Talk:Cultural imperialism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Sociology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Anthropology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthropology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Anthropology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.

Refernces and a framework[edit]

Articles needs references and a framework--Work permit (talk) 01:18, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


I've given some quotes from references. The section imho could be better if the quotes are paraphrased by an expert in the field--Work permit (talk) 03:56, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


I threw in a few photos. feel free to remove or substitute.--Work permit (talk) 04:43, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


Perhaps it is relevant to mention Rome. Rome conquered Greece but Greece conquered Rome as Horace said. The Romans adopted customs, political and religious beliefs of the Greeks. Also during the reign of the Romans Mediterranean civilisations were strongly influenced by the greco-roman civilisation. As a result men from different cultural backgrounds had Roman or Greek names, like Lucian the writer and Philo of Alexandria . Do you think that this informationis relevant to the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable, yes. Feel free to add the content if you have a source that backs it up. The source will need to be reliable and it will also need to show that that Rome was related to cultural imperialism. Have a look at Wikipedia's policy of verifiability for more details of how things are sourced at Wikipedia. Thanks — Mr. Stradivarius 13:38, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Edits to the Page[edit]

I was wondering what thoughts there may be about a few proposed edits I have to the page. With these edits, I hope to both address the concerns listed by Wikipedia of bringing the page up to quality standards and appropriate citation, and my own concerns consisting of the wording in the introduction and the adequacy of the theory section. I think it may be useful to break up "theory and debate" into sections of "Theoretical Background" expounding on the work of Edward Said and his theoretical framework employing Foucauldian interpretations of power structure and "Contemporary Debate" explaining how the term has been used in recent material. Also, I was wondering if we could bring this into the realm of WikiProject Anthropology as well as Sociology? Let me know what you think. Jkcory (Jkcory) 6:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Those sound like great suggestions. I advise you to be bold and get stuck in! — Mr. Stradivarius 14:08, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

strict deffinition VS comprehention[edit]

Without an ear to the experts, I believe that the phrase cultural imperialism is not empirical. By this I mean the two words have connotations and definitions that explorations might better serve to enlighten than would the accepted dogma.
cultural, Culture, cultivate, cultivation, Cult...
I believe the social impact of the phrase defies simple definition. So I move that any attempt to define the subject be softened and diversified and moved away from the beginning of the article so that it does not become a framework that could limit a comprehensive exploration of the subject.--Sativarg (talk) 08:31, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Race and Nazis[edit]

I have reverted the removal of these sections. The removal comment said "The hate based racial policies of the nazis, culminating in extermination or the "scientific" racism of the late 19th and early 20th century colonial Europe have nothing to do with the post-colonial concept of cultural imperialism". I find it hard to believe that the Nazis didn't try "promoting and imposing a culture, usually of politically powerful nations over less potent societies". There are books that use the term in connection with the Nazis.[1] However, I am not a historian in this area. The sections are poorly cited. There are no pages in the references for instance. Myrvin (talk) 12:00, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I think it's quite straightforward. Cultural imperialism concerns power relations and resulting cultural hegemonies in a post-colonial world. This is how the concept is used in thousands of writings and it is a broadly accepted definition. This definition is formulated in the rest of the article, but then suddenly race and nazis appear without even an attempt of connecting them to the definition and meaning of cultural imperialism. From Big Macs, Coca-Cola, rhetoric of "democracy and human rights" to the ovens and mass graves of Treblinka? It's just irrational, unacademic, unencyclopedic. It makes no sense. It obfuscates the concept, misleads a reader on the meaning of the term. What is it doing in the article? What is the connection? (talk) 15:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
When someone starts a comment with "I think it's quite straightforward", I get twitchy. Even though the term was thought up in the 60s, there's no reason why historians can't look back before that to find examples of CI in the past. You seem unimpressed by the use of the term in reliable sources that link CI with the Nazis. But, in Wikipedia, that is what matters. If a reliable source says that the Nazis were cultural imperialists, then, for WP, that is enough. You should really have made your comments on this page before removing that much text. Perhaps others have a view on this. Myrvin (talk) 15:38, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
This book [2] refers to a text called "German cultural imperialism ... 1938-1945". This [3] talks about how Nazi beliefs were used to justify CI. Myrvin (talk) 15:45, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

