mcdonaldisation

Globalisation

Define globalisation:

  • Process which previously unconnected isolated nations have become interconnected

  • The result of which is that regions of the world and people who live there now influence one another

  • Multi-faceted includes economical, political and cultural aspects

Causes of globalisation:

  • Economic development, new transport tech makes moveming good cheaper and cost effective

  • Political factors have sped this advancement up; EU, UN, IGO and the end of the cold war

  • Socioculturally internet has transformed access to knowledge and interaction and satellite communication

The evidence for globalisation:

Economic-

  • There is now a fully integrated global economy

    • There is a spread of capitalism around the world in the form of free markets. Even communist style communities are emerging in the free global market away from state controlled economy. For instance China and Vietnam now allow capitalist business. Because of structural adjustment programmes some countries are forced to put the market into state owned area’s like public water and energy.

    • There is a growth of Transnational corporations (TNC’s) like Unilever, Nestle, and Sony

    • Finance and money markets are becoming globalised, financial events which happen on the other side of the world affects us directly. For example, the credit crunch of 2008 spread from economy to economy.

    • We are becoming increasingly aware that how we change our lifestyle and our economic spending choices affect people globally and can cause unemployment debt and the loss of jobs for workers all over the world. For instance Vietnam relies on heavy Coffee exports with a majority employed in this industry, if the west stops drinking coffee and goes onto other life style means, then they loose out.

    • Transformation of how goods are sold and produced

    • Supply chains are much more complex with different components being produced in different parts of the world.

    • Growth of corporations and relative autonomy means they are dislocated from nation state.

Political-

  • With the spread of capitalism across the world writers think that liberal democracies will follow. There are more liberal democracies and less dictatorships.

  • Nation-states and local political structures are becoming less important than TNC’s and global political structures like the EU.

  • Having free and fair elections is often required before Aid can be given to a country.

  • There are more and more problems in the world which can increasingly not be dealt with alone as a nation-state like climate change, terrorism, the power of TNC’s and refugee’s.

  • International organisations like the UN and the EU are being allowed powers over individual nation-states because of the increased need for global decision making.

  • Social movements can now operate across several nations. These social ‘actors’ include Greenpeace, Red Cross and Amnesty international

  • Power has come to individuals in what to boycott or what to buy. Starbucks boycott

Cultural-

  • There has been a spread of American consumer culture; Mcdonalds, Coca Cola, fast-food and clothes are examples. But also there has been a spread of religion

  • We are more connection; mobiles, tablets, internet, phones, flights and other travel services.

  • 'Mcworld' western cultural becomes dominant and destroys other cultures;

  • People are returning to local cultural aspects

  • Much more diversity

  • Interpersonal networks, facebook and bebo

  • Increasing sense of homogeneity (sense of similarity), as a result of artefacts crossing boarders. Like the sharing foods, Indian take always and Chinese.

The theories of globalisation:

McGrew (2000)says that there are 3 theoretical perspectives:

  • Neo-Liberals (positive globalists)

    • The global market is the result of a global spread of Free market Capitalism. Global free markets lead to economic growth, the eradication of poverty and a spread of democracy around the world. Countries which are embracing the free market are the countries which are developing now; like India and China. The wealth produced by the effects of a global free market; entrepreneurs; will trickle down to the rest of the country. Cultural globalisation includes the spread of western values.

  • The radicals

    • The spread of capitalism in globalisation is bad. They see the spread of capitalism as essentially based on money and the growth in economy will benefit some but impoverish many but also it messes with the environment by being unsustainable. Globalisation widens the gap between rich and poor, only benefiting the rich in society who have the tools to trade. Cultural globalisation is a form of cultural imperialism from the West and destroys local cultures through homogenization. Capitalism has been globalising for centuries but now it’s almost completely dominant. But now it’s different because TNC’s supported by IGO’s have replaced nations as the driving force for changes. Such a view has been called ‘McDonalisation' or 'Coca-colonisation

  • The Transformationalists

    • They see globalisation as important in development but not like the radicals of neo-liberals think. Globalisation can end, it can slow and even go in reverse. Some countries can take all of the positives of globalisation and not take the negatives. Globalisation doesn’t destroy local culture, it creates a hybrid of cultures. Globalisation reinforces the old ways of the North/South and First world/Third world.

Key terms

Hannerz (1992)- Coca-colonisation, the process of destruction of uniqueness in terms of religion, ethnic identity and national identity.

Ritzer (1993)- McDonaldisation, the process of fast food outlets increasingly dominating America and the rest of the world.

How far has economic globalisation gone?

