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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Americanization and Anti-Americanism

7th December 2010, 20:30, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary's College, Professor Roland Robertson (University of Aberdeen)

It is widely thought that America has vast influence and power all over the world. Partly because of this, there is a great deal of negative commentary on the USA. In this lecture I will oppose the militant proponents of the thesis of Americanization and I will argue that the impact of the USA on other countries is vastly exaggerated - and that much, but by no means all, of the actual impact has been beneficial.

The various ways in which anti-Americanism is manifested will be elaborated and subjected to scrutiny. One example of this is that many anti-American statements are uttered by politicians who see this as a way of enhancing their popularity. In addition, many academics, intellectuals and artists mock America but aim to become more famous by participating in and contributing to American cultural activities. My comments as a whole will be framed by the insistence that the USA is what is often called an immigrant nation, constituted by people "like us".

Professor (Emeritus) Roland Robertson is one of the world's pioneers in the study of globalisation and was until very recently Professor of Sociology and Global Society at the University of Aberdeen. He has published extensively in the sociology of globalization, culture, religion and sport. He is currently an IAS Fellow, hosted by St Mary's College and engaged with the Institute's annual theme on ‘Futures'. For further information please visit:

Contact for more information about this event.