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SAGE Publications
The McDonaldization of Society: New Century Edition / Edition 3

The McDonaldization of Society: New Century Edition / Edition 3

by George Ritzer


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"McDonaldization" is a paradigm for "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," in the words of Ritzer (sociology, U. of Maryland), spreading even into institutions such education, medicine, and the criminal justice system. He identifies the four rationalist principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control as the dimensions that lie at the heart of the fast-food model, describing how they have become nearly ubiquitous through society. Unfortunately, there are a number of irrationalities spawned by the rationality of McDonaldization, most notable of which is dehumanization. He also discusses efforts to combat the effects of McDonaldization and the phenomenon itself. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761986287
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 01/19/2000
Series: Sociology Series
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was awarded the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association, an honorary doctorate from LaTrobe University in Australia, and the Robin Williams Lectureship from the Eastern Sociological Society. His best-known work, The McDonaldization of Society (8th ed.), has been read by hundreds of thousands of students over two decades and translated into over a dozen languages. Ritzer is also the editor of McDonaldization: The Reader; and author of other works of critical sociology related to the McDonaldization thesis, including Enchanting a Disenchanted World, The Globalization of Nothing, Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society, as well as a series best-selling social theory textbooks and Globalization: A Basic Text. He is the Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2 vols.), the Encyclopedia of Sociology (11 vols.; 2nd edition forthcoming), the Encyclopedia of Globalization (5 vols.), and is Founding Editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. In 2016 he will publish the second edition of Essentials of Sociology with SAGE.

