University of Minnesota, Center for Austrian Studies
In this paper I will not only try to analyze the impact of US-Cultural diplomacy in Germany and Austria during the Allied occupation after 1945, but I want to discuss the important political, social and economic role of this cultural transformation, a massive change achieved through the means of cultural penetration. In a wider context I want to substantiate the following thesis: the so-called Americanization of European culture was not a by-product of the political, military and economic successes of the United States in Cold War Europe but was actually at the center of that process. In a Europe that had been devastated, the USA became synonymous with modernity. By virtually representing the codes of modernity and material abundance, America signified the defeat of the old, the traditional, the small, the narrow--and the poor. To use semiotic terms: America became the sign of the new and the signifier of modernity.
The author is a Professor in the Department of History, University of Salzburg
American Cultural Diplomacy, the Cinema, and the Cold War in Central Europe.
University of Minnesota, Center for Austrian Studies.
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