Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom “A Mickey Mouse Approach to Globalization”

I disagree with Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s argument in A Mickey Mouse Approach to Globalization that “American goods take on distinctly new cultural definitions when transferred from the US” (22). This was said by Wasserstrom in reference to the spread of Western civilization into other cultures. According to him, the propagation of American culture is not equivalent to globalization, and it is too superficial to interpret this factor from this viewpoint. I disagree with Wasserstrom’s statement because I’ve heard from Ali’s essay’s various explanations that America is actually a sign of globalization. From what I have learned from personal experience and class work, America is a source of a myriad of creativities, cultures and ideals that have spread to other places that are now considered wholly globalized.
It is possible to see the way Americanization is equal to globalization through Ali Tanveer’s “The Subway Falafel Sandwich and the Americanization of Ethnic Food”. Ali makes it very clear that in the process of adapting to products and customs from foreign cultures, there is loss of a part or whole of originality (Ali 25). For instance, so many things today including fast food consumption is borrowed from the American culture. Another interesting aspect is found in Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “The Shattered Mirror” where the author uses the theory of Cosmopolitanism by Cosmos to show that globalization is the spread of a more advanced culture.
I believe that Wasserstrom’s claim is marred with a lot of falsehood considering that even Apiah’s title “The Shattered Mirror” is a rhetorical depiction of the many shards that come together to form a usable whole. Perhaps the shattered mirror is a depiction of many people from various cultures (as each piece is different from another) who come together to form a whole. Appiah appears to allude to the fact that the American culture (which may be a part of a whole) has a role to play in globalization. I strongly believe that culture is just the bond or the glue that holds and binds the people together. The reason why the American culture is outstanding is found in Wasserton’s essay where he gives examples such as taking coffee, wearing American made clothes and eating McDonalds (Wasserstrom 21).
I am intrigued by the ideals portrayed through Ali’s work where he explains the extent of the American culture showing that it has permeated all areas of life including in food cultures (Ali 26). I believe that another reason why the American culture has impacted most parts of the world is because the country was among the first to undergo industrialization. From the explanation given by Ritze and Atalay, globalization and civilization are interconnected (5). Furthermore, Moore’s Law confirms the spread of globalization means the ability to communicate with people all over the world and this increases after every 24 months (Moore’s Law).
Globalization does not necessarily mean that people are completely ready to forego their beliefs and customs, but it becomes inevitable when the American culture has permeated every aspect of life (The Editors of SUNY Levin web). It is absolutely true that Americanization equates the globalization in the current society today. Most parts of the world use the imperial system of doing things including mundane things such as measurements adopting the International System of Units which are American and considered accurate. In fact, any country today that still utilizes an obsolete system is considered barbaric. From this standpoint, it is evident that Wasserstrom’s claim is untrue and founded on simple claims.
Works Cited
Ali, Tanveer. “The Subway Falafel Sandwich and the Americanization of Ethnic Food.” Globalization: A Reader for Writers. Ed. Maria Jerskey. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 25–28. Print.
Kwame Anthony Appiah, “The Shattered Mirror.” Globalization: A Reader for Writers. Ed. Maria Jerskey. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 15–19. Print.
“Moore’s Law.” Moores Law. MemeBridge, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2014.
Ritze, George, and Zeynep Atalay. “Is Civilization Civilazing, Destructive, or Feeble? A Critique of Five Key Debates in the Social Sciences Literature.” Readings in Globalization: Key Concepts and Major Debates. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 4-7. Print.
The Editors of SUNY Levin. “What Is Globalization?” Globalization101. State University of New York: Levin Institute, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2014.
Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N. “A Mickey Mouse Approach to Globalization.” Globalization: A Reader for Writers. Ed. Maria Jerskey. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 20–24. Print.

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