These giants acquire media companies in different countries to ensure the niche distributor status, therefore the global circulation of national products is usually connected to national pride as cultural products are spread from the dominator to others. Therefore indigenous cultures become capitalized, losing their fragrance uniqueness and follow the odorless marketing trend and standardized forms of production. Grassroots convergence is related to hybridization, transculturation and immigration flows between indigenous and introduced cultures.
This new vernacular culture encourages broad participation, grassroots creativity, and a bartering or gift economy however, there are always misappropriation of cultural traditions as powerful culture always exercising power on the weaker together with the shade of “Orientalism”, the understandings of a little understood culture is filtered, simplified and exaggerated within Western consciousness. The corporate hybridity usually forms a “combination platters” that depends on consumers having competencies with little knowledge in indigenous traditions and thus indigenous traditions may not be presented accurately on the media.
Disney animations are always suspected to impose cultural imperialism. The first approach to analyse is the market domination. According to some search, seven of the top ten selling videos in the world are Disney animations and Disney itself conglomerate with Time Warner AOL and become one of the largest media corporations that dominate the media, there is no room for other companies to compete with Disney, Disney’s dominance is secured through its selective application of technology and technique which other companies don’t have such a large financial aid to achieve.
Moreover, Disney’s animation product usually more favorable than indigenous products for example Macmug is not as popular as Mickey and there is very little presence for indigenous products in the global market, peer pressure is also an important reason of Disney domination. Even through Disney have competitors, all of them are American based and culture imperialism is strengthened by cross promotion of similar American products. Secondly, Disney is blamed for selling all-American fun, it is a symbol of ever-expanding capitalist Americanization.
Enormous popularity of American products pose a threat not only to a nation’s domestic industries but to its cultural traditions and Disney expected to promotes negative stereotypes pigeonhole individuals of race, for examples in Mulan(1998), the characters other than Mulan are ignoramus and blindly follows what the emperor said, promoting the messsage of againsting traditions are heroic but it surely not the truth but promoting American ways of thinking and American superiority instead and create a “spontaneous” consent based on American direction.
This is an example of strong cultures to take advantage of the weak destructing the diversity and homogenized forms of creativity by imposing American lifestyle on other countries. Disney construct “mutually reinforcing products” all management refer to the Disney mode of production but not in orginal local practices, even though the product is co-operated with people of different races, the preliminary designs of have been worked out by Walt Disney promoting the Disney own value but not the orginal cultural value from the story.
Disney anime are also accused of elimination of cultural diversity, Mulan story originally praise the filial piety of Fa Mulan, however it becomes a love story and only shows the heroic nature on the film which is an American interest, the underlying meaning from the myth is totally ignored. The appearance and even the process of thinking of character also changed by Disney in which it is much similar to the white Americans than their own race. It is dictated to the hard facts that have created by Americans with shadow of Orientalism.
Moreover, Western style internal decorations and atmosphere is promoted, decreasing the originality of different cultures for example the firework shows at the end of Mulan(1998) surely not original Chinese culture. Finally, cultures are not as hybrid as stated, traditional culture like Confusious ideas are not compatible and understandatable by the west easily, even they are understandable, some may completely contradict to the dominant western ideologies, as products are flow from the west to the rest, historical values will be eliminated by the western powers.
Although hybridization is the main trend, unique national cultures are still very important. To conclude, I believed that Disney animation is a kind of cultural imperialism, hybridization or glocalization cannot act as a solution, they only serve as tactics to lower the degree of influence but problem of cultural imperialism still exist though varies from place to place depends on other cultural factors.
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