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Ethnography Of Mcdonalds In Bradford Cultural Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 2848 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Globalization encompasses a range of social, political, and economic changes worldwide. Over the centuries global integration has seen a dramatic increase, world has become more interdependent as lots of unprecedented changes like in communication, transportations and computer technology has given rise to a new form of living and ethnic, cultural rights, traditions and languages are no longer deterring factors to enter in a far away nation and rising chance to integrate with different ethnic groups. In brief, Globalization is the increase in the interdependence, connectivity and integration on a global level linking with the social, cultural, political, technological, economic and ecological levels.

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Globalization not only strengthened the nexus by demolishing walls that has separated us long time back and has controlled our natural identity of being fellow human beings with a better knowledge of each other’s need. Globalization works as a force of nature, a phenomenon without bounds or alternatives. Citizens’ both ordinary and elite people from global can work together to shape best alternate futures and a new can be build with cooperation, solidarity and respect for our common planetary environment. The inferiors are getting opportunities to exhibit in the global market.

The trueness of the impacts of globalization is not just limited to changes in the political and the economical aspects of a territory but it has broader effects on the life like on the social, psychological and the culture, changing the prior ways of thinking and reaction of individuals. It is clearly visible by experiences that people don’t change abruptly, the change process is slow but at end it does happen. Globalization resembles the Iceberg theory wherein what we say and do are at the tip and what we believe and think remains at the base. Manifestation at the tip is conspicuous but base in not visible.

Globalization being violent in an attempt to preserve cultural heritage, risk of diseases being transported unintentionally between nations, Spread of a materialistic lifestyle and attitude that sees consumption as the path to prosperity, International bodies like the World Trade Organization infringe on national and individual sovereignty, Increase civil war chances within developing countries and open war between developing countries as they vie for resources, decrease in environmental integrity as polluting corporations take advantage of weak regulatory rules in developing countries. The present financial crunches that give rise to uncertain thoughts as both opponents and proponents are unclear to decisions and the future objectives of term globalization, this global meltdown frightened citizens and firms and them to stay within the country boundaries as the prices payable for every product and services are as high as skyscrapers

The growing Multinational companies and aviation industry of world is a perfect example of global integration. Manufacturers and service provider have sought the foreign market as a place of gaining profit while learning, expanding their existing businesses. Easiness in transportation of goods, services and people leading benefits to market and social, low level of war possibilities, increase in free trade, propagation of democratic ideals, cultural barriers reduces with increase in flexibility of cross border operations, more flow of trans-border data using internet, telephone networks, communication satellites, multiculturalism spreads resulted from international integration.

Globalization not only a profitable scenario for businesses but also for the ordinary population by staging opportunities to meet ethnically contrast peoples under one ceiling and a plot for cross-cultural contacts ,exchange ideas, visions, traditional and cultural values, enhancement in worldwide fads and pop culture. There is increment in the employment rate and low poverty as the liquidity of capital increases developed countries spend hugely in developing countries creating jobs, increase awareness of education reciprocating in a high level of literacy ratio, thus helping whole nation to develop with higher standards of living. But in return decrease demand of skilled and non skilled work force in developed countries as firms chosen one is developing countries due to its cheapest labour cost nature.

The significant de-localization happening since face-to-face interaction is no more the order of the days; however the travel is not a problem as it has become easier to reach even an unknown map of the world. Take example of an American trying to sort out his laptop issue with an Indian who is not a direct employee of the service provider, Sony bringing mp3 players in the global market taking world by storm overnight providing music freaks a device to be used anytime anywhere available even to local market at cheapest rate, attracting competitors to innovate, eventually benefits global customers.

Summary: In this paper I am concentrating around the term globalization and by adoption of ethnographic approach I am trying to illustrate presence of globalization in human society. I am centralizing McDonalds by exploring the contrasting nature of people’s behaviour, their acts and the integration of diverse culture at the global restaurant. The internal and external environment with focus towards what they do and with changes in certain parameters people attitude alter. With the study I will suggest and maintain a link on the fundaments that globalized world can lead to a UN differentiable culture and behaviour.

