Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The other day a friend of mine made a reference to the McDonalization of the modern day cultures. Having never heard the term before, I did a little research and realized how much it applied to our continuous discussion of power. A few years ago, George Ritzer saw more importance in the McDonald restaurants than just the convenience of having one on every corner. He took the ideology behind McDonalds and applied it to the “routine tasks of every day life” that seems to be spreading over the current generations. He strives to show that problems are no longer solved through analytical thought, rather there is a step-by-step solution already prepared. Although at times this does not seem like a bad idea, it made me start thinking about the effects this could have or is currently having on our culture.
First, I think that people would fall into this trap based solely on laziness and the convenience of having their problems solved. I also feel that taking a step down this path would make it hard to turn back. The easy way out is a weakness found in many people, but could be detrimental to our progress in society. To accept the McDonalization would be failing our historical intellectuals that through dialectical idealism, we have created progress. In many realms, we can see that this is true. Even in this class, we continue to mold and shape our perception of power. If we were to accept the definition that was given to us the first day of class, we would have not created some greater knowledge and continue to find a conclusion.
It is important to realize that our thoughts are being influenced even when we don’t realize it. The society that we live in creates a model that we are “suppose” to follow. It is necessary that we continue to question and strive for more so that our power of thought is not fried, grilled, or flipped.

I recieved all my information from myweb.stedwards.edu/mikef/mcdonize.htm


Allison Fish said...

I find this post extremely interesting. The step-by-step methodology used in the McDonalization of America takes thinking out of everyday life. Logic no longer has to be applied; as long as one can follow simple directions, they can succeed somewhere in this society. We are all affected by this syndrome daily, whether we realize it or not. Courtney made a good point in saying that once we take a step in this direction it may be hard to turn back. Why take a harder route when a simpler one is readily available? Human laziness is a prime factor in driving this industry. Call me cynical, but I doubt there will ever be a turn around from the digression that has already affected American culture. However, I am still hopeful we can bring it to a standstill, the sooner the better.

Ashley Ladd said...

I think that you are completely right about the definition of power. The way that we learned what power was on the first day of Philosophy class has been much influenced and changed as the semester has unfolded. Each book that we read changes what we think about power. Each topic that we discuss in class, whether relevant to the topic or completely out of the blue, affects our idea of power. What probably influences us the most is what we don't hear in class. The news, TV, movies,and even other classes have all molded our original definition of power into what it is now. This variety of influences allows each of us to have a different definition, which I feel like is part of the goal of this class.

Cat Rauck said...

Tying Courtney's post into the class discussion today involving welfare I think the flaws of American culture are ultimately highlighted. As McDonaldization expands into international markets it is becoming a symbol of globalization. The American way of life is mirrored by its excessive prominence and lack of consumer responsibility. Are lack of corporate ethics to blame or Americans lack of consumer liability?

It is easy to blame the incredible marketing ability of the company yet when it comes down to simple truth it is American's lack of responsibility and laziness to respect their health and lifestyle.

With the welfare discussion we touched on certain ideologies that were spurred in the 1980s such as the welfare moms. The idea that why should we help them if they can't help themselves? Are these moms just having more children to gain more welfare? This ideological crisis between the relationship of the state and the market is similar to that of the McDonalization. American's are lazy and irresponsible when it comes to health. If this lack of integrity continues why should healthcare even be considered on option when it is so neglected.

Cal said...

I think that welfare serves an important function, when it is not exploited by the phenomenon known as "welfare moms." I speculate that even the welfare mom, which I do not deny exists (I have encountered many while waiting to get those immunization shots everyone has to have for college health records) might be a stereotype propagated by the Neo-Conservatives (whom we already know are capable of spinning some tall tales) in order to inspire an American myth of greatness we must achieve. Ideologically, welfare serves an important purpose, when it is used with proper intentions and perfect execution. However, the exploiters, I believe, have caused the welfare program to be looked upon with disdain. In accordance to McDonalization, I think Americans fall prey to being "fed" the notion that all welfare is unnecessary and also used by someone who does not need it.
Also, I feel that the medicare situation can be proved fallacious logically:
1. All Americans are lazy and not concerned about health
2. All American are not in need of healthcare
3. (1) is not the case every single time
4. Therefore (2) does not necessarily follow

Ai said...

I really enjoyed reading this blog. I really do agree that if we don't question our society and the things we are suppose to do. Also, I think technology is slowing easing us into a state of laziness. For example, cell phones now can do so much more than make a phone call. As amazing as it is that technology has gotten so far, so many functions on the cell phones can connect you the internet and you can get a whole set of work and chores done in one sitting. Though this reduce the time, and give us more time to do other things, but sadly sometimes we don't utilized the time to do positive things. I completely agree with Courtney that we have to question and strive to learn more and be more.