Ethnography Research Paper Conducted at Local Mall McDonalds
The ethnography research that I studied took place at the food court. I visited the McDonalds stall in the food court of Pacific Fair Mall on a Saturday at around 1pm. Pacific Fair is the biggest shopping mall in Gold coast, Australia. The food court is located in the first level of the mall. The first level was roofed with some kind of translucent material so that sunlight can come
in to the mall; also, it can thwart the customers from rain, especially during the winter. In a square shaped area, the stalls were to be found on the sides leaving a big space in the middle, where, large number of tables and chairs were placed. When all’s said and done, it created a cozy feel for the customers.
The food court comprises of more than 25 individual stalls, from coffee shops to proper cuisine. The shoppers had a wide range of food variety to choose. Some of the stalls are self service and the others were served by food runners (waiters). There was a lot of running around and quick moves between the counter and the kitchen. Most of them working in the stalls appeared to be younger than eighteen years of old. The reason for young staffs could be, less pay per hour. I was amazed by the fact, most of them wearing black trousers as their uniform, but, the shirt differ from stall to stall. Apart from this, there were people working in blue clothing, looked a little elderly, were cleaning the tables with left over food and the wrapping papers.
It was a late Saturday afternoon and the food court was filled with people off all ages, there were families with kids, couples, individuals and teenage groups. I could see different races of people, Asian to African. It is easier to assume people with their cameras clicking some pictures are tourists. Apart from that I could see people of different race speaking Australian lingo, for instance, “no might (mate)”, “woudcha? (would you)”. These people could be the migrants to Australia and made Australia a multi-cultural destination.
Out of the whole crowd I noticed this group of friends who were loud in laughing and cracking jokes. They got seated before they could order food; I guess this was to ensure a seat due to the increasing crowd. The group was between the age group of 15-16 years old. I was seated between them and the counter, which made it very easy for me to hear their conversation at both ends. The group consisted of three boys and two girls. Out of which, one of the guys was loud and cracking jokes and the other two were listening to him, out of the girls one was listening to the first guy’s comments and the other one was meddling with her hand bag and finally removed a Mobil phone, probably checking her message she must have received on it. This is one difference I have noticed between the two sexes everywhere. No matter how big or small a Mobile phone is, men always carry it in their pant pockets where as women always use their hand bags.
The boys were dressed sporty. Two among the three were wearing cap and the other guy was blonde. The third guy had a good hair-style. Among the three, two were wearing t-shirts (Billabong) and the other one was wearing a white colored vest. All the three were wearing surf shorts. And to my greatest surprise two guys were not wearing any shoes. And the other one was wearing flip-flops. Among the two, one girl was wearing a tight top and a short denim skirt. And the other one was wearing sleeveless top and a surf shorts. Both the girls were wearing caps. I was surprised because according to the country where I come from, going places with out shoes is considered as indecent. Also in a big shopping mall it is impossible to find one person without shoes. From their dress code we can assume two points: typical summer clothing and they belong to the popular culture, the surf culture.
As soon as after they got their seats, both the girls sat back and the guys got up to take their food orders. In most countries and even the one I come from India i.e. when there is a group of girls and boys the girls rarely get up to order their own food. Most of the boys make use of this opportunity to show their graciousness.
The group spent a lot of time looking at the menu board which had the list of the different kind of burgers. After much discussion among each other the boys ordered their food. The girls got a small burger and a salad respectively, but, the guys grabbed the Big Macs. Well this reminded me of a Jack Nicholson movie, in which he positively passes a statement saying women never eat on dates. In agreement to that I can not remember ever noticing a girl eating more than the guy on the table. Every one in the group got a drink as well. I guess which an indication of the increasing heat is.
The conversations began to flow again and this time they were talking about the food they had ordered. The boys exchanged bites of each others burgers and took comparatively larger bites. After each one of them started eating their meals the conversation grew less among the guy but the women continued to whisper and mutter words among each other. The boys just quickly ate through their food. Where as, the girl who was eating the smaller burger took really small bites and had longer intervals between them. The girl who ordered the salad plate kept on playing with the food by just mixing everything in the plate using a fork and took equal portions of each vegetable. Conclusively, female have more table manners than guys; no matter which age group they belong.