Observing European debates about EuroDisney, McDonald's, Hollywood films and television programs, and other vehicles of alleged 'Americanization,' one might imagine that Europe was in serious risk of losing its distinct cultural identity in the melting pot of American pop culture. The loaded charge of 'kitsch' is a central aspect of the debate, with Disney stories, for example, branded as simplified travesties of authentic European folk tales. But the relationship between European and American popular cultures is vastly more complex. Reciprocal and interactive, it is a relationship in which the European-American partnership (for example, in cinematic ventures) has become quite common. And again, artifacts which have a certain meaning and reception in America may have a completely different meaning and reception in Europe; in effect behaving as different artifacts altogether. And finally, as this book shows, American cultural influences have penetrated not only the popular realms of European television, fashions, fast food, and rock music, but also such domains as youth organizations, literature, UFO culture, and religious faith.
Sabrina P. Ramet is professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Gordana P. Crnkovic is associate professor of Slavic languages and literature at the University of Washington.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: Western Europe Chapter 3 Does Mickey Mouse threaten French Culture? The French Debate about EuroDisneyland Chapter 4 Culture vs. Commerce: Europe Strives to Keep Hollywood at Bay Chapter 5 Fear and Fascination: American Popular Culture in a Divided Germany, 1945-1968 Chapter 6 The Pendulum of Cultural Imperialism: Popular Music Interchanges between the United States and Britain, 1943-1967 Chapter 7 Coca-Cola Co. and the Olympic Movement-Global or American? Chapter 8 The Impact of the American Myth among Post-War Italian Intellectuals: Modernization, post-modernity, or homologation? Chapter 9 American Missionaries to Darkest Europe Part 10 Part II: Eastern Europe Chapter 11 Appropriation of the American Gangster Film and the Transition to Capitalism: Poland's Dogs and Russia's Brother Chapter 12 Two cheers for the red, white, and blue: Hungarian Assessments of American Popular Culture Chapter 13 Have a Nice Day: From the Balkan War to the American Dream, and the Things that Shape the Way We See Each Other Chapter 14 Shake, Rattle, and Self-Management: Making the Scene in Socialist Yugoslavia, and After Chapter 15 UFOs over Russia and Eastern Europe Chapter 16 Emigre-zation: Russian Artists and American Children's Picture Books Chapter 17 Afterword