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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
Unformatted Document Text:  Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria Electronic media affect language in three main ways. They alter the way language is used, they create a need for a global language that will most likely be filled by English, and they influence the future of other languages. In the last case, one of the main impacts of new communications will be to lower the entry barriers to cultural industries such as television and movie-making. Critics of the cultural imperialist argument also contend that the flow of information from the global North to the global South results in an intermingling of cultures, rather than the dominance of one culture over another. Prior to the Internet, European and Asian countries were concerned about the influence of American television and film, believing that American popular entertainment would undermine the growth of local pop-culture. However, it was found that foreign entertainment often took a secondary place among a domestic audience, especially when language differences require the programmes to be either dubbed or subtitled. European audiences viewed American programming only when they felt that the quality of programming in their local channels was poor (See Thompson on http//llc.edu/student/globalization.htm). Furthermore, the argument that cultural products impose the values of one culture on another, assumes an audience with a rather passive response to media messages. This view is erroneous with the discarding of the mass society and magic bullet theory notions. In other words, this idea assumes a "hypodermic" model effect of the media, where audiences are influenced by any media message that is communicated to them. In contrast, most research findings suggest that audiences actually have an active reading to any message - critiquing and analyzing ideological messages, and interpreting them to fit within their own cultural contexts. Studies in the Latin American countries have shown that local cultures 'interact' with foreign ones, creating a hybridization of the two, instead of a subjugation of the local culture by the foreign one. This questions the major arguments of cultural imperialism theory. REVISITING THE CULTURAL IMPERIALISM THEORY 11 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
Electronic media affect language in three main ways. They alter the 
way language is used, they create a need for a global language that will 
most likely be filled by English, and they influence the future of other 
languages.   In   the   last   case,   one   of   the   main   impacts   of   new 
communications   will   be   to   lower   the   entry   barriers   to   cultural 
industries such as television and movie-making.
Critics of the cultural imperialist argument also contend that the flow of information from the 
global North to the global South results in an intermingling of cultures, rather than the dominance of 
one culture over another. Prior to the Internet, European and Asian countries were concerned about 
the influence of American television and film, believing that American popular entertainment would 
undermine the growth of local pop-culture. However, it was found that foreign entertainment often 
took a secondary place among a domestic audience, especially when language differences require the 
programmes to be either dubbed or subtitled. European audiences viewed American programming 
only when they felt that the quality of programming in their local channels was poor (See Thompson 
on http//llc.edu/student/globalization.htm).
Furthermore, the argument that cultural products impose the values of one culture on another, 
assumes an audience with a rather passive response to media messages. This view is erroneous with 
the discarding of the mass society and magic bullet theory notions.  In other words, this idea assumes 
a "hypodermic" model effect of the media, where audiences are influenced by any media message 
that is communicated to them. In contrast, most research findings suggest that audiences actually 
have   an   active   reading   to   any   message   -   critiquing   and   analyzing   ideological   messages,   and 
interpreting them to fit within their own cultural contexts. Studies in the Latin American countries 
have shown that local cultures 'interact' with foreign ones, creating a hybridization of the two, instead 
of a subjugation of the local culture by the foreign one. This questions the major arguments of 
cultural imperialism theory.
REVISITING THE CULTURAL IMPERIALISM THEORY 
11 | 
P a g e


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