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Mcdonaldization of Society: Rationalization of Work, Production, and Consumption

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From the beginning of the 20th century until the present day, new inventions of technological advancements that have the purpose to help mankind has been continually growing and increasing. Food industries have also adapted their technological advancement when it comes to serving food, especially with fast-food restaurants. McDonald’s is one of the first fast-food chains and the one that introduces the “Speedee System Service”. This type of system was not only used by the food industries but also by the whole society. Now in schools where students are mostly using a laptop or phone to do their exams, assignments, and other written activities, schools prefer this kind of system because it is more efficient by not needing teachers to check the work and just have a program for the job. This system started from a restaurant with the purpose of achieving quantity over quality and having technology replace humans to do the jobs, but it became so effective that other parts of the society adapted this system for achieving the same reason. The way of service has dramatically changed and consumers are forced to adapt to that change. It spread throughout society.

Thesis Statement

Although it has many advantages, the system of Mcdonaldization has many disadvantages when it comes to human quality of work and should be minimized from being used by the consumers.


The concept of McDonaldization is a term coined by American sociologist George Ritzer. It was first introduced in his book McDonaldization of Society. This concept refers to a kind of rationalization of work, production, and consumption. It became popular and rose to prominence in the late 20th century. Its purpose is to make work to be more efficient and consistent by dispensing with superfluous equipment and technology. It first started in the food industries like the fast-food chains were literally the concept’s name comes from, McDonald’s. This concept to make food services more efficient, consistent, and faster has also been adapted by other institutions and sectors in society. It was seen as a big success by other large companies and corporations so they incorporated this idea on their products and services to the extent of almost losing the capability to evolve and create new things or ways. This concept was not only adopted by the producer but also mainly by the consumers. The consumers were the key to the concept’s success because when it was first introduced they actively participate in this kind of service due to its new existence that amazes a lot of people. But unfortunately, our society will be almost conquered by this concept and will soon fall into its deep trap.

This concept has great consequences if it continues to spread into other parts of society. It creates environments that are very dehumanizing and reduce the quality of products and services. It is a very destructive system where humans are being forced to live in this kind of state or system. The fact that it is an efficient system is true but it doesn’t mean that more is the merrier. In this case, the process in which services and products are being made doesn’t have the quality it should have. The qualities that should provide safety, skills, value, and greatness. It is said that ten unskilled gunmen are no match with a master of a sword. This idea was incorporated to us by big companies with only one purpose of having a big profit rather than serving people the best.

This system creates a void where everyone has a routine that is programmed to us since we were born and everyone should be afraid of what it might do or affect the next generation. It has so many consequences when it comes to food services like the health of the consumers where there are more obese individuals now than at any other time in our world’s history because it lures people to eat unhealthier food. This unhealthy lifestyle creates an unhealthier body that is more prone to diseases. But this problem doesn’t only reside in the food industry but also in other parts of the society like in universities, the military or police force, and even in churches. We should be concerned that this influence in our lives has more consequences than advantages. We are continually evolving, our technologies are far more advanced than ever before and will also continue to evolve, but our human nature and qualities are slowly being erased and fading simultaneously with the advancements of our society.


McDonaldization is the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. This influence doesn’t just put people’s health in danger but also degrades the quality of work and products from other sectors. The advantage that one could see in McDonaldization in today’s modern society is how quickly a task can be done, so customers get the product, service, or food they predictably want and get on the next task they have. Furthermore, to achieve predictability, a rationalized society emphasizes discipline, order, routine, and consistent operations. Which in return offers control over the situation or people. The disadvantage that comes with this system would be the quality of the product or services because companies that use this kind of system simplify their products and services. Like in the food industry where it first originated, instead of using healthier food, the company will buy the cheapest food to have more quantity and cook faster meals. Not just fewer ingredients for the meal but also the chemicals and preservatives they use to enhance the longevity of their product and also the taste of it. Thus not having the traditional restaurant quality, where there is preparation going into every ingredient and having healthier and fresher food products.

In universities where the system tasks their students to do the same job and pass it like everyone else, McDonaldization can be seen. When you first try to enter the university, entrance exams will be required that you need to pass for you to qualify into entering and enrolling in the university. Exams like this don’t test the creativity and smartness of students, it only creates pressure for them. Same method, same exam, same activities, and just the same environment every semester for every student. A school’s purpose is to enhance the students’ talent, skills, and uniqueness for them to achieve their dreams and not to create the same graduates that are imaged in just one standard. They do not produce talented, skilled, and passionate students but just robots who are tasked to perform in society the same way as their predecessors did.

The system of McDonaldization influences many sectors in society and it continues to dominate around the world. Consequences from this system are present but not really being noticed by the people or even the mainstream media. Some people may not notice it, but some are just really ignoring it because of their agendas. It threatens not only our safety but also our foundation, the creativity of humans of doing great feats. Things don’t become great overnight, a rock is crushed and heated for thousands of years to become a diamond. It takes patience and time to create magnificent things, we don’t just consume and create things just for the purpose of having more. Quality over quantity because it is worth the wait to produce more meaningful, safer, healthier, and high-quality products, services, or even people.


The system of McDonaldization has the purpose to raise the efficiency level of work, products, and services by large companies. It started with the food industry but through the years it was slowly influencing other sectors in the society. At first, it was just a way to present new techniques to lure customers in but it becomes an ideology that spread throughout society. It has big consequences for society especially the future generations because they will live at a time where everything is done through machinery and just be motivated by technical standards and time pressure. A kind of world that gives more importance to quantity than quality. Due to our nature of wanting more, it will consume our society to produce more but with less safety and low-grade products and services. In the book of George Ritzer where he expounds and elaborates on McDonaldization, he stated that even though we think that this system will give us more, the truth is it just makes everything lesser. Efficiency, abstract, predictability, control, and calculability have replaced traditional, spontaneous, and the rule of thumb methods on our society. It produces more but it creates a vacuum that sucks in every quality that makes us humans.


Recommendations to enhance the findings of this study and to furthermore elaborate on the negative impacts of McDonaldization in our society.

  • Observe the quality of products by comparing a product that was processed by a machine versus a product that is handcrafted.
  • Observe the safety of the products by testing the chemical factors and levels inside processed food products.
  • Be updated to world news about large companies within the product and service industry and their goals for the future.
  • Create a more highly accurate diagram about the data from products and services that are being produce by rationalized companies to enhance the validity of the findings and results.


  1. George Ritzer (Oct 9, 2014). McDonaldization of Society. Retrieved Dec 26, 2020, from

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