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The Growing Influence of English Mass Culture

This article considers the influence of English mass culture on Estonia. How these issues affect Estonia, a small Baltic country, leads to a discourse on our cultural identity, and to a specific look at the effects of American mass culture.

In any discussion of English (or “Western”) ideas of culture and consumerism in young peoples’ eyes, we need to focus on several issues: computer software as a carrier of Western culture and the connection between – and universal language of – Hollywood and American mass culture. It is my contention that computer software design is deeply influenced by American and Western culture, and therefore reflects its values and priorities. These very same values are “downloaded” into cultures all around the world, embodied in the Microsoft Office suite.

I believe that a language is an integral part of culture, and vice versa, so one cannot separate them without some clear effects. Language expresses, embodies, and symbolizes cultural reality: people view their language as a symbol of their social identity, and this is an especially poignant point for a country like Estonia, force-fed a diet of Russian language and culture for so many years. It is interesting how Estonians identify with their language and its uniqueness, and why we often fret about the loss of our cultural identity We crave and loathe the same things at the same time: Wanting to be more “Western” in our lifestyles, while retaining our “Estonian” character in our languages and attitudes. Estonia is greatly influenced by English mass culture and it is definitely the youth of today who are being exploited by it. We drink Coca Cola, wear blue jeans, watch Hollywood movies, listen

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