Transactions, Transgressions, Transformation: American Culture in Western Europe and Japan

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9781571811073: Transactions, Transgressions, Transformation: American Culture in Western Europe and Japan
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American culture has been one of the most controversial exports of the United States: greeted with enthusiasm by some, with hostility by others. Yet, few societies escape its influence. However, not all changes should be interpreted simply as "Americanization." The shaping of the postwar world has been much more complex than this term implies as is shown in this volume that explores the links between Americanization and modernity in Western Europe and Japan. In considering the impact of products and images ranging from movies and music to fashion and architecture, a multi-disciplinary group of contributors asks how American culture has been employed internationally in the articulation of postwar identities - be they national or subnational,socially sanctioned or socially transgressive. Their essays on France, Italy, Germany and Japan move beyond the simple paradigms of colonization and democratic modernization, yet retain a sensitivity to the asymmetries in the postwar power relationships between these countries and the United States. An extensive introduction historically locates changing interpretations of American influences abroad and suggests the problems and promises of "Americanization" as an analytical tool. Its comparative focus and interdisciplinary scope will appeal to a wide range of students and scholars of cold war and post-cold war history.

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About the Author:

Heide Fehrenbach is Professor of History at the University of Northern Illinois



Uta G. Poiger is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Review:

"... this anthologies offers important stimuli ... a comprehensive index and bibliography round off this successful volume."  · Historische Zeitschrift

"The book is a valuable contribution in terms of its critical stance on cultural hegemony and interpretation of influence flowing in directions other than unilaterally. Power gains new dimensions in these interpretations."  · Journal of Intercultural Studies

"... an excellent collection of essays that sets out to problematise the notion of 'Americanization' and, in so doing, advances many current debates about identity and culture ... The cope of perspectives, cultural forms, and national experiences represented under one cover is a great strength of this volume ... Through its empirical studies of the varying ways in which Americanization is conceptualized and negotiated, this volume renders the valuable service of moving beyond the assumption of the complexity of culture and identity to an examination of what underlies this assumption."  · Millenium

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