Golden Arches East

Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia is edited by James L. Watson with articles by a handful of authors regarding McDonald’s influence in five different Asian communities (Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea). It’s an academic book and the authors are all anthopologists with lots of experience in the communities they write about. It’s a very interesting look at how Western companies interact with non-Western communities and the way that they both influence the other. The book was written in the mid-90s and I am curious how things have changed in the last decade plus. One thing that I thought was really interesting about the book was that pretty much all the authors said that McDonald’s has become “local” in East Asia, and isn’t really seen or treated as “foreign” – even though it is providing decidedly non-local types of food (whose ingredients are usually bought locally). I read a photo essay book a year or so ago that made a great visual point about the globalization of food products – Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Also definitely worth taking a look at if you are interested in this topic. (Or just curious about other people’s lives, like me).

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Golden Arches East

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