Culture in definition is the customs, ideas or the social behavior of a particular people or society.

Name: Abdulaziz Almansour
Professor/Instructor: Sammi Kerner
Course: ES 206
Date: 2018
Dominance of American Culture over Asian Culture
Culture in definition is the customs, ideas or the social behavior of a particular people or society. It can encompass what is worn, how it is worn, religion, marriage, music, what is believed to be right or wrong and so many other things. In the Asian American movies, culture of the Americans dominated with Asian people being forced to adapt to the American culture for them to survive different circumstances. The purpose of this research will therefore be, to explore different movies and try to prove how this dominance occurred using different scenes in the movies. Three movies will be used to explore how the American culture has dominated the Asian culture and what the Asians have done to adjust and survive amidst the American culture. This research will also seek to know how the Americans have tried to protect and sell their culture to the Asians. The Asian American women have been seen to play a very vital role especially through marriage. Asian men have been assimilated by the American women through marriage.
In the three movies: The Big Sick, The Namesake, The Last Samurai, cultural dominance of the American over the Asian culture has been seen in various scenes. The Big sick is an American film directed by Michael Showalter and written by Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani on their real-life romance. The Namesake is an Indian-American film directed by Mira Nair and written by Sooni Taraporevala based on the novel “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri. It talks about a young couple who have arranged for marriage and later relocate to New York. The Last Samurai is an American war film wrote by Edward Zwick. It is about an American military hired to train Japan’s first army in the modern warfare in preparation for western policies. In the big sick the “White love” culture has dominated and Kumail Nanjiani is ready to abandon the Pakistan culture because of the white girl Emily Gardner (Paula 73). Nanjiani is seen to be dominated by this white love when he says Emily is like the most likable person in the world. White love is empirically seen because Emily is seen all over the movie as the starring character. Frantz Fanon in his book “Black Skin White Masks” says, “One marries White culture, White beauty and White Whiteness”. The Parents of Kumail have proposed several Pakistan ladies to Kumail but he has turned them down because of the love for Emily. White love in this movie is seen to be dominating and Kumail is even ready to risk his career by accepting to be assimilated to a different culture. Emily is seen to be willing to marry Kumail when she asks,” So, what does your mom think about you and me then? She doesn’t know about me, does she?”
In the Namesake movie Ashima a young girl who relocates to America with Ashoke her husband, is forced to transition to the individualistic culture in America. Most of the Indians in this film have had to compromise their culture for the sake of seeking success in America. In the book “Boarding seasons” by Child.B. J, Indian culture is very sensitive to children and it takes time to name them and set them to go to school. Child says, that adapting to the American culture has therefore help the Indians to take their children to school on time. American culture dominance is seen even when Ashima gives birth to Gogol and she has to name him in the hospital as opposed to the Indian culture where the child is named when he or she is six years (Vanity 13). In the last Samurai movie Captain Nathan Algren, a cynical veteran of the American civil war is hired to train the peasant conscripts on how to use firearms. Here America is trying to integrate its modern methods of fighting to japan who through traditionalist Samurai reject these western policies and refuse firearms. After a series of war, the Japanese Samurai gives into the modern culture and they give America the rights to sell the firearms to the Japanese government (Kyung-Gun 29). One of the Samurai refuses to talk to Algren and he says, “I know why you don’t talk. Because you’re angry. You’re angry because they make you wear a dress.” Here, America has compelled the Samurai to put on a dress as a modern culture. These movies among many other are therefore a clear picture of how the American culture and way of doing things has been dominant in the Asian American films.
The research will require both empirical and data that is based on opinions and beliefs through watching these films and seeking opinions from relevant groups of people. Accordingly, pragmatic approach can be employed in this research which operates on the premises that results are more important than the means to achieve them. It employs both qualitative and quantitative data to achieve the required objective. Qualitative data will be essential in this study because it will explain the underlying phenomena resulting from opinions, emotions and facts which will provide an in-depth understanding of this topic. Purposive sampling will be employed to select the most informed heavy movies and individuals in the Asian or American countries. Though, random sampling is preferred because it eliminates potential for bias, this research needs respondents who are aware of the American culture and the Asian culture and have also watched these movies. Three movies will be selected using the snowball approach. This means that using one movie to identify each other as a potential for American culture dominance. The movies will be watched and summarized to identify various areas where the American culture has dominated the Asian culture.

