ERIC Number: ED284283
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Culture as Advertisement: A Synoptic Survey of Fast Food and Family Communication.
Exploring the idea that urban culture has changed food sharing practices and, in effect, produced a cultural "advertisement" in the marketing and selling of the fast food franchise, this paper discusses the commercial replication of community and the communion of food sharing in this new fast food culture. Following an introduction that addresses the concerns and alarms raised in much popular literature and by some academic researchers on the changing American culture, the paper explores the notion of "eating as communication," and how family patterns created a market for fast food. The paper then examines changes in urban food use patterns that began with the threat of urban decentralization, growing out of the hegemony of the automobile and the opening up of the interstate highway system in the late 1950s. The paper also considers fast food demographics and presents company officials' descriptions of several fast food chains, along with special techniques or themes that appear in their advertising to convince the whole family to eat together in their restaurants. The fact that fast food establishments have frequently been the focus of urban crime and violence, despite their open, clean, and safe image, is then explored, followed by some thoughts on the future of the fast food culture in American life. The paper closes with a brief thematic summary, emphasizing that to study both the messages of advertisements and the medium of fast food yields more about communication and community than would a separate study of either. (Six pages of footnotes are appended.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Advertising Effectiveness; Fast Foods
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).