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Social Sci LibreTexts

4.6: The Interface Between The Local and The Global

  • Page ID
    38664
  • The basis of popular culture is commerce. As long as a product can be sold, it can survive in the marketplace. This brings up an interesting process. Commodification is the process in which a cultural attribute is changed into a mass-market product. Bear in mind that the mass-market product may not resemble the original product very much. Using a similar fast-food model as McDonald’s, Taco Bell sells ostensibly Mexican products across the world with the notable exception of Mexico. Panda Express is similar for Chinese food. These chains are not in the business of makinghamburgers, tacos, or orange chicken. They are in the business of making a profit. Authenticity is irrelevant, and probably harmful in the drive to sell more.

    The reverse of this process also applies. One aspect of marketing is the incorporation of global products into the local market. Companies will change their products or their entire product lines, if doing so is cost-effective and generates agood return on investment. There is even a Central America-based fried chicken chain in the United States. Brands like Sony and Hyundai are highly visible in the American landscape. K-Pop bands tour suburban arenas that also host Celine Dion and Paul McCartney.

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