The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.
McDonaldization and McJournalism
In 1993, George Ritzer neologized the term McDonaldization to characterize the highly controlled, bureaucratic and dehumanized nature of contemporary, particularly American, social life. For Ritzer, it is ‘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’ (1993: 1; Schlosser, 2002).
The fast-food restaurant built on principles of efficiency, calculability predictability and control, where quantity and standardization replace quality and variety as the indicators of value, serves as a highly suggestive metaphor for the general mania for efficiency. Increasing areas of social life are subject to McDonaldization including the contemporary university (Ritzer, 1998: 151–63), and shop and hotel chains (Ritzer, 1993: 88). ...