In just passive consumers or observers, they too

In today’s contemporary world,
globalization has paved a way for distant countries to be inter-related and
connected through trade communication. Various media texts act as mediums for
cultural inflows and outflows within and between different societal boundaries.
Film is one such medium which is a mainstream and mass vehicle for
globalization because movies as well as the internet act as cultural representations
and symbolically speak volumes about specific locales existing in and shaped by
the globalized world. Such mediums bring people in the developing countries into
direct contact with the Western media products. This causes culture imperialism
‘which is a process by which one country dominates other countries
media consumption and thus consequently dominates their values and ideologies.’
It has been argued that this also causes ‘cultural homogenization’ which dangers
local cultures because they may be diluted or replaced by a single ‘standard’
culture as well as shared ideologies and values globally. Although, reception
theory tells us that the audiences are not just passive consumers or observers,
they too play a major role in giving meaning to these texts, critics still
argue that American values and ideologies are imposed on the rest of the world
through their media texts, especially Hollywood. This globalization and impact
of the Hollywood’s hegemonic appeal worldwide has played a major role in
developing western influences in Bollywood movie industry which is a multi-billion-dollar
industry and quite impactful in itself.

One such ideology
that has had a huge impact on the Hindi cinema industry and has also been
global ever since 1931 is the ‘American Dream1’ which
was a concept first introduced by a historian called James Truslow. He credited
the dream with having “lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores.” Although,
this dream of intergenerational mobility is shared by a huge percentage of
humanity regardless of their nationality, but it is called the American Dream
because when the post-cold war spending cuts left a vacuum, it was dominated by
America’s greatest cultural export to the world immediately i.e. the American commercial
entertainment which has successfully been an open ended inspiration for
millions who related it to their own dreams and hopes for a better life. In today’s
era, everywhere in the world US content is viewed on some kind of screen, may
it be a movie theatre or a TV or even a smartphone. And what appears on those
screens has the power to shape foreign opinion of the American dream and what
it stands for. Other major film producing countries also produced their
versions of the American dream. One such dream is often recurrently seen in the
Hindi cinema i.e. Bollywood where films are made on NRIs to represent the
‘Indian dream.’

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1 The
original dream is about prosperity: the classic saga of penniless strivers
working hard to lift their families into the middle class. An integral part of
this saga is continuity between generations—with parents sacrificing so their
children can succeed, and successful children never forgetting “where they came
from.”