Monday, April 21, 2008

Argentina: A Study of Cultural Proximity and US Cultural Imperialism in Media

This case study will focus on media in Argentina. It goes without saying that this is an incredibly broad topic- thus, I will specifically address the paradox of the Argentine government's desire to maintain cultural proximity and control through the exploitation of print media while allowing the ever-increasing culturally imperialistic influence of foreign investors and media to reign in technology and other forms of entertainment media. The recent surge in US and European influenced media is largely due to the economic crisis that occurred there in 2002.

I have chosen to study Argentina because I spent a semester studying abroad in Buenos Aires- the capital city- and became slightly obsessed with the culture and traditions that exist there.
To begin, I will brush up a bit on the main ideas of global media as they pertain to my study, and then I will begin to explain the current situation with the Argentine government. This will serve mainly as background and will only be helpful to place the audience in the right frame of mind.

Secondly, I will give examples of current media and technologies that are becoming increasingly popular in Argentina such as the mp3 Cellular Phone craze that has ignited as of recent. Also included is the notoriety of French film in Buenos Aires, where French films enjoy an unparalleled success outside of France.

Continuing, I will give examples of the Argentine government's attempts at maintaining cultural proximity, especially noting the Argentine media's usually harsh criticism of the government. I will show how the economic crisis of 2002 has allowed some foreign investment in media and how the government has opted to place a 30% cap on that investment. Furthermore, I will show how recent presidents have chosen to can political investigative journalism within the government through the use of threats or other means.

Lastly, I will give a brief example of Argentina's chief world export in media: the music of tango. The tango is considered the gem of Buenos Aires, and has enjoyed huge success in many regions of the world. The rise of Carlos Gardel, a ragingly popular tango musician, contributed to the success and preservation of tango.

No comments: