British Consumers and the American Dream: A Study of American Media Production and British Consumption Trends Post 9/11.
History has repeatedly demonstrated that Europeans are habitual consumers of American products – Disney, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca Cola but to name a few. American iconography and ideology are deeply embedded in many such products; their meanings are disseminated across the world in Hollywood films and television first, and distributed as pure consumables thereafter. It is therefore unsurprising that Italian-American Dr Giovanna Dell’Orto would categorically state that regardless of what might happen, Europeans continue to buy into the American dream. Furthermore, according to Dell’Orto, the United States of America is the globalised modern world.
These particular points are important considerations in this research. Since Europeans seemingly ‘buy’ into the American dream through the consumption of such products, it then follows that consumerism should be the measure by which one refutes or substantiates such a claim. The media industry today constitutes a huge sector of the global economy, and because television is notoriously associated with the transmission of ideology (as is the American dream), then, the study of television consumption should prove particularly telling in this regard. Moreover, the medium of television is a British invention, and the United Kingdom shares a unique historical alliance and mutual kinship with America. British television viewers might then prove worthy of further study as a cross-sectional representation of the European population. This research will thus attempt to refute Dell’Orto’s claims by studying British consumption of American television production.
Semester 6 (January – May 2016) : Final Major Project.