McDonaldization is the development of rationalization. It is the concept that was developed by a sociologist by the name of George Ritzer. The term also refers to the certain kind of rationalization of production, work, and consumption. The four main elements that McDonaldization focuses on is efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control. It has expanded to other aspects of our daily lives.
Max Weber defined rationality as calculability, methodical behavior, and reflexivity. Calculability was, if we knew what the inputs were going to be, then we can know what the outputs are going to be. The reason if we know the outcomes if we know the responses is when methodical behavior gets involved which is a procedure that needs to be followed. As the crash course video explained, in a factory, the method is inside of the machines, so it doesn’t matter who pulls the machines levers or pushes the buttons, the results will always be the same. Thinking rationally according to Weber meant to think about what you are doing which is thinking reflexively. Reflexively is when you are in the process of reflecting on yourself constantly to offer more better, successful, useful ways to improve.
Bureaucracy is, as said in the lecture, tools that are used to exercise authority today. The term came about when people decided to move into cities. Society then shifted to a market economy using production and currency for exchange then the bureaucracies would expand. Bureaucracies are mainly found in governments, businesses, religion, school, etc. There are two main key characteristics that are defined by bureaucracy which are hierarchy of authority and division of labor.
A positive for McDonaldization is the efficiency. Most people are too tired when the get home from work and/or school to do anything. Their some times drained both mentally and physically depending on their daily lives. Then they start to get hungry and instead of standing for another hour or so at the stove to cook themselves a meal, they turn to fast food chains where they can get their food in under five minutes or less. Which means people are able to get what ever they want or need almost instantly at most hours of the day. A negative aspect of McDonaldization would be it causes dehumanization. Machines are now becoming more popular in taking over simple and even some difficult tasks. In certain fast food places they have customers get their own drink, condiments, having self checkout/self service, and dump their own trash. Those type of jobs lead to less interaction between the workers and customers.
As for bureaucracy, a positive can be that is discourages favoritism. Meaning that in a successful, well-run organization, relationships have no effect on access to financing. Friendships and relationships will not manipulate or persuade outcomes. A negative aspect is there is less freedom to act while involved in a bureaucracy. There are rules and laws in every bureaucracy to govern the actions of the workers that are within that bureaucracy. There is a reduced amount of freedom to make or act on individual choices. People’s actions are influenced by what ever the rules or laws require. Lets just say worker breaks the rules or laws without any body’s permission to do so and even if it was the right thing to do, they are most likely to find themselves to face consequences, such as being fired or even going to the extreme by imprisonment.