Hegemony of the Fast Food Industry

MAD-Magazine-Fast-Food-Dollar

The word “hegemony” refers to when a dominant group seeks to control a subordinate group and remain in advantage, often through manipulation and coercion. I chose to look at the hegemony behind fast food corporations and their surprising influence on politics, as well as our diets.

By blatantly targeting the middle and lower classes in print ads and TV commercials, fast food companies are trying to take advantage of the lower classes by selling bad food for cheap, while raking in the profits. In recent years there have also been scandals concerning how fast food giants use their influence and money, like Chick-fil-A’s support of anti- gay marriage lobbyist groups. This issue raised alarm over the fact that these companies can gain power and control even outside of their products, often without consumers’ knowledge. It makes sense that companies like this would get greedy and seek to expand their influence, but having lobbyists looking out for the interests of these corporations is extremely dangerous, both to politics and our health.

Realistically, would you still support a company knowing this was going on? Are there other industries that abuse their power in a similar way?

 

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2 thoughts on “Hegemony of the Fast Food Industry

  1. I really enjoyed reading this blog because the question challenged me to think about the areas and audience major fast food companies are targeting. As it is mentioned in this blog, the target audience is focusing on middle and lower class people. The first thriving food companies that popped into my head were Mc Donald’s and Carls Jr. Even though these food products might be raking in a lot of money I do not view them as being corrupt businesses. In my mind this is just smart business because they target a group of people that would pay for the products because it is easily accessible and a fast meal to consume after a long day of work. To answer the question of would you support a company if you knew that food company had control outside their products, my answer would be yes. Just because famous companies such as Chick-fil-A use their business to advertise their beliefs and opinions about political matters, doesn’t mean that I am going to stop buying their food. I believe that these companies and owners should be allowed to spend their money in any areas that they wish, since it is their business.

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  2. I think the point of hegemony is that is works best, that the ideological work is most effective, when it is NOT coercive. This is how it was explained in “Lawn People” – that “regular folks” were interpellated into larger ideological systems and power relations by engaging in something so ordinary as keeping a lawn. It’s not that poor people and blacks are eating fast food entirely against their will. Fast food is made to be desirable, and wanting and liking it works to embrace us into an exploitative system.
    I also don’t think that the Chick-fil-a is a good example. People resisted, and their anti-gay politics blew up in their faces. People would not support them.

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