Fast Food Globalization in the Provincial Philippines
Few contemporary societies remain beyond the global reach of today’s fast food industry. In both profound and subtle ways, this style of cuisine and the corporate brands that promote it have effectively transformed the appetites, health profiles, and consumer sensibilities of millions the world over. To better understand the variegated impact of McDonald’s and other national and international quick-service eateries on local life within a non-western urban context, Ty Matejowsky offers readers a highly engaging and granular account detailing the rise and popularity of these American-style chains throughout the Philippines. In Fast Food Globalization in the Provincial Philippines, Matejowsky examines the rich, diverse, and decidedly syncretic food traditions of the Philippines, one of the few global markets where industry giant McDonald’s lags behind in competition with an indigenous chain. Drawing on over twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork in two provincial Philippine cities—Dagupan City, Pangasinan and San Fernando City, La Union—Matejowsky has crafted one of the few anthropological accounts of fast food production and consumption within the socioeconomic milieu of a less-developed country. By turns critically engaged and highly reflexive, he examines many of the historical, political, economic, and sociocultural complexities that characterize the Philippines’ now thriving fast food scene. Amid intersections of post-colonial resistance, retail indigenization, corporatized childhood experiences, and rising “globesity,” Matejowsky considers the myriad ways this seemingly ubiquitous dining format is reimagined by industry players and everyday Filipinos to create something that is both intimately familiar and entirely new.
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