McDonaldizarea societății

1. Cadrul

Într-un sondaj din 1995, realizat pe un eșantion de 7000 de subiecți din SUA, Marea Britanie, Germania, Australia, India și Japonia, s-a constatat că peste 88% din respondenți puteau identifica simbolul celor doua arce ale McDonalds-ului, spre deosebire de cei 54% care puteau asocia crucea ca simbol al creștinismului (“Golden Arches More Familiar Than the Cross”, Plain Dealer, August 26, 1995, citat în Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation. The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,  Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 2001, pp. 276-277.) Lucrurile sunt din ce în ce mai clare: noua modernitate caută o nouă religiozitate, configurată însă pe structura mecanismelor cognitive și valorice ale vechii religiozități. De altfel, în Evanghelia după McDonalds Derek Tidball surprinde foarte bine noii factori care determină configurarea valorică a opțiunilor contemporanilor noștri,  foarte mulți dintre ei injectați cu mania “înfulecării” nediscriminatorii a valorilor culturii contemporane.

2. Cartea

Reluând teza lui Max Weber despre raționalizarea societății moderne și având suportul atâtor evidențe empirice, George Ritzer enunță teza sa despre  mcdonaldizarea societății, adică modul în care se aplică principiile fast-foodului la mecanismele de dezvoltare ale societății (concept care poate fi pus în corelație cu fordismul, coca-colonizare, imperialism cultural, americanizare).

Cea de a șasea ediție a celebrei sale cărți, The McDonaldization of Society 6 (Sixth Edition, Pine Forge Press, 2011), vine nu cu erate ci doar cu completări necesare, date de dinamica globalizării (a se vedea și George Ritzer, The Globalization of Nothing, Pine Forge Press, 2003, și  Globalization. A Basic Text, Wiley Blackwell, 2010) și de cea a lumii dematerializate (Web 1.0, 2.0), asupra căreia se păstrează principiile mcdonaldizării din lumea materială.

Cartea în sine nu aduce noutăți, ci se oferă ca un prilej de coagulare a experiențelor cotidiene pe care le trăim cam fiecare, autorul având talentul de a străpunge iscusit organicitatea, benefică sau nu, a stresului și dinamicii care ar trebui să ne facă fericiți. Oricât am contesta, cu inocența rebelă adolescentină, valorile succesului capitalist/birocratic/managerial de tip McDonalds, pentru a rezista pe o piață din ce în ce mai concurențială trebuie să ne supunem implacabilelor concepte care țin astăzi lumea în mișcare: Eficiența, Calculabilitatea, Predictibilitatea, Controlul prin tehnologii nonumane, Iraționalitatea raționalității.

Citind numai cuprinsul cărții putem desena mental câțiva vectori ai societății de astăzi, eficientă în dorințe, calculată în eforturi, flămândă de control și dominată de un ceva irațional tocmai în mijlocului ghemului de strategii raționale prin care ne justificăm pretențiile din ce în ce mai sofisticate.

Copyright, iv

Preface, xi

1. An Introduction to McDonaldization, 1

McDonald’s as a Global Icon, 6

The Long Arm of McDonaldization, 9

The Dimensions of McDonaldization, 14

Efficiency, 14

Calculability, 14

Predictability, 15

Control, 16

A Critique of McDonaldization: The Irrationality of Rationality, 16

Illustrating the Dimensions of McDonaldization: The Case of IKEA, 18

The Advantages of McDonaldization, 20

What Isn’t McDonaldized?, 21

A Look Ahead, 22

2. The Past, Present, and Future of McDonaldization: From the Iron Cage to the Fast-Food Factory and Beyond, 23

Bureaucratization: Making Life More Rational, 24

Weber’s Theory of Rationality, 24

Irrationality and the “Iron Cage”, 26

The Holocaust: Mass-Produced Death, 27

Scientific Management: Finding the One Best Way, 29

The Assembly Line: Turning Workers Into Robots, 31

Levittown: Putting Up Houses—“Boom, Boom, Boom”, 33

Shopping Centers: Malling America, 35

McDonald’s: Creating the “Fast-Food Factory”, 37

McDonaldization and Contemporary Social Changes, 40

The Forces Driving McDonaldization: It Pays, We Value It, It Fits, 40

Other Major Social Changes: McDonaldization in the Era of the “Posts”, 43

The Future: Are There Any Limits to the Expansion of McDonaldization?, 50

3. Efficiency: Drive-Throughs and Finger Foods, 55

Streamlining the Process, 56

The Fast-Food Industry: Speeding the Way From Secretion to Excretion, 57

Home Cooking (and Related Phenomena): “I Don’t Have Time to Cook”, 59

Shopping: Creating Ever-More Efficient Selling Machines, 61

Higher Education: Just Fill in the Box, 63

Health Care: Docs-in-a-Box, 64

Entertainment: Moving People (and Trash) Efficiently, 66

Online Dating: Show Your Interest With Just a “Wink”, 68

Other Settings: Streamlining Relationships With Even the Pope, 69

Simplifying the Product, 71

Putting Customers to Work, 73

4. Calculability: Big Macs and Little Chips, 79

Emphasizing Quantity Rather Than Quality of Products, 81

The Fast-Food Industry: Of “Big Bites” and “Super Big Gulps”, 81

Higher Education: Grades, Scores, Ratings, and Rankings, 84

Health Care: Patients as Dollar Signs, 87

Television: Aesthetics Are Always Secondary, 88

Sports: Nadia Comaneci Scored Exactly 79.275 Points, 89

Politics: There Were No Sound Bites in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 92

