Publication Year: 1999
George Ritzer's McDonaldization thesis argued that contemporary life is succumbing to the standardization, flexibility and practicability of fast-food service. This book brings together specially commissioned papers by leading social and cultural analysts to engage in a critical appraisal of the thesis. The contributors discuss the roots of the thesis, the rationalization of late modern life, the effects of increasing cultural commodification, the continuing prominence of American cultural and economic imperialism and the impact of globalization on social and cultural life. The strengths and weaknesses of the McDonaldization thesis are clearly evaluated and the irrational consequences of rationalization are pinpointed and critically
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Resisting McDonaldization: Theory, Process and Critique
- Chapter 2: Golden Arches and Iron Cages: McDonaldization and the Poverty of Cultural Pessimism at the End of the Twentieth Century
- Chapter 3: Have You Had Your Theory Today?
- Chapter 4: McDonaldization Enframed
- Chapter 5: Rich Food: McDonald's and Modern Life
- Chapter 6: McCitizens: Risk, Coolness and Irony in Contemporary Politics
- Chapter 7: Theme Parks and McDonaldization
- Chapter 8: The McDonaldization of Sport and Leisure
- Chapter 9: McDonaldized Culture: The End of Communication?
- Chapter 10: Art Centres: Southern Folk Art and the Splintering of a Hegemonic Market
- Chapter 11: Dennis Hopper, McDonald's and Nike
- Chapter 12: Theorizing/Resisting McDonaldization: A Multiperspectivist Approach
- Chapter 13: The Moral Malaise of McDonaldization: The Values of Vegetarianism
- Chapter 14: McFascism? Reading Ritzer, Bauman and the Holocaust
- Chapter 15: Assessing the Resistance
Chapter 1 © Barry Smart 1999
Chapter 2 © Christiane Bender and Gianfranco Poggi 1999
Chapter 3 © John O'Neill 1999
Chapter 4 © Deena Weinstein and Michael A. Weinstein 1999
Chapter 5 © Joanne Finkelstein 1999
Chapter 6 © Bryan S. Turner 1999
Chapter 7 © Alan Bryman 1999
Chapter 8 © David Jary 1999
Chapter 9 © Richard Münch 1999
Chapter 10 © Gary Alan Fine 1999
Chapter 11 © Norman K. Denzin 1999
Chapter 12 © Douglas Kellner 1999
Chapter 13 © Keith Tester 1999
Chapter 14 © Peter Beilharz 1999
Chapter 15 © George Ritzer 1999
First published 1999
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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ISBN 0 7619 5517 8
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Notes on Contributors[Page vii]
Peter Beilharz is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Australia. His books include Transforming Labor (1994), Postmodern Socialism (1994), Imagining the Antipodes (1997) and, with Chris Nyland, The Webbs, Fabianism and Feminism (1998). Co-founder of Thesis Eleven, he is 1999–2000 Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard. His next books are Zygmunt Bauman: Modernity as Ambivalence and The Bauman Reader.
Christiane Bender is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Sociology, University of Heidelberg, in Germany. Her research focuses on sociological theory, on sociology of religion and on industrial sociology. She has published empirical studies on women in the Catholic Church, on sociology of work organization and other workplace industrial developments. She is also the author of several articles concerning cultural theory, organization theory, theory of knowledge and basic sociological theory.
Alan Bryman is Professor of Social Research in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. His main research interests lie in research methodology, leadership studies, organizational analysis and theme parks. He is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Quantity and Quality in Social Research (1988), Charisma and Leadership in Organizations (1992), Disney and His Worlds (1995), Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS for Windows: A Guide for Social Scientists (1997) and Mediating Social Science (1988).
Norman K. Denzin is College of Communications Scholar, and Research Professor of Communications, Sociology, Cinema Studies, Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. His most recent book is Interpretive Ethnography (1997). He is editor of The Sociological Quarterly, and co-editor of Qualitative Inquiry.
Gary Alan Fine is Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, USA. His books include Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work (1996) and Morel Tales: The Culture of Mushrooming (1998). He is currently completing a research project on the development of a market for self-taught art.
Joanne Finkelstein currently teaches sociological theory and popular culture at the University of Sydney, Australia, and is the author of four [Page viii]monographs, including Dining Out: A Sociology of Modern Manners (1989) and Slaves of Chic (1994). Her research areas include fashion, consumerism and cultural studies.
