This essay sample on Mcdonaldization Definition provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
The McDonaldization of Society is based on his theory and social criticism on rationalization of society as a whole through the growth and principles of McDonald’s fast-food model of business. The book begins with an introduction chapter that describes the background of McDonalds and outlines the different chapters of the book.
Chapter Two gives a history of socioeconomic developments that lead up to the creation of McDonalds including theories of F. W. Taylor, Henry Ford and Max Weber, McDonalds in the present day, and what is predicted for the future of the McDonald system.
The next four chapters break up the McDonaldization principles and how each one can be applied to society outside of McDonalds – big business, education and health care as a few examples. Efficiency is the first principle introduced.
The chapter talks about how McDonald’s fast-food model encourages efficiency, similar to that of the assembly line developed by Henry Ford, in creating a fast-paced environment. The next chapter discusses calculability and how McDonalds emphasizes quantitative processes over qualitative products; everything must be measurable.
Predictability is covered in the fifth chapter, which refers to the idea of gaining customer comfort in the stability of product offerings. The final principle chapter deals with control; particularly those of customer habits and employee work styles. The seventh chapter addresses the drawbacks and problems associated with having a McDonaldized society.
Globalization is covered in Chapter 8 with a solid definition of globalization; the something/nothing principles and how the fast-food model has affected foreign societies.
The last two chapters in the book discuss options and alternatives for dealing with living in a McDonaldized society and how Starbucks is now taking over the role as an international mega-chain influencer on society in comparison to McDonalds. My life has been McDonaldized in a few different ways. First off, I feel constantly trapped in a McDonaldized system. Being forced to accept and deal with companies that strive for high efficiency and less human interaction, as well as the “go go go” rushed lifestyle it all creates is something that does not bode well with me personally.
Unfortunately, while pursuing my education, I have to deal with this all the time working as a waitress and see that demand from customers for high efficiency, predictable menu options and how the restaurant environment is set to control customer habits and flow of traffic to ensure high revenues through large customer volumes. I can also see the McDonaldization principles in my school life as well. I expect the calculability principle when it comes to getting high quantifiable grades, yet still expecting high quality education; which sometimes does not happen.
Externally, efficiency is expected of me as I go through the system – expected during class times, maintenance of time management skills for homework, essays and testing – all while still trying to keep up a home life and job. As far as the control aspect of McDonaldization, it is not something I necessarily feel beyond any interactions like going to a fast-food restaurant to eat. I feel that individuals always have a choice once they reach adulthood (and perhaps sometimes before or less after depending on how much parental control is exuded in someone’s life) and can control their own actions and decisions.
However, I also feel that one of the more major drawbacks of McDonaldization has affected my life in regards to the dehumanization of the system. Plenty of times I feel the lack of the human element; so much now days is automated or so short interactions with people in constrained ways that often it feels like I am being run through the system like cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse getting ready to be made into the burgers society so readily gobbles down. One of the major consequences of the McDonaldization system is how people in today’s society have conformed to convenience so much.
People expect everything to be fast now. Many would rather pay more money and spend time in long lines to get fast-food over taking the time to grocery shop, cook a nutritious meal and enjoy time with the family over a sit-down dinner. The McDonaldization process has completely removed the social aspect of food and replaced it with over efficient, controlled and autonomous processes that reverts food just to sustenance rather than an enjoyable experience. Along with this, the fast-food industry has changed what we eat as well.
The fast-food model encourages “cutting corners” by using inexpensive and easy to use products like trans fat oils and other high caloric foods (not to even mention the whole super sizing issue) which overall are bad for the health of society. I can say that I am a victim to these trains of thought as a matter of convenience. With such a hectic schedule, the idea of just going through a drive thru on my way between places usually trumps the idea of having to wait until getting home, waiting for something to cook then ending up with spoiled leftovers a few days later.
As well, after so much time already eating those styles of food, it becomes something I am use to taste wise – trying to make burgers at home never seem to taste as good as a classic quarter pounder or even attempting a milkshake seems near impossible at home. In regards to education systems, it seems like they are just simply trying to push students through with minimum, low quality standards in hopes to get the most quantity of students in the school for funding purposes.
This can be seen all the way from elementary school through to university and college levels – administrators aim for efficient, calculable and predictable classes and curriculums on the lowest dollar possible to get students through the system and out into the workforce. Another consequence that the book tends to stress is based on the employee sector of McDonalds. Most large corporations now days strive to create worker satisfaction and foster creativity within the workplace in efforts to retain workers.
However, in the fast-food industry and many others that has been McDonaldized struggle the most with high turnover of employees, plenty of dissatisfaction, absenteeism, resentment, and alienation and other negative aspects felt among the working ranks. This idea seems to be inherent into the system though; very few restaurant environments contain workers that stick around and enjoy their positions because of the control and quick pace the industry places on them.
Even though I do not work in fast-food, I see and feel this as a waitress in a restaurant – our customers expect us to act like a fast-food environment and it creates animosity amongst the cooks, waitresses and management to keep the customers satisfied. The best way a person can respond to the effects of McDonaldization is to consciously avoid the major proponents of the system. Choosing alternatives like “mom and pop” non-chain restaurants, cooking at home which not only saves money but allows for much healthier food options, and encouraging others to do the same are all positive ways to avoid the pull of the fast-food system.
In regards to education, it is something everyone obviously needs to be successful in the world, but the book recommends picking smaller schools where individualism and non-conformity are stressed. I think even Southeastern is similar in this way; not necessarily in the way the book mentions of attending a school with no majors, but the small class sizes within a degree program allows for much more creativity and exchange among students and instructors to avoid the “cattle lead to slaughter” herd mentality found at a major, high population school.
Other options include joining groups that tend to go against what McDonalds stands for. I could not see myself doing anything too radical, but taking the advice of the American Heart Association and making a concentrated effort to chose more heart healthy options when I do end up eating out would be a great way to help support their cause without sacrificing the convenience I am so accustomed to. The tongue-and-cheek list found in Chapter 9 of ways to respond has a few points that certainly caught my interest.
These include: the next time you need a pair of glasses, use a local storefront optometrist rather than a Lenscrafters; avoid haircutting chains and instead go to a local barber or stylist; seek out small classes and get to know your professors; to really shake up the clerk at the department store, use cash rather than credit cards; and avoid most finger-foods, if you must eat them, make them homemade sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables.
There are obviously pros and cons to living in a McDonaldized world, especially how it as affected society since its inception in 1937 to being a globally dominating force today. Personally, I don’t think society would change away from this way of thought any time soon, but realizing now how much it has affected my life, I feel the need to change myself to be less McDonaldized.