4 - Globalization, Culture, and Identities in Crisis  pp. 95-124

Globalization, Culture, and Identities in Crisis

By Robert J. Lieber

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[America-hating] has become too useful a smokescreen for Muslim nations' many defects – their corruption, their incompetence, their oppression of their citizens, their economic, scientific and cultural stagnation. America-hating has become a badge of identity, making possible a chest-beating, flag-burning rhetoric of word and deed that makes men feel good. It contains a strong streak of hypocrisy, hating most of what it desires most, and elements of self-loathing. (“We hate America because it has made of itself what we cannot make of ourselves.”) What America is accused of – closed-mindedness, stereotyping, ignorance – is also what its accusers would see if they looked into a mirror.

– Salman Rushdie

Resistance to the hegemonic pretense of hamburgers is, above all, a cultural imperative.

Le Monde

We know our lives are linked more than ever to an international presence, and if you can't speak English, you can't sell and you can't learn.

– Sergio Bitar, Chilean Minister of Education

The American era conjures up images of military might and political power, but from abroad the most immediate and pervasive point of contact with the United States is often at the intersection of globalization and culture. While globalization and culture both stem from multiple sources, and much of what is commonly described as “Americanization” incorporates significant foreign influences, nonetheless the end product has come to be closely identified with the United States.