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Tom 5 (2014): Cywilizacje w perspektywie socjologicznej. Stan i kierunki badań nad cywilizacjami współczesnego świata

Imperializm popkulturowy — zjawisko kultury masowej w świetle procesów globalnych

  • Łukasz Kaszkowiak
31 grudnia 2014


Pop-cultural imperialism

The article is an analysis of the connections between capitalism and pop culture in the modern, still globalising world. The text consists of two sections: theoretical one and a discussion.
In the first part, the author focuses on the concepts of imperialism, exploitation and capitalist rationality. As a “tool” he uses Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory, but without the marxist moral involvement.
The author distinguishes popular culture and mass culture. The first one is a symbolic universe and a process for producing significance, the second is a way of producing culture in the capitalist system.
Next, the author describes the core-peripheral-semiperipheral nations relations in the areas of mass and pop culture. According to the author, the USA is the only core nation in the area of cultural production. Other nations are peripheral or semiperipheral. The section ends with a short definition of localization.
In the second part of the article the author analyzes “Latino” music as a specific case of localization and its role in global core-peripheral-semiperipheral relations. Latino music is performed by artists from Latin America, but it is produced in the United States. Songs are “tested” on the local market for Latino immigrants, and from there they are distributed to Central and South America and then to the whole world. The conclusion of the article is a statement that participation in the cultural market, which is hegemony of the USA, leads to Americanization. Not by means of the acquisition of specific American values, but by treating culture in the American capitalism’s way.