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Outline. 1 . Max Weber, 1864-1920 2 . Rationalization 3 . Bureaucracy a. Taylorism & Fordism b. Chaplin: Modern Times 4 . Ritzer and McDonaldization. Quiz. 1. In your readings, George Ritzer introduces the concept of McDonadlization. This term refers to:

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outline
Outline

1. Max Weber, 1864-1920

2. Rationalization

3. Bureaucracy

a. Taylorism & Fordism

b. Chaplin: Modern Times

4. Ritzer and McDonaldization

slide2
Quiz

1. In your readings, George Ritzer introduces the concept of McDonadlization. This term refers to:

  • Trends in the economy which have seen the creation of more and more low wage jobs similar to those created by McDonalds

B. The fact that increased consumption of fast food has contributed to an obesity epidemic in America

C. The process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society

D. McDonalds is now concentrating its business strategy on previously pre-modern societies in South America and Africa

slide3
Quiz

1. One of your readings for this week discussed the current condition of America’s honeybee population. This article noted that:

  • Honeybees are increasingly being pushed out of their habitat by more aggressive killer bees
  • Tests show that PA honeybees are producing honey with high levels of mercury
  • Honeybees have experienced a mass die off that some think is due the way they are currently being used in agricultural production
  • Honeybees are flourishing thanks to new industrial agriculture practices
max weber 1864 1920
Max Weber 1864-1920
  • Pre-Modern societies tend to understand the workings of the world in terms of the supernatural, magic, spirits, Gods, mysteries, etc…
    • Illness due to angering a God…not bacterial infection
    • Hopi Rain Dances…not predictable meteorological factors shape weather
    • Madagascar 2: Sacrifice Giraffe to fix dried up well
  • Weberians note: “As long as the world is in the play of gods and spirits, it cannot be taken as a very predictable place” (Collins 1972: 114)
max weber 1864 19201
Max Weber 1864-1920
  • Weber thought that a major trend within modernity was Rationalization (D)
    • variety of related processes by which every aspect of human action becomes subject to calculation, measurement and control
      • Scientific control of natural world
        • “Disenchantment of the world”
      • Mechanization of time and social life
        • 4 US time zones created in 1883 to rationalize train travel
      • Formal organization of social life
weber
Weber
  • Smith: society primarily held together by web of atomized self interested individuals engaged in market exchanges…
  • Weber: More than just Invisible Hand at work in a modern society
  • As societies become larger and more complex, more formal institutions & organizations develop to hold society together& help it function
    • Visible Hand supplements the Invisible Hand
    • Bureaucracies emerge…What is a bureaucracy?
weber and bureaucracy
Weber and Bureaucracy
  • a type of organization marked by clear hierarchy of authority, the existence of written rules or procedures and staffed by full time officials. (D)
    • Government: US Post Office, US Army, Division of Motor Vehicles, etc…
    • Economy: General Motors, Bank of America, IBM, the Teamsters
    • Civil Society: Rotary Club, Red Cross, Sierra Club, AAA
  • Weber identifies key characteristics of bureaucracies…
bureaucracies have an extensive division of labor
Bureaucracies have an extensive Division of Labor
  • Carefully specified written job descriptions
  • Formal Roles
  • Specialization
  • Bureaucracy
bureaucracies have impersonal rules note comic
Bureaucracies haveImpersonal Rules…note comic
  • Rules ensure task carried out a certain way, regardless of who is performing it
    • Financial Aid process requires tax form
  • Rules carried out impartially and impersonally
    • Mary at financial aid knows your mom, but she can’t waive the above rule
bureaucracies have a clear hierarchy of power
Bureaucracies have a clear Hierarchy of Power
  • Power attached to position
  • Typically Pyramid Shaped
  • Authority Flows Down
weber1
Weber
  • Bureaucracy is necessary for modern society since it provides efficientways to organize social life
    • Postal Service, DMV, Social Security Administration, IRS…
  • BUT Bureaucracies are double edged sword…
  • Often Dehumanizing to those who must work or deal with them
    • Impersonal rules & lack of power can be frustrating & alienating
      • Catch 22: Can’t enroll in college unless you prove you have shots…can’t get proof of shots unless you show you are enrolled in college!!!!
      • “Go postal”: Sort mail all day and snap…
weber s expectation nightmare
Weber’s Expectation & Nightmare
