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

Art Centres: Southern Folk Art and the Splintering of a Hegemonic Market

Art Centres: Southern Folk Art and the Splintering of a Hegemonic Market

Art centres: Southern folk art and the splintering of a hegemonic market
Gary AlanFine

Some slogans haunt the sociological imagination; they are bon mots of the scholarly class. In a pithy form, they seize upon a complex truth, holding it up for readers to pay attention. They capture a fundamental concern of which social scientists, given their habitus, feel certain. George Ritzer's (1996) profound image of the ‘McDonaldization of society’ is one such example. Part of the power of Ritzer's resonant phrase is that it embodies the scorn that many in the academy feel toward mass feeding. Academics re-present (or believe they represent) a ‘highbrow’ mentality effectively depicted nearly a half-century ago by essayist Russell ...

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