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

Have You Had Your Theory Today?

Have You Had Your Theory Today?

Have you had your theory today?
JohnO'Neill

As he says: Ritzer has not written a book about McDonald's but about ‘ization’. Leaving aside what is disingenuous in this denial, we may question the legitimacy of explaining the American social order as a gastric system, however familiar its locations. Everything suggests the reverse order of explanation. But this means we need an account of American society sufficient to explain its eating practices as activities congruent with its industrial and ideological arts. For this purpose, I would recommend a Parsons blender rather than Ritzer's single-cylinder Weberizer. Nothing is served by repairing Ritzer's theoretical apparatus. It is irredeemably part of the phenomenon it proliferates but does not explicate. The result is a text that, ...

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