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A Reflection on George Ritzer’s Mcdonaldization of Society

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Summary of the article

This article written by George Ritzer discusses deeply a current contemporary phenomenon: McDonaldization. The author mentioned that McDonaldization is one of the consequences of both globalization and modernization; however, its relevance to globalization has been rejected by other globalization theorists. Yet, this phenomenon has still extended its branches worldwide successfully and aggressively.

It is written that McDonaldization happens in 5 dimensions: efficiency, calculability, predictability, control by non-human technology and irrationality of rationality. These features assist industries like fast-food and fast-fashion exploit plenty of markets in countries and continents and thus a good deal of profits. The article also involves the causes of McDonaldization’s success: enormous financial incentives, the global cult of American culture, its adaption to modernization and the lack of possible alternatives. These distinctions have made McDonaldization somehow inexorable and invincible.

Nevertheless, when such an invader comes around, the reaction of different regions worth our watchful eyes on it since its relevance to the well-being of residents and cultures there. Some markets which pursuing vast profits would accept McDonaldization’s‘intrusion’ without suspect. Whereas some institutions would not overhaul its mechanism easily because of potential and unknown shortcomings. For the third world country, they lack the resource to adapt to and follow this global trend. There are also some situations when local cultures could coexist with McDonaldization, this is the way how local culture could improve its sustainability and population by making the exotic products localized.

Another distinction mentioned in the article could inspire people’s critical thinking when facing the ubiquitous phenomenon: the colonization of birth and death. The general public may remain indifferent to the invader; however, people could be panic when McDonaldization has its impact on our own lives. This part may arouse awareness among the generals. Who wants their lives to be under others’ control?

Reflection

The article indeed makes me more alert about McDonaldization itself, I probably be more conscious of my decisions whenever I walk into some chained restaurants or clothes shops. After reading the article, classmates around me indicated they feel very much that they are in a trap or cage called ‘McDonaldization’. I did not compromise to the agreed opinion. Undeniably, McDonaldization has shaped our daily habits or even values silently by its unstoppable extends. However, in my opinion, the cage is not eternally locked up and we could still have the key which is called mind.

Recently, I have been working on a problem-solution essay focusing on phone and our concentration in the era of technology. When I rethought about my topic, surprisingly, I found the smartphone is also a representative of the discussed McDonaldization. For the brought efficiency, we could use it to contact loved ones immediately and do research efficiently. For the calculability, we could use the screen time function to track how long we use the phone every day. For predictability, some giants in the industry like Facebook, Youtube and Taobao has collected mass data and make our every decisions and preference predictable. For the non-human control, I believe the action of constantly browsing or skimming is already a control of our daily routinely interactions. Not to mention that the irrational average 6-hour screen use of phone among Hong Kong residents for alleged efficient, capable and multi-tasking lifestyle. If you think you get rid of the obsession of smartphone, then you are absolutely in a digital and invisible trap.

There is still a hopeful key. The book How to break up with your phone, written by Catherine Price, has proposed some feasible and affectable solutions to our phone-driven lives. The key to coexist with your phone, advised within the book, is not to set tough limits but to be conscious of your own decision. ‘Mindfulness’ encourages us to aware of our emotions and body reacts whenever pick up our phones before condemning our weak willpowers. In other words, living in a McDonaldized world does not make us slaves if we could make our own decisions consciously. Just like I could put away my phone while working and pick up it when I need it. Seeing beyond is helpful, just like what I learned from Sociology.

References:

  • Hootsuide (2019). Digital 2019 Hong Kong. Retrieved from: https://www.slideshare.net/DataReportal/digital-2019-hong-kong-january-2019-v01
  • Catherine, P.(2018)How to break up with your phone. New York: Ten Speed Press.

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A Reflection On George Ritzer’s Mcdonaldization Of Society. (2021, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-reflection-on-george-ritzers-mcdonaldization-of-society/
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A Reflection On George Ritzer’s Mcdonaldization Of Society [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Oct 25 [cited 2022 Aug 6]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-reflection-on-george-ritzers-mcdonaldization-of-society/
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