The McDonaldization of Society
An Investigation Into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life

by George Ritzer

UK publication details:
Published by Sage Publications Inc (USA)
Pine Forge Press
Revised Ed (March 2000)
Price 16.99 (paperback)
isbn: 0761986286
430 pages

US publication details:
Published by Pine Forge Press
February 2000
Price $25.95 (paperback, 3rd edition)
isbn: 0761986286

This book aims to offer "... readers some new insights into the society in which they are in the process of constructing. If they are as alarmed as I am by the dangers posed by McDonaldization, perhaps they can do what Weber thought virtually impossible - act to reverse the trend toward McDonaldization. Although I do not think such a reversal is possible, or even necassarily desirable, I do think that there are steps that people can take to ameliorate the problems, to humanize a McDonaldized society. It is hoped that this book will not only inform, but also serve as a warning, and perhaps most important, point the reader in directions that can help make the "iron cage of McDonaldization" a more human setting in which to work and live."

"...McDonald's represents a monumentally important development and the process that it has helped spawn, McDonaldization, is engulfing more and more sectors of society and areas of the world. It has yielded a number of benefits to society, but it also entails a considerable number of costs and risks."

Suggests actions that individuals can take to cope with McDonaldization:
  • At least once a week, pass up lunch at McDonald's and frequent a local greasy spoon.

  • To really shake up the clerk at the department store, use cash rather than your credit card.

  • For your next vacation, go to only one locale and get to know it well.

  • Go to no movies that have roman numerals after their names.

"Although I have emphasized the irresistibility of McDonaldization throughout this book, my fondest hope is that I am wrong. Indeed, a major motivation behind this book is to alert readers to the dangers of McDonaldization and to motivate them to act to stem its tide. I hope that we are able to resist McDonaldization and can create instead a more reasonable, more human world."

About the Author...
Ritzer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, where he has been named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. His other publications include
Frontiers of Social-Theory (Colombia University Press) and Sociology: Experiencing Changing Societies (5th edition) with Kenneth Kammeyer and Norman Yetman.

See also:

  • Interview with George Ritzer
  • A short excerpt from The McDonaldization of Society
  • The Ritzer Debate Continued
  • Back to Media Page More Books