Weber believed that this capacity for social order would lead to the evolution of the iron cage, and as a result a society that was technically ordered, rigid, and dehumanized. It looks at the restraints and need for regimental conformity and order that is placed upon society's workers. It uses the popular restaurant name, as Ritzer believes it to possess all the attributes that go hand in hand with his theory. By the s, due to the combination of advancement in technology, the more wide spread usage of automobiles and the development of large new suburbs both shopping and eating practices changed.
The small corner store was beginning to be pushed out of the marketplace by bigger more efficient stores, usually existing within large shopping complexes that were popping up in the newly developed suburbs. Fast food was designed to lure families out of the home, by providing a meal at a price that everyone could afford. The reasons for going out and visiting one of these restaurants and such was more to do with the qualities that they emphasized and not to do with the quality of the goods or service.
George Ritzer has taken central ideas and concepts from Webers theory and expanded and updated them. His critical analysis on the impact of social structural change on human interaction and identity has many of the same ideas behind it. The idea of the Iron Cage is evident in both works.
Ritzer's theory on Mcdonaldization suggests that in the later part of the 20 th century the socially structured form of the fast food restaurant has become the organizational force representing and extending Webers process of rationalization. A newer term used for this way of thinking is the Chain mentality. Ritzer, more so than Weber sees that this form of De-humanization has spread and will continue to do so into more aspects of our every day life. This would be linked to that fact that rationalization although always present is now more than ever evident in todays society.
Ritzer outlines five dominant themes within the Mcdonaldization process these include: Efficiency, calcul ability, predictability, Increased Control and Familiarity.
Efficiency is choosing the optimum means to a given end, it is advantageous to consumers who can obtain what they need more quickly with less effort. This is a plus in most cases for the consumer however, quality and uniqueness is usually lost as a result. The absolute need for high levels of control over both the employee and the customer feature greatly in Mcdonaldization, for instance the process adopted by McDonalds to get the patron to carry their own meal and clear up after themselves are all forms of control.
Predictability features greatly in the importance of a McDonaldized company, for example being able to predict exactly what outcome you are going to get is, in most cases, considered an important factor. Franchising plays on the predictability of achieving the same service or product on offer in operations not directly owned by the company.
"The Mcdonaldization of Society" by George Ritzer. - WriteWork
With regard to familiarity: one of the most well established principles of psychological practice is that if preference starts from a neural point, mere familiarization can establish a liking, and eventually a preference, which can result in rejection to the unfamiliar.
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