Mcdonaldization of Work

Topics: Employment Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: February 6, 2008
Ritzer's theory of "McDonaldization" is a theory that basically says that many jobs are becoming "McDonaldized," or being reduced to simple, unskilled tasks. According to Ritzer, these are called "McJobs." There are four main components of McDonaldization. The first is efficiency, that is, the task should be completed using the most optimal method. The second, calculability, means that, for example, sales are more important that taste or quality. The third component is predictability, meaning that the services should be uniform and standardized. The fourth and final component is control, which is related to predictability. Control refers to standardized and uniform employees, as well as the replacement of human workers my modern technology. McDonaldization reduces workers to robotic drones who never learn any real skills besides the repetitive movements they do hour-by-hour, day-by-day.

There are several examples of McDonaldization in Schlosser's book, Fast Food Nation. In the book, Schlosser discusses his conversations with a McDonalds restaurant owner in Colorado Springs. The owner showed off many new technologies that further diminished the rolls human workers play in the fast food industry. The technology makes the workers' tasks even simpler and less skillful. Another example from Schlosser's book is the constant opposition by fast food companies to any legislation that will increase the minimum wage. The companies know that an increase in the minimum wage they are required to pay their worked would cut into their profits. Fast Food Nation also highlights that there are few opportunities for any real advancement in the workplace, as well a very small chance that workers will learn any skills useful in another job.

These "McJobs" have both positive and negative effects for workers in the fast food industry. These jobs can both alienate workers, as according to Marx, and provide positive outcomes for them as according to Wilson and Newman....
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