McDonald's in Hong Kong, by James Watson

opinion Essay
1552 words
1552 words

James Watson’s McDonald’s in Hong Kong is a textbook example of globalization. According to Webster’s dictionary, globalization is defined as “worldwide integration and development”. In McDonald’s in Hong Kong, Watson discusses a well-known and successful American fast food chain migrating over seas and embedding itself in the Hong Kong culture. Although Hong Kong was already recognized as an extremely transnational civilization, there were worries that the country would lose cultural identity. The fears were that Hong Kong would become more Americanized and lessen their ties to the Cantonese ways.
Watson proves that the uncertainties of if Hong Kong would be able to stand true to their heritage is nothing to worry about. He states that the people of Hong Kong “have most assuredly not been stripped of their cultural heritage”. In fact, Watson explains that Hong Kong is not being taken over by the American way, but is simply embracing their already heterogeneous culture. Through his discussions on the changing views of the food, dining customs, and traditions we learn that McDonald’s was forced to adapt to the culture of Hong Kong just as much as the people of Hong Kong needed to expand their familiarities to accept McDonalds.
One of the most influential concepts that Watson brings up is that “transnational is the local”. Through this argument Watson proposes that the local environment is a culturally diverse concoction of multiple nations. In the case of Hong Kong, McDonalds is not the only American fad that they are familiar with. People, especially the younger generations are culturally versed on cuisine from all over the world. They have knowledge of multiple nation’s music, fashion, entertainment, and customs. There is no ...

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...onald McDonald. The translation of his name in Cantonese means “Uncle McDonald” which associates him to a member of the family. He was the most well known cartoon in the country. Ronald McDonald was definitely a well known figure of McDonald’s, but I never experienced the admiration for him that the children of Hong Kong seem to exhibit.
The final paragraph of Watson’s chapter, he asks “where does the transnational end and the local being?” This opened my eyes to further examine my own environment to see what is specifically from my culture and what I have adopted from other nations. The majority of nations can be viewed as a melting pot. We are all a mixture of different aspects of cultures to create a growing and changing culture.

Works Cited

The Globalization Reader. 2011. Fourth Edition. Frank J. Lechner and John Boli, eds. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how james watson's mcdonald’s in hong kong is a textbook example of globalization.
  • Analyzes how watson proves that the uncertainties of if hong kong would be able to stand true to their heritage are nothing to worry about.
  • Analyzes how watson proposes that the local environment is a culturally diverse concoction of multiple nations. mcdonald's is not the only american fad that they are familiar with.
  • Explains that hong kong is a hub for transnational culture, spreading its trendy culture into china, southeast asia, vietnam, japan, los angeles, and more.
  • Explains that hong kong still holds true to their unique customs and traditions. mcdonald's has become a local institution that has blended itself into the everyday lives of the people.
  • Opines that james watson's article on mcdonalds in hong kong was relatable. the traditional american experience is vastly different.
  • Opines that they were shocked at the majority of material that watson presented through out the excerpt. they were unaware of how diverse something as common as a mcdonald's could be in another country.
  • Explains that in hong kong, the burger and fries that americans would consume as lunch or dinner was considered a snack, while in america, dinner hours are the busiest.
  • Explains that the introduction of the breakfast menu originally did not include what we would consider breakfast food. in hong kong, people were eating hamburgers instead of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and hash browns.
  • Explains that mcdonald's is considered the catalyst of this progression into good working, clean public restrooms.
  • Opines that hong kong's people are suspicious of smiling public service workers. they are more concerned with the quality of food and the speediness of its availability than how nice the person behind the counter was.
  • Opines that mcdonald's was the first place to introduce the idea of a queue, but it is certainly given the credit.
  • Explains that hovering was a familiar practice in hong kong. parents would go to the register and their children would stand inches away from other customers to push them into finishing their meal quicker.
  • Analyzes how watson's interview with one child shows that eating in a mcdonald’s was social and shows how people had to learn about the new culture.
  • Opines that children view mcdonald's as a treat. parents would reward their children with meals from the fast food chain in return for good behavior or school grades.
  • Opines that the section about birthday parties was probably the most entertaining and unusual to them. the location was ranked over all of its competitors for parties and would be packed with back to back festivities saturday and sunday.
  • Opines that children in hong kong were particularly attached to the cartoon associated with mcdonalds; ronald mcdonald was the most well-known cartoon in the country.
  • Analyzes how watson's chapter, "where does the transnational end and the local being?" opened their eyes to examine their own environment to see what is specifically from their culture and what they have adopted from other nations.
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