It’s not gone, and there aren’t as many TNC’s and MNC’s which have a proper base in one place, also even if government have less control there are still separate groups which offer some protection like the EU which places limits on TNC’s. Hirst and Thompson (1999) argues that economic globalisation is a myth. Nation states still have power like the direct of the global economy. There are international economies which are big but not global economies. Hirst and Thompson don’t see evidence for a global economy.

How far has Political globalisation gone?

Governments still work on their own, they make agreements with international organisations , they still wage wars and raise taxes. Although because of this spread more countries have adopted Liberal ways, however these aren’t free and fair, for example Robert Mugable in Zimbabwe holds and wins elections and claims its all democratic but it isn’t. And western countries like the US still tolerate and trade with non-democratic countries as long as they are allies like Saudi Arabia. Tranformationalists like McGrew (2004) argue that although nation states aren’t totally loosing all power, there is still a transformation of politics and global decision making. People are becoming more active in politics and the way people engage in politics, like in international organisations, but locally party membership and voting is declining in the North.

Neo-liberals claim that with the spread of global markets, there will be a spread of liberal democracy and a lesser control from the state. But then what’s the point in spreading liberal democracy if even if people have free and fair elections the elected cannot make decisions because they have no power, global powers make decisions.

How far has cultural globalisation gone?

Its hard to ignore the western culture nowadays and it is everywhere, but not everything that is western has got around the world; American Football and baseball, and baseball is only played in the big leagues between two Northern teams anyway. The east has also had an influence on the west, in the way of Bollywood and Hong Kong film industries. Tourists going to other countries have actually promoted local culture but appreciating it, although it may be a simplified version of very complex cultures the tourists are promoting local cultures in the countries they go to as well as western values.

Globalisation after 9/11

It is clear that globalisation of Western cultures is creating a resistance to the West. For instance Islamic states show no signs of disappearing under the West. The US against public opinion and UN approval invaded Iraq in 2003 suggesting a return to nation state rule not international.

Kunstler (2005) argues that there is nothing inevitable about globalisation, and the fact it was based on the relative peace of post Cold-war and the fact loads of cheap energy sources were available then means that it will end as both of these are drastically fading. US troops and other nations involved in Iraq and Afghanistan are under constant threat from terrorists, oil reserves are running out, and most of the other oil is under the control of anti-western states. Kunstler expects and end to globalisation soon.

Saul (2004) sees that globalisation hit it’s high point in the 1990’s with the creation of the WTO (world trade organisation) but some countries and nation-states are coming back to a state without globalisation under one global economy. For instance Malaysia evading the 1997 Asian crisis; Argentina ignored IMF advice after an economic collapse in 2001 and recovered anyway. But there are some positive effects of some lower form of globalisation with the creation of the International Criminal Court and non-economic treaties.

Globalism:

Globalism relates to the way we live our lives today in a globalised world. Robertson (1992) defines globalism as ‘consciousness of the (problem of) the world as a single place’. 

Below is a sheet I was given about the impacts of globalisation on Work, leisure, consumption etc

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Is globalisation a good or bad thing?

+More opportunities in terms of economy, politics and culture. Promotion of interconnectedness, to respect and value the values of other societies

+Increase trade; countries have raw materials to use for developing countries to use to promo their own developmental

-Diseases can be spread as they are not used to themselves

-Environmental and human abuses; illegal loggers destabilising and dispersing communities

-Created a new ‘Transnational capitalist class’

-Growing gap between rich and poor

-Giddens (2001) argues that there are some sceptics who believe that although communication and economies are becoming more global, it’s not a globalised world. For example it’s only really occuring in Europe, Asia-pacific, and North America

Is Japanese culture Westernised and losing its uniqueness as a result of globalisation? Or is the interaction with the West in the age of globalisation producing hybrid yet unique Japanese culture?

Like many countries in the world, Japan has been influenced by Westernisation, and this influence has had an effect to varying degrees on different areas of Japanese life, and it has been argued that this has had a detrimental effect on the uniqueness of Japanese culture. Westernisation was encouraged by the Japanese government because of the opportunities that it gave Japan to compete on the world stage, and the Japanese were able to appropriate the best the West had to offer. This, in alignment with the best of Japanese culture, and national characteristics, has enabled Japan to create a unique hybrid, enabling the country to become a significant worldwide economic power. This essay will examine some of the main arguments analysing this phenomenon, and try to show that Japanese culture is losing its uniqueness through globalisation, but also producing something new, that is a unique hybrid.

