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Bates College

Publication Date

Fall 2004

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Islands Studies


The topics of change, development and globalization are extremely pertinent to modern-day Samoa. The past ten years have lead to a vast increase in the inter-connectedness of Samoa to the world economically, socially, and culturally. This paper uses McDonald’s as a representation of the globalization occurring in Samoa in order to better understand the real impacts of these abstract terms. Samoan youth act as a medium in which to explore this topic. They are often the most attune to the impacts of globalization and perhaps even act as a catalyst for change. Thus this paper explores, specifically, the relationship between McDonald’s in Apia and Samoan youth. As a basis for further analysis this paper attempts to first define McDonald’s role within the community, place as a status symbol, who their most frequent customers are and reasons behind choosing McDonald’s. Once a foundation is provided, the interplay between McDonald’s culture (as a loose representation of western culture) will be explored in relation to Samoan culture. Eventually, the paper will inconclusively pose possible ways in which globalization will impact culture in Apia, Samoa and the entire world.


Political Economy | Public Economics | Sociology of Culture


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