Food is an important part of any nation's cultural identity. In America, food culture has been dominated by fast food outlets for the last few decades, and in fast food, McDonald's is king. The restaurant's leadership is reflected in its earnings, recognizable prevalence, international expansion, and in the United States- growing waistlines of the population.
Our blog covers many aspects of the popular fast food chain but is united in the theme of globalization. From staples like the Big Mac to new innovations in specialty coffee to international and local critique, the restaurant exudes global market. McDonald's is an integral aspect of American pop culture that is successfully bringing America to the rest of the world.
Our blog has six pages to navigate, each with its own primary source and explanation:
1. A History of McDonald's: a quick look at the company's beginnings up to today's global expansion.
2. The Big Mac: the restaurant's staple menu item in the U.S. and around the globe.
3. Specialty Coffee: competing with Starbucks for the coffee consumer market.
4. Critical Response to McDonald's: The world fights back against the intrusion of American fast food and the U.S. joins the battle.
5. McDonald's Response: The company addresses health critiques and develops a healthy image.
Globalization: A more in-depth look at McDonald's globalization.
Then return to the home page to view the main primary sources in context of your new-found knowledge and to think about the discussion questions for the in-class presentation.
1. Referencing the 2009 Big Mac commercial, think about globalization and the internet age that we discussed in class last week. How does McDonalds take into account these phenomena in its advertising?
2. What are positive and negative implications of gloablization? Take into consideration:
- Efforts made by McDonalds and Starbucks to crack the china market
- The argument that globalization is fueling nationalism and cultural reactions
- The encouragement of citizens to purchase goods at home.