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

McCitizens: Risk, Coolness and Irony in Contemporary Politics

McCitizens: Risk, Coolness and Irony in Contemporary Politics

McCitizens: Risk, coolness and irony in contemporary politics
Bryan S.Turner

This chapter compares and contrasts two visions of modern society by Ulrich Beck and George Ritzer, both of whom are profoundly influenced by Max Weber's theory of rationalization. Beck and Ritzer are both concerned with the impact of scientific rationality on social organization, but they come to ostensively different conclusions, despite the common intellectual origins of their perspective on modernity. Furthermore, I consider McDonaldization as a form of coolness in social relations which provides a model for modern citizenship, or at least global McCitizenship, and explore irony as a mode of social interaction in McDonaldized societies. The chapter concludes that Richard Rorty's postmodern defence of ironic lifestyles is an ...

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