Mcdonaldisation Essay

858 words - 4 pages

Mcdonaldization

Although, especially in the United States, the ubiquitous hamburger chain has been around long enough for academics and other commentators repeatedly to have drawn attention to its social effects and analogies in other fields, it is the sociologist George Ritzer who coined the phrase in his book "The Mcdonaldization of Society" (Ritzer, 1996). In his book, which he describes as a work in social criticism, Ritzer analyses the particular ways in which the success of the American hamburger chain has impacted upon not only economic patterns, but in particular on a multitude of facets of social life in general. Basing his analysis on Max Weber's theory of rationalisation, he ...view middle of the document...

Quick and easy access to as many sites as possible and to as much information as possible, regardless of its value, is precisely the triumph of quantity over quality. Add to this the basically impersonal communication that is typical of the Internet, and it is clear that there is a clear resemblance between McDonald's and the Web.
This clearly has its effect on the development of computer systems. According to Schlack (1996, p. 14) "(t)odays shrink-wrapped applications are the last place you'll find innovation". He points out that apart from operating systems, server software and multimedia and Web applications, very little of interest is happening in the world of computer systems. In spite of the problem of restricted bandwidth and other problems, one gets the idea that there is something of a concerted effort to force users into a particular paradigm of computer and software usage. That this is happening at the stage where computers are finally making it in the household worldwide and that computers in the home is probably moving towards surpassing in numbers personal computers in the workplace, should not come as any surprise.
As a prominent example of the rapid globalization of the American fast food industry, McDonald's is often the target of criticism for its menu, its expansion, and its business practices.
The McLibel Trial, also known as McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel, is an example of this criticism. In 1990, activists from a small group known as London Greenpeace (no connection to the international group Greenpeace) distributed leaflets entitled What's wrong with McDonald's?, criticizing its environmental, health, and labor record....

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