McDonaldization of Society: Critical Reading and Interpretation of the Article
The McDonaldization of society by George Ritzer is an article that seeks to expose a humongous problem among people today. Ritzer explains the need that people have shown to reach their objectives as quickly and easily as possible. This may not sound bad, what’s wrong with people reaching their goals quickly? The problem being that the goals of people have greatly changed in the last few centuries. For many survival is not a struggle, but a God-given right that is bestowed upon the fortunate members of society. For these people the goal that may once have been to find food, as to not starve, now it’s about finding food that takes less than a few minutes to prepare.
But this article really was not just a berating of McDonalds. It is a commentary on society. People have now become so lazy that they will do anything to make their lives easier. Cashiers don’t even calculate money anymore. There’s a machine for that. There are machines that limit the amount of liquid exerted from a soda fountain. There are many technologies that are replacing human action. As Ritzer explains, this destroys variety, and unique qualities in many tasks. The self-satisfaction of creating a useful tool for oneself is disappearing.
Humanity is disappearing. To me, that’s what this article is about. Not a McDonaldization of society, but a dehumanizing of it. What I find amusing is that Ritzer refers to this need for quick solutions as rationalization. While it sounds natural that finding the quickest and most effective solution is rational, these methods that people use in society are far from rational. We’re becoming zombies. Soon we will live in a world full of technology built by humans, and we won’t know how to operate it. We might not even know how it got there in the first place. With the trend that seems to be sweeping across America, even the rest of the world in many places, it’s not hard to believe that we may be pawns in a mechanical society. We already are starting to work as a mechanical unit.
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