For some countries, America’s popular culture is resistible

Tyler Cowen in the International Herald Tribune:

NusratfatehalikhanAn Indian Muslim might listen to religious Qawwali music to set himself apart from local Hindus, or a native of Calcutta might favor songs from Bengali cinema. The Indian music market is 96 percent domestic in origin, in part because India is such a large and multifaceted society. Omar Lizardo, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, explains this logic in his recent paper “Globalization and Culture: A Sociological Perspective.”

Today, economic growth is booming in countries where American popular culture does not dominate, namely India and China. Population growth is strong in many Islamic countries, which typically prefer local music and get their news from sources like the satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

The combination of these trends means that American entertainment, for largely economic reasons, will lose relative standing in the global marketplace. In fact, Western culture often creates its own rivals by bringing creative technologies like the recording studio or the printing press to foreign lands.

More here. [Photo shows legendary Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with his brother, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan.]

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