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The McDonaldization of Society - George Ritzer

I enjoyed this book!

“McDonaldization” refers to systems that are highly controlled- predictable, calculable, dehumanized. This “efficient” McDonalds model has been applied widely in society, especially in businesses and schools. Though it does offer predictability and clean calculability, it leaves out any notion of humanity, as well as innovation and any non-calculable value. So these efficient systems are by default dehumanized and resistant to innovation.

Though there are signs of “de”McDonaldization, discussed in the book, such as the more user-created “web 2.0” (social media), the world is still definitely trending in the direction of McDonaldization.

While this trend is efficient, the McDonalds world we live in is bland (mediocre food and products are the rule), boring (predictable and safe by design), and almost always excludes non-quantifiable values, such as fun and enjoyment. In short, McDonaldized systems are, in my opinion, lame.

The opposite of chain stores selling predictable products at the lowest possible quality they can get away with are businesses that put quality and experience before efficiency. These businesses, schools, and other activities DO still exist. The book gives some recommendations on how we can encourage those systems, the most obvious being to STOP using McDonaldized operations.

There is still hope for a better world, but more people should understand this aspect of the problem. I recommend this book for that.