German Pop Culture: How American Is It? by Agnes C. Mueller

By Agnes C. Mueller

German Pop Culture sheds new gentle at the "Americanization" of German tradition throughout the latter a part of the 20 th century, with distinctive emphasis on post-Unification literature, tune, and movie. the USA and its iconography were instrumental in defining German political and aesthetic tradition, specifically for the reason that global conflict II, and such a lot lately within the aftermath of September eleven.

Surrounding this undeniable phenomena, questions of the position and position of a "popular" German tradition proceed to set off heated debate. Embraced through a few as a welcome skill to damage out of the German monocultural way of thinking, American-shaped "pop" tradition is rejected by way of others as "polluting" verified values, leveling worthy differentiation, and eventually being pushed by way of a capitalist shopper society instead of by means of ethical or aesthetic standards.

This collaborative quantity addresses a few fascinating questions: What do Germans envisage once they converse of the "Americanization" in their literature and tune? How do artists reply to state-of-the-art media tradition? What does this suggest for the present political size of German-American relatives? Can one communicate meaningfully of an "Americanized" German tradition? In addressing those and different questions, this paintings fills a spot in present scholarship via investigating German pop culture from a multidisciplinary, overseas perspective.

Contributors to this volume:
Winfried Fluck, Gerd Gemünden, Lutz Koepnick, Barbara Kosta, Sara Lennox, Thomas Meinecke, Uta Poiger, Matthias Politycki, Thomas Saunders, Eckhard Schumacher, Marc Silberman, Frank Trommler, Sabine von Dirke

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The realization was slow in coming; it was no longer possible to view this problem in terms of the contrast between high and mass culture and thus to reduce the cultural presence of America to its dominance of the mass market. Those who worked in the industry knew that true access to the international communications market could only be gained by renouncing cultural sovereignty. The 1980s became the crucial decade for a twofold readjustment of the rede‹ned and broadened concept of culture, which, in the 1960s, had been extricated from the dichotomies of high and mass cultures.

By 1989 the states of the European Community alone were pay- 44 German Pop Culture ing more than $1 billion in licensing fees to American television companies. 9 Unlike France, the Federal Republic of Germany did not play a prominent or of‹cial role in this con›ict. 10 Scholarly debates were still in›uenced by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s concept of the “culture industry,” but they rarely had access to the real workings of this industry, in which records, books, ‹lms, radio, television, the press, photography, reproduction of art and advertising, audiovisual products, and services were all competing with one another and were determined by international trends.

For reasons given in this essay, we may not even want to ‹ght against the Americanization of German culture. And since German popular culture is, despite the current increasing number of instances of successful selfassertion against the dominance of American companies, after all patterned after American models, it would be especially absurd to argue for non-American purity in this case. The questions that remain are how much we want of this type of culture and whether the increasing Americanization of German culture should also lead to an Americanstyle organization of culture.

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