A Race Under the Golden Arches

Globalisation is the international integration of trade, communication, and finance. It looks at ‘breaking down’ barriers to create an interconnected and interdependent world and affects economic, social and cultural aspects of every country. Seen as the key to International communication, it is the links between nations that allows for the constant flow of information. Through businesses and enterprises internationalising their work, the need for greater technology, transport, finances and forms of communication comes into place. Jumping on a plane and travelling to multiple continents in a number of days is no longer impossible. The ability to access worldwide information through the Internet, send a message in a matter of seconds or eat food from another culture are considered aspects of every day life and that is all thanks to Globalisation.

We see different forms of globalisation every day, often without even knowing. McDonald’s is a prime example as it is the largest fast-food franchise that has successfully changed eating habits on every continent. You will find 34,492 restaurants in over 118 countries, with 780 of them being in Australia. By McDonald’s transporting raw materials, money and technology across borders, and communicating ideas on an international scale has allowed the world to be more connected and integrated than ever before.

Nevertheless, the fact that McDonald’s symbolises economic power and dominance of the West, can be seen as a cultural invasion on the East. This idea of ‘McDonalisation’ is arguably the reason for a loss of culture in many places, with people choosing to eat ‘Big Macs’ in countries such as China and India rather than traditional cuisines. Although a comforting thought that McDonald’s is one consistency wherever you go, isn’t the thrill of travelling to foreign places putting yourself out of your comfort zone and experiencing new cultures?

It seems as though we want the best of both worlds. We recognise the negative affects globalisation is having on cultures however we are not willing to give up everything it has established. Globalisation is an essential to the development of the world; we could not be where we are today without it. However, I feel as though we need to take a step back and appreciate what we have, before it becomes latest toy in a happy meal.

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