Research Findings
This research was based on the dominance of the American culture over the Asian culture in the Asian American films. The research covered three movies: The Big Sick, The Namesake and The Last Samurai all having an Asian American affiliation. Each of the movies have depicted various instances where the American culture seemed to dominate the Asian culture in different ways. Culture of both the Asians and the American has been covered in both the movies and the dominance in one of the cultures has depicted. In the big sick movie, Kumail who is a citizen of Pakistan lives in the U.S with his family and later meets with Emily, a white lady and they fall in love (Paula 73). Though Kumail’s parents have suggested different Pakistan ladies for him, he has turned them down and he is ready to abandon the Pakistan culture to remain with Emily. White love has dominated and it seems as the only means through which one is accepted into the American culture. When Kumail met her Cousin Naveed he said,” I have to tell you something. Here we go. Yes. I’ve, I’ve been dating this girl. She’s white.” Naveed is shocked and requests Kumail to stop because the people of his culture will disown him but Kumail is dominated with Emily’s love and cannot escape. Kumail has gone ahead to choose comedy and love over his family and this is also a clear indicator of how the American culture has outdone the Pakistan culture. Emily’s parents have accepted Kumail into their culture and he is seen dining together with them.
Cultural dominance has also been portrayed in the namesake film to a large magnitude. Ashoke and Ashima who are spouses have just relocated to America which has a different culture from the Indian culture. Ashima has to transition to the lonely life of America especially when her husband intentionally travels to Vancouver so that she could learn how to be alone. The dressing culture of the Indians is different from the American dressing and this is seen when Ashima goes to the hospital to deliver and she is forced to adapt to the clothing she is given though she does not like the clothes. She also finds it difficult to laundry his husbands’ clothes because she is confused in between what her husband is supposed to wear and what the American culture dictates. The American system forced them to name their son Gogol before leaving the hospital as opposed to the Indian culture where a child is named at the age of six (Vanity 13). In this film, most of the South Asians struggle to consolidate their culture and the American culture but they found it difficult because the American culture has dominated their culture. This has led to the Indians having to compromise their culture for the sake of seeking success in the in the dominant America. The children of the Indians have been assimilated in the American culture and even accepted to join school at a tender age as compared to when they had to stay at home for long before joining school. With a lot of difficulty, Ashima is trying to maintain a delicate balance between sticking to their culture and blending into the American culture.
In the martial movie “The Last Samurai”, Captain Nathan Algren a veteran of the American civil war is hired to train peasant conscripts of japan on how to use firearms as the government plans to transition to the modern system of the westerners. The traditionalists Samurai of japan are seen to reject the western policies and refuses to be trained on the firearms but rather prefer to use their swords. Omura seeks the help of colonel Bagley to help conduct insurrection against the modernization campaign (Kyung-Gun 26). This is an indicator that though the Japanese samurai are not willing to be trained on the firearms they are aware that America is superior to them. American culture of caring is seen to dominate when Taka who is a widow to Hirotaro the late samurai, develops romantic feelings for Algren particularly because she notices the fatherly relationship Algren has to her children. When the surviving Samurai’s notices the impending sinister from the fresh imperial forces they resolve to a final fate charge but the imperial forces dominate. Later America is given the exclusive rights to sell firearms to Japanese government claiming that Japan must modernize. This is a clear indicator of how the American modern culture dominated the Japanese culture even in their own territory.
Culture is an important aspect of human life. It is the livelihood of a vibrant society because it helps people remember the past, imagine the future and even help people to see the world through other people’s eyes. Culture also helps people to build social capital which glues people together. Though the culture of a people should be respected, cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding should be embraced as well. Participating in culture can change people’s lives in many ways like providing Emotional and intellectual experiences. This is seen in the namesake film where Gogol has to gain intelligence and pursue architecture via the change into the American dominant culture. From the three films it is clear that the American culture has dominated over the Asian culture. This dominance is revealed where Kumail in “The Big Sick” movie is ready to risk his career and abandon his family for the dominating white love from Emily. This “white love” has dominated the minds of Pakistan men for they view it as the only way to achieve the American dream for themselves (Paula 73). The Americans are ready to accept them in their culture just as Emily’s parents accept Kumail to marry Emily and they are also seen dining together.
In “The Namesake “movie Ashima and Ashoke have been dominated by the American culture and they are forced to go against their culture of naming their son after six years instead, they name him before they leave the hospital (Vanity 13). The dominant culture of individualism in the namesake film has forced Ashima to adapt to it and learn to leave on her on and forget the communism way of life in her country. In “The Last Samurai” movie the modern culture of fighting using firearms has dominated the Japanese samurai and in the long run the Japanese emperor gives the exclusive rights to the Americans to sell firearms to the Japanese government. In the same film Taka who is a widow to a Japanese Samurai is dominated by the love from Algren after noticing the fatherly love of Algren to her children (Kyung-Gun 25). However, though Algren adapts to the culture of the Japanese and in the process learns Japanese, the American vision of modernizing the way of fighting using firearms still dominates the Japanese culture of using swords. The three cases have indicated that in the Asian American movies the American culture has always dominated over the Asian culture forcing the Asians to succumb to the Americans way of life.

Work Cited
Lim, Sam Kyung-Gun. “Themes of Western Superiority in the The Last Samurai.” (2007).
Logan, John, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz. The Last Samurai. Warner Home Video, 2004.
Mejia, Paula. “THE BIG SICK.” Film Comment 53.3 (2017): 73.
Fair, Vanity. “The Namesake.” (2010).
Child, B. J. (1998). Boarding school seasons: American Indian families, 1900-1940. U of Nebraska Press.