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Gone are the days when the different parts of the world were distinct in terms of culture, governance and economy. Back in the day, the geographically secluded country of Australia had very little contact with the rest of the world in the Northern hemisphere. The advent of technology in the communication and transportation sector since the 20th century has slowly but surely transformed the world into a single global village, a process we fondly refer to as globalization. These technological advancements have connected the once forlorn country of the Aussies to the rest of the world. What is going on in one part of the world can be reflected in another part of the world within seconds, courtesy of the internet. The culture of every developed country in the current world is heavily influenced by globalization (Massey, 1991). What is trendy in one part of the world, for example, the fashion world spreads over the rest of the globe in no time. Social media sites like twitter, Facebook and Instagram make this possible. Although globalization has impacted every aspect of human life in Australia including the economy, finance, governance as well as the labor industry; the social effects of globalization, cannot be undermined (Maisuwong, 2012). This paper, therefore, examines the impact of the American entertainment industry on the Society of Australia from the upper half of the 20th century throughout the 21st century.

The subcontinent of Australia has realized immigration for the past 100 or so years, which has greatly improved the economy and the culture of this society (McDonalds and Kippens, 2000). This is more pronounced in some industries like the health care in which statistics show that one in six physicians in Australia were born overseas (McDonalds and Kippens, 2000). With the physical mobility of people into this country, plus the well-established communication technology via mobile and the internet, the ways of life of these incoming communities have been introduced and now the Aussies understand the other cultures of the world better than ever before (McDonalds and Kippens, 2000). The only downside to this is that people get exposed to the cultures that have access to the internet or those who can physically come to their country, but the culture of those communities without these two possibilities is still a mystery to most Australians. Another negative aspect of this is that only the well-established cultures, for example, the entertainment industry in the United States is greatly influencing Australian entertainment industry and other social aspects of the Australian society On the same note, the culture of the original inhabitants of the Australian land like the Aboriginals is fading away and might never be recovered (McDonalds and Kippens, 2000).

The US entertainment industry has been influencing the Australian social set up through music, movies, fashion and food since the 1950’s (Wiseman, 1998). The first half of the 50’s was dominated by pop and classic pop. Musicians like Johnny O’keefe, greatly influenced Australian music during this era with his great hit The Wild One topping the Australian music charts in the late 50’s making him the first Aussie to top the list (Cowen, 2001). Of course, his music and musicality were influenced by the Americans, which is the reason for his topping list. The introduction of the Rock genre into this country was established by the American-born Lee Gordon’s through his big show tours all over the country. These big show tours of his exposed Australia to many leading American rock’n’roll stars like Bill Halley and his band mates (Maisuwong, 2012). It also brought the Crickets and Jerry Lee to Australia. In the mid 50’s, the American rock musician Bill Haley released a hit song called Rock Around the Clock which was greatly celebrated and embraced by the Australian entertainment industry and brought with it other American acts including Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly (Cowen, 2001). During the upper half of the 20th century, the entertainment industry did not only influence the musical aspect, it also brought with it the ideals of fashion and especially in the feminine sector. It introduced the ideal beauty of a woman back in the day with a very thin waist, broad hips, and cone shaped bust (Maisuwong, 2012). With this introduction, the fashion industry boomed with the shops selling female clothing designed to augment the desired body image such as corsets, controllers, and nylon Slimmers. Between the 80’s and the 90’s, the American Country music became very popular among many Australians (Maisuwong, 2012). This music genre was trendy in this country for more than two decades. Country music introduced the cowboy culture among Aussies popularizing horse riding and the signature hat among the fans of country musicians. The most celebrated country musicians among the Aussies include Dolly Parton, Don Williams and Kenny Rodgers (Maisuwong, 2012).

The popularity of American music among the Aussies is further shown by the warm welcome the Beatles by about 1000 fans and 100 news reporters at the airport (Cowen, 2001). The 80’s was dominated by the pop music by the pop stars Madonna and Michael Jackson (Maisuwong, 2012). In the 2000’s as the pop music split into smaller subgenres, artists like Britney Spears, Beyonce, Shakira among others were highly celebrated in Australia and spurred the rise of local musicians surrounding these superstars (Cowen, 2001). Reggae music also had an impact on the Aussie music industry as a result of influence by musicians like Sean Paul and Elephant man (Cowen, 2001). In the current day and age, walking the streets of a major city in Australia, e.g. Melbourne and Sydney; it is commonplace to hear American music being played in clubs, pubs, shopping malls, etc. The hip-hop generation music which includes rapping is appreciated, especially among the youth. The influence is readily seen in the young upcoming musicians who are adopting it and producing music in line with hip hop especially the rapping. Back in the day, when pioneer rappers like Shakur were trending in the States, the appreciation of rap music was not apparent yet among the Aussies. This could be due to the racism stigma attached to rapping; However, this attitude took a complete turn with time and rap music became welcome among many Aussies than ever before. This could be attributed to the ever increasing number of black American rappers and other rappers who are non-black like the world’s number one rapper-Eminem. Secondly, the Australian nation is diverse with every race in the world which accentuates the once unpopular rap music to a trendy music genre among the many Australian youngsters all over the country (McDonalds and Kippens, 2000)


The Australian society has realized changes in all aspects since the immigration into the subcontinent over a century ago (McDonald and Kippen, 2000). The steady and ever increasing influence are seen the economic sector, governance, finance and the social sector. It is true that many cultures of the world each contributes to the current set up of the Australian society today after they converged at this country. Nonetheless, what trends in terms of fashion and music are determined by the most developed entertainment industries of the world. This, therefore, implies that it is not unexpected at all the Hollywood is the major denominator in determining the social trends in both music and fashion in Australia (Cowen, 2001). For instance, the way the youth dress in Australia is very similar to the youth in the America. The young men and male teenagers, for example, wear big tops, chains and sagged pants and studs. Among women and girls, the most popular brands in cloth lines are the ones popularized by Hollywood. Almost every city woman and girl in Australia understand L’Oreal beauty products, and what female clothing should be worn to conform to what is idealized as beautiful in our day and age (Wiseman, 1998). The typical skinny, mostly anorexic models depicted by Hollywood, readily affect the youth in Aussie and more and more young women are using even the unhealthiest methods to achieve this idealized body image (Maisuwong, 2012).


Cowen, T., 2001. Why Hollywood Rules the World, and Whether We Should Care. Minerva’s Owl Sources Of Creative Global Culture.

Massey, D. 1991, ‘A Global Sense of Place’, Marxism Today, Vol. 38 pp.24 -29

Wiseman, J. 1998, ‘Breaking the Spell,’ Global Nation?. (Chapter 2, Pp, 11-25). Cambridge University Press: Melbourne.

McDonald, P. and Kippen, R., 2000. Australia’s population in 2000: the way we are and the ways we might have been. People and Place8(3), p.10.

Maisuwong, W., 2012, January. The Promotion of American Culture through Hollywood Movies to the World. In International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology (Vol. 1, No. 4 (June-2012)). ESRSA Publications.