The concept of ‘Japanese culture’ emerged with the Meiji Restoration, and scholars have argued that the development of Japanese culture was an artificial process brought about by the desire to build an independent nation that could compete with the West. Initially this was known as bunmei kaika (civilisation and enlightenment). However, later on in the 1920s, the term nihon bunka (Japanese culture) became more popular. The desire to create a defined Japanese culture stimulated interest in defining national characteristics, and ‘a new interest in tracing, defining, and celebrating the intellectual and artistic heritage of particular ethnic groups’. (Perren, 1992; Tai, 2003, p.1, 8; Morris-Suzuki, 1995, p.761)

In the modern world the way in which different cultures are influenced by, and interact with one another, is referred to as ‘globalisation’ - it is ‘a social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recedes, and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding’ (Waters, 1995 as cited by Condry, 2001, p.382). Due to technological advances, worldwide travel and communication between nations have advanced in such a way that we now live in an age in which exposure to other cultures is reasonably common. However, the question is, whether this is a two-way process or whether Western culture is dominating. It has been said that the ability to use the English language is a great advantage within a globalised world, and is evidence of Western hegemony (Inoguchi, 2009, p.337). The result of globalisation, if one culture is dominant, is ‘homogeneity’ - i.e. the assimilation of cultural and economic ideas and customs; if both cultures interact and influence, or absorb the ideas from one another, the result is ‘heterogeneity’ - i.e. the production of hybrid cultures (Ritzer and Malone, 2000, p.98). Western culture is seen as ‘having a largely homogenising effect on much of the rest of the world’, significantly through the growth of the worldwide market economy (Ritzer and Malone, 2000, p.100). However in most cultures, including Japan, the result is generally a combination of homogeneity and heterogeneity. Western cultural ideas have been attuned to local contexts. One example of this is the way in which the American company McDonald’s has taken into consideration local tastes when re-formulating its menu for other cultures, whilst at the same time maintaining its core menu. In Japan the tradition of communal eating, with the sharing of dishes, is undermined by the McDonald’s meal. However some Japanese see it as more of a between-meal snack. (Ritzer and Malone, 2000, p.98, 104-5, 107-8)

The success of the McDonald’s fast food chain, has meant that a new term - ‘McDonaldisation’ has become a main future of ‘cultural imperialism’, to describe the imposition of Western culture on other nations. (Condry, 2001, p.382) The meaning of ‘McDonaldisation’ is not restricted to the opening of fast food restaurants, but refers to the business practices that have allowed that to be achieved. These are characterised by: ‘efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control, particularly through the substitution of nonhuman for human technology’. (Ritzer and Malone, 2000, p.99, 103) ‘McDonaldisation’ also embraces the adoption of other means of American ‘new means of consumption’, such as: shopping malls, superstores, television shopping channels, theme parks, amongst others (Ritzer and Malone, 2000, p.101). All of these are accompanied by aggressive marketing tools to encourage consumers to spend their money. Ritzer and Malone (2000, p.103) write ‘that they are powerful representations of American culture and they all bring that culture to any nation to which they are exported’. The adoption of fast food restaurants, and the ‘new means of consumption’, and the business practices of ‘McDonaldisation’ to Japanese culture, could be seen as the triumph of Westernisation. The fact that the ‘new means of consumption’ are transformed into a hybrid Japanese version could be seen as the creation of something unique. However, it could be argued that, whether adapted to Japanese culture or not, they still point to American domination.

Ian Condry describes the Americanisation of the Japanese music scene, in particular, hip-hop. At first sight the young people who attend the nightclubs (‘genba’) appear to be copying American hip-hop culture through the way that they dress and behave. However, Condry argues that the genre has been appropriated by the Japanese youth, and in the process has become distinctly Japanese. The performers and the fans might look American, but they use the Japanese language about Japanese topics, and they still adhere to their cultural traditions. For example, Condry describes the atmosphere at a New Years event when the club goers naturally greeted each other in the formal Japanese style. (Condry, 2001, p.372-3, 380)

