Global Habitus, Local Stratification, and Symbolic Struggles Over Identity: The Case of McDonald's Israel

Eva Illouz*, Nicholas John

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Employing Bourdieu's concepts of field and habitus, this article argues that McDonaldization, and by extension globalization, is a social and cultural practice, implemented by actors, with intentions, motivations, and goals. This analytical approach accomplishes two important objectives: first, it moves away from an agentless view of globalization, viewing it instead as a social practice demanding forms of skills and strategies used by actors, and second, this approach helps us understand how forms of global capital enable and are enabled by local forms of social stratification and identity. The research is based on content analysis of newspaper articles on McDonald's in Israel and an in-depth interview with the chief executive officer of McDonald's Israel. It focuses on his social trajectory, asking how his ethnic, class, and political affiliations within the Israeli context endowed him with a global habitus. This global habitus is apparent in the liberal outlook defended by the McDonald's chairman, an outlook that has pitted him against the ultra-orthodox establishment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)201-229
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Globalization
  • Habitus
  • Israel
  • McDonaldization

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