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Globalization Final - Joe Kao Professor Schalow Final...

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Joe Kao 5/3/10 Professor Schalow Final Research Paper Globalization and Homogenization Thousands of years ago, the thought of communicating with humans on the other side of the world would seem ludicrous. Now, a human in virtually any country can walk down the street wearing shoes from China, eating food from Italy, listening to music from the United States, and talking to people from India. Through the long, intricate process of globalization, the world has shrunk dramatically since the day humanity originated. This process is described in Manfred B. Steger’s “Globalization.” Today’s world is becoming linked together more as time goes by, with culture being a major aspect being globalized. Steger mentions how the world is becoming culturally homogenized, which some people view as Americanization due to the large influence of western culture throughout the world. However, Steger also mentions another view that cultural globalization induces differences throughout the world. Hyperglobalizers would probably agree that the world is becoming more similar, while globalization skeptics would likely state that globalization causes differences among countries. While it is true that America plays a very large role in globalization, perhaps globalization represents something in between the extreme views of the hyperglobalizers and globalization skeptics. There is no question that American culture is taking the globe by storm. At any place in the world, one is likely to find American stores to be abundant. The most abundant stores are likely fast food restaurants. McDonalds, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken can be easily spotted in many major cities across the globe. However, it might not be the food that influences globalization, but the concepts and ideas these restaurants use to run their business that
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influences globalization. The result is a concept called McDonaldization, defined by George Ritzer 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. The five main themes of McDonaldization are Efficiency, Calculability, Predictability, Increased Control, and the Replacement of Human by Non-human. Fast-food restaurants are very efficient, always finding the fastest form of getting from point A to point B, or in this case, hungry to full. Calculability refers to the fast food view of quantity over quality. Furthermore, Robert Keel writes, “Predictability refers to the attempt to structure our environment so that surprise and differentness do not encroach upon our sensibilities. Rational people need to know what to expect. They want to be sure that the fun, satisfaction, taste, and benefits they received last week in Cincinnati will be repeated next week in San Diego. A Big Mac is a Big Mac is a Big Mac.” (Keel 1). The final two points of McDonaldization are explained as control through the substitution of non-human for human technology. Preparing fast food requires no skill besides
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