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Chris Vargas

Professor Sowards

Intro to International Politics

November 18, 2018

Global Culture Spread

Benjamin Barber’s statement about McDonald in Moscow and the expansion into China

implies an irreversible tide of economic globalization that is hitting most countries whether

developed or underdeveloped, regardless of whether they are conscious or unconscious about the

wave of integration that comes with expansion of value menu chain outlets. To survive in these

global markets, McDonald has to adapt to the local culture to some extent considering that

different consumers across the world identify with different cultures that fuel economic

development. Fundamentally, economic globalization is said to have a profound effect on the

global consumer culture, implying that cultures undergo significant changes with this economic

expansion. People’s way of life has a lot to do with the contemporary lifestyle all of which

trickles down to the effects of globalization. McDonald has accelerated its localization in

mainland China by signing up a partnership with EverGrande Group. The agreement also

unveiled a plan to increase 2000 more fast food outlets in Mainland China over the next five

years as a competitive strategy against rival Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brand chain. This

move implies that McDonald embarks on a global expansion strategy. Over the years, McDonald

has left a great impression in the minds and hearts of consumers internationally which means that

it is not just a fast food outlet, but a cultural symbol with a significant impact on buyers. Through
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its upgraded dining experience, franchised recipes, and use of a series of marketing strategies in

different countries, McDonald has been adapting different cultural aspects of these countries,

further impacting greatly consumer’s choice. By definition, global consumer culture is a social

system characterized by the consumption of commercial products (Arnould 316). As such, it

implies the transmission of value, customary ways of doing things, and norms from generation to

another generation.

Since the expansion of McDonald into China and Moscow, certain global trends point to

the worldwide culture trend. An example is the mass culture that associates the US as a

superpower (Kvint 123).McDonald is always portrayed as an instrument of Americanization of

foreign countries to some extent because the fast food restaurant is one vehicle through which

the American culture has spread throughout the world. However, McDonald’s international

success is dependent on the company’s ability to cater to local tastes and preference through

domestic partnership. That is to say, McDonald does not aim at replacing local Chinese Cuisines

with hamburgers but rather its corporate strategy follows the regional, national, and religious

values of the new markets.

In an attempt to homogenize markets there are still stronger heterogeneous forces,

implying that in such a globally connected world, it is hard to be fully homogenized. For

example, in the fast food industry one tends to see McDonald, KFC, and Starbucks in other

countries. However, we still see persistence Indian, Mexican and Chinese cuisines. Thus,

globalization brings about exploration of choice and thus full homogenization is impossible.
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Growth in innovation and new ideas that have become widely accepted is another trend

that associated with the global culture. For example, the initiation of ‘ drive-thru restaurants’

where customers can order food while they eat at the comfort of their car seat is a good example,

and this cross-cultural growing trends(Kvint 122), and ideas is a result of the expansion of the

global marketplaces (GMP). The process also leads to the creation of a more peaceful, and

unified world. However, the varying political and ideological environments and the dynamic

consumer behavior always present a challenge to the process of the global integration that this

fast food outlet tries to incorporate. This therefore, demands that McDonald takes into account

the local and national market consumer behavior before expanding into emerging markets.

Undoubtedly, globalization has significant cultural and religious impacts that must be

understood by firms looking to expand into this global places like McDonald. Critics argue that

this economic globalization always causes universal culture conversion through dilution of the

local and authentic culture of the local people. Yet overtime it is argued that failure to include the

societal values could lead to a global economic crisis. Likewise, the globalization especially that

comes with fast food has changed eating habits as people feed on unhealthy food.
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Works Cited

Arnould, Eric. “Society, Culture, and Global Consumer.” Journal of International Consumer

Marketing, vol.28, no.5, 2010, pp.309

https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444316568.wiem06001.

Kvint, Vladmir. Strategy for the Global Market: Theory and Practical Applications. Routledge,

2015.
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Reflection

The process for this assignment was a challenging one. I wanted to think a little deeper

and more critically to kind of understand what globalization is in today’s day. Especially

considering the rise on fast spread information through the internet. With the internet aspect I

wanted to incorporate more research about a global market as well. The content of this

assignment connects with a few other courses of mine, mainly philosophy because we go over

mass spread information. What it all means in terms of kind of sheep effect. Like pop culture and

mass appeal. This assignment has definitely contributed to my intellectual growth in a few

different way. It made me look at globalization differently as well as the how a global market

works. Considering the benefits and cons of a global market.