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Global Perspectives on the United StatesPro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between$
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Virginia R. Domínguez and Jane C. Desmond

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040832

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040832.001.0001

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Guillermo Ibarra on Amy Spellacy

Guillermo Ibarra on Amy Spellacy

(p.298) Second Look Guillermo Ibarra on Amy Spellacy
Global Perspectives on the United States
Virginia R. Domínguez, Jane C. Desmond
University of Illinois Press

This essay is a response to Amy Spellacy’s contribution in this book, Global Perspectives on the United States. While he largely concurs with Spellacy, Ibarra wonders about the persistence of Coca Cola as an iconic symbol of “America” in this period of ever-expanding global capitalism. He offers some hypotheses, too, about new ways that Coca Cola ads may be contributing to the current form of U.S. cultural hegemony. Highlighted among these is Ibarra’s idea that Coca Cola’s current messages focusing on diversity of national and ethnic groups may well work with their globalized market interests, and hence that they may display less marked racial and social differentiation than Spellacy found in the 1940s and 1950s ads. Ibarra argues that the contemporary images in Coca Cola ads are more visually egalitarian, but that seemingly successful individuals predominate, thereby imposing mainstream (middle class?) U.S. cultural values, nonetheless. The essay concludes that Coca Cola still functions as a cultural product available to everyone, epitomizing “America” and its values, and that it therefore materially contributes in profound ways to the rise of a new powerful U.S. around the planet.

Keywords:   Coca Cola, U.S. cultural hegemony, globalized market interests, diversity, cultural products, Panama, consumption, capitalism

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