Analysis Of The Book ' Golden Arches East ' By James L. Watson

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When someone hears the word “McDonald’s,” they may automatically associate it with various descriptions and words such as American food, hamburgers, french fries, and chicken nuggets. Others may assume that McDonald’s is only famous in the United States, but what they do not know is that McDonald’s expanded their success outside of its origin to over 100 countries around the world. In the novel, Golden Arches East, the author, James L. Watson, focused on the company’s expansion in East Asia and studied how the American culture and traditions of McDonald’s influenced the Asian countries and their people. McDonald’s is involved in the cultural transformations of Beijing, Seoul, and Japan in multiple ways. Watson (2006) described, “For instance, in 1992 and 1993 customers in Beijing (as in Hong Kong and Taiwan) usually left their rubbish on the table, letting the restaurant employees do the clean-up work. However, during the summer of 1994 I observed that about a fifth of the customers, many of them fashionably dressed youth, carried their own trays to the waste bins,” (page 52). The usual dining etiquette of Chinese customers is that they would leave their leftovers and remaining garbage at their seat for the restaurant employees to take care of. They believed that since McDonald’s was a formal restaurant, what they paid includes full customer service. However, this example shows that the American etiquette of McDonald’s introduces a new form of dining to Beijing customers.

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