Ethnography: The snow fall could not stop people visiting world’s top fast food chain restaurant. The big parking slots provided on back side was completely full. At the entry gate courtyard there were 4 girls, 7 boys in three groups aged around 20 years all British nationals, 3 girls and 2 boys were smoking among them were either to enter or coming out of McDonald’s.

Slow English songs being played, the walls were in blackish orange with white straps. Boundaries were totally crystalloid, giving a transparent view. Thirteen 4 and four 2 sitter tables, a long 10 sitter marble made wall type table. Thirteen servers: six girls- 2 Indian, 1 African, 2 British and 1 Chinese, seven boys- 1 Indian, 3 Arabian and 2 French and 2 British all aged around 25. Staffs in black dress were busy in taking orders and other two male workers having the cleaning part. A young Male manager in black pant and white shirt with tie was monitoring all and necessarily on need serving as of heavy rush.

Getting Inn witnessed a queue at counter maintained at 6-7 people throughout as in and out of peoples happened. I sat at this restaurant and found Diversity of culture, two African families with three children each, concentrated on eating: three couples 1 British pair but within few minutes of entry the girl got angry and ran out whereas the boy started chasing her as they went outside started scolding on each other, 1 Indian (went outside and returned after a puff) while girl talking on phone telling saying she is at McDonald’s and will arrive shortly, pair (British girl with African boy) exchanging thoughts on tradition: all couple aged around 27, two Indian families with 2 and 1 children, 1 Arab family in their traditional dress with three children. A 6 member girls group from different cultures 3 from India and Pakistan, 1 British, 2 African, all aged around 21 years were talking about Indian movies and foods. One Chinese couple of 23 years with course books discussing on studies. A parent: British girl and Pakistani or Indian Boy of 28 years having 2 sons and 2 daughters of fewer than 5 years, parents were helping kids in reading cartoon book while having food. Group of 3 Brazilian girls around 25 years came, did not find place so left. A British parent around 45 years old with one daughter of 14 years, the daughter looked mentally disturbed as she was singing songs and behaving little abnormally waving to everyone whereas the parents were talking to each other about her mental condition and to go to an American doctor for remedy of her ailment. A 3 people group, a boy, 2 girls from different demographic arenas of young age were first sharing opinions on world climate then started prank on each other.

Almost every kid, teenager and adult were having same aged food stuff seems like they all were a frequent visitor of this place and have the precise menu knowledge.

McDonalds is certainly a globalized institution with operations in more than 119 countries and territory serving over 35 million customers a day and employing around 1.5 million people worldwide. The sociologist George Ritzer even referred as the homogenization theory after the giant food chain supplier The Mcdonaldization of the society. McDonalds has become a common voice that represents world-wide communication, people from different corners of world come under one shelter expressing their views, a place to meet new people. With the connection with different ethnic cultural people anyone can represent their own culture and traditions independently. Globalization appears rapid developing and ever-stocking network of interconnections and interdependencies that characterise modern social life style. The flow of capital, people, culture, technology, information and ideas across international boundaries is spreading its roots.

Food is the one of the oldest and important global carrier of culture. Any changes in the foods that we eat, in its preparation, the way it is served and consumed diminishes the traditional beliefs of the people. The spread of mc world look likes the spread of diversity, Globalization cuts across all religious traditions, people around the world especially living in fundamentalist Islamic cultures, in fundamentalist Judaic cultures, in fundamentalist Hindu cultures were once known as the conservationist peoples giving values only to their own traditions and culture rejecting the other values to blow even around them, now with globalization assimilated together enjoying the commonly found worldwide food in diverse company of cultures.

The existence of restaurants could also be attributed to the fact that there were travellers, form of globalization. McDonald’s is a global brand and people want to sit down to have a slow light meal, be it in the county, country or virtually anywhere in the world, the opportunities to do that, ability to afford it and have the leisure time and ability to afford the travel to get to the slow restaurant are all greater than ever before. McDonald’s rises a more liberalized prospective on the sort of food people use to eat and their commonly shared food knowledge with respect to the McDonald’s food menu, different age group from diverse nature posses the same informatics on food and the place where it can be available.

