorbtion not necessarily means that America is exerting dominance over Australia. A somewhat fairer comment on Americanisation would be,“What’s new about American culture invading Australia? Nothing. Australia might look, absorb, then move on to its own beat”

(Mengel 2001, pers. comm. 11 Aug.)

According to Mengel, this may be exactly what Australia along with the rest of the world is experiencing. There is no doubt that USA has managed to spread just about everything from fashion to fast food to hip-hop music throughout the world creating a popular culture. Australians may enjoy and appreciate this popular culture, but this by no means making them any less Australian (people still prefer watching cricket to professional wrestling e.g. WWE Smackdown) (Bennett 1999, p.208). An interesting fact is that the USA has its own cultural dilemma, it should be recognized that the US has likewise absorbed diverse cultures and traditions leading to many people to question who or what is a ‘real American’ (Bumbrey S. 1999). The idea of Americanisation should not be ignored but rather regarded as part of the cultural assimilation of the world leading towards globalization.
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