American Culture on Global Implications






American Culture on Global Implications


The United States is ranked as the as one of the most influential nations on issues that pertain the global culture (Crother, 2010). Amongst all aspects of the American culture, the entertainment (film and music) industry tops the chart. This is because this industry is not only influential in the entertainment arena, but it has also played a major role in the economic, social and religious aspects of the people. The terms associated with the influence of this culture include Westernization and Americanization. In other cases, the term globalization is meant to identify the effect of America on the rest of the world. Although people have different views as to the extent at which the culture has impacted the rest of the world, the developed, and the developing countries are being affected by it. The American culture has impacted the global fraternity both positively and negatively.

Economic Issues

Crother (2010) feels that the economy has been greatly affected by the film industry. Hollywood is not only affecting the entertainment industry in America, but it is also of considerable influence to the rest of the world. The movies made which make a gross return in billions of dollars have a great economic impact in other countries. This through the tax and the money collected from the imports and selling of movies and television programs exported to other countries from Hollywood.

Since the Hollywood movies are the highest bought movies in the world (Crothers, 2010), other countries have taken this advantage and made some policies which attract Hollywood movie makers to invest in their countries. A country such as Germany for example, does not need movies to be shot in German or use local personnel in order to get a tax reduction on the movie being shot. The laws only require of the films’ shooting to be done by a German company whose shares and copyright are in the future profits. Such advantages made the great movie by Lara Croft known as “Tomb Raider” to collect approximately $87 million dollars before the movie was actually produced.

The world yearns for the Hollywood movies (Matusitz & Payano, 2011). This is because this entertainment industry produces high quality and entertaining films and programs at a very high rate. The tax collected online by the Asian and Europeans countries where movies and programs can be downloaded online is of significant value (Crother, 2010). A country like South Africa charges low taxes on the importation of shooting equipment and the shooting itself as compared to other African countries. Hollywood movie makers prefer going to this country when shooting a movie about Africa. Through this, the country collects more money through the entertainment industries as compared to other African countries.

In many countries, the films that attract large audiences are made in Hollywood. The highly popularized movie named “Avatar” not only attracted a large audience in the cinemas of the United States, but it also attracted a large audience in both the 2D and the 3D versions globally. The films from the United States not only make the cinemas collect millions of dollars annually but they also keep the audiences coming back for more. This is through the film stars, producers and directors that are known in both the United States and the rest of the world.

The film industry in the United States is also very influential in the other film industries in other countries. Matusitz and Payano (2011) found out Hollywood has had both positive and negative influence on the Bollywood of India. On a positive aspect, both entertainment industries work together at times in order to increase the returns in the movies to be made. This is an advantage to both countries. However, there are negative aspects of it.

The films from Hollywood have been known to pose a significant competition on films from Bollywood or other parts or other entertainment arenas. The high competition deprives these other films from gaining the maximum advantage it was a monopoly. For example, a film from the Nollywood of Nigeria faces a competition from a film from Hollywood thus the industry does not make the maximum anticipated return. In relation to other films in a continent like Africa, the Nollywood films and other films from African entertainment industry have only started gaining the needed popularity in the past decade. This was a serious economic blow to the films made earlier. They also face a major competition from the films Hollywood released almost every day.

Social Issues

The movie starring Tom Cruise entitled “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol” is in most screens during this period. This is an action movie starring a very influential person in the entertainment industry. Such stars play a major role in the social conduct of the audience. For example, a movie starring Tom Cruise is likely to entertain more people as compared to a film starring Paul Bettany. This is due to the kind of movies he has made in the past. He is also known to star in films of a diverse genre thus keeping the audience entertained and anticipating.

Tom cruise may be of positive impact to the society, but there are those films brought to the screens that may not influence the audience positively. Taylor (2008) feels that the use and effects of drugs as portrayed in the films brings a mixed reaction to the audience. While drugs are known to be of negative influence as far as people of all ages are concerned, the films portray something different.

Most films portray drugs being mostly used by one type of race, which is mostly the black race (Crothers, 2010). These drugs influence these people to engage in crimes thus the high crime rate among the African American youths. There are films which show the people in the drugs syndicate as people who are wealthy and very influential. This shows the drugs business as a lucrative business that should be encouraged.

On other matters, these films depict fights, killings and weapons as something that is part of life and necessary at times. They fail to bring out the exact impact of crime on the society. For example, some people portray the person who will have killed most as the hero. The two films entitled “Street Kings” portrayed the heroism of the protagonist by showing him as one who killed the culprits when he found them instead of arresting them and subjecting them to the trial they deserved. In the society’s eyes, it is right to make matters of justice into one’s hands. Such themes encourage the level of crime and drug use among the young people who look up to the stars in the movie for inspiration (Taylor, 2008).

