McDonalidization What are the principles that "McDonalidization" imposes on our lives? Are there ways you can see the effects of McDonalidization in your life, beyond just fast-food chains and grocery stores? Are there times or places in life when you feel that McDonalidization is more or less acceptable? In other words, are there examples where McDonalidization is especially good or bad?

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I run an independent coffee shop and on a regular basis customers say that after becoming accustomed to our product, the "fast food" version of the same product was unacceptable. Trying to go back to the chain coffee shop, they find that the product is disappointing. 

To me, this experience is suggestive of a standardization of quality that serves to diminish expectations of quality. 

 

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One problem I see with McDonaldization in our society is the desire for everything to be instant.  Of course, fast-food isn't the only culprit, but I would argue that it started the trend.  People are often impatient and unwilling to wait.  They don't care if it takes a month to make a quality product.  As long as they can get it now, they are willing to sacrifice that quality.  The same is true for our patience with each other.  Instead of helping the old lady across the street, our society is far more likely to honk the horn and rev the engine in impatience.  We care far less about where our goods and services come from.  We don't take pride in things the way we used to.

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Good or bad, I will say this for McDonaldization-- with it comes consistency, and you know exactly what you are going to get when you go there, no matter which city or part of the country you are at.  I see that as a plus side for the franchise, mega-chain stores.

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Sometimes its sad to think of all the entrepreneurs who cannot make it in the business world because of the overwhelming presence of huge corporate chains like McDonalds, Wal-Mart, etc. Yes, the chains employ a lot of people, but they are usually very average workers with low motivation working for a faceless corporation that they don't take any pride in. Consumers do get a better price, but much less diversity when it comes to choice, and much, much less quality when it comes to service.

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McDonalidization can be a good thing for us as consumers because it helps us to get relatively decent things for relatively low prices.  Sure, the goods and services we get may not be hand-made and of the highest quality, but they are good enough and they don't cost much.

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