So often we hear those words, "I wish there were more time." More time for minding children, more time for doing our work with the quality that we somehow know can be attained, more time for creative pursuits. Why this pervasive "time deficit" malaise Sociologist George Ritzer has some answers, and they are unsettling to say the least.
In today's' complicated and ever changing society, we often try to achieve a sense
easier is by implementing a function now known as "McDonaldization", which Ritzer describes in various ways. For instance Ritzer states that the concept of McDonaldization is defined 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." The success of McDonalds, and of McDonaldization as a whole, is due to four basic factors--efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.
carry their own food, and throw out the garbage. This is not as efficient for the consumer, but it saves time for the workers. Education, health care, and the work place are all becoming McDonaldalized in order to become more efficient. Efficiency in McDonaldization has streamlined many processes, simplified goods and services, and forces the consumer to do work as well.
Ritzer continues these ideas in marshalling the abundance of evidence which makes this trend very compelling. Using many examples from such disparate social institutions as family life, higher education, the funeral business, health care, and entertainment, Ritzer illuminates the broader trends within the "taken for granted" daily routines of life. He does so with a keen sociological eye, but also with a very wry sense of irreverence that adds a sarcastic touch of humor to the expose.
The fast-food model, according to Ritzer, has a manner of pushing us towards ever greater reliance on the fostering of quantity over quality, attainment of efficiency, creation of predictability, and reducing much of our life experience to a coldly calculated "value." As one reads further and takes in the diverse landscape of specific illustrations for these trends, one begins to see the "McDonaldized" influence everywhere. Then too, one will also grasp why so many of us are complaining about the demise of free time in our lives, and how we have become unwitting captives of mindless inertia of "I want it fast, I want it now, I want what's next" mentalities. Just another issue and dimension of ...
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