Reducing Production and Service to Numbers, 93

The Fast-Food Industry: Hustle, and a Precooked Hamburger Measures Exactly 3.875 Inches, 93

The Workplace: A Penny the Size of a Cartwheel, 95

5. Predictability: It Never Rains on Those Little Houses on the Hillside, 97

Creating Predictable Settings, 98

Motel Chains: “Magic Fingers” but No Norman Bates, 98

The Fast-Food Industry: Thank God for Those Golden Arches, 99

Other Settings: E.T. Can’t Find His Home, 100

Scripting Interaction With Customers, 102

The Fast-Food Industry: “Howdy Pardner” and “Happy Trails”, 102

Other Settings: Even the Jokes Are Scripted, 104

Making Employee Behavior Predictable, 105

The Fast-Food Industry: Even Hamburger University’s Professors Behave Predictably, 106

Other Settings: That Disney Look, 107

Creating Predictable Products and Processes, 107

The Fast-Food Industry: Even the Pickles Are Standardized, 108

Entertainment: Welcome to McMovieworld, 109

Sports: There’s Even a McStables, 112

Minimizing Danger and Unpleasantness, 112

6. Control: Human and Nonhuman Robots, 117

Controlling Employees, 118

The Fast-Food Industry: From Human to Mechanical Robots, 118

Education: McChild Care Centers, 121

Health Care: Who’s Deciding Our Fate?, 121

The Workplace: Do as I Say, Not as I Do, 123

Controlling Customers, 126

The Fast-Food Industry: Get the Hell Out of There, 126

Other Settings: It’s Like Boot Camp, 128

Controlling the Process and the Product, 131

Food Production, Cooking, and Vending: It Cooks Itself, 131

The Ultimate Examples of Control: Birth and Death?, 134

Controlling Conception: Even Granny Can Conceive, 134

Controlling Pregnancy: Choosing the Ideal Baby, 135

Controlling Childbirth: Birth as Pathology, 137

Controlling the Process of Dying: Designer Deaths, 140

7. The Irrationality of Rationality: Traffic Jams on Those “Happy Trails”, 143

Inefficiency: Long Lines at the Checkout, 143

High Cost: Better Off at Home, 146

False Friendliness: “Hi, George”, 146

Disenchantment: Where’s the Magic?, 148

Health and Environmental Hazards: Even Your Pets Are at Risk, 149

Homogenization: It’s No Different in Paris, 153

Dehumanization: Getting Hosed at “Trough and Brew”, 154

Fast-Food Industry: Gone Is the “Greasy Spoon”, 157

Family: The Kitchen as Filling Station, 158

Higher Education: McLectures and McColleges, 160

Health Care: You’re Just a Number, 161

Dehumanized Death, 162

8. Globalization and McDonaldization: Does It All Amount to . . . Nothing?, 165

Globalization, 166

McDonaldization and Grobalization, 170

Nothing-Something and McDonaldization, 172

Nothing-Something and Grobalization-Glocalization, 174

The Grobalization of Something, 175

The Grobalization of Nothing, 177

The Glocalization of Nothing, 179

The Glocalization of Something, 181

The Case for McDonaldization as an Example of the Glocalization of Something, 182

The Case for McDonaldization as an Example of the Grobalization of Nothing, 185

9. Dealing with McDonaldization: A Practical Guide, 189

Creating “Reasonable” Alternatives: Sometimes You Really Do Have to Break the Rules, 191

Fighting Back Collectively: Saving Hearts, Minds, Taste Buds, and the Piazza Di Spagna, 193

McLibel Support Group: McDonald’s Pyrrhic Victory, 193

National Heart Savers Association: McClog the Artery, 195

Slow Food: Creating a Place for Traditional, Regional, and High-Quality Food, 196

Sprawl-Busters: A “Hit List” of McDonaldized Superstores, 199

Local Protests: Not Wanting to Say “Bye-Bye to the Neighborhood”, 200

Coping Individually: “Skunk Works,” Blindfolded Children, and Fantasy Worlds, 202

Games, Knitting, and Non-Rationalized Niches, 203

A Range of Individual Actions: If All Else Fails, Save the Children, 207

Freedom: If You Can’t Cope, Can You Escape?, 210

Some Concluding Thoughts, 212

10. The DeMcDonaldization of Society?, 215

A Potpourri of Factors, 215

Starbuckization, 218

What Has Starbucks Added to, or Removed From, the MCDonald’s Model?, 218

Should the Concept of “Starbuckization” Replace “MCDonaldization”?, 223

The Irrationality of Rationality at Starbucks, 224

The Internet and DeMcDonaldization, 227

eBayization, 228

Web 1.0 and 2.0., 232

Notes, 241

Bibliography, 283

Index, 289

About the Author, 307

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