The McDonaldization of Society
In his book , 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 ' McDonaldization not only affects the restaurant business , but also education , health care , work , travel , dieting , politics , the family and almost every aspect of society . The growth in franchising among many of today 's companies is the direct result of people longing for both products and services exactly when they need them
. The fundamental problem with McDonaldized systems is that there are other people in the system structuring out our lives for us , rather than structuring our lives ourselves . The majorities of people in society see nothing wrong with the idea of McDonaldization and have actually assisted in pushing its development even further with their consumer habits . Ritzer considers these people part of what he considers the velvet cage ' a term borrowed from esteemed sociologist Max Weber . These people admit that McDonaldization is steadily encompassing them , and they find the process quite comfortable in many ways . The process guarantees no real surprises for them and they can find safety in its predictability Others may seek out the rubber cage ' where some authenticity and uniqueness is still found in the consumer experience . They do see the benefits of McDonaldization , but they prefer to support Mom and Pop proprietor owned stores for many of their needs
The main concepts employed in the fast-food industry have spread to all types of restaurants . Everything from pizza to lobster , from ice cream to bread , from alcohol to fried chicken is dominated by this chain mentality . We no longer have to go to chains they have come to us They are in the suburbs , the cities and the malls , the schools and military bases , the hospitals and airports . It is not only the food industry that is reflective of this process . It is in the toy stores (Toys R Us bookstores (Barnes and Noble newss (USA Today childcare (Kinder Care learning (Sylvan Learning Center ) and a host of others . In the past three decades , McDonaldization has extended its reach into more and more sections of society . There are five governing themes that Ritzer outlines within the McDonaldization process . They are efficiency , calculability , predictability , increased control and the replacement of the human by non-human technology
Efficiency is defined as the choosing of means to reach a specific end rapidly , with the least amount of cost and effort . The idea of efficiency is explicit to the interests of the industry or the business but is falsely advertised as a benefit to the customer . Examples can be seen everywhere : the drive-up window , salad bars , self-serve gas stations , ATM machines , and microwave dinners . The key element is that the customer ends up performing many of the tasks that formerly was done for them and ends up paying for this privilege ' The customer ends up spending more time , being forced to...
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