Introduction to Sociology
The McDonaldization of Society
George Ritzer, in his book The McDonaldization of Society, has given a good understanding of the kind of world we live in. He describes the concept of McDonaldization, which is the process in which the principles that form the basis of McDonalds are greatly influencing the rest of society. McDonalds runs its business on the following key elements: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control by non-human technologies. A fifth element, which Ritzer perceives as a disadvantage of McDonaldization, is the irrationality of rationality. This is the idea that a society which is based entirely on rationality is not a normal human society because humans are not created to be rational. According to Ritzer, “rational systems serve to deny human reason; rational systems are often unreasonable.”(pg. 13) Ritzer, in his book, applies all these principles of McDonaldization to other spheres of life besides fast-food, such as the literary industry, the culinary industry, the fashion industry, and other services. Even though he tries, and I think, succeeds, in trying to remain as objective as possible, Ritzer establishes himself as being apprehensive of, or against, the widespread influence of McDonaldization. He discusses the ideas in the history of mankind which have lead to McDonaldization, such as the principles of the Holocaust and the assembly line production. Then, Ritzer proceeds to describe each of the five key elements of McDonaldization in detail, using the McDonalds model or other examples. Eventually, the reader gets a complete picture of McDonaldization and how it affects their world. Ritzer also discusses how McDonaldization might affect our future. It has such a deep impact on our life that it is influencing not only our physical and material life, but also the very miracles of creation and destruction. McDonaldization has affected each and every sphere of our being....
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