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A world of dominance: McDonaldization

Every part of human history has its own souvenirs that the next generations would remember it, and different eras have different historical events.  The twenty’s century is marked by the two world wars and rapid industrial development in many parts of the world. However, I believe that the twenty first century will be remembered the century of dominance. Though globalization which leads to dominance began long time ago, it has reached its peak now. In this piece of writing, I will share one of the most tangible effects of globalization, which Ritzer called it McDonaldization in 1993. He defined it as the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world.

It seems as if visiting fast food restaurants becoming a norm in this so-called digital generation and to some extent, people who never paid visit or rarely visit those places are considered to be primitive. The last time I went to junk food suppliers was two weeks ago together with my friends.  We want McDonald restaurant in city plaza since it is the nearest one to AiU. As everyone else who have been to there notices, I immediately noticed the busyness of the staff as well as customers.  Customers with all ages and nationalities were in different queues to order the food. The place was very attractive and it was fully decorated.  It was really an amazing experience to be there with my great friends and enjoy different and delicious food.  There are a lot of options in the menu to choose from, but unfortunately the price is quite expensive.

International fast food company owners are mainly from the developed countries and they have many outlets in many parts of the world. They get license from the government of the host countries, and in return the governments get huge tax from them. Despite having many health problems, junk food is promoted through the media and many customers are manipulated to at least visit junk food centers at least once per month. They use slogans that attract the customers and make them abandon their traditional healthy food. One of the largest fast food providers is McDonald which used more than 23 slogans to attract customers and its current slogan is “I’m lovin it”. Apart from advertisement, many people influence their friends to go with them while they are visiting junk food restaurants. Some regard such places as the most suitable place to invite friends, and I am one of the people who were invited to McDonald restaurant after three days of my arrival in Malaysia.

The owners of big fast food companies make large amounts of profit and goodwill, and the largest amounts of the money is sent back to the outside of the host countries. The host country enjoys the tax benefit and also the small scale employment created by the junk food companies.  In addition to this, media also benefits from them by advertising. However, all this benefits are worthless in comparison to the problems they cause to the society. First of all, junk foods have serious health effects and it is recommended everyone to avoid since they can cause obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and many other health hazards.  Furthermore, the increasing number of junk food suppliers means the loss of traditional food providers. The local food providers cannot compete with the international ones due to loss of potential customers, hence many of them were closed down and the rest earn very low income. This might lead to the loss of traditional and healthy food in a given community.

The main reason which leads to the development of international fast food companies is due to the interconnectedness of the world’s economy as a result of globalization.  This was caused the improvement in transportation and technology which facilitated carrying goods from one place to another.  On the other hand, many reasons for McDonaldization on the present day include social, economic and political values.  On the social aspect, people are busier than ever before and few of them would find time to prepare food, consequently they prefer the ready junk food despite knowing the side effects.  On the political perspective, many countries accept this to maintain political relations on other countries and respect the ironic trade agreements. Lastly, the main reason is economic, due to globalization many countries cannot control their economy rather it is controlled from the outside world.

To put in a nutshell, the use of fast food will bring nothing to our societies instead it will cause more health problems to us. It will also lead to loss of traditional food and ultimately erode our food heritage.  Besides, it will make our countries to remain the vicious cycle of poverty since it promotes dependency to other countries and also outflow of money because the money is not invested back to the country. For the reasons mentioned above, we need to come up immediate solutions to prevent the danger posed by fast food providers from our people.  The governments of host countries should increase tax to protect home grown food and also subsidize local food sellers.  The ministry of health should also play it role by informing people the health problems related to junk food. Lastly but not certainly the least, everyone should take full responsible of his health and avoid the consumption of unhealthy foods such as fast foods.

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