With the developed information technology, the world has become smaller and smaller as a whole. However, a gap between poor and rich is growing in the last decades (Eikenberry, 2006, p. 587). The philanthropy, which means voluntary contribution to welfare, also has received more attention in the mainstream media. Philanthropy from a few privileged people in richer countries can make a difference to the poorer people and countries. Just as Margaret Mead (cited in Leder, 2005, p. 1) said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can changed the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. Philanthropy which helps others is also a similar attitude to global citizenship. Global citizenship means recognizing the common humanity and establishment of the sense of agency and responsibility which is able and willing to engage the world thoughtfully, helpfully and hopefully (Kornelson, 2011, p. 92). This essay will discuss global citizenship in three aspects: environment, education and diversity, and links them with the common responsibility.
Then this essay will also analyses McDonald’s as an instance to explain its global citizenship. There are three responsibilities for global citizenship, which are environment, education and diversity. A true global citizenship is not only a spectator, but also an active participant, who takes actions and makes contributions at home, in the society and beyond. He or she respects all people equally without considering their race, religion, belief, age and gender (Thomas, 2009, p. 2). Firstly, environment issues should be considered by global citizenship.
One major characteristic of globalization is the increasing of interdependence, and in some extent has caused climate change, which can be seen as the cumulative effect of human activities when viewed at the level of global scale when multiplied up to whole populations and repeated over decades or centuries(Gibson, Rimmington & Landwehr-Brown, 2008, p. 19). For example, planes used for global traveler have consumed lots of fuels which produce vast quantities of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, educating for global citizenship, which means learners of different cultures use technology to improve their global perspectives, is increasingly named as a goal of education (Gibson et al. , 2008, p. 20). For instance, the international education programs beyond a prescribed curriculum and focus on the recruitment of students from abroad as well as providing opportunities for local students to take a part in international travel. The Alberta government funds and oversees an international education program that is part of its wider international relations policy.
Students who attend this programs believe that they successfully participate in the role of global citizenship (Shultz, 2007, p. 253). Moreover, global citizenship should also take the responsibility for acting and promoting diversity. As a result of Internet, citizens around the world have become more and more interconnected, and they can make contributes to news and information systems which led to a smaller and smaller earth (Gibson et al. , 2008, p. 19).
Therefore, a good global citizenship in a cultural diverse society should be able to maintain attachments to their own cultural communities as well as participate effectively in the diverse environment of cultural. However, McDonald’s is a global organization who plays a significant role as a global citizenship. McDonald’s is one of the world largest fast food restaurants who mainly supply burger/sandwich, fries, and a drink – overwhelmingly Coca-Cola (Vignali, 2001, p. 98). It currently has over 34,000 restaurants in 119 countries across the world and employs more than 1.
7 million employers. McDonald’s contributes to helping protect the global environment in three aspects: stop using plastic foam containers, saving energy and developing sustainable farming. To begin with, McDonald’s have stopped serving its world-wide customers burgers and other food in foam plastic containers, which made with chlorofluorocarbons that are destroying the Earth’s ozone layer, for more than two decades. Every little bit helps in the effort to protect the global environment.
And some bits help a little more than others–such as the decision of the McDonald’s. Chlorofluorocarbon is used as blowing agents in the manufacture of plastic foam materials, and chlorofluorocarbon gases are significant environmental threats (Marriott, 1987). They rise into the atmosphere where they contribute to the damage of the ozone layer, which is the protective shield against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. That radiation is blamed for everything from skin cancer to crop damage to adverse changes in climate ( Marriott, 1987).
Therefore, McDonald’s decision can be considered as an effective and available responsible for McDonald’s as a global citizenship and this decision will continue to contribute to a better environment for people all over the world. Secondly, McDonald’s efforts to reduce the demands for natural gas and electricity at its restaurants. The useless of natural gas and other energy sources could decrease provide greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and relieve the phenomenon of global warming.
For instance, an automatic dimmer inside the restaurant will turn down the lights during daylight hours which can reduce energy (Zuber, 2000, p. 30). Moreover, Kilsyth South McDonald’s uses energy-efficient lighting systems, solar panels and even a rainwater capture system for irrigation and to flush toilets. Thus, this McDonald’s has become the first Australian restaurant to be recognized with Green Star certification (“McDonald’s gets Green Star certification”, 2012). Finally, McDonald’s also makes great contribute to protect the amazon rainforest.
