Power of McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’

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  • Title: Power of McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’: Globalization of American Culture and Value
  • Author(s): Joanne Jung-wook Hong
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Global Studies
  • Journal Title: The Global Studies Journal
  • Keywords: Ideology, Intertextuality, Happy Meal, McDonald’s, American Animations, Globalization, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2009
  • ISSN: 1835-4432 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-4432/CGP/v02i02/40621
  • Citation: Hong, Joanne Jung-wook. 2009. "Power of McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’: Globalization of American Culture and Value." The Global Studies Journal 2 (2): 143-154. doi:10.18848/1835-4432/CGP/v02i02/40621.
  • Extent: 12 pages


This paper aims at exploring and discussing how powerfully McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’ contributes to globalization of American culture and value in ‘alliance’ with representation and hence ideology in the American animation industry. In particular, as a critical linguistic research, the paper focuses on investigating intertextual and ideological meaning constructions in American animation and McDonald’s promotional discourse for Happy Meal. The discussion will be mainly based on social semiotic analysis and intertextual/interdiscursive analysis of American animations and McDonald’s global Happy Meal promotional leaflets, focusing on construction of socio-cultural values and identities of America and McDonald’s.