McDonaldizationWhat are the principles of McDonaldization not just in business life, but also in areas of life like family and schools. Then you can say whether you like it or do not.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the school, we have too much McDonalidization.  Basically, someone somewhere got the idea that you are supposed to break everything into small increments of learning and test each one.  Learning does not work that way, and knowledge does not work that way.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Taking the four basic principles of McDonaldization, we could argue that the paradigm could proof effective in situations where quantity, and not quality is under scrutiny. Efficiency, calculability, predictability and control are four parameters which best apply to fields such as statistics, where data must be quantified and is answerable to a specific goal.

It is very hard to apply these into a household environment because the human dynamics that take place within a family are unpredictable and dependent on variables that surface in the everyday lives of individuals. Among these variables we have life-changing events of all kinds.

Surely, a home could be ran efficiently. It can also be predictable and calculable to a certain point assuming that the same exact events will flow identically from one day to another. However, the element of control is the part that is impossible monitor, as we cannot control human emotions, reactions, choices, or decisions.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The efficiency associated with McDonaldization might be good for some aspects of family life, particularly mundane housework. By assigning each person in the family a clear, unambiguous set of chores, a family would ensure that everything was done on time and properly. 

However, education requires differentiation. Students are individuals and do not learn the same. So teaching the same lesson, in the same ways, with the same kinds of assessment, and expecting the same outcomes, to all students doesn't work. Ritzer himself suggests that McDonaldization leads to the dehumanization of people within the system. The very goal of McDonaldization is to remove the need for critical thought. I think this is the opposite of what we should be trying to do in education.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In some ways, McDonaldization is good even in school or family life.  McDonaldization involves routines and doing things in the most efficient possible way.  This is not such a bad thing even in school.  If, for example, we teach the same lesson to all students we are making sure they all learn the same things and will all have a basic level of knowledge that they need to succeed.

shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Mcdonaldization is the process of breaking down a task into its smallest component parts. In the service industry, workers are then hired to perform those small tasks. It's the assembly line approach to work.

In business it can be an effective, albeit often dull and unrewarding, system. I wouldn't want anything like that in my family life.

In schools we see a from of Mcdonaldization when we "teach to the test." That is, we focus on micro concepts that will get kids through their exams and keep the schools out of trouble, without familiarizing them with the big picture or effective critical thinking skills. It's usefull in a limited way, but it is important that schools never become as McDonaldized as McDonalds.