  • Increasingly too much of our lives will become subject to bureaucratic regulation and government surveillance
    • Early critic of Soviet Union, which had one bureaucracy in control of state and economy
  • Iron Cage of rationality would lead to “polar nights of icy darkness”… “basic humanity denied”
    • We’d live in bureaucratic Hell…lots of “red tape”
      • Think 1984, Brave New World, Brazil, The Trial
dehumanization rationalization and work
Dehumanization: Rationalization and Work
  • Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford work to rationalize work…Taylorism?
dehumanization rationalization and work1
Dehumanization: Rationalization and Work
  • “Taylorism”- scientific management
    • Time motion studies employed to improve efficiency of workers (D)
      • Every motion filmed and timed
      • Every move of worker dictated by management
      • Leads to de-skilling of workers
  • People as machines…or mules
dehumanization rationalization and work2
Dehumanization: Rationalization and Work
  • Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford work to rationalize work…Fordism?
dehumanization rationalization and work3
Dehumanization: Rationalization and Work
  • “Fordism”- mechanized, mass production
    • Complex processes broken down and automated
      • Factories with 100,000 people in them
  • Both Taylorism and Fordism create tremendous gains in efficiency, but also bring a tremendous loss of autonomy & power for workers
    • My job with Ernie…
the tolll on workers is heavy
The tolll on workers is heavy…
  • Speeding up production meant that workers came home knackered. Some Bethlehem ironworkers were so wrecked after a Taylor-size day’s work that they couldn’t get out of bed the next morning.
  • In 1914, Henry Ford announced a five-dollar, eight-hour workday—generous terms, at the start—but, after that, salaries froze even as the speed of production increased, and, meanwhile, Ford kept reducing his workforce. Edmund Wilson, in “American Jitters,” later quoted a Ford worker saying, “Ye’re worked like a slave all day and when ye get out ye’re too tired to do anything.”http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/10/12/091012crat_atlarge_lepore?printable=true
other members of society ask what is work for
Other members of society ask “What is work for???”
  • Taylor told Congress: “The ordinary pig-iron handler” is not suited to shoveling coal, Taylor said. “He is too stupid.” But a first-class man, who could lift a shovelful weighing twenty-one and a half pounds, could move a pile of coal lickety-split.
  • “You have told us the effect on the pile,” an exasperated committee member said, but “what about the effect on the man?”Wilson wanted to know what happened to workers who weren’t “first-class men”:
  • THE CHAIRMAN:Scientific management has no place for such men?
  • MR. TAYLOR: Scientific management has no place for a bird that can sing and won’t sing. . . .
  • THE CHAIRMAN: We are not . . . dealing with horses nor singing birds, but we are dealing with men who are a part of society and for whose benefit society is organized.http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/10/12/091012crat_atlarge_lepore?printable=true
rationalization and work
Rationalization and Work
  • Chaplin portrays effects of new trends in “Modern Times”
    • Wildly Popular Film
    • Depicts the experience of millions & millions as modernity unfolds…
    • Answer questions for participation credit
    • Rationalization
      • Variety of related processes by which every aspect of human action becomes subject to calculation, measurement and control
weber s expectation and nightmare
Weber’s Expectation and Nightmare
  • Millions and millions of people transformed from agricultural workers to factory workers
  • Subject to rationalized work processes were people like Weber and Chaplin saw “basic humanity denied”
    • This image in particular, becomes a symbol of modernity
  • Increasingly too much of our lives will become subject to bureaucratic regulation and government surveillance
  • Questions 1-7???
rationalization of work
Rationalization of Work
  • 8. Would you like to work a job like Chaplin’s? Why or why not?
rationalization of work1
Rationalization of Work
  • 8. Would you like to work a job like Chaplin’s? Why or why not?
    • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”
  • Can you imagine organizing society in such a way that such jobs did not exist? How or why not?
  • A society in which they were not as bad? Why? Why not?
      • I can tell you that in some society’s things have been done…in others not
  • Is it simply “Polar days of icy darkness” in which millions of workers have their “basic humanity denied” while they are at work?
rationalization of work2
Rationalization of Work
  • Iron Cage of rationality would lead to “polar nights of icy darkness”… “basic humanity denied
outline1
Outline

