The McDonaldization of Society (critique of novel written by George Ritzer, where he theorizes that modern society is now based on the concepts used by Ray Kroc in building his McDonald's empire)

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Kleinhenz 8

Jennifer Kleinhenz

Sociology 465

Dr. Li

McDonaldization of Society

In the novel "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" (Ritzer 1) and explains how this concept not only affects people who eat at fast food restaurants but basically every citizen of the United States. Since the beginning of Ray Kroc's revolutionary idea to bring the franchise concept to the McDonald brothers' small hamburger restaurant in 1940, McDonald's has dominated the fast food industry in sales as well as their conception of how to run their restaurants. The idea of McDonaldization has been applied to many other areas of society besides McDonald's, such as other restaurants and fast food chains, the healthcare system, tourism, media, and especially higher education and retail stores such as Wal-Mart.

By following Max Weber's theory of rationalization and applying Ritzer's theory of McDonaldization, the Western society has knowingly (or unknowingly) changed its leisurely pace of business to a world where every aspect of business is designed to run efficiently, predictably, calculably, and completely controlled in order to make the maximum amount of money possible, no matter who is harmed in the process.

George Ritzer builds his thesis on the fundamental foundations of Max Weber's theory of rationalization. Max Weber, a German sociologist, viewed bureaucracy as the most efficient way of running a large-scale business, and McDonald's is the epitome of this type of company. His theory of rationalization assumes that social interaction and institutions progressively aim for mastery of all actions by calculation and that values, traditions, and emotions are all being replaced by formal, impersonal practices. Ritzer takes Weber's assumptions...