9.6: Globalized Culture after 1900
💸 Consumer Culture
In the later half of the 20th century, consumer culture became popular in the context of a globalized world. In the United States, citizens experienced economic prosperity after recovering from World War II and the Great Depression. Many families earned three times as much as they did before WWII, and they were ready to spend it 🤑
Many economies became dependent on one another through trade. Media helped to facilitate advertising which, combined with the growing population of the middle class, both contributed to consumer culture. Commerce transcended borders and led to the creation of convenient consumerism. Companies like eBay, alibaba, and Amazon are examples of convenient online commerce. Global brands like Toyota and Coca-Cola facilitated the global economy and blurred the lines between borders.
📺 The Media
Political and social changes in the world change the way artists present and view themselves. Changes in the world also changed media consumerism. The spread of common wealth and access to technology gave rise to a shared cultural experience between borders. Western influence in music and movies spread across borders.
Similarly, music from different nations spread across the globe. For example, the genre of Reggae, originally from Jamaica, spread in the United States, Great Britain, and Africa. This came with the rise of the popular artist Bob Marley, who sold more than 75 million records at the height of his career. The Hindi film industry, Bollywood, became a globalized industry and produces the most movies out of any film industry each year. These films are viewed by non-Indian countries and bollywood actors have found popularity in Western media.
Social Media, the coined term for interactiveness via websites and social applications, undeniably led to cultures becoming connected through shared experiences online. To those who have access to it, social media creates a way for information to be shared instantaneously. In 2003, Facebook, an online social network, was launched and has since gained 2.8 billion active users per month. That's nearly half the world population participating each month!
🏆 Global Culture in Sports
Television and social media gave rise to sports being broadcast around the world. National teams were no longer secluded to a certain region—instead they were now on display for the globe to see. This led to heightened competition among countries and international sports competitions.
For example, the Olympic Games, an ancient Greek sporting event, became internationalized in 1924 in France when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was created to revitalize the Olympics. They created an international athletic competition to be held every four years. The Olympics was broadcast on television in 1936 during the Berlin Games. The five interlocked rings in the official symbol represent the interjoining of North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2016, the Olympic Games had 3.6 billion people watching. That’s almost half of the world’s population—talk about globalization!
This image is courtesy of the International Olympic Committee, and demonstrates the Olympic symbol.
The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer competition where teams from every nation compete for the title of World Cup. The World Cup started in 1919, but didn’t proclaim itself to be the highest footballing authority until 1928. The World Cup competition was organized outside of the Olympics and was the biggest soccer tournament in the world. By 1932, over 32 countries were a part of the World Cup. In 2010, 204 countries were in the qualifying round to participate in the competition.
This event is broadcast every four years on nearly every cable channel. Many soccer players like Neymar da Silva, Mia Hamm, and N’Golo Kante, to name a few, have become internationalized celebrities from their titles won in the FIFA World Cup.
The ease of transportation and exchanging of ideas on social media promoted new religious developments. These exchanges of ideas were displayed in music, art, and television; artists use their art as a form of self expression and a way to share their religious ideologies.
For example, in the 1970s George Harrison, former Beatles band member, went to India and was captivated by the Hare Krishna religion. Hare Krishana is a mystical sect of Hinduism based on traditional Hindu scriptures. Shortly after, the Beatles debuted their song called “Inner Light” which contains lyrics that pay ode to Hare Krishana beliefs. This affected American culture and planted the Hari Krishna movement in the United States.