The Values of American Society (from a fast food perspective)

Essay by JHuynhCollege, Undergraduate November 2006

download word file, 5 pages 3.8 1 reviews

Downloaded 126 times

In the book "Fast Food Nation", America's infatuation with fast food is described in striking detail. Also mentioned in this work are the values embodied by the fast food industry: conformity, affordability, convenience, and materialism. Interestingly enough these values are not limited to the fast food industry, but can be found in various other areas of American culture such as music, art, or literature. The following paper will focus on the media in particular, and will discuss and analyze how each of the previously mentioned values is portrayed in that area.

Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, mentions that one of the traits most valued by fast food franchises and their customers is conformity. This stems from the customers' preference for the familiar and their reluctance to try the unknown. To a customer, nothing is more important than knowing that the Big Mac he buys in Tokyo will taste exactly the same as one bought in New York.

A similar trend can be seen in the media, specifically the entertainment sector. Producers repeatedly use the same themes in their shows and display a reluctance to support programs which they perceive as deviating from the mainstream genres. Thus, today's sitcoms are plagued with predictable devices such as the dysfunctional family or the eccentric best friend/relative/neighbor (i.e. Kramer from Seinfeld). New shows that do make it to airtime are either spin-offs of older, successful shows or are basically rehashed versions of existing ones but under a different name. Examples of this are the shows Friends and Joey, or CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. Of course, this isn't to say that the television industry never has any new shows. Once in awhile it might churn out a truly innovative new type of program. Even in this...