While some sectors of Japanese society seem to have welcomed Globalisation and Americanisation, others have felt as though their way of life is being threatened, and their reaction has been to protect their culture. This is referred to as ‘cultural nationalism’ and involves the desire for an ‘imagined community’. (Inoguchi, 2009, p.339) Inoguchi gives three examples of the way in which the Japanese have protected their culture in the face of Westernisation. The first example is within the cotton industry. In the 19th century, when Japan was disadvantaged by the unequal trade treaties, cotton was exported by the British to Japan. The British cotton was therefore cheaper than Japanese hand-made cotton. It was made by machine, and so was more even in quality, however, the Japanese people continued to buy their own hand-made cotton material, and consequently the British did not succeed in replacing the local industry. Much later, Japan cotton industry showed it’s ability to adapt culturally to new businesses and markets - for example Toyota (a car manufacturer) began as a company producing cotton material. The second example given is the way the Meiji Restoration reorganised the government, the monarchy, and the political structures in order to imitate Western models. The Japanese government chose to select different aspects from different countries, and adopted them - for example, the police force was based on the French model, the imperial navy on the British navy, and the imperial army on the Prussian army. Inoguchi called this the ‘self-assertion of [Japan’s] cultural nationalism’. By taking different Western models, and blending them with their own traditions, Japan created its own unique governmental hybrid. The third example concerns the rise of Capitalism and the global stock market in the 20th century. Western capitalism is built around profits for the stockholders. Western businesses focus primarily on profits for stockholders, and the company is paramount - in contrast Japanese business philosophy focuses more on the people. This is known as ‘jinponshugi’ (‘humanity first-ism’), and is a practice that ensures neither the stock market nor the employees of a company dominates the other, whereas in the West, the stock market controls the company. So the Japanese have created a unique corporate culture based on their national ideals. (Inoguchi, 2009, p.341, 343) Cultural nationalism has allowed Japan’s individualism to thrive in the face of Western globalisation.

Because American culture has had such a worldwide impact, globalisation sometimes seems to be synonymous with Westernisation. However Japan, as a leading economic power, has had enormous influence over the rest of the world - a process known as ‘Japanisation’. The rise of Japanese consumer technologies has had a global cultural impact, with the Sony Walkman being a prime example. Its success has been because of its ‘miniaturisation, technical sophistication, and high quality’, not because it evokes ‘images or ideas of a Japanese lifestyle’. (Iwabuchi, 2002, p.28) Towards the end of the 1980s, Japanese companies such as Sony and Matsushita were buying out Hollywood film studios. This was part of the Japanese advance in the global media market. The response from some American commentators was that the Japanese were ‘buying into America’s soul’ (as cited in Iwabuchi, 2002, p.29), but the Japanese companies were focused more on the production and distribution of Hollywood films as part of their goal to become a major competitor in the global media market. (Iwabuchi, 2002, p.29) The Japanese cultural influence is far more apparent in products such as video games, cartoons, and comics, but they have created something that is neither Japanese nor Western. They feature stereotypes such as Samurai and Geisha, but the characters tend to have features that look more Western. They evoke an exotic picture of Japanese culture, which appeals to Western audiences, and creates a ‘sense of yearning for Japan’ - this can be compared with the yearning for things American in Japan. (Iwabuchi, 2002, p.28-29, 32) However this is not a ‘mirror image’ of Americanisation - Iwabuchi (2002, p.33) writes:

… if it is indeed the case that the Japaneseness of Japanese animation derives, consciously or unconsciously, from its erasure of physical signs of Japaneseness, is not the Japan that Western audiences are at long last coming to appreciate, and even yearn for, an animated, race-less and culture-less, virtual version of ‘Japan’.

As far as Western countries are concerned, Japanisation is being felt more as an economic process rather than a cultural one. Japan’s cultural influence is felt far more strongly in East and Southeast Asia, where Japanese television programs, pop stars, products, and magazines are valued. (Iwabuchi, 2002, p.47)

In conclusion, Japan has embraced Westernisation ever since the Meiji Restoration, and as a result, Japanese culture has adapted to, and sometimes yearned for Western ideals and products, whilst at the same time retaining and valuing elements of Japanese heritage. Cultural ideas have been absorbed, and attuned to local circumstances - for example, the changing of the McDonald’s menu and the new hybrid Japanese-style hip-hop music. Cultural nationalism has been important in retaining the aspects of Japanese life, which, when combined with imported ideas, has helped to create the new unique hybrid of Western and Japanese ideals. It is interesting to note that this blend of the two has sometimes been created in order to appeal to the West - as seen in Japanese animation. Globalisation has given Japan access to worldwide markets, and that, combined with Japanese character, efficiency, and organisation, has enabled Japan to become a uniquely successful economic power. Some cultural uniqueness has inevitably been lost through globalisation, but as a result Japan has consistently been able to produce a new uniqueness.

List of References

Condry, I., 2001. Japanese Hip-Hop and the Globalization of Popular Culture. In: Gmelch, G., Zenner, W., eds. Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Inoguchi, T., 2009. Globalisation and cultural nationalism. In: Sugimoto, Y., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Japanese Culture. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Iwabuchi, K., 2002. Recentering Globalization. US: Duke University Press.

