Directly linked with cultural globalization and actually deriving from the basic concepts at the forefront of globalized culture - glocalization and grobalization - is McDonaldization. The term is generically used to present the strategies implemented by the American fast food chain in 'conquering' the world, strategies which are now more broadly applied by other companies in various industries. And their strategies are worth analyzing. In Russia for instance, the company's success is given by their early penetration of the market (only a few months after the fall of the Soviet Regime) and by their choice to personally run their operations (unlike Subway, KFC or other American emblems which used franchising and failed in Russia). Penetration of the Russian market was a difficult task for the company at least from a legislative stand point, which demands foreign companies to go through 20 or 30 agencies and get between 50 and 90 permits. But the company persevered and the beneficial results did not disappoint the corporation. Today, McDonald's possesses an 80% market share in Russia and whenever a new store is opened, people still gather around the premises hours and even days earlier.
Just like with globalization, the phenomenon of McDonaldization has both positive and negative implications. Professor George Ritzer at the University of Maryland points out that the mechanized work introduced by the corporations reduces the need for human labor, increasing as such the unemployment rate. Then, aside from the jobs lost, those workers that still have positions within companies, are required to think less, be less creative and will in the end lose their individuality. "In short, if the world were less McDonaldized, people would be better able to live up to their human potential" (Ritzer, 2007).
The same author then also presents the positive effects of McDonaldization, organized under the following:
There is a better access to resources, commodities, products and services, which were generally restricted due to geographical limitations
Larger proportions of populations have access to the products and services than they did before globalization and McDonaldization
The quality of the products and services has increased and the delivery time has been drastically reduced
The prices for the globalized products are reduced and as such affordable by more individuals
The stability, security and longevity of the fast food chain offers a familiar and comforting image
Equality between religions, genders or races has improved because McDonalds and other similar corporations do not differentiate or discriminate
Exchanges of technological innovations have been supported by the phenomenon and the work of employees has simplified, along with an increase in the efficiency of the operational process
Globalization is a growing phenomenon no longer affecting just the economic and political domains, but the socio-cultural one too. In support of this statement, several scholars have long studied the international markets and cultures and have identified a wide series of features, causes and effects. A reputable university professor that focused his works onto the studying of globalization is George Ritzer at the Maryland University. His main works in the field are the Globalization of Nothing and the McDonaldization of Society, both describing the contemporaneous society from a globalizing perspective. Ritzer defined two basic terms in his studies: glocalization and grobalization. The primary negative effects of a globalized culture refer to the loss of the cultural identity and the main beneficial ones revolve around an increased access to various global cultures. The beneficial social effects are somewhat similar to the cultural ones, in the meaning that they offer an easier and better access to international resources vital for various social activities. The negative implications on the other hand directly impact the individual and his future and revolve around situations such as immigration.
Hernandez-Diaz, R.J. Summer 2004. The Globalization of Nothing and the McDonaldization of the Church. The SEMI, Issue One
Ritzer, George. 2007. The Globalization of Nothing 2., Second Revised Edition, Pine Forge Press
Ritzer, George, 2007, the McDonaldization of Society, Fifth Edition, Pine Forge Press
Rothkop, David. June 22, 1997. In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Effects of Globalization on Culture. Foreign Policy
Suarez-Orozco, Carola. Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo M. 2002. Children of Immigration (the Developing Child). Harvard University Press
Walljasper, Jay. July 1996. Cultural Effects of Economic Globalization. Conscious Choice. Retrieved April 21, 2008 (http://www.consciouschoice.com/1995-98/cc094/economicglobal.html)
2008. What is Globalization?. Globalization 101. Retrieved April 21, 2008 (http://www.globalization101.org/What_is_Globalization.html?PHPSESSID=e98815739e3493aa02bf89fa15a5ee73)
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