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Fast Food Nation - Essay Example

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1) How do you see our cultural values and beliefs (collective lenses and frames) and socialization influencing and being influenced by our political system in “Fast Food Nation"? What changes (and resistance to change) regarding these issues do you see? Our political system is beholden to the fast food industry, and this is causing a change in how we hold our cultural values and beliefs…
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Fast Food Nation
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Download file to see previous pages These guidelines were innocuous, and included such advice as making sure that the parking lots were well-lit and that there was improved visibility within their stores. The restaurant industry opposed these guidelines, and basically bought off congressmen with lobbying money (Schlosser, 2001, p. 86). Some people have the value and belief that America is exceptional, and, as such, should spread its culture around the world. According to Schlossen, this has been accomplished by the fast food industry. Schlosser uses the case study of Plauen, a city in what Schlosser refers to as “new Germany,” to illustrate the point. Schlosser portrays the McDonald’s in this city as a kind of bright spot in a city that is otherwise depressed, with high unemployment and men desperate for work. Schlosser ends the story of Plauen by describing a bar that opened in that city that has a country-western feel to it, and this, implies Schlosser, defines Plauen today. The dream that Plauen has now comes not from the circumstances of Plauen itself, because the town is depressed, but, rather, by the shining example of McDonald’s, which fills the hearts of the Plauen people with hope of a better future, a future that is similar to the American Dream. And this is all because, implies Schlosser, Plauen has been supplied this American Dream through the presence of the first American fast food restaurant, McDonald’s (Schlosser, 2001, p. 252). Schlosser also uses the example of Dachau, which has a McDonald’s close to the notorious concentration camp. Just like in Plauen, the McDonald’s in Dachau was filled with people with Americanized clothes, eating Americanized burgers (Schlosser, 2001, p. 232). While this might seem to some to be insensitive to the history of Dachau, in that McDonald’s appears to be crassly commercialized and capitalizing on a tragedy by luring visitors to the ghastly Dachau site to its restaurant, it can be seen in another way. And that is that McDonald’s is merely performing a service for the visitors of Dachau, in that the people who visit the site need to eat, so McDonald’s is simply making doing so convenient. Nevertheless, because the people in the Dachau McDonald’s are Americanized with their clothing and so forth, Schlosser sees this as another example of Americanization in Germany, made all the more insidious because the McDonald’s is capitalizing on a particularly horrible part of German history. There are also health concerns, and there are cultural values and beliefs that we should be free of pathogens, and that the government should do a good job of inspecting our food to make sure that we are not exposed. However, there is a resistance to any changes that should be made in this area, just as there is a resistance to change regarding OSHA regulations, as described above. It started with the expose by Upton Sinclair, called The Jungle, which is now required reading for most schoolchildren. Schlosser says that the meatpacking industry was resistant to change in Upton Sinclair’s day and continues to be so – “The industry has repeatedly denied that problems exist, impugned the motives of its critics, fought vehemently against federal oversight, sought to avoid any responsibility for outbreaks of food poisoning, and worked hard to shift the costs of food safety efforts onto the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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