Principles of McDonaldization
George Ritzer’s book The McDonaldization of Society is based on his theory and social criticism on rationalization of society as a whole through the growth and principles of McDonald’s fast-food model of business. The book begins with an introduction chapter that describes the background of McDonalds and outlines the different chapters of the book. Chapter Two gives a history of socioeconomic developments that lead up to the creation of McDonalds including theories of F.W. Taylor, Henry Ford and Max Weber, McDonalds in the present day, and what is predicted for the future of the McDonald system. The next four chapters break up the McDonaldization principles and how each one can be applied to society outside of McDonalds – big business, education and health care as a few examples. Efficiency is the first principle introduced. The chapter talks about how McDonald’s fast-food model encourages efficiency, similar to that of the assembly line developed by Henry Ford, in creating a fast-paced environment. The next chapter discusses calculability and how McDonalds emphasizes quantitative processes over qualitative products; everything must be measurable. Predictability is covered in the fifth chapter, which refers to the idea of gaining customer comfort in the stability of product offerings. The final principle chapter deals with control; particularly those of customer habits and employee work styles. The seventh chapter addresses the drawbacks and problems associated with having a McDonaldized society. Globalization is covered in Chapter 8 with a solid definition of globalization; the something/nothing principles and how the fast-food model has affected foreign societies. The last two chapters in the book discuss options and alternatives for dealing with living in a McDonaldized society and how Starbucks is now taking over the role as an international mega-chain influencer on society in comparison to McDonalds.
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