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Sunday, 30 March 2014 02:05

"Working at McDonald's," Amitai Etzioni Featured

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"Working at McDonald's," Amitai Etzioni


In "Working at McDonald's," Amitai Etzioni argues that part-time jobs for youngsters should be discouraged. The author notes that these jobs have become predominant in the American society. Youngsters are increasingly lured to the part-time jobs because of the prospect of earning some money. While earning such money is beneficial in the short-term, the long-term implications are more or less undesirable. In view of the insights provided in this article, most youngsters are irresponsible with the money acquired from the part-time jobs. This is because they just use it to buy clothes or other flashy accessories such as phones (Etzioni, 1986). This means that the youngsters do not save any money from this kind of employment. In the article, it is also notable that the youngsters who work in the fast food chains such as McDonald’s do not have sufficient time for studies. This undermines their development from an academic perspective. In the long term, it hampers the chances of being competitive in the job market.


The author’s viewpoints towards part-time jobs for youngsters are valid. These viewpoints are a mirror-image of the current situation in the United States. The part-time jobs for youngsters have become extremely popular in the current society. Adolescents are easily attracted to this kind of employment because it provides them with some much-needed income. In a fast-food chain such as McDonald’s, the youngsters acquire basic skills such as teamwork (Etzioni, 1986).

However, the positive outcomes of the part-time jobs are greatly outweighed by the shortcomings. As noted by the author, the part-time jobs compromise the focus of students in studies. Most of them are always looking forwards to getting at their respective workstations rather than the classroom. The income obtained from the part-time jobs is also considerably deceptive because it creates a notion of the irrelevance of education among some youngsters. Due to such notions, most youngsters are highly prone t=o dropping out of school in order to focus more on the jobs. This situation is undesirable for any parent. It is also notable that most of the youngsters in part-time jobs do not use the income appropriately.

While it would be crucial to save these earnings, the youngsters indulge in extravagant behavior. This means that the money obtained from part-time jobs is not put into meaningful use. The deleterious implications of part-time jobs can also be depicted by the risk of minimal focus in studies. Most of these youngsters are preoccupied with thoughts of making money instead of studying. Based on such an aspect, part-time jobs have significantly undermined the standards of education in the United States. Parents must play an integral role in protecting children from over-indulgence in such jobs.

The author’s viewpoint towards the implication of the part-time jobs on professional development is also valid. When a younger works continuously at the fast food chains, he or she gains minimal professional skills (Gray, 19). This undermines the ability of such an individual to compete with other people in the modern job market. In essence, the skills acquired by a youngster in the part-time jobs are not sustainable in the long-term. This highlights another crucial reason why the part-time jobs are not appropriate for youngsters. It is crucial for parents to guide the youngsters into employment settings that help in building professional skills. These setting must not necessarily be offering any money to the youngsters.


Etzioni, Amitai.  "Working at McDonald’s”, The Washington Post, 24th August 1986

Gray, Kenneth. Getting real: Helping teens find their future, Sage Publications, 2009

Last modified on Sunday, 30 March 2014 02:07
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