A short note on Americanization from an Irish point of view:

I appreciate Michalak's point that many people are mourning the actual change of culture more than the specific americanization of it, but it is also important to remember that while cultures do change, one must retain some form of individual culture specific to one's nation. The problem with americanization as we see it here is not that it is changing our culture alone, but that it is smothering the culture of a large part of the world, from Hollywood movies and Friends changing our conception of how to socially interact, to American megacorporations influencing tastes and economies (and in the case of fast-food giants like McDonald's and Coca-Cola, the diets and health of entire continents).
People who oppose americanization and globalisation are usually opposed to this unification of cultures, and the subsequent loss of national identity, rather than the effect it is having on their country alone.

Conversely, Americanization can be seen as a beneficial change; for example the recent/on-going 'liberation' of Iraq (I am not here to argue for or against this war, it is said and done and a convenient example so I shall reference it). Were it not for the power of Americanization, Iraq would still be in the hands of Saddam Hussein, and so it can be argued that the subsequent introduction of democracy to Iraq was a benifical cultural change.
There are also many people throughout the world who welcome americanization, finding it an exciting prospect to have a cultural change in their own 'back-yard', and who enjoy the products that the corporations bring them.

Americanization, given the power and influence of America in the present day, is an unavoidable fact of life. Television, shopping centres/malls and politics are streaming into our homes and affecting our personal lives on a constant basis, slowly influencing cultures all over the world, for better or worse.

Go about your daily business, and if you are against americanization; don't buy coke.