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McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions

by Ritzer G SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 224 pages
AU$109.00 NZ$114.78
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Few sociology books published in the 1990s have succeeded in capturing the imagination more than George Ritzer's The McDonaldization of Society, which has been translated into eight languages. Read and debated throughout the world, the book stimulated thought and discussion throughout all levels of the sociological community. In this new book, Ritzer provides a deeper exploration of the most innovative and imaginative sociological thesis of the last decade of the 20th century - McDonaldization.Part One of the book involves theoretical extensions including a discussion of the work of Karl Mannheim on rationalization. Max Weber's ideas provided the theoretical foundation for the McDonaldization thesis, but Mannheim's ideas are also useful and lead to some new perspectives on the process. Ritzer also assesses the degree to which sociology in general and sociological theory have been McDonaldized.Part Two is devoted to a discussion of the process of McDonaldization. One concern is with the degree to which jobs, and more generally the labour process, has been McDonaldized. Another is with the relationship between McDonaldization and related processes like globalization and the Americanization of the world. There is also an essay on the McDonalidzation of credit arrangements.Part Three involves an evaluation of the move beyond McDonaldization. Ritzer discusses what he terms `the new means of consumption' and the postmodern perspective that best illuminates them. The fast food restaurant is now conceived as one of the many new means of consumption that also includes credit cards, shopping malls, cybermalls and other `shopping experience' outlets. Disneyworld can be seen as a new means of consumption in the tourist realm and within that realm it plays the same role that McDonald's does in the larger society. The modern university - the McUniversity - is also discussed as a new means of educational consumption. The book concludes with a re-evaluation of the McDonaldization thesis and its future. Written with the author's customary clarity and power, this is a book that will be required reading for students in sociology and cultural studies. It shows one of the most original minds working in sociology today wrestling with his thought and moulding it into new and exciting areas.

Introduction: McDonaldization and Beyond THEORETICAL ISSUES Mannheim's Theory of Rationalization An Alternative Resource for the McDonaldization Thesis? The McDonaldization of American Sociology A Metasociological Analysis Munch(ing) on the McDonald(ization) of Social Theory THE EXPANSION OF MCDONALDIZATION McJobs McDonaldization and its Relationship to the Labor Process McDonaldization The New American Menace Globalization, McDonaldization and Americanization Credit Cards, Fast-Food Restaurants and Increasing Rationalization THE NEW MEANS OF CONSUMPTION The New Means of Consumption A Postmodern Analysis 'McDisneyization' and 'Post-Tourism' Complementary Perspectives on Contemporary Tourism McUniversity in the Postmodern Consumer Society Dealing with the New Means of Consumption MCDONALDIZATION REDUX Some Concluding Thoughts on the McDonaldization Thesis

`Ritzer here revisits and extends the ground-breaking theory he first fully expounded in 1993 in The McDonaldisation of Society, since when he has published a number of papers which take the thesis further and on which this book builds....

This is exciting, readable, provocative modern sociology that sets out to challenge the dominant trends in the construction of our brave new global world....

His work constitutes a serious academic challenge from within the very heartland of McDonaldisation and I highly recommend it to those who want to gain a perspective on post-modern society (and

sociology)' - Self & Society

`The new book will underline the importance and usefulness of the concept of McDonaldization and I fully expect that it will become a standard topic for years to come.. Fascinating, it will make an ideal focus for lectures, seminars and so on' - Alan Bryman, Loughborough University

``McDonaldization' I came to appreciate long ago - it is by now a household term!' Professor Zygmunt Bauman, Department of Sociology, University of Leeds.

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was awarded the 2000 distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the Ame