How does McDonaldization affect us in every day life?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The process of "McDonaldization" is the process of rationalizing society.  This has been going on for over a century and has been discussed most famously by Max Weber.  Weber argues that a rationalized society is one that is typically harsher and less humane than one that is not rationalized.

A rationalized society is one in which everything is run according to set and logical rules.  This is like how the process of cooking goes at McDonald's.  Everything is governed by extremely detailed rules and procedures.  This works to make sure that everything is done as efficiently as possible.

When our society is run like this, it loses some of its humanity.  Our lives come to be ruled by efficiency.  We are, for example, expected to have our cell phones with us at all times so that our bosses or our clients can reach us efficiently and promptly.  We buy things from large stores with set rules about how their workers should act towards us.  There is very little spontaneity in any of this.

Weber said that rationalization takes things like emotion and tradition out of our lives.  It makes us a little more like machines doing everything the efficient way instead of doing them in ways that are less efficient but perhaps more fun or more satisfying.

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