Morris-Suzuki, T., 1995. The Invention and Reinvention of “Japanese Culture”. The Journal of Asian Studies [online], 54 (3), 759-780.

Perren, R., 1992. On the Turn - Japan, 1900. History Today [online], 42 (6), 26-32.

Ritzer, G., Malone, E. L., 2000. Globalization Theory: Lessons from the Exportation of McDonaldization and the New Means of Consumption. American Studies [online], 41 (2/3), 97-118.

Tai, E., 2003. Rethinking Culture, National Culture, and Japanese Culture. Japanese Language and Literature [online], 37 (1), 1-26. 

Post 6 - Forever always there

So this week’s word is “ubiquity” which is another word for omnipresence, which can be explained as the property of being present…everywhere.

When I think ubiquity in relation to this course I immediately think of the concept of visualisation. I think omnipresence is something that needs to visualised (physically impossible), or felt - but definitely not written. 

Omnipresence is usually referred to in a religious context - such as the presence of God is believed to be everywhere, all the time. To help me tackle this concept, I asked my friend - who considers himself to be somewhat a god like figure, what he thinks of ubiquity/omnipresence. 

He said,”the ubiquitous influence of American culture” for example, and “my Snapchat selfies are ubiquitous”. 

This helped me a lot in terms of thinking about the relationship between ubiquity and publishing.

I guess with the rise of social media, people are in a sense (not an entirely literal one), ubiquitous, as they are constantly present in someone else’s life, either online or through some form of technology.

For example, being that my desire to be famous is not progressing so well, I have decided to become #foreverpresent on social media to help my cause. I do this by tweeting about every aspect of my life and posting a selfie on Facebook from every different angle…24 freaking hours a day. 

I’m joking, that sickens me. That is what I have deemed as ubiquitous publishing. 

Unfortunately there are people out there who are ubiquitous in that way, and even more unfortunately, their presence is felt more strongly than God’s is sometimes. 

However, ubiquity does not always have to refer to a person or spiritual presence. It can also refer to ideas, cultures, values etc.

For example, cultural ubiquity, like my friend stated, can be so easily described by the influence of American culture all over the world.

There are very few parts of the world where an American influence is not felt. I will aptly demonstrate this with a visualisation of the global reach of McDonald’s. 

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http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2009/06/26/the-global-distribution-of-starbucks-and-mcdonalds/

Some have argued that ‘globalisation’ is actually a cover up for the “americanisation’ of global culture, therefore demonstrating its ubiquitousness nature. 

I stumbled across a great blog post that deals with this argument here: http://eclmplas.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/globalization-disneyfication-mcdonaldization/ 

Personally, i’m glad ubiquity in the physical sense is impossible, however it is pretty clear with the flexible nature of publishing and technology, that we potentially live in a somewhat ubiquitous society where everyone is essentially always present. 

The McDonaldisation Of Church

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the McDondaldisation of church. At Park Road we’re currently doing the 40 days of community which is the follow-up to Rick Warren’s 40 Days Of Community which we did at Park Road 2 years ago.

For those who don’t know the 40 days series are written by Rick Warren and consist of Sunday Sermons revolving around a particular weeks theme, home groups being based on the theme too, usually with a mini sermon by Mr Warren himself via video ad then there’s a daily reading.

In fairness it’s probably no different in principal to other ready to use church material such as Alpha…of course like all of this it needs adapting, for example Rick Warren’s sermon outlines are 23 page scripts with lots of americanisms. As a principal I can see how the 40 days of purpose have changed Park Road for the better, we now have house groups (which were launched through the 40 days of purpose) and some people entered more into the fellowship as a result, and the same way I suspect that the 40 days of community will do a similar thing….however the more of these things we have the more franchised a church seems to be.

You can go to any McDonald’s in the world and essentially buy the same thing (I purposely refrain from using the word food) and my fear is that church will become the same, yes perhaps it will be contextualised for a situation however surely Paul’s letters help us to realise that every church is different and needs different things addressing….otherwise would he not have sent the same letter to all?

I’m torn between being pro these series that any church can use and being anti…and I think much like youth work resources it depends how they’re used. I think they encourage us to be lazy…however at the same time from what Tim has said it’s far more difficult adapting Rick’s huge script than writing a sermon, so perhaps it gets more preparation. The same way with Alpha essentially it’s a good thing and has been a huge success however when it becomes the ‘be all and end all’ of outreach for a church it loses it’s purpose in my opinion.

At the end of the day series can help a church look forward, start new things and be challenged, it can provide excitement about church, encouraging people to read daily, or come to church more regually…but I think we need to seriously personalise things like this to the individual church and congregations needs.

Comments are appreciated….