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The Mcdonaldization of Society – 4 Main Components of McDonaldization | Sociology

The Mcdonaldization of Society

The Mcdonaldization of Society refers to to the increase of the fast food business model in common social institutions. “McDonaldization” is a term used by sociologist George Ritzer in his book The McDonaldization of Society (1993). McDonaldization as described by Ritzer is a reconceptualization of rationalization, or moving from traditional to rational modes of thought, and scientific management. The four main components of McDonaldization, according to Ritzer, are efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.

For example, many chain supermarkets have people at the register checking out customers while stockers keep shelves full and deli workers slice meats and cheese to order (efficiency).

components of McDonaldization

McDonaldization of Society applies classical social theory to a broad range of contemporary issues in an ever more globalized world. McDonaldization updates and applies Max Weber’s rationalization thesis to the late 20th and early 21st centuries: while Weber emphasized bureaucracies as the “iron cages” of rationalization in his day, fast food restaurants have become the model for rationalization today.

It is predictable that every time you enter a store within that grocery chain, you will receive the same type of goods, see the same store organization, and find the same brands and prices (consistency). The goods are sold by the pound, so you can weigh your fruit and vegetable purchases instead of simply guessing how much that bag of onions will cost, while employees use a timecard to calculate their hours and receive overtime pay (calculability).

Finally, you will notice that all store employees wear uniforms (and usually name tags) so they can easily be identified. There are security cameras monitoring the store (control), and there are some parts of the store, such as the stockroom, that aren’t open to customers (surveillance). McDonaldization has improved profits and made different goods and services more accessible to more people around the world, but it has also reduced the variety of goods on the market and made available products uniform, generic, and bland.

Think about the difference between a mass-produced shoe and one that is made by a local cobbler, the difference between a chicken grown by a family farm and one that is grown by a corporation, or the difference between the style of coffee served at a diner and one from Starbucks.

Practice FAQs

What is an advantage of the mcdonaldization of society?

What is an advantage of the mcdonaldization of society?

A) There is more variety of goods.
B) There is less theft.
C) There is more worldwide availability of goods.
D) There is more opportunity for businesses.

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The Correct Answer for the given question is Option C) There is more worldwide availability of goods.




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