¿La Invasión de los Allanadores de Cultura?

El espectro de la ``americanización'' atemoriza al mundo. Sus consecuencias son satanizadas en todas partes, a veces llegando tan lejos como para utilizar la metáfora de un filme (¿necesito decir que es estadounidense?) de ciencia ficción titulado Invasion of the Body Snatchers (la invasión de los allanadores de cuerpos), en la que extraterrestres hostiles toman control de nuestros cuerpos y mentes sin que nos percatemos de ello. Pero la retórica hiperbólica sobre las invasiones no considera la complejidad del cambio cultural que está ocurriendo alrededor nuestro.

Ninguno de los partidos que participan en el debate sobre la ``americanización'' ofrece una explicación convincente del fenómeno. Los que argumentan que es una forma virulenta de ``imperialismo cultural'' al parecer lo ven como un producto de la creciente dominación de mercado de los intereses de los medios estadounidenses. Sni embargo, muchas corporaciones culturales gigantescas -la Sony propiedad de japoneses, la Seagram propiedad de canadienses, el imperio de Murdoch o la alemana Bertelsmann- ya no son estadounidenses, aunque promueven los modelos culturales estadounidenses.

Incluso si los medios fueran propiedad de los estadounidenses, es demasiado fácil decir que los consumidores de cultura en todo el mundo son sólo arcilla en las manos de habilidosos expertos de marketing. Tiene más sentido asumir que hay algunos elementos de la gratificación social, psíquica y estética que explican la resonancia de los modelos culturales estadounidenses y proveen su utilidad comercial.

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