However, Cargill is a huge multinational company that supplies McDonald’s with Brazilian soy for chicken feed. With help from Cargill and others, some Brazilian farmers begin cutting down trees in the interior of the Amazon rainforest to grow soy and other crops (Marc, 2007). To avoid cutting down trees and protect Amazon rainforest, McDonald’s make a promise that stopping sale chickens fed by soy from Brazil’s newly deforested areas. “The moratorium will give everyone time to plan how to better control the farming and protect the forest “(Marc, 2007).
As a global citizenship, McDonald’s take its responsible to help the global environment. Moreover, educating the people of the world is also a part of global citizenship and McDonalds mostly contributes in this area. Firstly, this corporation has established several scholarship systems. McDonald’s realizes the importance of recognizing student excellence and supports national and local scholarship programs, and has contributed over three million in 1996 alone (“McDonald’s education commitment” 1997).
However, New York tri-state McDonald ‘ s restaurant owners and Ronald McDonald House charities have long supported education scholarship which contains 445,000 dollars in the community and want to help local high school students pursue higher education (“McDonald’s offers Arching into education scholarships”, 2000). The scholarship system can encourage students to study harder and also can support poor students continue their studying. Secondly, McDonald’s has encouraged its young employees get good educations.
According to Orr (2007), one McDonald’s which is located in Cheyenne partners with a local school to persuade students to attend school. It only hires young students with acceptable school attendance which meets school district requirements. Students who work at McDonald’s and don’t meet school attendance goals will get their work hours cut until they get back on track. Furthermore, McDonald’s in Cheyenne also won’t promote young people into management jobs if they do not have high-school diplomas.
As a result, McDonald’s has successfully supported the school system on their attendance requirements. Some students even said that McDonald’s could the trends of education almost overnight. Lastly, McDonald founded its own schools called Hamburger University which are more than 50 in 2011 all over the world. (Galagan, Meister, 2011, p. 48) Hamburger University teach students with the skills and development they need to have a rewarding career, and provide them worldwide training, learning and development.
“Hamburger University is an investment in our future where we challenge highly motivated, dedicated people” said Fred Turner, McDonald’s Honorary Chairman. “Lifelong learning is a goal for some, but it’s a way of life at McDonald’s” (cited in “McDonald’s Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hamburger University”, 2011) More than 275000 restaurant managers, middle managers, and owner-operators have graduated from Hamburger University, and it has moved from a small classroom in the basement of a McDonald’s restaurant to a worldwide campus dedicated to excellent training for employees.
Furthermore, promoting diversity is also a part of global citizenship and McDonald’s does not do this well. McDonald’s lead to Mcdonaldization worldwide which is a trend that George Ritzer has argued is enveloping more and more spheres of contemporary society, he defines it as “the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. “(1993, p.
1) There are four principles for McDonaldization which are efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control through nonhuman technology. However, those characteristics not only are here for the foreseeable future, but also are influencing society at an accelerating rate. In a McDonaldizing society, there are great pressures for efficiency. This pressure requires for increasing calculability which means the emphasis on quantity rather than quality.
Then increasing calculability leads to enhance the creation of precise, programmable, non-human technologies. Moreover, this methodological operation is itself motivated by the desire for greater control over people. (1993, p. 148) However, the key point of McDonaldizing is the quest for efficiency through stability and control (Taylor, Lyon, 1995). Then McDonald’s produce standard goods such as burgers and fries and customers accept them which could encourage the demand around homogeneous products.
In some extent, McDonaldization tends to limit alternatives. Therefore, for McDonald’s, customers buy burgers and get same taste no matter buying in America or Japan. For the whole McDonaldizing, corporation produce goods and provide service following same standard which is harmful for the diversity. As a global citizenship, McDonald’s should beyond its own McDonaldization, and it has already made some attempts at to change itself, such as lamb burgers in India, McHuevos in Latin America and McChicken Korma in the UK (Nancarrow,Vir & Barker, 2005).
Whatever, McDonaldizing should not be accepted for the world as the main melody in food industry and customer prefer to different tastes. As the essay has shown, global citizenship should consider their responsibilities in three aspects: environment, education and diversity. As a global citizenship, McDonald’s plays a significant role in the modern society which means that it protects environment and promotes education well while it also leads to McDonaldizing to the world instead of diversity (Taylor, Lyon, 1995).
Global citizenship has the demand of variety, and citizens need to work together to change the present situation where the higher the perceived social status of the organization the less diverse its citizenship. It can be predicted that future success of global citizenship will be enjoyed by those organizations that understand the need to insist the importance of differences rather than seek mass similarities.
Courtney from Study Moose
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