George Ritzer's The Mcdonaldization Of Society: Sociology

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Jennifer Kleinhenz
Sociology 465
Dr. Li
June 7, 2010
McDonaldization of Society
In the novel “The McDonaldization of Society,” George Ritzer defines McDonaldization as “the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world” (Ritzer 1) and explains how this concept not only affects people who eat at fast food restaurants but basically every citizen of the United States. Since the beginning of Ray Kroc’s revolutionary idea to bring the franchise concept to the McDonald brothers’ small hamburger restaurant in 1940, McDonald’s has dominated the fast food industry in sales as well as their conception of how to run their restaurants. The idea of McDonaldization has been applied to many other areas of society
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Max Weber, a German sociologist, viewed bureaucracy as the most efficient way of running a large-scale business, and McDonald’s is the epitome of this type of company. His theory of rationalization assumes that social interaction and institutions progressively aim for mastery of all actions by calculation and that values, traditions, and emotions are all being replaced by formal, impersonal practices. Ritzer takes Weber’s assumptions and incorporates them into his own hypothesis of McDonaldization, which basically turns rationalization into a theory involving McDonald’s and their business interactions and rules. By building their business on the three principles of large volume, high speed, and low price, Dick and Mac McDonald led the way for Ray Kroc to develop the idea of franchising, where a large firm can sell the distribution of its products and ideas to smaller firms and collect the profit. Kroc eventually went on to become a billionaire due to his ingenious business ethics and revolutionary ideas, and fully achieved the “American

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