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Rational Systems, Mcdonaldization

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George Ritzer describes McDonaldization 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". McDonaldization is the idea that our society is becoming more efficient and more fast paced. Rational systems can be defined as "unreasonable, dehumanizing systems that deny the humanity, the human reason, of the people who work within them or are served by them".1 Today there are many types of businesses that are increasingly adapting the same values and principles of the fast-food industry to their needs. Rational systems are dehumanizing our society and seem to be even more irrational than convenient. "Almost every aspect of today's society has been affected by McDonaldization including the restaurant business, education, work, healthcare, travel, leisure, dieting, politics and the family". McDonaldization is turning our society into one which is built upon convenience and gaining the most for our money in the fastest way possible.

The significant success of McDonalds, and of McDonaldization as a whole, is due to four basic elements- efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.(Ritzer, p.12) The first dimension of McDonaldization is efficiency. Efficiency means choosing the optimum means to a given end. Efficiency does have its advantages for both consumers, who get what they want quickly and with little effort, and for workers, who can perform their tasks in a simple manner. In our society, people like to have things go as quickly and as smoothly as possible, but they do not want to do the work themselves. Therefore, people like to have a system that has already been used and that they know works. However, this method is usually the only option offered in a society following the McDonaldization theory, therefore, efficiency becomes a rationalization. An example of this is a typical salad bar at a restaurant. Instead of expecting a plate of salad from the chef, you are expected to go up to the salad bar and serve yourself. This ends up with customers doing most of the work and in addition, customers usually pay more for this, which is a sense of inefficient efficiency

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