Essay on U.S. Influence on Latin Culture

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Since the beginning of the United States' intervention within the affairs of Latin American politics in the beginning of the twentieth century, and since the advent of a U.S. effort towards the "modernization" of Latin America, influences aimed at empowering communities and bringing about democratic movements among Latin American countries have been accompanied by various forms of exploitation and cultural decimation (Leonard, 1999). Efforts at modernization of Latin America have been carried out partly in opposition to the influence IberoCatholic culture (of Spain) which is reported to "deprive the Latin Americans of the essential tools for progress: a future vision, a work ethic, the importance of education, a reward for merit, a sense …show more content…

imposes (Mcanany, 1986). More recent and developed theories of the way in which cultural and economic manipulation are intertwined show that:

...the historical evolution of markets in different parts of Latin
America... reveal the complexity of the process and the extent to which the state actors served as social engineers [emphasis added] in creating and shaping them. Indeed, the historical record shows that markets were not just locations of exchange or price-setting institutions but "sites for different contests and conflicts over interests the complexity of which is not expressed adequately as 'economic.'"

Although the effects of United States economic influence upon Latin America can not be separated from the cultural effects, my task is to focus on specifically cultural effects. However, as it turns out, Latin America, and particularly Brazil (Reiss, 1999), has been very successful in protecting its media from the potentially destructive forces of U.S. and global influence by maintaining control within governmental and private domains (Stevenson, 1994: 34).

Music from the United States is also influential in Latin America. Cali, Columbia is reported - to some degree - to be a site of cultural identification with the phenomena and meaning of Rap music, and this serves as a positive example of U.S. influence. The significance embedded in this issue is very complex of course, involving the history of slavery, as well as current

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