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                                                                            "Local Consumption and Global Taste: The Cultural Politics of Western Fast Food in Urban China"

                                                                                                                                              Keane Ng 
In this research, I study changing food consumption patterns in post-Mao Chinawith a focus on the introduction and impact of Western fast food into China's food consumption market.  With a focus on examining the relationship between tradition and change, I intend to look at how Western fast food restaurants try to appeal to and attract Chinese customers through the food they offer and the modern images they try to construct.  I want to look into whether menus are altered in order to adapt to the Chinese population and eating habits, how Chinese taste buds have responded to and influenced the nature of the food served, and how do Chinese people think of increasing presence of western fast food restaurants in China. I'll also examine how the influx of western fast food restaurants has impacted Chinese domestic restaurants: Do they compete for customers or do they attract different types of customers, by age, gender, or profession? Furthermore, what different social functions do fast food restaurants play?  When Chinese people visit places like McDonald's or KFC, what do they want out of the experience, and how does that differ from what they would want from a traditional restaurant?  On-site interviews and documentation will facilitate this research, as well as photography.  My hope is that this research will shed light on the tensions between tradition and the rapid changes brought about by globalization in China.

 








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