There have been numerous discussions that have been held concerning the role of the American entertainment industry in the way the young people dress. Stars in the film industry and especially the female stars, have been known to wear in ways that have evoked a lot of discussions in the media channels. One of the females that stir up such discussions is Pamela Anderson. She is known to wear in ways that may not be of positive influence to the people. Magazines and entertainment channels show female actresses with clothes that reveal their bosoms and their thighs in somewhat indecent ways.

The question of how indecent is indecent may have risen in most cases, but it is quite clear in the countries where the way a woman should wear has been clear for a very long time. In the Arab and the African countries, the females are required to cover as many parts of the body as they can. This mostly includes the thighs and the bosom as it is seen as being decent. However, the films show “sexy” as the woman who wears a dress that is short fitting and showing off her cleavage. Since the films are very influential as far as the young people are concerned, they conclude that wearing the clothes covering all parts of the body is “old school” and wearing the clothes in the film is the “in thing” (Crothers, 2010).

Around a decade ago, the African media were accused of airing a lot of content from the western countries (U.S in this case). This included the music, the television programs and the films (Crothers, 2010). This high percentage of the content from the western countries being aired on the television explained the western influence on the young people. The families in the urban areas for example, preferred using English as compared to using their mother tongue so that they would help their children follow the television programs as well us following the rest of the rapidly developing world.

In matters of the well being of the children, it can be appreciated that children are more courageous when it comes to speaking out their minds and going after what they want, as the films through the media have greatly aided. However, the same films are encouraging the children to do some things that are not common in some cultures such as talking back to their parents. These same children are becoming aware of some issues such as sex, drugs, body development amongst other issues at a very young age. Although this is part of the changing world, the film industry, especially the one in Hollywood, should make a positive impact rather than a negative one.

Most families spend much of their free time watching a television program or watching a movie rather than spending it outdoors. This is one of the main reasons why the entertainment industry plays a major role in the society’s social affairs. If the same messages are seen in the films being aired, then the society takes it to be the truth. If the negative effects of the drugs are not properly portrayed in the Hollywood movies as they should, then the young people globally will continue to venture in the drugs (Taylor, 2008). It is appreciated that the Hollywood films are not the only source of influence, but it is important to appreciate that they play a major influential role in the society.

  Religious Issues

People have various beliefs all over the world although there are some beliefs that are more dominant in some areas than they are in others. The Muslim and the Judaism religions are mostly associated with the Arab countries of the Middle East. Christianity is in America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Buddhism and Hinduism are mostly associated with the Asian continent. Other religions are distributed all over the world. The films from the U.S have had an impact in some religions than they have had in others.

The Muslim religion has been greatly impacted by the entertainment industry. In most movies, they portray the terrorists as being from the Muslim religion. These kinds of the films portray the notion that Muslims are terrorists. They do not need to conclude that, but the audiences make the conclusion (Crothers, 2010). Since most terrorists in these films are from the countries in the Middle East region, it is a double negative effect. The Muslim believers from the Arab countries are terrorists. Such kinds of implications make it hard for the easy co-existence of the Muslim Arab people with other religions and people.

There are many movies that dwell on the cultic activities and magic. Such an influence is not only influential to the young people but to the whole society in general. The epic movies depict the people of the ancient days as having a culture that believed in human sacrifice and other rituals that might be controversial to the young people or people of religions that do not believe in human sacrifice. Every individual has a right to believe in what they want to believe as long as it does not contradict the laws of the land. Unfortunately, the films made in Hollywood do not seem to portray the positive or the negative sides of some cultures that are out rightly wrong.

In the movie, directed by Patrick Lussier and starring Nicholas Cage entitled “Drive Angry” conveyed mixed feelings to the audience. The protagonist of the film, Nicholas cage, had come from Hell in order to prevent a cultic leader who had killed her daughter, from killing his nephew. He killed the cultic leader by using a special gun. By the end of the film, the leader was dead, the protagonist went back to hell, and the child was saved. Such a movies depict that people can get out of hell (an evil place) and do something good (save a life) by committing another evil. In real life, hell is known to be an evil place, and there is no good coming from it. This film seems to contradict that religious believe. The positive aspects about Hollywood films are that they also bring out the good qualities of religion. Most films advocate for forgiveness over revenge or love over hate as the religious teachings guide the people (Crothers).


The films from U.S which are mostly made in Hollywood depict in Hollywood have both positive and negative effects on the global community. However, the negative aspects seem to prevail especially when it comes to social and religious issues. It is significance to note that the United States is viewed as a great country economically. Due to such economic power, people from other countries, especially the developing ones, tend to believe that everything from U.S is both powerful and significant (Crothers, 2010). Many countries look up to what the U.S gives to the world. The nation should therefore give things of positive influence.


Crothers, L. (2010). Globalization and American Popular Culture. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlehead Publishers.

Matusitz, J. & Payano, P. (2011). The Bollywood in Indian and American Perceptions: A Comparative Analysis. India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs. Vol. 67 (1): 65-77. doi: 10.1177/097492841006700105.

Taylor, S. (January 01, 2008). Outside the outsiders: Media representations of drug use. Probation Journal, 55, 4, 369-387.

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