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Discuss about the movie Super Size me, and how its related to Pop CultureMcdonaldization - Essay Example

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Food is very much a part of popular culture, and the convictions, customs, and fads in a culture influence its eating habits. McDonaldization is the development by which the philosophies of the fast-food restaurant are controlling more and more segments of American society as well as the rest of the word.
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Discuss about the movie Super Size me, and how its related to Pop CultureMcdonaldization
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Lecturer "Super Size me" Food is very much a part of popular culture, and the convictions, customs, and fads in a cultureinfluence its eating habits. McDonaldization is the development by which the philosophies of the fast-food restaurant are controlling more and more segments of American society as well as the rest of the word.
It is evident from the very beginning of 'Super Size Me' that film director Morgan Spurlock attempts to capture a pop culture phenomenon on film, and although his condemnation of McDonald's is evident, well-argued, and wittily conveyed, the underlying argument is far more inducing; far from blaming McDonald's and the McDonaldization of America as the utter cause of American obesity, at the end of the day we as individuals are the most important and powerful guardians of our health.
'Super Size Me' undoubtedly deals with the question of where company onus bleeds into personal responsibility, but the film concentrates on the more grisly results of a McDonald's-only diet and on a culture of a fast food country. Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald's, three times a day for thirty days, and imitated the exercise sample of an average American by only walking a few thousand steps a day.
Although, especially in the United States, the omnipresent hamburger chain has been around for a long time, it was sociologist George Ritzer who in 1996 coined the phrase 'McDonaldization' in his book "The McDonaldization of Society". It refers not only to food but to a number of different areas. This "sweeping through seemingly impervious institutions " (Ritzer 1996) has had its impact upon diverse institutions. It is part of a massive bureaucratization of everyday life which leads to a progressive standardization (Ritzer1993). The hamburger is not only consumed physically as a material substance, but is consumed culturally as an image and an icon of a particular way of life (Featherstone).
The awful revelation made by "Super Size Me" of the increase in obesity in America and, more importantly, the influence of fast food on popular culture was often difficult to take on board. For instance, more people had a more difficult time remembering the Pledge of Allegiance than the McDonald's advertising jingle referring to the ingredients of a Big Mac, and most children were able to identify a photo of Ronald McDonald much faster than photos of George Washington and even Jesus Christ.
Although this movie purports to be a documentary, it is more of a personal video journal about a man who sets out to do something clever and interesting that in fact turns out to be stupid and foolish, and in a way, could be regarded as shock journalism.
Many of the paintings on the chapter title cards are quite startling and use pop culture icons such as Ronald McDonald in perturbing ways to illustrate the bizarre and gloomy side of our consumer culture.
Spurlock has captured a pop culture trend on film but in tackling the subject of America's obsession with fast foods, it is difficult to go for a black and white picture; the actual picture is a more complicated one. We must be aware and learn from the world of the golden arches, to be circumspect of the downside, and to be optimistic that we can make the distinction in time.
(Word: 547)
Works Cited
Featherstone, M. Undoing culture: Globalization, postmodernism and identity. London: SAGE. 1995. p7-8.
Ritzer, G. The McDonaldization of Society: An Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life, The Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks, CA. 1993. p265.
Ritzer, G. The McDonaldization of Society. Revised ed. Thousand Oaks, California:Pine Forge. 1996. p1. Read More
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