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In: The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions

Chapter 2: Mannheim's Theory of Rationalization: An Alternative Resource for the McDonaldization Thesis?

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Mannheim's Theory of Rationalization: An Alternative Resource for the McDonaldization Thesis?
Mannheim's theory of rationalization: An alternative resource for the McDonaldization Thesis?

Max Weber's (1921/1958, 192111968) theory of rationalization lies at the base of the McDonaldization thesis (Kalberg, 1980; Levine, 1981). While that theory provides a rich resource, there are reasons why one might want to look elsewhere for additional theoretical inspiration. For one thing, Weber was far from clear about the rationalization process. One needs to extract a sense of what he meant by it from some often vague definitions of concepts, as well as from his diverse, even divergent, analyses of the various ways in which rationalization played itself out in a variety of domains (religion, polity, law, music, and so on). For another, the ...

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