The general prospective would be as there is a movement away from a family oriented dining to individual dining. As western culture mainly focuses on eating as a necessity and towards fast food other cultures view dining as a social experience with religion playing an important role in its practice, they value group orientation and conformity to facilitate harmony among families whereas western culture roams around individualism and independence from each other. At McDonald’s where world meets act as a central point in the integration and appreciation of diverse cultures with understanding the need of individuals religious ideologies, different aged groups peoples in families, pairs, singles from different varsities enjoy foreign affiliation as if they are surrounded by their own ethnic group. With the changes in technology and communication the advent of fast food globalized arena accelerated culture changes and McDonalds evolutionary menu providing new choices over the traditional past foods marks a remarkable step, some embraced the changes with adoption of certain traditional elements while other left the air blow around them without creating changes individually.

Culture is comprised of the symbols, values, rituals, and traditions of the people living in an all regions and Language, food, and family traditions are all ingredients of those cultures. Globalization of McDonald’s has been attracting the attention of these disciplines as consensus plausibly suggested; that a culture is no longer a discrete world as it has been transformed to accord with a world of ruptured boundaries, with resisting factors such as language barriers but now as a world with a universal language and literature has emerges out it no longer deterrent pillar of communication.

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Human behaviour are influenced by culture, attitudes, emotions, ethics, persuasion, coercion and rapport. At McDonald’s people behaviour in and outside can be linked with changes in peoples act in public and how they behave within their own home is also commonly associated with values and standards of their respective nation. McDonalds has escalated the expansion of thoughts, exchange of culture. Everybody seemed to have ‘know how’ to do, the perfect knowledge of what and how’s of the rules of that place where engraved in consumers and servers mind. A person’s role is the way they are expected to behave in their society – they have a particular position in society, it is obvious of what and how people expect a police man to behave with adoption to different circumstances. Likely, McDonald’s is associated with that environment where individual beings change their characteristics and habits.

Different country and people have different views, one can only consider their own culture irrespective to what linkage it has with the other existing cultures, therefore for those secular minds Globalized culture sometime has destroyed quiet equilibrium of isolated culture. Like every coin has two faces globalization has also its positives and negatives, but the bottom line is this people should take the positives and globalization is the most effective driver that creates and reinforces cultural identity.

Conclusions: I am therefore; conclude the paper with the development of result drawn from the above discussion and findings. McDonald’s where People tend to react differently with a sudden change in the environmental factor, leading evidently to the human behaviour to act specifically according to the need of the moment. The culture value has been the differential aspect but with the growth of global integration the world has adopted more or less to ‘a worldwide culture’, which reflects a liberal meaning ‘live together’. The question that may rise is on the sustainability of this newly born culture, is it unified evenly to every corner of the world? The English language unification and the easiness to access the world knowledge has made easier to communicate and knowhow of the global anticipations. Differentiable characteristics is suddenly eroded by the common meeting point, food was the first to get globalized as of similarities in the food appetite worldwide and with the presence of McDonald’s the acquainted people avail the opportunity to familiarize with the ways of serving, preparation, varieties and the excitement of finding ourselves surrounded by different culture is a lifelong experience. The presence of different ethnic group at one place could be linked with the diverse nature of the country’s population. A fall in barricades has changed people’s perception and increased Prefer ability of international travel resulted in diversified societal presence. Outcome could be praised as ‘the lesser the obstacle the easier and enjoying would be the walk’. Globalization has created a homogenous environment to live in, somewhat like a common home where the entire human understands each other’s need while fulfilling their own desires which is achieved by little behaviour adjustments. ‘Desire’ is an acronym of both the cultural and individual needs.






Paul Feine, McBastards: McDonald’s & Globalization

John Tomlinson 2006, Globalization and Culture

Cato Policy Report May/June 2003, Policy forum, globilization and culture.

John Tomlinson, Globalization and Cultural Identity, Chapter 23, page 269-277

Dr. Vasiliki Karavakou, globalization 2005, HEGEL ON CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION

Romain Pison, Globalization and culture, or how globalization reinforces local identity


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