The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions

Few recent sociology books have succeeded in capturing the imagination more than George RitzerÆ The McDonaldization of Society, which has become an international bestseller and has been translated into eleven languages. The book stimulated thought and discussion throughout the sociological community. In this sequel, Ritzer moves on by examining how the thesis of McDonaldization should be adapted and extended. WeberÆs ideas provided the theoretical foundation for the thesis, but the ideas of Kurt Mannheim on rationalization are also useful and lead to some new perspectives on the process. The degree to which sociology and sociological theory have been McDonaldized are also assessed. In Part II, Ritzer discusses the process of McDonaldization. Areas scrutinized include the labor process and the degree to which it has been McDonaldized, the relationship between McDonaldization and processes such as globalization and Americanization, and the credit card. Part III presents the new means of consumption. These include fast-food restaurants, credit cards, shopping malls, and cybermalls. Ritzer introduces us to “McDisneyization,” explaining the role of Disney in contemporary tourism. The modern universitythe McUniversityis also discussed as a new means of educational consumption. The book concludes with a reevaluation of the thesis and its future.

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