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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Challenging McWorld

Book by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

This book-length publication is available for purchase from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA); the table of contents and introduction are available in PDF format on the CCPA website. Challenging McWorld explores the increase in youth activism in the late 1990s, beginning with the World Trade Organization summit meeting in Seattle in 1999. This publication is intended as a tool for popular education and action among the three main constituencies of youth: university and college students, young workers, and high school youth.

In the introduction, Tony Clarke attempts to explain what the term “McWorld” encompasses: it is a take-off on the successful marketing of McDonald’s, the US-based fast-food chain, whose golden arches have become a worldwide symbol. “McWorld” has various associations for youth activists: 1) it refers to the realities of corporate globalization, whereby the world is increasingly organized and dominated by for-profit transnational corporations; 2) the term symbolizes the rise of global capitalism; and, 3) it means the spread of the “American Empire” to the four corners of the Earth.

Clarke contends that, whatever its meaning, “McWorld” provides a common symbol and language, both for critically understanding our world and building alternatives to it. Most importantly, he argues, there is an underlying common resistance among youth activists to subscribe to the vision and values symbolized by McWorld. In many cases, youth activist movements were set back by the events of September 11th; he argues, however, that the youth movement can be nurtured and sustained. Challenging McWorld is meant to help young people develop the tools and skills needed for increasing their critical awareness of the world.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: Yes Publication Format: Hard Copy

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice / 2005
Policy Articles / Children & Family


Keywords / Tags:

youth activism; youth movements; tools for education and action; capitalism; globalization; American Empire; youth values; global awareness;