Golden Arches East Essay

McDonald's restaurants are found in over 100 countries, serving tens of millions of people each day. What are the cultural implications of this phenomenal success? The widely read—and widely acclaimed—Golden Arches East argues that McDonald's has largely become divorced from its American roots and become a "local" institution for an entire generation of affluent consumers in Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. In the second edition, James L. Watson also covers recent attacks on the fast-food chain as a symbol of American imperialism, and the company's role in the obesity controversy currently raging in the U.S. food industry, bringing the story of East Asian franchises into the twenty-first century.

Praise for the First Edition:

"Golden Arches East is a fascinating study that explores issues of globalization by focusing on the role of McDonald's in five Asian economies and [concludes] that in many countries McDonald's has been absorbed by local communities and become assimilated, so that it is no longer thought of as a foreign restaurant and in some ways no longer functions as one." —Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Book Review

"This is an important book because it shows accurately and with subtlety how transnational culture emerges. It must be read by anyone interested in globalization. It is concise enough to be used for courses in anthropology and Asian studies." —Joseph Bosco, China Journal

"The strength of this book is that the contributors contextualize not just the food side of McDonald's, but the social and cultural activity on which this culture is embedded. These are culturally rich stories from the anthropology of everyday life." —Paul Noguchi, Journal of Asian Studies

"Here is the rare academic study that belongs in every library."—Library Journal

James L. Watson is Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.

Mcdonalds' Golden Arches Essay

1278 Words6 Pages

Mcdonalds' Golden Arches

When fast food comes to mind, one fast food mammoth comes to mind: McDonald's. The imperial fast food giant can be linked visually to several images, but namely its trademark golden arches. Other visual images, primarily for advertisement purposes, are also stamped into the minds of Americans associating the idea of burgers and fries with the ubiquitous franchise.

However, the image displayed in the Time Magazine's September 30th 2002 issue, is an image that is hard to decipher and, most importantly, is an image that is hardly a likeness to the icons imprinted in the minds of fast food lovers across the nation. The catchy illustration invades an article tentatively titled, "Can McDonald's Shape Up?" The…show more content…

Visually, the picture is comical and not only mocks the McDonald's franchise, but goes further to mock its product, its potential and its marketing techniques. While analyzing the editorial cartoon, it is imperative to keep a business mentality. All in all, an acquired knowledge of business is necessary for the audience to thoroughly understand the depth of the cartoon.

The presentation of the cartoon seems to overtake the printed business article. Toppling three pages, the image is a prominent aspect of the argument given in the surrounding editorial. The corpulent character centered in the visual, namely Ronald McDonald, a popular icon for several McDonald's advertisements and public campaigns, is quite representative of the McDonald's franchise as a whole. The use of a very identifiable marketing icon helps to convey the subject of the cartoon. Surrounding the fatigued icon is a mess of half-eaten cheeseburgers, French fries and sodas, all embracing the exclusive golden arches. Without saying "McDonald's", the artist uses components of advertising that the audience will correlate with McDonald's restaurants. The cartoon illustrates Ronald McDonald to metaphorically represent McDonald's itself.

To say the least, the character is obviously trying very hard to literally "shape up". Currently, McDonald's is experiencing a financial down period. Like many other businesses in the

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