Cultural Analysis of Sustainability

            Sustainability is how biological systems endure and remain diverse and productive. It can be recognized by the “three E’s”, which consist of Environment, Economy, and Equality. Sustainability has become identified as a cultural challenge. In order to keep culture around, communities must stay around as well. If people continue to overlook the important factors of the world’s need for environmental care, then communities have the possibility of dying off- leaving you with no culture.

            “Sustainability is, for the moment, a word that gives voice to our present fears and uncertainties about whether we live in a world of scarcity or abundance, just as it augurs and upholds our hopes for thriving in a decidedly uncertain future.” (Yates, 2012). If a majority of the world is uncertain about what the future holds or in this case, what the future may not hold for us, then communities (as individuals and a whole) need to address this issue and re-evaluate the elements that make up each community as well as the attitudes, perspectives, and positions undertaken. Communities have to take initiative in defining their cultural means by incorporating environmental sustainability as a priority. One contribution makes all the difference when one person can become billions of people contributing.

            Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting and imposing a culture, usually of politically powerful nations over less potent societies. The United States takes advantage of the resources foreign lands provide us, which could result in the contribution of imposing a way of culture on that country. The U.S. is using a vast amount of resources worldwide at a very quick rate and this has already become an issue as an environmental crisis.

            I believe it can be argued that Nollywood has been influenced by the main idea of the cultural imperialism theory. I think this because they have been influenced by Western society, therefore creating a film industry that promotes actions and scenes similar to Western views. It may not be as crisp and fluent as Western societies, but the basics are clearly represented in Nigerian films. The sexually explicit displays provided in Nollywood films are certainly not a part of Nigerian culture heritage. This aspect could be looked at as an accumulation of Western culture from television.

            “It can be asserted that films are general instruments of globalized society expanding and sustaining the scope of cultural dominance and imperialism of the western world.” (Bello, 2012). As a result, these instruments provide the means of applying a way of customs within a culture. Researchers have proved that most films appeal to the emotions of its viewers and ultimately affect their worldview. Thus, if Nigerian societies accommodate Western cultures through television, they begin to create similar instances as well as encourage these views. Imperialism can create uneven development and informal forms of social control.

            “The idea of ‘eco-imperialism’ reflects the uncertain location of politics, the ambivalent role of states, and challenges assumptions in the mainstream study of world politics.” (Dyer, 2011). This explains that an imperialistic approach contributes to environmental circumstances within an ecosystem. Dyer continues to expand on the idea of eco-imperialism to still have value within analytical concepts, and should increase the awareness of imperialistic forms of environmental governance – those constraining participation in societal decision making, or that cause social and even ecological harm under the guide of environmental protection. (2012).

             In Nigerian society, teenagers’ behaviors are considerably influenced by Western films and can arguably be thought of as endorsing Western views. Cultural imperialism has many different forms and aspects to the ideas and beliefs that pertain to a particular culture. In order to understand the theory well, it must be evaluated within the component being assessed. Sustainability and imperialism carry out the notions of eco-imperialism and apply those concepts to a community or culture, providing the potential of those perceptions spreading throughout other world views.  





Bello, S.M. (2012). Western films and teenagers in Nigerian society: the questions of cultural promotion. Wilolud Journals, 18-26. doi: 10.5707/cjah.2012.

Blandy, D., & Fenn, J. (2012). Sustainability: Sustaining cities and community cultural  development. Studies in Art Education,53(4), 270-282. Retrieved from

Dyer, H. (2011). Eco-imperialism: Governance, resistance, hierarchy. Journal of International   Relations and Development, 14(2), 186-212. doi:

Yates, J. (2012).  “Abundance on trial: the cultural significance of ‘sustainability’.” The Hedgehog       Review 14.2: 8+. Academic OneFile. Retrieved from:


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