“I didn’t want to remain a hick from the mountains… I saw McDonald’s as a place where modern culture capital could be dispensed. I kept these memories in mind years later, in the late 1990’s, as I monitored scores of conversations about the Golden Arches and soon recognized that McDonald’s is still considered a marker of a modern identity.”
So begins a complicated journey into the power of one of the most recognizable signs of American capitalism: the Golden Arches. THE SIGN OF THE BURGER examines how McDonald’s captures our imagination: as a shorthand for explaining the power of American culture; as a symbol of the strength of consumerism; as a bellwether for the condition of labor in a globalized economy; and often, for better or worse, a powerful educational tool that often defines the nature of culture for hundreds of millions the world over.
While many books have offered simple critiques McDonald’s, Joe Kincheloe explores the complex and insidious ways that McDonald’s and its corporate power affect the world. We see him as a young boy in Appalachia, watching the Golden Arches going up as the — hopeful — arrival of the modern into his rural world. And we travel with him around the world to see how this approach of the modern affects other people, either through excitement or through attempts at resisting McDonald’s power, often in unfortunate ways. Through it all, Kincheloe demonstrates, with lucidity and depth, the fact that McDonald’s growth will in many ways determine the nature of both accepting and protesting its ever-increasing presence in our global world.
Cover design: Action Dave Kessler
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