Ritzer’s Macdonaldization Essay

In this essay. I aim to research the term ‘McDonaldization’ dubbed by honored Sociologist and University of Maryland Professor. George Ritzer. to correlate his findings with those of the English Sociologist Les Back and so finally analyze the consequence both Globally and Locally. Ritzer’s constructs are basically built around the theories of Max Weber. a German Sociologist who foremost established the thought of ‘Rationalization’ .

More specifically. four headers were used to specify this displacement in the organisational construction of society: Efficiency. Calculability. Predictability and Control of new engineerings increasing the productiveness of the modern universe. I will research the relevancy of these headers subsequently in this essay. Weber maintained it was bureaucratization that contributes to this progress in accomplishing the “optimum means to ends” ( Ritzer. 2008. 25 ) . The bureaucratism as Weber defines it seems to be the paradigm for unflawed corporate functionality. “A bureaucratism is a large-scale organisation composed of a hierarchy of offices.

In these offices. people have certain duties and must move in conformity with regulations. written ordinances. and means of irresistible impulse exercised by those who occupy higher-level positions” With an operating construction as tightly knit as described above. it is no surprise that the paradigm of formal reason harmonizing to Ritzer. McDonalds. is one of the most envied concern theoretical accounts in the universe. 50 million clients a twenty-four hours will happen eating houses in 118 states ( Ritzer. 2008. 3 ) . Thousands of concerns strive to emulate their successful rational model yet fail to suppress. such as the fast-food giants. MacDonald’s.

Franchising at an incredible rate. McDonalds net incomes are being maximized twelvemonth after twelvemonth as it expands worldwide. A British writer Martin Plimmer captures the command of their enlargement “There are McDonalds everyplace. There’s one near you. and there’s one being built right now even nearer to you” ( Ritzer. 2008. 2 ) . It is on the footing of this exorable power and infective growing that Ritzer lays his ‘McDonaldization’ theory. “The procedure by which the principals of the fast nutrient eating house are coming to rule more and more sectors of American society every bit good as the remainder of the world” . Ritzer. 2008. 1 ) .

Another facet to this noteworthy commercial construction is McDonaldization’s leaning to de-humanize. Teamed with bureaucratization. McDonaldization has the purchase to distribute to modern society on a whole. Fears that people will be consumed by such a heavy accent on the rational and proficient benefits of practicality and efficiency. destructing the human spirit and cut downing them to nil more so “a little cog in a endlessly traveling mechanism” ( Macionis and Plummer. 2005:143 ) as rational globalisation expands.

Sociologist Les Back puts frontward the positive and negative influences of the booming technological web on globalization in his monograph ‘Local/Global’ . The construct of a planetary small town ; the thought that through new engineerings and new meeting signifiers of economic system and political province that the universe is shriveling and decreasing the importance of peoples differences ( Back. 1998. 77 ) is one that can be both greatly agreed upon or merely as easy denied. in my sentiment.

First. It can non be argued that one of McDonald’s keys to it’s worldly success was it’s open American-style image. which many people outside the United States Of America hankered after. The book ‘Golden Arches East’ by James L. Watson describes vividly McDonalds extremely awaited entry into East Asia “Prior to McDonalds gap in Beijing. the company’s name was already popular among voguish consumers and it was merely natural that. when the first eating house was opened in Beijing in April 1994. 1000s lined up for the experience. ” ( Watson. 1997. 48 ) .

Not merely did this captivation generate one million millions of capital for McDonalds ( and other fast-food diners such as KFC. Pizza hut etc. ) maneuvering gross off from Asia’s ain nutrient industries but sociologically talking. the inflow of American-Style escape in which the people of Asia were plunging themselves in spawned a inquiry of multinationals refusal to place. Are Hamburgers on the Champs-Elysees or Chicken Nuggets by the Grand Canyon truly necessary or is it merely corporate extremism exerting their capableness to the n-th grade?

