Americans Now: The Re-shaping of Power, Culture and Identity

By Mary Ellen Schiller.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the phenomenon of American power, culture and collective identity, and addresses the certain impact of evolving, global realities thereon.
Recent U.S. political events provide a useful lens through which to take both a backward and forward view of the phenomenon. The 2008 presidential election was characterized, both in the lead-up and the aftermath, as a moment of leadership transition more welcomed – and, to many, more necessary – than any other in presidential history. In fact, “Change we can believe in”, was more than the theme and slogan of Barack Obama’s successful campaign; it was, without doubt, an expression of the fervent hope of the American body politic.
Individually and collectively, Americans perceived themselves as beset by a set of painful circumstances - bewildering, fearsome and in acute need of remedy. Further, a sizable proportion of the populace connected the administration, and the person, of the outgoing 43rd U.S. president, George W. Bush, to fundamental responsibility for the broad range of negatives. To be sure, the present position and likely direction of the United States in the world’s economic and political arenas has been commented upon from a variety of angles, with ongoing economic realignments widely predicted to hasten the power shift that will leave the country defrocked of its global dominance mantle.
In embracing – and believing in – the change promised by the Obama campaign, Americans, it might reasonably be suggested, were failing to recognize the possibility that a more essential change was already underway, one that will involve a new self-perception, and way of life.

Keywords: Globalization, Cultural Identity, Power and Collective Perception

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp.57-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 644.734KB).

Dr. Mary Ellen Schiller

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Dr. Mary Ellen Harnett Schiller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level students in media studies, cross-cultural communication, and integrated marketing communications. Additionally, she has worked professionally in publishing, marketing and communications consulting. Her interests include: globalization; cross-cultural communication; media & society; and, complex social systems.


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