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The Specter of the Center or ‘Post-Americanization’ America

Danuta Fjellestad


Pages 407 - 418

open-access



This article revisits the perennial question of American influences on national cultures through a reading of a Swedish military recruitment commercial that pitches stock images associated with American popular culture against images meant to express ‘Swedishness.’ Structured by an array of enticing visual, logical, and ideological loops, the commercial constructs ‘America’ as a (benign) specter and turns it into a glocal phenomenon. At first sight a banal—if witty—specimen of Americanization, the commercial, I argue, ingeniously builds on the target audience’s familiarity with and shrewd recognition of American influences and, troubling the emotional charge conventionally ascribed to the processes of Americanization, posits a ‘post- Americanization’ America.

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