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

Assessing the Resistance

Assessing the resistance

Although it is embedded in a rich theoretical tradition and deals, I think, with a series of important social issues, The McDonaldization of Society was written, and originally was supposed to be marketed, as a book for the upper end of the trade market; that is, as a book for a general literate audience rather than an academic audience. I had previously published Metatheorizing in Sociology (Ritzer, 1991) and it, like some of my earlier books in metatheory, had sold less than a thousand copies and was promptly remaindered by the publisher. While it may have had an impact on a metatheorist here or there, it certainly had no effect on the larger society. There is undoubtedly a place for ...

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