Globalization and American Popular Culture: Dynamics of Integration and Fragmentation in the Contemporary Global System

Dr. Lane Crothers
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As analysts such as Benjamin Barber, in 'Jihad vs. McWorld' (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995), and James Rosenau, in 'Distant Proximities' (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), among others, have argued, globalization seems to both inspire integration into a global community and to encourage resistance to it. Deriving its theoretical foundation from Rosenau's concept of "fragmegration" (2003: 11), this paper explores a generally-ignored source of the fragmentation-integration dynamic: American popular culture. The paper explores the way(s) in which the values, images and content of American popular culture creates conditions that stimulate support for and resistance to those same values, images and contents in an array of cultural, social, economic and political contexts. In doing so, it offers an analysis of what "popular culture" is, how popular culture is distinguished from the generic concept of "culture", and what it means to say a particular artifact is a manifestation of "American" popular culture. Given the central position of the United States in global economics, politics, and social life (including the production and dissemination of entertainment and other forms of popular culture), a focus on the way(s) American popular culture interacts with the fragmegration dynamic is an important component in understanding the broader processes of globalization.

Keywords: Globalization, Popular Culture, American Popular Culture, Fragmentation, Integration, Fragmegration, Dynamics of Globalization
Stream: Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Lane Crothers

Professor of Politics and Government, Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University

Author or co-author of four books in the fields of leadership, political culture, and social movements. His most recent book, "Rage on the Right: The American Militia Movement from Ruby Ridge to Homeland Security". was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2003. His primary fields of scholarly expertise and interest are political leadership and political culture, particularly focusing on the ways that values and ideals are manifested in the political system. He is currently engaged in a book-length project on globalization and American popular culture. In addition to his scholarly activities, he is Chair of the Illinois State University Academic Senate.

Ref: H05P0166