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ERIC Number: ED505501
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Big Mac and Teaching about Japan. Footnotes. Volume 8, Number 5
Ellington, Lucien
Foreign Policy Research Institute
The Big Mac can be effective tool in helping students achieve a better understanding of Japan. It can defeat Orientalist stereotypes about the Japanese--and also challenge young people who might have oversimplified notions of what exactly occurs when U.S. fast food chains take root in another culture. Many deride McDonald's as a villain representing cultural imperialism, but in the book "Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia," James L. Watson et al., put to rest this myth. While the Golden Arches may change East Asians, East Asians, by their preferences and free choices as consumers similarly change McDonald's. In addition to standard American fare, the Japanese menu includes Chinese fried rice, fried egg burgers, teriyaki burgers, oolong tea and corn soup. Japanese tastes changed McDonald's in that country. Different generations of Japanese also view and use the Golden Arches in different ways. While adults rush in and out, many Japanese young people will remain for hours, sharing several orders of French fries and doing homework. Teenagers often need to be motivated by the familiar. "Golden Arches East" provides examples you can use in teaching students about Japan and East Asia as well as helping them to think more deeply about globalization and international business. [This newsletter is part of a series on "Teaching about Japan."]
Foreign Policy Research Institute. 1528 Walnut Street Suite 610, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Tel: 215-732-3774; Fax: 215-732-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute, Wachman Center
Identifiers - Location: Asia; Japan