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Issues in Americanisation and Culture

Edited by Jude Davies, Neil Campbell, George McKay

Paperback (Printed to Order)

Americanisation-the cultural, political and economic influence of the USA-has played an important role in the shaping of modern Europe. This has been the case from the 19th century, when new and old worlds were negotiating fundamental issues such as race and empire, to the 20th century, when mass media communications intensified and reconfigured the transatlantic relationship.

Developments since the Cold War, including the September 11th attacks and the second Gulf War, have made this process ever more globally complex, contested and relevant. This textbook offers students an interdisciplinary and theoretically informed understanding of the cultural processes of Americanisation.

Designed with classroom use in mind, it provides a number of different routes into the debates and problems surrounding the notion of Americanisation. The editors' introduction offers an accessible in-depth survey of the theoretical questions and is followed by two chapters which present responses to contemporary Americanisation.

Subsequent chapters are focused on specific case studies and are grouped in the following themed sections

  • Histories
  • Cultural Geographies
  • Popular Music
  • Literary Narratives
  • Mass Media
  • Visual and Material Culture

Each chapter includes teaching points addressed to students and a guide to further reading. The editors' conclusion considers the key contemporary question of Americanisation in relation to globalisation.

Key Features

  • The first student-friendly introduction to the Americanisation of European culture
  • Includes chapters on music, art, film and literature
  • Considers the cultural, political and economic of influence of the USA on Europe
  • Can be read as a linear narrative or used as a sourcebook from which key case studies can be selected for study


Introduction: Issues in Americanisation
The Editors
1. Americanization, McDonaldization and America
Professor George Ritzer and Mike Ryan, University of Maryland
2. Freedom, Anger and Global Power: Accusing Others
Professor Victor Seidler, Goldsmiths College, London
3. Jim Crow in Britain in the 1840s and the 1940s
Dr Alasdair Pettinger
4. The White Ship Titanic and the Transatlantic Imagination: Imperial, National and Racial Perspectives on the Disaster in Film and History
Dr Alan Rice, University of Central Lancashire
Cultural Geographies
5. The Transatlantic Seaside from the 1880s to the 1930s: Blackpool and Coney Island
Professor John Walton, University of Central Lancashire
6. Landscapes of Americanisation in Britain: Learning from the 1950s
Dr Neil Campbell, University of Derby
Popular Music
7. Americanisation and Popular Music in Britain
Professor Andrew Blake, King Alfred's University College
8. Sign of a Black Planet: Hip-Hop and Globalisation
Russell White, King Alfred's University College
Literary Narratives
9. The Disneyfication of the European Fairy Tale
Dr Jane Darcy, University of Central Lancashire
10. Transatlantic Literature as Critical Resistance to Americanisation
Dr Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson and Dr Will Kaufman, University of Central Lancashire
Mass Media
11. Global Media and Resonant Americanisation
Dr Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham
12. 9/11 Multiplied by 24/7: Some Reflections on the Teaching of 9/11
Dr Alasdair Spark, King Alfred's University College
Visual and Material Culture
13. National Icons, Social Fabrics: the Transatlantic Trajectories of the Quilt
Dr Janet Floyd, King's College, London
14. Portraying the Black Atlantic: Americanisation and the National Museum
Dr Carol Smith, King Alfred's University College
15. 'Biff! Bang! Pow!': The Transatlantic Pop Art Aesthetic, 1956-66
Dr Simon Philo (with Dr Neil Campbell), University of Derby
Conclusion: Globalisation, Americanisation and the 'New World Order'
The Editors.

About the Author

Jude Davies is a Principal Lecturer in American Studies and English at University College, Winchester. He is co-author of Gender, Ethnicity and Sexuality in Contemporary American Film (EUP, 1997) and author of Diana, A Cultural History (Palgrave, 2001).

Neil Campbell is Head of American Studies at the University of Derby. Author of The Cultures of the American New West (EUP, 2000) and co-author of American Cultural Studies (Routledge, 1997).

George McKay is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. He is author of Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance since the Sixties (Verso, 1996) and Glastonbury: A Very English Fair (Orion, 2000). He is editor of Yankee Go Home: Americanisation and Popular Culture (Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) and DiY Culture: Party and Protest in Nineties Britain (Verso, 1998). He also co-edits the journal Social Movement Studies.


Long before 9/11 and the Second Gulf War, American Studies was moving its focus from America to Americanisation. Both of those events now make that trend universal and irreversible. This book is immensely timely and has the opportunity to help redefine the discipline.
- Jim Hall, Falmouth College of Arts