by Chika Yamamoto
Nowadays you see western culture everywhere in Japan. If you turn on TV, there are very gorgeous actors and actresses in many advertisements. If you watch western movies or dramas, you see their rich style of living like having gorgeous dinner and going abroad for vacation and people wearing very elegant clothes. The same things happen in other non-western countries, too. Having a huge influence of western culture makes our culture and idea change little by little. It somehow differentiates us from western people and our way of living from their way of living. By watching those affluent lives and people, people in non-western countries start to wish to have their lifestyle someday. It becomes very ideal and utopia for those people to have the western way of lifestyle that is seen in movies and magazines. People tend to have such a very attractive image especially for America besides the concept of American dream. These people dream of having such a great lifestyle if they can go to America. That is because the images shown in magazines and movies are so strong that they can easily believe in them. It gives them very narrow view, which they just look at the only positive image of America not any negative sides. Those huge influences of cultural globalization have some issues for people who believe in the dream.
The problem caused by this culture image is linked to immigration issue in some ways. When people in developing countries see very rich culture such as American gorgeous culture often on screen or TV, they notice how different their way of living is. Because western culture is very different from their lifestyle, they somehow compare their current lifestyle to western lifestyle and think it is inferior to western lifestyle. It starts to change the idea into dream that if they can move to America, they might have chance to have such a lifestyle. It is not only because of cultural globalization but also American dream, too. These people assume that there are opportunities to make their life better like what they see in magazines and on TV by making efforts there. That goes with some of the reasons of immigrants in America. Those immigrants work super hard and keep waiting patiently for time when they can have better life relying on the dream they have from cultural image. However, even though there is a concept of American dream, almost all of immigrants can never be promoted and have such a lifestyle they have dreamed of. It is very rare for immigrants to be half top of American society regardless of their efforts. For me the cultural image and a little bit of American dream seem to just provide them motivation to work hard in the very unfair system of society. The result is either quitting their jobs and dreams of having rich lifestyle or keep working harder and harder so that they can have better lives. It is far different from what they dream of when they decide to immigrate. The gap between the dream from cultural image and the reality is biggest factor for this.
The influence of cultural globalization is still strong today. Especially nice image of western culture gives us so many feelings and ideas in non-western countries. But I think it is very important not to look at just bright side image seen on magazines and TVs but to see other side of the culture and country. Also, looking at other culture makes you realize the significance of your culture, too. I am not saying that globalization of culture is not preferable. I believe that looking at the world not only with a frame provided in cultural globalization but also with a frame that is different side of the image frame is very important in globalized world today.