McDonaldization Essay

375 words | 2 page(s)

McDonalds. The fast food hamburger restaurant known around the globe. What makes the chain so popular? George Ritzer created a theory to answer that decades long question. The reasons why people find McDonalds so attractive is based on four main categories of rationalized operations. Rationalization is a term used in sociology to describe the idea of taking logical rules and substituting them with completely illogical ones. The main idea of McDonaldization is that this can be applied to nearly every situation possible. The first of the four main categories is efficiency. Efficiency in the sense that McDonaldization takes it is the idea of breaking a task into the smallest possible parts and having each part being done by someone that in turn creates the whole.

This is seen when someone goes to a McDonalds restaurant and sees several employees frying the French fries, working the cash registers, manning drive through, flipping burgers, and adding condiments to bags. These are only a few examples of how a single McDonalds restaurant makes even the smallest task the most efficient. The second category is calculability. This is the idea that McDonalds has been criticized the most for. The company values quantity over quality. They may have soggy buns, mediocre fries, and watered down soda but at least there is a lot of it. The idea of calculability is best seen in a McDonalds restaurant by how many orders a single store is able to take. There can be a range from four chicken nuggets to twenty. In the machine-like function of a McDonalds chain the quality of the food doesn’t matter. The amount they create does. The third category is predictability. Everyone knows that when you go to any McDonalds no matter where it is, you’ll be getting similar items. A Big Mac is a Big Mac, whether you’re in Italy or in Arkansas. This leads into the final category, control. McDonalds has a high degree of control over their workers. This is seen in how the employee working the fryer dutifully fries French fries for hours.

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  • McDonalds. “You’re In!” Home. McDonalds, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.
  • Rogue Valley Group. “ – What Is It?” McDonaldization -What Is It? Rogue Valley Group, 2009. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

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