Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Japanization vs Americanization

Katz and Liebes used the show Dallas as a case study to examine the way in which a show is to be interpreted and understood is largely dependent upon one’s culture. They argue that cultural distance reduces the preoccupation with the question of reality while proximity causes viewers to measure critically how real it is (378). Therefore, Americans would be more concerned with assuring that the show Dallas is an accurate portrayal of their lifestyle more so than someone in China would be.

Iwabuchi’s piece discusses the development of the Walkman and the VCR in Japan and finds that it is interesting how such an individualistic and private technology could evolve and truly flourish in such a collectivist society as Japan. He discusses that the emergence of Japanese consumer goods can be described as a kind of “invisible colonization” that is more concerned with material cultural dissemination. He contrasts this with “Americanization” which can be seen as a type of cross cultural conspiracy that is discussed in terms of production and yearning for a distinctly American way of life. He concludes this piece by arguing that Americanization now seems to be over and that global cultural power is now more spread out between other leading nations.

Deuze’s chapter defines convergence culture as one which provides a mechanism to increase revenue and further the goals of an industry while also enabling consumers to be involved in the production process. He uses Bluffton Today, Counter Strike, Amazon, and CPB Group as organization which have greatly utilized these two important concepts. He concludes by mentioning that it is necessary to train people to stay active and involved in the production process or as he states “stay inside the Truman show and make the best of it.”

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