Is Classical Sociology Still Relevant Today?

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, McDonaldization Pages: 4 (1226 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Choose any one concept or argument developed within classical sociology. Critically evaluate the use made of this concept or argument by contemporary sociology in trying to understand a current social issue This essay looks at the argument taken from a classical sociologist called Weber, throughout this essay it explains rationalization and how it has become modernized using Ritzer to explain this by demonstrating his McDonaldization theory. The theory will be clarified by contemporary sociologists by looking at their strengths and weaknesses and how rationalization relates to a current social issue such as globalisation becoming such a problem in today’s society due to a wide population of fast food restaurants causing obesity to rise within today’s society.

The term rationalization is referred to as the replacement of traditions, values and emotions as motivators for behaviour in society with rational calculated ones (H.Jurgen. 1985). One of Weber’s main intellectual concerns was understanding the process of rationalisation and disenchantment that he associated with the rise of capitalism. Although Weber wanted to understand rationalisation he was extremely ambivalent towards it, he argued that it had many advantages such as freeing humans from traditional restrictive and illogical guidance although he also criticises it and argues that rationalisation dehumanises individuals, and identifies it as ‘cogs in the machine’ (Macionis.J 2012) He states that it takes away humans freedom trapping them in the bureaucratic iron cage of rationality and bureaucracy.

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Ritzer uses the term McDonalization to refer to the general process of rationalisation. He states that the modern food consumptions explains the process of rationalisation and in traditional societies the food preparation was more laborious and technically efficient whereas in modern societies it is all about the speed and precision and maximising profits (Ritzer...
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