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COP3 - Secondary Research - The McDonaldization of Society



These sections mainly compare the rational structure of Mcdonalds. The controlling of customers in a formal queues precisely like the controlling of the Jews in concentration camps in the Holocaust...

Page 1 

"Ray Kroc (1902 - 1984), the genius behind the franchising of McDonalds restaurants, was a man with big ideas and grand ambitions. But even Kroc could not of anticipated the astounding impact of his creation. McDonald's is the basis of one of the most influential developments in contemporary society. It's reverberations extend far beyond its point of origin in the United States and in the fast-food business. It has influenced a wide range of undertakings, in deed the way of life, of a significant portion of the world. "

Good Intro on Maccies.

Page 2

"Martin Plimmer a British commentator, acrchy notes ' There are McDonalds everywhere. Theres one near you and theres one being built even nearer to you. Soon, if McDonalds goes on expanding at it's present rate, there might even be one in your house. You could find Ronald McDonalds boots under your bed, and maybe his red wig too."

After this comment I could insert findings from my own survey on how near to McDonalds people generally are??? Always watching, Always over you shoulder, much like the Nazis. 

Page 7

"The second indicator of McDonalds' global significance is the idea developed by Thomas Freidman that ' no two countries that both have McDonalds have ever fought a war since they each got McDonalds.' Friedman calls this the 'Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention.' Another half-serious idea that implies that the path to world peace lies in the continued international expansion of McDonalds. Unfortunately, it was proves wrong by the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, which had 16 McDonalds as of 2002. "

"To many people throughout the world, McDonalds has become a sacred institution. At an opening of a McDonalds in Moscow, a worker spoke of it 'as if it were the cathedral in chartres... a place to experience celestial joy'. Kowinski argues that indoor shopping malls, which almost always encompass fast-food restaraunts are the modern ' cathedrals of consumption' to which people go to practice their 'consumer religion'. "

Talking again about how McDonalds is like a temple of Religion. Link to Nazis?

Page 8 

"Furthermore, most of us have been bombarded by commercials extolling McDonalds virtues, commercials tailored for a variety of audiences and that change as the chain introduces new foods, new contests and new product tie-ins. These ever present commercials, and the fact that people cannot drive very far without having a McDonalds pop into view have embedded McDonalds deep into popular consciousness. "

Were bombarded with McDonalds adverts and buildings everywhere its automatically become embedded within or popular consciousness as well as our unconsciousness?

"A poll of school-age children showed that 96% of them could identify who Ronald McDonald, second only to Santa Claus on name recognition." 

Could link that with my own survey on children and McDonalds?

"As the (McDonalds) company chairman said "Our Goal : to totally dominate the quick service restaurant industry worldwide. I wan't McDonalds to be more than a leader. I Want McDonalds to dominate. "

Very similar aspirations from the McDonalds chairman to what Hitler had. I want to be more than a leader. I want to dominate (world domination) 

Page 10 

The attempt to hook children on fast food reached something of a peak in Illinois, where McDonalds operated a program called ' A for Cheese Burger '. Students who received As on their report cards received free cheeseburger, therefore linking success in school with rewards from McDonalds. 

Unbelievable stunt from McDonalds to lure kids in. 

Page 12 

The Dimensions of McDonalisation (linked with Freudian theories from ' century of the self '

"Why has the McDonalds model proves so irresistible? Eating fast food at McDonalds has certainly become a 'sign' that among other things, one is in tune with contemporary lifestyle. There is also a kind of magic or enhancement that is associated with such food and settings. However, the  focus here is the four alluring dimensions that lie at the heart of the success of this model .... McDonalds has succeeded because it offers consumers, workers and managers efficiency, calculability, predictability and control."

13 14 15 hreat pages too!!

Page 14

"..McDonalds offers many praiseworthy programs that benefit society, such as it's Ronald McDonald Houses, which permit parents to stay with children undergoing treatment for serious medical problems; job training programs for teenagers; programs to help keep its emplyees in school; efforts to hire and train the handicapped; the McMasters program aimed at hiring senior citizens. 

The advantages of McDonalds

Good things McDo does. but would they do this if they didn't have money to burn? do they do things like this to get people of their case?

Page 18

"The increase in the number of people crowding the planet, the accelaeration of technical change, the increasing pace of life --- all this and more make it impossible to go back to the world, if it ever exsisted, of home-cooked meals, traditional restaraunt dinners, high-quality foods, meals loaded with surprises, and restaraunts run by chefs free to express their creativity."

