9 Sep 2022


The McDonaldization of Society: An Analysis of George Ritzer's Thesis

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The term was invented by George Ritzer in 1993 through his book The McDonaldization of Society. Ritzer believed that McDonaldization occurs when a certain culture starts showing the traits of a fast food restaurant. The rational processes that are exhibited in the restaurant can easily be measured. He believed that the modern society has taken up rationalization in all our activities. The procedures involved in rationalization involve the replacement of the traditional forms of thinking and replacing them with systems that focus on formal social control and efficiency. Most institutions such as universities are characterized by a structure that has hierarchical authority, written regulations, and a focus on competence and bureaucracy. Bureaucracy represents the direction being taken by the society because of rationalization and the increasing complexity of human interaction. The paper will seek to explain the impact of McDonaldization in the education system, especially in the universities. 

McDonaldization of the higher education has become more evident due to the current structures in the system. Higher education has placed a lot of emphasis on the efficiency of their activities, especially in testing. University exams have shifted from the traditional individual testing that used to bed done by a professor to the current system where the exams are often machine graded or textbook gave where there are multiple choice tests (McDonaldization Theory of George Ritzer , 2017) . The impact of McDonaldization has infiltrated the education system and made the tests to become quite efficient for the professors. Furthermore, the impact of McDonaldization of the education system has changed how the society perceives the value of education. The students in the education system are judged by grades and statistics. The whole education system has, and experiences have been summarized into a standardized form that has quantifiable ratings. It shows the shift towards calculability of the education system. However, it is quite challenging to explain how the experience gained by an individual during their education can be described by a single number. 

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Another trait in the McDonaldization of the education system is the predictability of the activities. The system can be summarized as a “cookie cutter.” Every person expects to find similar courses being taught, identical teaching systems being used, similar textbooks being utilized, and identical examination being used in most of the universities. Due to the predictability of the education system, it is challenging to find a unique education system. Moreover, universities are increasing their focus on control. The lecturers or professors are supposed to follow particular regulations and rules (McDonaldization Theory of George Ritzer , 2017) . The grading systems have been standardized to ensure there is fairness in all tests while the classes have been strictly controlled using time. Also, the students are kept under more control due to the fact that their courses have become highly structured and they are supposed to follow particular regulations and perform in certain ways. The students are supposed to either attend classes at the specified time or face severe consequences. Moreover, they are expected to adapt their learning curves depending on the start and end of their classes. 

The paper has analyzed the impact of McDonaldization in the education system, especially in the universities. Whether the impact of McDonaldization in the higher education has been negative or beneficial is a controversial issue in the society. The main key areas of McDonaldization are efficiency, calculability, control, and predictability (McDonaldization Theory of George Ritzer , 2017).  . Efficiency focuses on the best way of performing a particular task. Calculability focuses on how various activities can be measurable and objective instead of being non-measurable and subjective. Predictability ensures that processes can be standardized while control focuses on rules and regulations. All the four aspects of McDonaldization are evident in the education system, especially in the universities. 


McDonaldization Theory of George Ritzer . (2017).  YouTube . Retrieved 4 February 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdy1AgO6Fp4&t=7s. 

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