Sunday, January 31, 2016

Western Food Industry goes International



           This is an image of the multiple locations where one of the most famous and popular fast food restaurants, McDonald’s is found from the opening day until present day. McDonald’s is one of the most successful Western food industries.  Today the restaurants have almost about 35,000 franchises worldwide. 

            The business originated in 1940 as the McDonald Bar –B-Q in San Bernardino, California. The restaurant was famous for its drive in service. After Dick and Mac Donald closed their business down for a couple months, it reopened in 1948. During the reopening the modern McDonalds was being created. The menu was reduced and they chose their very first company symbol named Speedee. Speedee was a very small-animated chef.  The restaurant became famous for their French fries and thick milkshakes. In 1954 Ray Kroc, a salesman visited the restaurant and became the nationwide franchising agent for the company.  A year later another McDonald’s was opened in Illinois.  Four years after they opened their second store the 100th restaurant was opened in Du Lac, Wisconsin.  This company was becoming very successful throughout America. In 1967, McDonald’s goes international, opening a restaurant in Canada and Puerto Rico.  The big golden “M” arched was created and placed on the buildings.  Besides the locations growing the menu did as well. Breakfast was included in the menu.  The 5,000th restaurant was opened in Kanagawa Japan.  In 1981 there were more international growth in Spain, Denmark and the Philippines.  In the early 80’s there was a McDonald’s in 32 countries. In the 90’s restaurants opened in Moscow and Poland. The restaurant even introduced healthy foods, such as, salads, snack wraps, fruit smoothies and fruit and yogurt parfaits. In 2011 McDonald operated in 119 countries, expanding their business in Bosnia and Trinidad.  Overall McDonald’s have the largest chain of fast food restaurants in the world and is continuing to expand their business throughout the world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The assignment

This blog is where you will provide the class with an image of globalization and a one-page interpretation of that image.  Please note that an “image” may be nearly any visual media: a photograph, film, television show, graphic art, advertisement, fashion, computer icons, and others.  Your one-page interpretation should:
            (a)        identify the source of the image (if possible)
            (b)       identify the date, time, and location of the image if such context is meaningful
(for example, the location where you took the photograph, or the newspaper in which a printed advertisement appeared)
            (c)        explain what features, concepts, or dynamics of globalization you think the
image represents
(d)       identify relevant authors who address the features, concepts, or dynamics that you identify in your image

File:Bali Indonesia temple satellite dish.JPGThe purpose of this assignment is to find “globalization” outside the classroom and in the world around you.  As we will learn this semester, one consequence of “globalization” is the frequent juxtaposition of social opposites: the distant with the proximate, the foreign with the familiar, the global with the local, the modern with the traditional, and the universal with the particular, to name just a few.  Many globalization theorists assert the tensions explains their affective orientations toward globalization.  While the written word can explain the physical juxtaposition of such social tensions, visual media often capture such ideas more powerfully and viscerally.  Indeed, the visual arts arguably provide shared understandings precisely because they reproduce complex ideas in a manner that is accessible to anyone irrespective of language, education, or culture.

When you have identified an image and composed your analysis, you will post it directly to the blog (, not to me personally.  If you need technical assistance with posting your image and analysis, I am happy to assist you.  You should also expect to read this blog regularly to view new contributions from your colleagues.  You should also feel free to contribute your own reactions to media posted by others and should expect others to contribute their ideas about the media you contribute.  By the end of the semester, I anticipate the class will have amassed an archive of globalization images that will contribute to future students of globalization.

This assignment reflects a field of sociology known as visual sociology.  This field seeks to identify and explain how people produce and consume images and how these images both reflect and reproduce cultural norms, beliefs, and social conflicts.  To learn more about visual sociology, see and .  While our focus this semester is on the visual sociology of globalization, the field has much broader empirical interests.