Amitai Etzioni, author of the article titled “Working at McDonald’s” argues that young people, especially those, who are still in the middle of their studies, should think twice before taking a job in a fast-food chain restaurant. The author presents a number of interesting arguments. He criticizes teenager`s part-time jobs, claiming that this activity brings no benefit for developing minds of students and saying that skills, developed during the work in a fast-food restaurant, such as McDonald`s, are of no value for the future life. He calls such experience “highly uneducational” in numerous ways. Job in a fast-food does not facilitate developing such important skills as self-discipline, self-supervision, entrepreneurship and self-scheduling. Instead of being interesting, this work has features of a “highly routinized” activity. Etzioni also argues that there is a link between teenagers taking a part-time job in McDonalds and probability of being unemployed in the future or getting stuck in the world of the non-intellectual, low-paid and low-class job. Blind obedience and a teen-by-teen supervision are called to be useless and inappropriate.

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In the end of the article, the author claims that students often spend their money in frivolous ways on things that are not really useful for them. To earn more money they start skipping lessons, while often being tired and distracted, which negatively affects their academic performance. Without having a good education, no student will be able to find a full-time, well paid job. The reason for all of these evils is working in McDonald`s.
Being a University Professor, Amitai Etzioni is an ardent opponent of the part-time student jobs. This is not surprising. Just like numerous proponents of the study-concentrated perspective, he really thinks that devoting one`s time to work in fast-food chains is able to interfere with many of students’ schoolwork and deprive one of chances to make a successful career in the future.

I agree with the author`s statement that once a teenager realizes that he or she can earn some money by working in fast-food, one instantly looses the interest for studies. The conviction that they can earn their living without education can be dangerous and become a serious barrier on the way to future success. Once a student starts thinking this way, one will never value education again. The taste of independence can spoil a teenager; turn one into a life-term fast-food machine, forever depriving one of a chance to live effectively.

It`s true that students are often unable to schedule their work and study effectively. As the result very soon they become exhausted both mentally and physically, which negatively affects their academic performance. However, I also disagree with several parts of the article. I consider that some of the author`s statements are too generalized. In my opinion Etzioni`s theory that the part-time job in McDonald`s gives students no valuable skills is not fully correct. Every teenager, every student is an individual and should not be treated in a too generalized way. Teenagers take these jobs for different reasons; they have various motivation and stimuli. Each of them has a unique character and traits that define the possibility of personal and skill development. Having a part-time job can strengthen student`s time management and scheduling skills, as one has to combine studies and work, while keeping a balance between them. Personal earnings provide students with more independence. I know several successful college students, whose McDonald`s salaries allowed them to pay their college tuition fees. For one category of students work in a fast-food restaurant can be beneficial, developing communication and leadership skills, while for others, it can only bring damage. A part of teenagers is working to pay for their education or extracurricular activities, hobbies, sport equipment, cars, while the other part is making these efforts in order to spend earned money on their wild lifestyles. I disagree with most of Etzioni`s arguments, because I believe that any job can be beneficial and teach you something, but only in case you are willing to learn.

  • Etzioni, Amitai. “The Fast-Food Factories: McJobs are Bad for Kids.” The Washington Post, August 24. 1986: Print.