Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Can we think of a new term please?

This evening in my class ‘Hong Kong Cinema’ the professor really got on my nerves.

I really like this professor but upon occasion her liberal tendencies sometimes get the better of her. Tonight what got to me was her use of the term ‘imperialistic’ to describe the pervasiveness of American media etc. in the world.

I tried to point out that while the peculiar culture of Hong Kong was a result of British imperialism but that whatever American influences that are there are not a result of our ‘imperialism’ – after all McDonalds wasn’t built following the opium war.

After class we had a very pleasant conversation and she stated that perhaps she should have said ‘cultural imperialism’. I am still not happy with that term either. It seems wrong to me to use the same word to describe the actions of the France and Belgium in Africa and the opening of a KFC in Beijing.

Is there a better word or term than ‘cultural imperialism’ and I am just not aware of it? Perhaps if such a word does not yet exist the blogosphere can come up with one. If you have a good alternative word or term drop me an e-mail.

I would do it in comments here on the site but I have no idea how to add comments. In fact if you have any suggestions for installing comments please drop me an e-mail.


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