1. Max Weber, 1864-1920

2. Rationalization

3. Bureaucracy

a. Taylorism & Fordism

b. Chaplin: Modern Times

4. Ritzer and McDonaldization

Class News

  • Next week’s reading
    • Bowles, Commodities…don’t worry about page 98
  • Exam will be on Tuesday 3/29
  • New Policy Experiment:
    • Power Point Slides will be made available on website on 3/24 or 3/25
rationalization of work3
Rationalization of Work
  • Iron Cage of rationality would lead to “polar nights of icy darkness”… “basic humanity denied
weber died in 1920 ritzer writes in 1996
Weber died in 1920…Ritzer writes in 1996
  • Weber expects Iron Cageof rationality to lead to “polar nights of icy darkness”… “basic humanity denied”
  • He wasn’t too optimistic about society’s prospects
  • Ritzer has given the subject some more thought
    • Applies Weber’s idea to Society…Rationalization morphs into McDonaldization
george ritzer 1996
George Ritzer 1996
  • McDonaldization
    • the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society (D)
  • Ritzer argues that McDonalds symbolizes the dominant social process in the world today
    • Note: Ritzer isn’t just talking about fast food
  • Ritzer suggests we experience McDonaldization in many spheres of our lives as both Consumers and Producers (employees)
    • Note video clip
dimensions of mcdonalidzation
Dimensions of McDonalidzation
  • “Why has the McDonald’s model proven so irresistible. Four alluring dimensions lie at the heart of the success of this model…it offers consumers, workers & managers efficiency, calculability, predictability & control” (Ritzer 467)
  • Obsession with EFFICIENCY- best means to an end (D)
    • Fast Food: Hungry to full…Raw to cooked…
    • My Assembly line Dentist…
    • Cost Cutters: Long hair to short hair…emphasis on numbers
    • Travel: see Italy in 5 days…
    • Customer Service: Press 1 for Savings; 2 for checking, 3 for CDs, 4 to hear these choices again
    • Kindercare: awake babies to sleeping babies
    • Check out your own groceries
dimensions of mcdonalidzation1
Dimensions of McDonalidzation?

2) Focus on CALCULABILITY- ability to quantify to gauge success (D)

  • “Bigger and/or faster is better”…more with less is better
    • Auto soda fill…no judgment needed from worker…fewer workers at $X an hour
    • 15 minutes a teeth cleaning or haircut…little time for care or creativity…fewer workers at $X an hour
    • 15 minutes a tour stop; 1 hr per museum…cookie cutter presentations
    • Press 1 for Savings; 2 for checking, 3 for CDs, 4 to hear these choices again…fewer workers at $X…faster response time?
    • 45 minute naps for all kids…
    • Lines move faster at Shoprite
dimensions of mcdonaldization
Dimensions of McDonaldization

3) Emphasis on PREDICTABILITY - assurance about what will happen (D)

  • KFC in Philly or Warsaw, doesn’t matter…food & job always the same
  • Tour always the same…experience always the same
  • Phone response on automated trees
  • Nap time always at 11 and 3…
dimensions of mcdonaldization1
Dimensions of McDonaldization

4)Increased non human technology and CONTROL (D)

