Thursday, December 3, 2009


An interesting point made in the "Transnationalism" article was that culture imperalism was diverting individuals away from their original interests, or as the author puts it "authentic interest" (p.17). In the author's opinion, instead of the world revolting or pushing their ideas out to the culture (specifically American culture), they are instead buying into the propaganda of commericalism and all that entails. The author uses the example, "the consumer is lured by clever advertising into the latest blockbuster or off on a family outing to the Universal Studios theme park...increasinly, the terrain of activities people participate in during their free time becomes standardized" (p. 17). This conformity of activities is seen in the common interests of many citizens in popular culture. The clever advertisements make the consumer believe that they in fact are interested in the product being sold, because everyone else is; culture industry has made these activities into norms. Also, within this dilemma arises others, such as the weight gain in America-because corporations such as McDonalds are pushing foods on consumers, and with their "100% natural" campaign, deceiving people into believing these foods are not "that bad" perhaps even healthy. While, most people are not dumb enough to believe these implications, this is just a pure example of the commericalism's lure and captivation techniques. While, these ideas are interesting the author further goes on to mention that critics can see their way out of this process of standardization, and my question is why and in what way? I'm not sure what the definition of "critic" is in this article, but from my perspective most critics feed into a lot of popular culture. I believe that everyone can fall for the lure of the advertising world, it's just too hard not to.
We live in an industrialized world and unfortunately large corporations are the center of it. This idea of commericalism also plays into the fact that large corporations have taken over the small market industry.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I too wonder how it could be possible to get out of the crushing weight of consumerism. I have another issue with this theory, however. If the consumer is lured unknowingly into the popular interests, it is possible to be outside of the system (as the author would have to be, in order to comment on this phenomena)? I think that if consumerism and popular culture is as powerful as the author believes, then the author would probably be unable to see the problem, for they would be a part of it.

    I think it may be possible that the consumers are aware of their consumption, and choose to follow trends. Can popular culture really not be an 'authentic interest'? Maybe it really is just interesting enough to consume a whole population.