Contextual and cultural factors underlying Americanization
International Marketing Review
Fax 212.995.4855 Contextual and Cultural Factors Underlying Americanization Structured Abstract Category. Research Paper Purpose. American cultural influence is evident throughout the world to varying degrees. The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that influence the extent to which a particular country adopts elements of American culture. Factors related to information, ideas, technology, goods and capital as well as cultural proximity are used to explain the degree of Americanization
... a country exhibits. Design/Methodology/approach. A conceptual framework is developed that looks at culture, Americanization and the related construct of internationalization. The extent of consumption of products related to American culture in a sample of 23 OECD countries was examined. These included the number of McDonald's per capita, amount spent on US filmed entertainment, including television, and imports from the US. Findings. Cultural proximity to the US was found to be associated with a greater degree of Americanization as evidenced by more McDonald's per capita and greater consumption of filmed entertainment from the US. A country's openness to trade, as indicated by exports, foreign direct investment, and tourism, negatively influenced consumption of filmed entertainment. A country's progressiveness was weakly related to the number of McDonald's. None of the independent variables influenced imports from the US. Practical implications. The role of cultural proximity in fostering the adoption of products with cultural content suggests that it may be useful, along with other factors, in identifying attractive markets. Further, while this study focused on the spread of American culture, the fundamental process underlying the spread of other cultures should be similar. Originality/value of paper. The paper is unique in that it attempts to look analytically at surrogates of American influence in other countries, rather than rely on anecdotal accounts. It uses measures that may have broader applicability and lays the foundation for additional inquiries.