CRITICS ON THE MCDONALDIZATION OF SOCIETY THEORY OF GEORGE RITZER

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Fast food restaurants affected most of American people. So George Ritzer   used mainly example that McDonald restaurants to explain rationalization of society and also he gave different examples for that like TV dinners, packaged tours, industrial robots and so on. He thinks that rationalization has distinctive roots in the western world. His argue that a society characterized by rationality is one which emphasizes efficiency, predictability, calculability, substitution of nonhuman for human technology and control over uncertainly. He thought that rationalization has many advantages but it is also dangerous. So he mentioned that irrationality of rationality to explain danger of rationalization.

EFFICIENCY

The modern American families do not have time to prepare their meal. So they take meal that is quickly and easy prepared. They prefer prepackaged meals and frozen TV dinners. They also prefer fast food restaurants because fast food is the best efficient way of obtaining their meals. McDonalds is an example that their serving is fast and their meal is satisfying and so on. We can say for some Turkish families that they prefer the way for eating. Because, there are many fast food restaurants in Turkey.

PREDICTABILITY

In a rational modern society, people want to know their gains when they invest on something. Furthermore, people want to be sure that their investment will be productive. They value discipline, order, systemization, formalization, routine, consistency, and methodical operation in their work. For example, packaged tours travel, many people prefer this kind of a travel because they are far more predictable than travel undertaken on an individual basis.

CALCULABILITY OR QUANTITY RATHER THAN QUALITY

Quantifiable is the most defending characteristic of rational society. In modern society, people use computers to learn something; they do not see books or encyclopedias. For why, computers have a lot of knowledge about everything but, most of the time this knowledge is not quality or reliable. But people prefer the computer knowledge because it is very easy and fast. Other example is that the quality of McDonald’s hamburgers are safe or not Of course, they are not safe but the restaurants are the best sellers of hamburger because of their quantity of selling hamburgers. So, in modern society all over the world people value that calculability and quantity.

SUBSTITUTION OF NONHUMAN TECHNOLOGY

In modern industries, people work with machine to be faster and more efficient in their works. But these machines prevent workers independence like McDonalds restaurants do not have robots for every work but they have techniques, procedures, and machines that influence workers completely. Many types of technologies which determinate the action of workers such as when drinks are prepared and when food is cooked, machine stops by itself. So technological machines make their works faster.

CONTROL

Rational system controls our life like birth, death, food production and distribution, housing, religion salvation and so on. The rationalization of food preparation and serving McDonald’s gives it great control over its employees.

IRRATIONALITY OF RATIONALITY

Rational systems have many negative effects that  decide how we work or live. We can say that the rationalization makes people like robots.

In conclusion, rationalizations have advantages and disadvantages for society in all over the world and including Turkey. Every parts of society more and more emphasis is placed efficiency, predictability, calculability, replacement of human by nonhuman technology, and control over uncertainly. And also it has created many problems, the several irrationalities of rationality, which cause to accelerate in the years to come and so on.

Muhammed İsmail AKKAYA

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Muhammed İsmail AKKAYA

IR (Researcher on Russia and Central Asia) muhammedismailakkaya@gmail.com

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