Come on Down? Popular Media Culture in Post-War Britain

By Dominic Strinati; Stephen Wagg | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 2

The taste of America

Americanization and popular culture in Britain

Dominic Strinati


IS THIS THE 51st STATE?

America is the only place you can do as you like in.

(Anonymous traveller on the ‘tube’ or ‘subway’, London, 1943)

The Yanks colonized our subconscious.

(Wim Wenders) 1

Consume any particular item of popular culture and you may well be ‘Americanized’. There won’t be any warning on the product and few people will be able to give you any information about the symptoms. None the less, if you listen to certain albums, watch certain videos, films and TV programmes, eat your dinner in a fast food chain, follow American football and baseball, read certain examples of mass fiction, or even take in news from abroad, try to complete a crossword, wear a particular type of jeans as well as other items of clothing, then in some people’s eyes you will have come under the influence of American culture and the massive commercial industries behind it. The signs are, it is asserted, self-evident. But do you know this is happening to you and should it matter? Has Britain become the 51st state of the USA?

To evoke in this way the spirit and the journeys of Walter Benjamin’s flâneur may strike an anachronistic and discordant note for travellers in the late twentieth century (Benjamin 1978:156 and 1979:12). For many there may well be better and more engrossing ways to cross the countries of modern culture, ways better suited to the terrain and more likely to illuminate it. Yet it remains one of the most positive ways to begin to encounter such a pervasive but elusive phenomenon like Americanization—its

-46-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Come on Down? Popular Media Culture in Post-War Britain
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 394

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?