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Abstract

It was in the 1980s that Americanization became seen as a real cultural danger in Europe, especially in France and West Germany. While this resistance to American cultural influence has been well established in the existing scholarship, Spain’s reaction has remained far less clear. The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the Spanish response, especially in light of the French reaction. The main argument of this paper is that Spain may be somewhat of an exception to the European norm. Spaniards often welcomed American investment, business know-how, and cultural products with open arms. In these cases it appears that they were comfortably willing to accept American cultural products to serve their own ends, namely economic development, international prestige, and a feeling of full European integration. It is possible that a relatively secure sense of national identity contributed to this positive response as well. In other words, and in contrast to the French, Spaniards exhibited little fear of American cultural imperialism during this period. Based on evidence from both the press and academic literature, it appears as though Spain’s reaction to Americanization differed significantly from that of the rest of Western Europe, at least in the 1980s.

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