Somehow I’m non convinced it is a instance that McDonalds culinary art is so delightful that we physically need to hold it within range at all times. peculiarly in such states such as France. Italy or Spain. where gastronomy is paramount to their local civilization. Back’s theory on this type of globalization seems a batch more simplistic. He argues that “globalization can travel manus in manus with the commercialisation of alien local cultures” ( Back. 1998. 74 ) but I ask to what extent is this local commercialisation wining?

Chiefly planetary multinationals are evident in the quickly developing worldwide industries. go forthing small to zero infinite for contained concern ventures to derive impulse. Although Back does acknowledge an effectual utilizations of localisation in advertisement imagination to which these trans-national companies merrily comply. “Advertisers are willing to incorporate all sort of impressions of difference every bit long as they serve their purpose” ( Back. 1998. 73 ) . A antic illustration is that of the recent McDonald’s advertisement run. which was specifically intended for a clearly Irish audience.

Johnny Logan. a well-known Irish performing artist looking to many different characters with strong conversational Irish speech patterns. pulls in on regional involvement. Common phrases such as “… ye board. . ” “ . . sound. . ”and “ . . free gaff. . ” are used. unmistakably local and familiar to McDonalds’s Irish consumers. Back relates the diminishing size of planetary borders to progresss in engineerings. which of class is impossible to deny.

Although communicating overseas and intercontinental conveyance is about taken for granted at this phase. Back reiterates the velocity at which this occurs and the inter-dependence this signifies. “International flows of engineering and media hardware strengthen the dependence relationship between the West and the former colonial fringes and advance a signifier of cultural homogenization” ` ( Back. 1997. 72 ) In malice of the fact that many of Ritzer’s illustrations are American the construct of this uniformity is at the bosom of his authorship and falls under the four heading’s of McDonadization aforementioned.

Predictability is one of the devices transnational corporations have taken under their wing in the development of a McDonaldized model of concern. Globally. these elephantine organisations do non get down at the underside when it comes to widening their trade name abroad and projecting their image over seas. “Wal-Mart bought out 120 shops in Canada in 1994 when it purchased the Wertkauf GmbH hypermarket concatenation in Germany in 1997. Similarly. when Starbucks moved into the U. K. n 1998. it acquiresd the already bing Seattle Coffee Company and refitted it’s 82 shops as Starbucks outlets…” ( Klein. 2005. 139 ) Specifically many java stores have undergone ‘Starbucksization’ to the point where any java store in the western universe could neglect to posses a intimation of originality.

Insomnia. Costa Coffee and progressively McDonalds part to the market McCafe. are but a few of the coffeehouse ironss that are accommodating to the modern competition. In our local environment a comprehendible case of McDonaldization would be the inordinate franchising of Spar stores in Ireland. eplacing another household corner store as it unfurls over the state. As consumers we’ve experienced the constituents of Weber’s ‘Rationalization’ and Ritzer’s McDonaldization in its plainest signifier. The efficiency of these shops is matchless. frequently incorporating Juice Bars. Off Licences. Delicatessens and Coffee stores. a pudding stone of effectivity under one roof. Calculability by the choice of staff who work at each counter. pricing. deliberation and urging points for purchase.

Chiefly the predictability of a Spar store would about be similar to what one would anticipate of a smattering of McDonalds’ . the flooring. the lighting and the layout are all but somewhat in difference countrywide. Finally. these environments are controlled non merely by the presence of Security guards at the entryway to many subdivisions but they are high-tech and forward thought in engineerings in contrast with many of there older rivals. having Automatic doors and self check-out services.

In decision. both George Ritzer and Les Back have some shared positions and some conflicting one’s on the affair of globalisation and how it affects us straight and indirectly. Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization worked aboard many of Back’s point of views on engineerings. in peculiar as respects the dimension of control. Finally. the constructs of Global and Local. I believe will be disputed non merely by both Ritzer and Back as the relationship worldwide decreases in size with the debut of farther connectivity when does the benefits of this Begin and cease.