Gold Arches East

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McDonalds has always been able to face the challenges that arise when trying to expand to foreign cultures. They have successfully expanded to over a hundred countries, including countries in East Asia. In the book “Golden Arches East” by James L. Watson, he studies different cities and how McDonalds has played a role in their cultures. Three places that he mentioned in his writing were Beijing, Seoul and Japan. They all share similarities in the way the culture was impacted positively and negatively, in society and politically. They have their differences in the way things were dealt with and how the public viewed the American company coming to their countries. In this paper, I will be talking about how McDonalds is involved in the cultural transformation of different cultures, as well as, if they created the trends mentioned or if they just followed the market they had to work with. I will also be covering my beliefs on whether or not what McDonalds got involved in was an American inspired, transnational culture crowding out indigenous cultures.

McDonalds is involved in cultural transformation in many different ways in Beijing, Seoul, and Japan. In Beijing, the cultural transformations introduced with the addition of McDonalds were it provides a tourist-like atmosphere, a friendly environment and an affordable place for middle-class people to dine at. It made it a tourist-like atmosphere because the people believed that their experience at the McDonalds was an American cultural experience that they have never been a part of before. They got to learn things about the business that in America we don’t typically look at when we visit a McDonalds. For example, “a five-minute tour of the kitchen is provided upon request at each of the Beijing restaurant” (Watson 44). This struck me as odd but to a new market I could see the interest they may have in a place they weren’t accustomed to. Another way that culture in Beijing changed was the friendly environment that...
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