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Week 2 SOCS 185 Discuss Culture and Values Case Study

Week2 Soc 185 Discuss Culture and Values Case Study

The golden arches of McDonald’s are one of the most recognizable corporate symbols in the entire world. Most Americans eat at McDonald’s at least occasionally, and for many, a visit to McDonald’s for breakfast or lunch is part of their regular routine. What attracts people to McDonald’s is not the high quality of the food, but rather the consistency and predictability of the customer experience. A Big Mac at one McDonald’s is the same as a Big Mac from any other McDonald’s. The menu, the layout of the seating area, and even the restrooms look very similar regardless of the city the McDonald’s is located in.

Of course, McDonaldization is not limited to the food industry. It can be seen in the manufacture and design of many products and services. In your opening post, discuss one example of McDonaldization outside the food industry. Some possibilities might include the following:

  • Automobiles
  • Smartphones
  • Architecture (homes, office buildings, sports stadiums)
  • Web sites
  • Popular movies, music, books, or other forms of entertainment

Everyone:  In today’s world, the effects of McDonaldization can be seen in all aspects of life, not just in the food industry but also in culture, globalization, education, and higher education.

Discuss one example of McDonaldization outside the food industry. How has McDonaldization become prevalent not just in the United States but all over the world?

Another area that comes to mind is the issue of “Female Circumcision”. This is the circumcision of young girls as a traditional practice in certain cultures. This custom takes on different forms in different cultures. Often it is supported by women who insist that the custom continue. Others claim it is a form of ritual torture to control female sexuality.

Discuss (be mindful of your own ethnocentric perspective) this tradition and attempt to explain the gap in public opinion and the persistence of the use of female circumcision despite the prohibition in the countries that still practice this way of life.

From your own experience explain how there are cultural variations between the following groups listed below. Make sure your explanations are school appropriate.
– Age Groups
– Ethnic Groups
– Gender Groups

However intergenerational mobility?  What are some factors that limit intergenerational mobility? Why are children’s life chances so strongly influenced by their status at birth—i.e., by the social position of their parents and their position in the social hierarchies they are born into? What does that suggest about the importance of social structure versus individual choice in determining our individual experiences in life?

Think about the concept of free will: what are the limits of our individual free will? Why can’t we simply do what we want?  These are some foundational questions sociologists consistently seek to answer.  We work to distinguish between “social structure” and “individual agency,” although those terms are not essential to convey our meaning.

For instance, looking at how social structures influence our daily lives and social interactions starting with our own family of origin will further enable us to gain a robust understanding of the social structure and individual agency.

Discuss:  What are some of the roles that you have been or will be required to play during your life? What are the rules associated with those roles? How do you learn to play those roles? What are some of the norms that you are expected to follow in your social interactions and relationships? How do you learn to abide by those norms? What happens if you fail to fulfill the requirements of such rules and norms?


Take a few minutes to review the National Institute of Justice’s research project based on Elijah Anderson’s Code of the Streets ( (Links to an external site.)) or (Links to an external site.)

Discuss:  How could understanding the statuses and roles of young people in poor neighborhoods help us to understand and perhaps prevent violence?


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