David Jary is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Graduate School at Staffordshire University in the UK. He has written extensively on social theory, including a number of recent volumes, with Christopher Bryant, on the work of Anthony Giddens. His writings on the sociology of sport and leisure have focused on soccer and on theories of sport and leisure. With Martin Parker, he has previously applied the concept of McDonaldization to higher education – the McUniversity – and his most recent edited book, The New Higher Education (also with Martin Parker, 1998) examines the many changes facing higher education, including tendencies to McDonaldization. He is currently exploring the rise of ‘Karaoke culture’, which he sees as both a continuation of and a counter-tendency to McDonaldization.
Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is author of Critical Theory, Marxism, and Modernity, Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond, Television and the Crisis of Democracy, The Persian Gulf TV War, Media Culture, and, with Steven Best, Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations and The Postmodern Turn.
Richard Münch has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Bamberg, Germany, since 1995. He taught at the University of Düsseldorf from 1976 to 1995 and at the University of Cologne from 1974 to 1976. He has served several times as visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. He has published widely in the areas of social theory, historical-comparative sociology, and media communication. His most recent books are Die Kultur der Moderne, 2 vols (1986); Dialektik del Kommunikationsgesellschaft (1991); Das Projekt Europa (1993); Sociological Theory, 3 vols (1994); Dynamik der Kommunikationsgesellschaft (1995); Risikopolitik (1996); Globale Dynamik, lokale Lebenswelten (1998).
John O'Neill is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at York University, Toronto, Canada. He is also a Member of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is also the co-editor of the international quarterly Philosophy of the Social Sciences. His most recent books are The Communicative Body: Studies in Communicative Philosophy, Politics and Psychology (1989), Plato's Cave: Desire, Power and the Specular Functions of the Media (1991), Critical Conventions: Interpretation in the Literary Arts and Sciences (1992), The Missing Child in Liberal Theory (1994) and The Poverty of Postmodernism (1995). Currently, he is working on the political economy of child suffering, welfare state theory and civic practice.
Gianfranco Poggi is Professor of Political and Social Theory at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy. He has previously held [Page ix]chairs in sociology of political science at the Universities of Edinburgh, Sydney and Virginia. Among his books are The Development of the Modern State (1978), Money and the Modern Mind (1993), and Ilgioco dei poteri (1998). He is currently writing a book on Emile Durkheim.
George Ritzer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland where he has been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He has served as Chair of two Sections of the American Sociological Association – Organizations and Occupations and Theoretical Sociology. In addition to The McDonaldization of Society (1993, 1996, translated into a dozen languages), his other efforts to apply social theory to the everyday realms of the economy and consumption include Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society (1995), The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions (1998), and Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (1999). At the other end of the spectrum, his contributions to metatheorizing include Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science (1975), Toward an Integrated Sociological Paradigm (1981), and Metatheorizing in Sociology (1991). He is currently editing The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists and co-editing (with Barry Smart) The Handbook of Social Theory.
Barry Smart is currently Research Professor of Sociology in the School of Social and Historical Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He has published widely in the field of social theory and his publications include Michel Foucault (1985), Postmodernity (1993) and Facing Modernity (1999). He is the editor of Michel Foucault: Critical Assessments I (3 vols, 1994) and Michel Foucault: Critical Assessments II (4 vols, 1995).
Keith Tester is Professor of Social Theory at the School of Social and Historical Studies, University of Portsmouth, UK. He is the author of a number of books including Moral Culture (1997). His first book, Animals and Society, won the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize in 1992.
Bryan Turner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. His recent publications include The Body and Society (1996) and The Blackwell Companion to Social Theory (1996). He is co-editor of Body and Society (with Mike Featherstone) and editor of Citizenship Studies.
Deena Weinstein, Professor of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago, USA, is a cultural sociologist and cultural theorist, specializing in youth sub-cultures and rock music. She is the author of Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology (1991) and numerous other books and articles in sociology of organizations, sociology of science and sociological theory, as well as in her main fields of specialization. She is also a rock critic.
Michael A. Weinstein, Professor of Political Science at Purdue University in Lafayette, USA, is a political philosopher specializing in twentieth-century [Page x]thought. He is the author of Culture/Flesh: Explorations of Post-Civilized Modernity (1996), among many other books and articles in the fields of sociological theory, cultural theory, literary criticism, ideology studies and philosophy, as well as political science. He is also a photography critic and a performance artist.