This great quote tells us that we cannot return to the previous world of food that is good for us. That whats interesting in this comparison on Mcdonalds and Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany is in the past, their model didn't last forever and people eventually come around to how bad this was and put a stop to it. The Mcdonalds model is so strong, it's never going to stop. It's going to get bigger and bigger and bigger until it owns everything in the world. It already has, in a way, achieved world domination. Something that Hitler would be jealous of.

"If the world was less McDonliazed, people would be better able to live up to their human potential."

Mcdonalds Precursors (Nazi Holocaust)

This section of the book explains how the McDonalds system could be seen to have stemmed from the same system applied by Nazi Germany. 

The Holocaust - Mass-Produced Death

Page 29

"The holocaust can also be seen as an example of modern social engineering in which the goal was a perfectly rational society. To the Nazi's, a perfect society was one free of Jews, as well as gypsies, gays, lesbians and the disabled. Hitler himself defined the Jews as a 'Virus', a disease that had to be eliminated from Nazi society"

"The holocaust had all the basic characteristics of rationalisation (and McDonaldization). It was an effective mechanism for the destruction of massive numbers of human beings. For example, early experiments shown that bullets were insufficient; The Nazis eventually settles on gas as the most efficient means of destroying people. 

"There was certainly little attention to the quality of life, or even the death, of the Jews as they marched inexorably to the gas chambers. 

Page 30

"Like everything else in our modern society, the Holocaust was an accomplishments in every respect superior...It towers high above the past genocidal episodes."

"The Holocaust involved effort to make mass murder routine. The whole process had an assembly line quality about it. Trains snaked their way towards concentration camps, victims lined up and followed a series of steps. Once the process was complete, camp workers produced stacks of dead bodies for systematic disposal. Finally, the victims of the Holocaust were managed by a huge nonhuman technology. "

Making routine out of Mass Murder. Victims lined up like a Que. at  fast-food restaraunt. camp workers made a systematic disposal of dead bodies. etc. etc. 

"Needless to say, the Holocaust represented the ultimate irrationality of rationality. After all, what would be more dehumanising than murdering millions of people in such a mechanical way. "

Mechanical way

"Discussing the Holocaust in the context of McDonalsization may been extreme to some readers. Clearly, the fast-food restaurant cannot be discussed in the same breath as the Holocaust. There has been no more heinous crime in the history of humankind. Yet I have strong reasons for presenting the Holocaust as a precursor of McDonalization. First, the Holocaust was organised around the principles of formal rationality, relying extensively on the paradigm of that type of rationality --the bureacracy. Second, the Holocaust was also linked to the factory system, which you soon will discover was related to other precursors of McDonalization. Finally, the spread of formal rationality today, through the process of McDonaldization, supports Bauman's view that something like the Holocaust could happen again. "

Good Conclusion comparing Holocaust to McDonalds. Formal Rationality. the Holocaust system is a precursor of McDonalds and beyond. 


Page 41

"McDonald's and McDonalidization did not occur in a historical vacuum; they had important precursors that remain important to this day.  The assembly line, scientific management, and bureaucracy provided many of the basic principles on which fast-food restaurant chains were built. Furthermore, these precursors provided the environment the fast-food chains needed to thrive: large numbers of factory workers and bureaucrcrats driving great distances between work and the suburban dwellings in automobiles that also allowed them to visit shopping malls in their spare time. "

More on the important 'precursors' of the McDonalds system. 

McDonalds Controlling customers

Page 116

"Whether they go into a fast-food restaurant or use the drive-through indown, customers enter a kind of conveyor system that moves them through the restaraunt in the manner desired by the managment. It is clearest in the case of the drive-through window (the energy for this conveyor comes from ones automobile), but it is also true for those who enter the restaraunt. Consumers know that they are supposed to line up, move to the counter, order the food. pay, carry the food to an available table, eat, gather up their debris, deposit it in the trash receptacle, and return to their cars. "

Good Quote on how we know how to follow the mechanical 'conveyor belt' system of McDonalds. 

Three mechanisms help control customers;

1. Customers recieve cues (for example, the precense of lots of trash receptacles, especially at the exits)  that indicate what is expected of them. 

2. A variety of structural constraints lead customers to behave in certain ways. For example, the drive-thorough window, as well as the written instructions on the menu marquee at the counter (and elsewhere) give customers few, if any, alternatives.

3. Customers have internalized taken-for-granted norms and follow them when they enter a fast-food restaraunt. 


"Much the same effect is produced by the colours used in the decor. "Relaxation isn't the point. Getting the hell out of there is the point. The interior colours have been chosen carefully with this end in mind. From the scarlet and Yellow of the logo, to the maroon of the uniform;everything clashes. It's designed to stop people from feeling so comfortable, they might stay."

The colour used make us want to leave the restaurant. 

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