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Critical Book Review - Essay Example

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A Review on George Ritzer’s The Mcdonaldization of Society, on its 20th Anniversary of Publication Abstract In George Ritzer’s book, The McDonaldization of Society, he explained how the mechanization, automation and high predictability of choices have turned the warm, social structure of the modern human society into a dehumanized and mechanical one…
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Critical Book Review
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Download file to see previous pages The book is a good eye-opener to readers that may not be aware with the changes that McDonaldization has caused both with the values of the people as well as the society as a whole. A Review on George Ritzer’s The Mcdonaldization of Society, on its 20th Anniversary of Publication In celebration of the 20 years that has passed after the original book was published, George Ritzer created an updated edition of his well-known book, The Mcdonaldization of Society (Ritzer, 2013). While the new version already has additional topics such as the Internet, smart phones, Craigslist, etc., the effects of the automation and homogenization of the society are still highly relevant, maybe even more now than it was two decades ago. The text may have been upgraded for it to be inclusive to younger readers, but the book’s content and position are more or less similar. As such, the author still maintains his stand against the dehumanization of workers, of institutions such as schools and hospitals, even the family as a whole. While there are still some issues that need to be addressed, such as alternative methods in order to get out of the McDonaldization system of the society, the book is a good eye-opener to all those that wish to question how the world works today. In a nutshell, the book talks about the modernization of the society, as well as making all of its components work similarly like how fast foods cater to most of its consumers. In the book, it presents McDonalds’ as an example of how four cornerstones of its success (efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control) not only made it a billion-dollar multi-national industry, but also the instructional guide to other industries to similarly gain such huge profits (Ritzer, 2013). Not only were the four principles able to establish McDonalds as a strong icon of the U.S., but also McDonalds was able to achieve globalization at a large scale, with nearly half of the total stores successfully running outside the country (Ritzer, 2013). Many facilities and institutions aside from those in the food and beverage industry such as banks, gasoline stations, hospitals, schools, even daycare centers used the same scheme as McDonalds’, which made everything easier and more efficient for their consumers. However, with such gains came great losses as well, such as the rise of dehumanized workers (along with generic and false friendliness), the loss of creative output (with regards to movies, novels, other forms of entertainment), lesser impact of schools on the morality of their students (too much focus on grades on paper), and even the weakening of healthcare institutions to be supportive to their patients (since most patients are now just seen either as a set of numbers or dollar-signs) (Ritzer, 2013). Thus the dilemma of being as humane as possible in a fast-paced society that forces people to be efficient is predicted to become inevitable. The book relates to numerous concepts that are still relevant despite being on the shelves for almost two decades. Sociological concepts such as bureaucracy, rationality and formation of a structured organization are strong factors in the creation of the idea of McDonaldization. Max Weber has been mentioned in the book due to his influence in the formation of the theory of rationality, as well as the effects of bureaucracy in the society (Ritzer, 2013). While the initial intent of such ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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