Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Americanisation of Political Communication Practices

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Americanisation of Political Communication Practices

Article excerpt

Abstract

Globalisation, referring to an interconnectedness and interdependence across the world, creates a challenge for national states, localities and individuals. In the past, people used to define themselves with strong ties with political parties, trade unions, and churches. However, modernisation process decreased the importance of these institutions, and individualistic values became more important. As a result of that process, ties between people and political parties are weakened. Meanwhile, media played a very important role, and the mass media gained a centrality in the world. Moreover, technological developments changed the interaction between people, and "visibility" became important for politicians: The more visible politicans are on television, the more dominant they are. Therefore, these changes forced political parties to change their political discourse and new communication techniques emerged with "catch-all" parties. The U.S. was the first country, which used new techniques in political communication. Because of dissemination of information, these new techniques are globalised.

Key words: Modernisation; Americanisation; Centrality of Media; Political Communication

INTRODUCTION

Today as mass media gain more and more importance, political communication methods of parties get similar all over the world and that similarity increases day by day. Therefore, it is possible to talk about global homogenisation of media systems across the world which causes countries to get closer in their political communication practices despite of the great differences in their political systems. Hence, the term "Amecanisation" is used to explain these changes under "Globalisation" debates because we can see the influence of America on the common political communication practices. Those obvious changes have been argued for a long time and they are still a subject for recent debates.

Nowadays, different countries use the same themes in their election campaignings and for some scholars; it is an obvious sign of "Americanisation". However, "Globalisation" and its implications refer to a more complex interaction between countries. Therefore, this study aims at studying the implications of the terms "Globalisation" and "Americanisation" in detail, and in what terms they differ from each other.

To understand "Globalisation", we must know what it really means; therefore, in the first part, general definitions of the term "Globalisation" will be given to make it clearer. In addition to that, for many people the term "Americanisation" emerged as a problem because of its destructive influence on cultures rather than being a necessary process for democratisation that must be experineced by those cultures. Hence, it is of high importance to clarify meaning of "Americanisation". Since the main purpose in this paper is to examine the new political communication practices, especially in election campaigns, the term "Americanisation" will be analyzed in this context in the first part.

On the other hand, in social life, which also contains political life, every process creates some values in itself and leads to other processes. The terms "Globalisation" and "Americanisation" can be understood in a better way if they are viewed not just as a single and independent process but as a result of previous processes. That is, the cause and effect relationship between each political process must be taken into account to understand these terms. Therefore, in that case it is important to study modernisation process and its results closely. Moreover, technological developments affect our social lives and may trigger other social processes. Because ofthat reason, the focus of the second part is modernisation, centrality and expansion of the mass media.

A comparative and multi-dimensional study can provide us with a comprehensive explanation in understanding "Globalisation" / "Americanisation" process in communication practices. …

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