It's quite straightforward in the article! Read the theoretical section with Said, Foucault and Spivak. Post-colonialism is a key term for these writers. These are theorists of the post WW2, post-colonial world, in which they see the western imperialism continuing in the form of cultural hegemony in the west's relations with the developing world, helped by power relations that are not balanced nor equal. Nazism was a hate based program of conquer, enslaving and extermination. As it is said in the article the term was once used for stalinist policies in the 1920's, but didn't catch on. It was coined in its accepted, current definition in the 1960's and concerns the power relations of the post-colonial world. If someone has used it for the nazis (although that link is not made in the removed sections) or racism more generally, then that is not the accepted use or common use of the term, as defined in the rest of the article. And in the removed text there is no attempt to form this connection. It reads like unconnected and speculative, misguided OR. With the result that a reader is mislead on the accepted meaning and usage of cultural imperialism. (talk) 15:51, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Now that's not quite the same as saying it is impossible to include racism and Nazism in this article. You are saying that the sections weren't written properly and the cited texts did not support that inclusion. Would you accept its inclusion with better texts such as those I have cited above? User:Myrvin|Myrvin]] (talk) 15:55, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not going to edit war. I know approx. what the term means, but am not going to insist on it. Imbalances of power relations, resulting in the hegemony of the stronger partner, i.e. west and as a result the conceived hegemony of western culture. Hollywood, pop culture, multinational corporations and brands, porn, fashion, the conceived gradual homogenization of cultures, imitation of western cultural trends and idolizing of western cultural icons and western sports in the developing world, using terms like "human rights" to rate cultures hierarchically and to put pressure on (e.g. Uganda and the treatment of homosexuals) or in extreme cases to justify the intervention in (e.g. Libya) developing societies, power relations at institutions like the IMF, UN security council, (even UN declaration of human rights has been seen as cultural imperialism, propagation of western enlightenment values, not universal values), ability to broadcast and spread your message and values, to advertise and market your products, technological capabilities and their impact on power relations (e.g. satellites), the related spread and adoption of technologies and its impact on techno-cultural homogenization of societies, the question whether cultural hegemony is used to advance the interests of western corporations and western financial interests in general etc. etc. It is a 50 year long debate whether cultural imperialism is a good or a bad thing (as described in the article) and in which ways and to what extents, whether there exists moral justification for the undeniable western hegemony (although now waning due to the raise of China and Asia more broadly, paradoxically partly due to adoption of western technological culture). Conservatives have generally been more supportive of western cultural hegemony and leftists more critical (the anti-globalization movement can be seen as movement critical of western cultural imperialism, e.g. in "Empire" by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri). The tradition in cultural anthropology starting with Boas, Benedict and Mead can be seen as critical of western cultural imperialism, although the term was coined and theorized later. It concerns academic debates on cultural relativism, universal values etc. The so called new atheists Dawkins, Harris, Dennett etc. have been seen as cultural imperialist by some in their support of western secularism and in their harsh criticism of islam. There, of course, is no similar debate about the self-evident evils of nazism or the racist discrimination policies of the colonial era. In other words it is a controversial concept and the debate is still open and on-going. Jihadists like Bin Laden have voiced their opposition to western cultural imperialism. They are afraid of the spread of western tastes and styles that threaten to corrupt, in their view, pure and traditional Islam. Just one example, men in Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan consume just as much internet porn as men in western countries. The one-sided flow of information, products, values, styles, content, icons from the hegemonic centre outwards and its impact on the culturally less potent periphery. This approximately is what theories of cultural imperialism have tried to define, describe, debate, criticise etc. over the past five decades. It very much is a term of post WWII, post-colonial world. If you throw in, arbitrarily with little or no connection in my opinion, racism and nazism you obfuscate the concept. Sure, many things can be called cultural imperialism, nazis burning books and destroying modern art for an example, or the Mongols forcing their cultural practices on conquered peoples 700 years ago, or the Soviets on Turkmens, Kazakhs, Chinese on the conquered Tibetans, but I don't think it's desirable. I would stick to the common and usual post-colonial usage of the term. (talk) 17:11, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
A great deal of words, apparently setting out your personal opinions. Whether you want to stick to something or other doesn't change the fact that reliable sources have used the term to refer to earlier ages (see [4]) and the Nazis in particular. If there are reliable sources that say the term should only be used post-1960, then they could be included too. Are you the same person as who did the first deletion? Myrvin (talk) 21:19, 9 July 2015 (UTC)