Globalization is the process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Extreme views of this process stress the destruction of local cultures and the homogenization of life styles, caused by the spread of American and Japanese popular culture. This article reviews arguments for and against the cultural imperialism hypothesis, and concludes that globalization is in the eyes of the beholder. An anthropological approach to these issues hinges upon the distinction between form and content (or outward appearance versus internal meaning). Does the appearance of a McDonald's restaurant necessarily imply that local consumers are being Americanized? Many commentators, notably journalists and politicians, confuse form with content and do not look closely at the ways ordinary people incorporate global influences into their everyday lives. This article examines several cultural systems that are said to foster globalization: fast food, film, television, style, pop music, and the internet.