Easternization and Westernization as Simulacra

In sociology, the term simulacrum is used to refer to copies without original, crudely put. Here I want to stipulate that Westernization and Easternization would probably fit this definition, too. Westernization is not simply turning to a more Western lifestyle, but actually a trend towards (or aspiration of) the image of what the West is perceived to be (this image could be described as a geographical imagination in that the perception is selective in terms of what aspects of Western culture and lifestyle are picked up, and the meaning given to these aspects). The same is also the case for trends of Easternization, like open-plan living, Japanese-style beds, or relaxation techniques. By extension, we should not be afraid of Americanization — the allegation that places become more American: its some aspects of what we (stereotypically) associate with being American, and quite different processes may be at play as to why they become more commonplace. Good luck to anyone trying to model this!

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