Media & Communication Department

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frint Rachel Frint
Globalization of Media: The Effects of American Television in the Netherlands

When I began my journey abroad at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands I prepared myself to enter a whole new culture; however, what I noticed upon arrival was that the Netherlands was inundated with American influence, especially American television shows. The Dutch watched American news, sitcoms, dramas, and reality programming. This research project examines the globalization of American television shows. It aims to discover how these television shows, which are tailored to the uniqueness of American culture, gain enormous popularity in the Netherlands. Also, it looks at whether the Dutch interpret these shows differently than Americans. I first offer a historical and conceptual background surrounding the hegemony of American media in Western Europe and a review of literature on how American media has influenced the national identities of Western European countries. Also, I present a picture of the Dutch culture. Then, by using information I gathered through a survey from Dutch individuals, I present an argument that although the Dutch watch a high level of American television programming, they are able to differentiate between the media and reality. They realize, my surveys show, that the entertainment they are watching does not accurately reflect their culture nor does it precisely portray American life.