Table of Contents

1.An Introduction to McDonaldization1
McDonald's as a Global Icon5
The Long Arm of McDonaldization8
The Dimensions of McDonaldization12
Control through Nonhuman Technology15
The Advantages of McDonaldization15
A Critique of McDonaldization: The Irrationality of Rationality16
What Isn't McDonaldized?19
McDonald's Troubles: Implications for McDonaldization20
A Look Ahead22
2.McDonaldization and Its Precursors: From the Iron Cage to the Fast-Food Factory24
Bureaucratization: Making Life More Rational24
Weber's Theory of Rationality25
Irrationality and the "Iron Cage"27
The Holocaust: Mass-Produced Death28
Scientific Management: Finding the One Best Way31
The Assembly Line: Turning Workers into Robots33
Levittown: Putting Up Houses--"Boom, Boom, Boom"35
Shopping Centers: Malling America37
McDonald's: Creating the "Fast-Food Factory"38
3.Efficiency: Drive-Throughs and Finger Foods43
Streamlining the Process44
The Fast-Food Industry: Speeding the Way from Secretion to Excretion46
Home Cooking (and Related Phenomena): "I Don't Have Time to Cook"47
Shopping: Creating Ever-More Efficient Selling Machines50
Higher Education: Just Fill in the Box52
Health Care: Docs-in-a-Box54
Entertainment: Moving People (and Trash) Efficiently55
Other Settings: Streamlining Relationships with Even the Pope57
Simplifying the Product59
Putting Customers to Work61
4.Calculability: Big Macs and Little Chips66
Emphasizing Quantity Rather Than Quality of Products68
The Fast-Food Industry: Of "Big Bites" and "Super Big Gulps"68
Higher Education: Grades, Scores, Ratings, and Rankings70
Health Care: Patients as Dollar Signs74
Television: Aesthetics Are Always Secondary75
Sports: Nadia Comaneci Scored Exactly 79.275 Points76
Politics: There Were No Sound Bites in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate79
Other Settings: Junk Food Journalism and Tourist Junk(ets)80
Giving the Illusion of Quantity81
Reducing Production and Service to Numbers82
The Fast-Food Industry: A Precooked Hamburger Measures Exactly 3.875 Inches82
The Workplace: A Penny the Size of a Cartwheel84
5.Predictability: It Never Rains on Those Little Houses on the Hillside86
Creating Predictable Settings87
Motel Chains: "Magic Fingers" but No Norman Bates87
The Fast-Food Industry: Thank God for Those Golden Arches88
Other Settings: E.T. Can't Find His Home89
Scripting Interaction with Customers91
The Fast-Food Industry: "Howdy Pardner" and "Happy Trails"91
Other Settings: Even the Jokes Are Scripted93
Making Employee Behavior Predictable95
The Fast-Food Industry: Even Hamburger University's Professors Behave Predictably95
Other Settings: That Disney Look96
Creating Predictable Products and Processes97
The Fast-Food Industry: Even the Pickles Are Standardized98
Entertainment: Welcome to McMovieworld99
Sports: There's Even a McStables101
Minimizing Danger and Unpleasantness102
6.Control: Human and Nonhuman Robots106
Controlling Employees107
The Fast-Food Industry: From Human to Mechanical Robots107
Education: McChild Care Centers109
Health Care: Who's Deciding Our Fate?110
The Workplace: Do as I Say, Not as I Do112
Controlling Customers116
The Fast-Food Industry: Get the Hell Out of There116
Other Settings: It's Like Boot Camp117
Controlling the Process and the Product120
Food Production, Cooking, and Vending: It Cooks Itself120
The Ultimate Examples of Control? Birth and Death123
Controlling Conception: Even Granny Can Conceive124
Controlling Pregnancy: Choosing the Ideal Baby125
Controlling Childbirth: Birth as Pathology127
Controlling the Process of Dying: Designer Deaths130
7.The Irrationality of Rationality: Traffic Jams on Those "Happy Trails"134
Inefficiency: Long Lines at the Checkout135
High Cost: Better Off at Home136
The Illusion of Fun: Ha, Ha, the Stock Market Just Crashed137
The Illusion of Reality: Even the "Singers" Aren't Real140
False Friendliness: "Hi, George"141
Disenchantment: Where's the Magic?143
Health and Environmental Hazards: Even Your Pets Are at Risk144
Homogenization: It's No Different in Paris147
Dehumanization: Getting Hosed at "Trough and Brew"148
Fast-Food Industry: Gone Is the "Greasy Spoon"151
Family: The Kitchen as Filling Station152
Higher Education: Like Processing Meat154
Health Care: You're Just a Number155
Dehumanized Death156
8.Globalization and McDonaldization: Does It All Amount to ... Nothing?159
Globalization: Glocalization and Grobalization162
McDonaldization and Grobalization165
Nothing-Something and McDonaldization167
Nothing-Something and Grobalization-Glocalization169
The Grobalization of Something171
The Grobalization of Nothing172
The Glocalization of Nothing175
The Glocalization of Something176
The Case for McDonaldization as an Example of the Glocalization of Something178
The Case for McDonaldization as an Example of the Grobalization of Nothing181
9.McDonaldization in a Changing World: Are There Any Limits?185
The Forces Driving McDonaldization: It Pays, We Value It, It Fits186
Higher Profits and Lower Costs186
McDonaldization for Its Own Sake187
McDonaldization and the Changing Society188
Other Major Social Changes: McDonaldization in the Era of the "Posts"189
Postindustrialism and McDonaldization: "Complexification" and Simplification190
Fordism and Post-Fordism: Or Is It McDonaldism?191
Postmodernism: Are We Adrift in Hyperspace?194
Are There Any Limits to the Expansion of McDonaldization?202
A "Yellow Brick Road" to the Summit of Everest?202
Looking to the Future: De-McDonaldization?205
The Future of McDonald's and Franchises: A Model of All That Is Bad?205
The Future of McDonaldization: "Miss Hap's" and "Miss Steak's"207
10.Dealing with McDonaldization: A Practical Guide213
Creating "Reasonable" Alternatives: Sometimes You Really Do Have to Break the Rules215
Marvelous Market: "Crunchy Crusts and Full Taste"216
Ben & Jerry's: "Caring Capitalism"219
B&Bs: Alternatives to "McBed, McBreakfasts"222
Swedish Auto Assembly Lines: Eliminating the Worst Excesses223
Fighting Back Collectively: Saving Hearts, Minds, Taste Buds, and the Piazza di Spagna225
McLibel Support Group: McDonald's Pyrrhic Victory225
National Heart Savers Association: McClog the Artery227
Slow Food: Creating a Place for Traditional, Regional, High-Quality Food228
Sprawl-Busters: A "Hit List" of McDonaldized Superstores231
Local Protests: Not Wanting to Say "Bye-Bye to the Neighborhood"231
Coping Individually: "Skunk Works," Blindfolded Children, and Fantasy Worlds234
Nonrationalized Niches: Life in the Skunk Works235
A Range of Individual Actions: If All Else Fails, Save the Children238
Freedom: If You Can't Cope, Can You Escape?241
About the Author309

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McDonaldization of Society, New Century Edition 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
sowdman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting point regarding the standardization of products and services do the point of sameness and less then the best quality. The author is biased by appearing to be opposed to anything that is not handcrafted and is against anything that is mass produced.
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Must have this from a Soc class. As I recall it was interesting and somewhat useful, but is probably dated now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The McDonaldization of Society was a very good book. It dealt with how a simple thing like McDonalds restaurant has revolutionized the world. The first chapter informs the reader with facts about McDonalds, while the rest of the chapters deal with how McDonalds is changing the world. Ritzer goes from as in depth as a simple recipe to how McDonaldization has changed the giving birth procedure. The book goes through many different aspects of McDonaldization. Ritzer highlights four key points to making McDonaldization perfect. The four key points are efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. In my evaluation of the book, the author¿s method was very effective and the facts to back up the information were very good. I really enjoyed reading this book, while learning a lot. I would read it again, and most likely will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's amazing how Ritzer used certain ideas to question the way in which one lives. I took a class this summer and this book really helped me to expand my horizons and look the whole picture. This man is very amazing as well as convincing. I definitely reccommend this book to everyone, no matter your race, sexuality, or financial status.
Guest More than 1 year ago
And a great professor...took a class of his at The University of Maryland. Fascinating book.