The following is an excerpt from George Ritzer's "The McDonaldization of
The following list contains suggested actions that individuals can take
to cope with McDonaldization. In most cases, they assume prior action
by others to create nonrationalized enterprises in those niches.
- Avoid living in apartments or tract houses. Try to live in an
atypical environment, preferably one you have built yourself or have had
built for you. If you must live in an apartment or a tract house,
humanize and individualize it. In fact, the residents of Levittown, the
original tract house community, have done just that so that one now sees
"The Levitt box disguised as a Tudor Manor, a Swiss chalet, a
Pennsylvania Dutch Barn."
- Avoid daily routine as much as possible. Try to do as many things as
possible in a different way from one day to the next.
- More generally, do as many things as you can for yourself. If you
must use various servers, frequent nonrationalized, nonfranchised
establishments. For example, lubricate your won car. if you are
unwilling or unable to do so, have it done at your local, independent
gasoline station. Do not, at all costs, frequent on of the franchised
- Instead of popping into H&R Block at income-tax time, hire a local
accountant, preferably one who works out of an office in the home.
- Similarly, the next time a minor medical or dental emergency leads you
to think of a visit to a "McDoctor" or a "McDentist," resist the
temptation and go instead to your neighborhood doctor or dentist,
preferably one who is in solo practice.
- The next time you need a pair of glasses, use the local store-front
optometrist rather than the Pearle Vision Center.
- Avoid Hair Cuttery and other hair cutting chains; the next time your
hair needs cutting, go to a local barber or hairdresser.
- At least once a week, pass up lunch at McDonald's and frequent a local
greasy spoon. For dinner, again at least once a week, park the car,
unplug the microwave, avoid the freezer, and cook a meal from scratch.
- To really shake up the clerk at the department store, use cash rather
than your credit card.
- Send back to the post office all junk mail, especially that which is
addressed to "occupant" or "resident."
- The next time you are phoned by a computer, gently place the phone on
the floor, thereby allowing the disembodied voice to drove on and
occupying the line so that others will not be bothered by such calls for
- When dialing a business, always choose the "voice mail" option that
permits you to speak to a real person.
- Never buy artificial products such as Molly McButter and Butter Buds.
- Seek out restaurants that use real china and metal utensils; avoid
those that use material like styrofoam that adversely affect the
- Organize groups to protest abuses by McDonaldized systems. As we have
seen, these systems do adapt to such protests. If you work in such a
system, organize your coworkers to create more humanized working
- If you must frequent a fast food restaurant, dine at one, such as
Macheezmo Mouse Mexican Cafe, that has demonstrated some sensitivity to
the dangers of McDonaldization.
- If you are a regular at McDonald's, develop personal ties with the
counterpeople; try to get to know them. Also, do what else you can to
humanize it. In fact, curing the breakfast hours, customers have done
just that' they have "subverted the process" of McDonaldization. Instead
of hastening through their meal, many breakfast customers "come every
day of the week to read their papers, cat, drink coffee, and gobble down
an Egg McMuffin." If breakfasts can be de-McDonaldized, why not other
meals? Other aspects of the fast food experience?
- Make an effort and read THE NEW YORK TIMES rather than USA TODAY once
a week. Similarly, watch PBS news once a week with its three long
stories rather than the network new shows with their numerous snippets
- More generally, watch as little television as possible. If you must
watch TV, keep the channel selector on PBS. If you must watch one of
the networks, turn off the sound and avert your eyes during commercials.
After all, most commercials are sponsored by rationalized enterprises
and they tout the virtues of rationalization.
- Avoid most finger foods
- For your next vacation, go to only one locale and get to know it well.
- Never enter a domed stadium or one with artificial grass; make
periodic pilgrimages to Fenway Park.
- Avoid classes where tests are short answer and graded by computer. If
a computer-graded exam is unavoidable, make extraneous marks and curl
the edges of the exam so that the computer cannot deal with it.
- Seek out small classes; get to know your professors.
- Go to no movies that have Roman numerals after their names.
It is particularly important that steps be taken to prevent children form
becoming mindless supporters of McDonaldization.
- Instead of using a "McChild" care center, leave your child with a
neighborhood parent interested in earning some extra money.
- Keep your children away from the television as much as possible. It
is especially important they they not be exposed to the steady barrage
of commercials from rationalized institutions, especially on Saturday
morning cartoon shows.
- Lead efforts to keep McDonaldization out of the school system.
- If you can afford it, send your child to a small, non-McDonaldized
- Above all, when possible, avoid taking your children to fast0food
restaurants or their clones in other areas of society. If no
alternatives are present (for example, you're on a highway and the only
options are various fast-food chains), blindfold your child until the
ordeal is over.
Published in 1993 by:
Pine Forge Press
© George Ritzer
A Sage Publication Company
2455 Teller Road