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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 4. The cultural imperialism theory also implies that before the arrival of US media, developing nations were enjoying cozy golden age of indigenous, authentic traditions and cultural heritage, untainted by values and orientations imposed from outside. This argument risks being patronizing to what are seen as ‘weaker’ nations and of romanticizing as ‘indigenous’ those cultures whose traditions and heritages have been shaped by very long and brutal processes of cultural conflict, triangulation and synchronization, often involving the imposition of external values from centuries back, resulting in rich hybridities (Negus and Roman-Velasquez, 2000). 5. The theory also lacks conceptual precision (Lee, 1988 cited in White, 2001). This is the major reason for the various conflicting notions the theory has been linked with. 6. The theory does not hold true in all ramifications of the phenomenon that it attempts to explain (Sinclair, Jacka, and Cunningham, 1996 cited in White, 2001). Therefore, when related constructs are given different interpretations in related situations, then something is definitely wrong with the platform from which such interpretations are made. 7. Twenty-first century media scholars like Uche (1996) have also drawn clear and distinct lines between cultural imperialism, cultural synchronization and cultural juxtaposition. He argues that what most persons call cultural imperialism may actually be regarded as cultural synchronization. According to him, cultural imperialism means an external culture that is imposed upon another culture against its will, cultural synchronization means an external culture that is welcomed and imitated by another culture which the external eventually supersedes in an evolutionary fashion, and cultural juxtaposition means the placing together of locally produced cultural elements with the externally produced (or as the opposition and coexistence) of distinct types of cultural productivity within late capitalism. This distinction is glaringly lacking in the conceptualization of the cultural imperialism theory. 15 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
4. The cultural imperialism theory also implies that before the arrival of US media, developing 
nations   were   enjoying   cozy   golden   age   of   indigenous,   authentic   traditions   and   cultural 
heritage, untainted by values and orientations imposed from outside. This argument risks 
being patronizing to what are seen as ‘weaker’ nations and of romanticizing as ‘indigenous’ 
those  cultures whose traditions  and heritages  have been  shaped  by very long and  brutal 
processes   of   cultural   conflict,   triangulation   and   synchronization,   often   involving   the 
imposition of external values from centuries back, resulting in rich  hybridities  (Negus and 
Roman-Velasquez, 2000).
5. The theory also lacks conceptual precision (Lee, 1988 cited in White, 2001). This is the major 
reason for the various conflicting notions the theory has been linked with.
6. The theory does not hold true in all ramifications of the phenomenon that it attempts to 
explain   (Sinclair,   Jacka,   and  Cunningham,   1996  cited   in   White,   2001).   Therefore,   when 
related constructs are given different interpretations in related situations, then something is 
definitely wrong with the platform from which such interpretations are made.
7. Twenty-first century media scholars like Uche (1996) have also drawn clear and distinct lines 
between cultural imperialism, cultural synchronization and cultural juxtaposition. He argues 
that   what   most   persons   call   cultural   imperialism   may   actually   be   regarded   as   cultural 
synchronization. According to him,  cultural imperialism means an external culture that is 
imposed upon another culture against its will, cultural synchronization means an external 
culture   that   is   welcomed   and   imitated   by   another   culture   which   the   external   eventually 
supersedes in an evolutionary fashion, and cultural juxtaposition means the placing together 
of locally produced cultural elements with the externally produced (or as the opposition and 
coexistence) of distinct types of cultural productivity within late capitalism. This distinction 
is glaringly lacking in the conceptualization of the cultural imperialism theory.
15 | 
P a g e

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