  • Producers (workers) are controlled and interchangeable
    • Chaplin, KFC guy, Cost Cutter, Travel Guide, Dental Hygienist…all have limited control and autonomy over their work life
  • Consumers are controlled …and often don’t even realize it
    • Fast food seats designed to move you up and out…
    • We fill our own soda for no pay
    • Check out our own groceries for no pay
    • Can’t choose dentist or doctors
    • Press 1 or screw off…
    • Want another 1 hour at the Coliseum, too bad…get on the bus
mcdonaldization
McDonaldization
  • “Why has the McDonald’s model proven so irresistible. Four alluring dimensions lie at the heart of the success of this model…it offers consumers, workers & managers efficiency, calculability, predictability & control” (Ritzer 467)
  • Can you come up with other bureaucratic organizations (not shown in the video or mentioned thus far) that have become McDonaldized?
from old mcdonald s farm to the mcdonaldized farm
From Old McDonald’s Farm to the McDonaldized Farm
  • Efficient… “assembly line meat factories”
    • Giant lots with tens of thousand of animals
    • Best means from baby animal to slaughtered animal
      • Fed corn and soy instead of grains..gain weight more quickly
  • Calculable
    • Barcodes on animals that measure everything
  • Predictable
    • Control of feed and for chickens light to speed growth
    • Anti-biotics to maintain growth
  • Control
    • Health and growth of animals controlled by technology
    • Workers controlled
mcdonaldization of agriculture
McDonaldization of Agriculture
  • Honeybees and Almonds?
mcdonaldization of agriculture1
McDonaldization of Agriculture
  • 80% of almonds come from 600,000 acre monoculture in CA
  • During 3 week bloom in February, not enough local bees to pollinate…just not natural
    • 40 billion bees imported to do the job
  • “We’re placing so many demands on these bees we’re forgetting that they’re living organisms and that they have a seasonal life cycle. We are wanting them to function as a machine…”University of MN Entomologist
  • Mass die off of bees seems to be linked to stressed out and compromised immune systems of bees
mcdonaldization1
McDonaldization
  • Process has engulfed more and more parts of our world…
    • From local culture to “McWorld”
  • Mom & Pop joints replaced by McDonalds
    • McDonalds spreads across planet and displaces local businesses
mcdonaldization2
McDonaldization
  • McDonalds symbolizes the dominant social process in the world today
  • Mom & Pop hotels by Holiday Inn
    • Philly; London; Berlin; Warsaw; Bejing…all the same
  • Weddings
mcdonaldization3
McDonaldization
  • Mom & Pop coffee shops replaced by Starbucks
  • “Are we in this Starbucks or the one down the street?”
mcdonaldization4
McDonaldization
  • McDonalds symbolizes the dominant social process in the world today
  • Mom & Pop replaced by Kindercare
    • Strictly regimented
    • Nap time: 10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm…
      • no room for individual child’s patterns
5 th dimension of mcdonaldization
5th Dimension of McDonaldization
  • Irrationality of Rationality
    • increased presence of places in which we work and consume that are dehumanizing.
  • Ritzer argues McDonaldization:
    • Dehumanizes employees (no power, controlled, lousy pay)
    • Dehumanizes customer (assembly line eating, hair, medicine, tours, nap time…)
    • Often a loss of quality(Subway vs. your local Hoagies Shop)
    • Unfortunate Loss of diversity (loss of other options…Starbucks crushed local competition) note next slide
5 th dimension of mcdonaldization1
5th Dimension of McDonaldization
  • For Ritzer…this is all very unfortunate…it’s gone too far
    • “the self was placed in confinement, its emotions controlled, and its spirit subdued.”
  • The world is a lesser place because of McDonaldization…with many new problems
  • Not just unfortunate for our “souls,” but creating problems for society…Anyone remember any of the problems generated by the McDonaldization of agriculture?
from old mcdonald s farm to the mcdonaldized farm1
From Old McDonald’s Farm to the McDonaldized Farm
  • Efficient… “assembly line meat factories”
    • Giant lots with tens of thousand of animals
    • Best means from baby animal to slaughtered animal
      • Fed corn and soy instead of grains..gain weight more quickly
  • Calculable
    • Barcodes on animals that measure everything
  • Predictable
    • Control of feed and for chickens light to speed growth
    • Anti-biotics to maintain growth
  • Control
    • Health and growth of animals controlled by technology
    • Workers controlled
  • Lots and lots of cheap meet…but problems too?
mcdonaldization of farming resistance to anti biotics
McDonaldization of Farming: Resistance to Anti-biotics
  • Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people. (Bittman 2008: 3)
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that at least 70 percent of the antibiotics used in America are fed to animals living on factory farms. Raising vast numbers of pigs or chickens or cattle in close and filthy confinement simply would not be possible without the routine feeding of antibiotics to keep the animals from dying of infectious diseases. That the antibiotics speed up the animals’ growth also commends their use to industrial agriculture, but the crucial fact is that without these pharmaceuticals, meat production practiced on the scale and with the intensity we practice it could not be sustained for months, let alone decades (Pollan 2007:3)
mcdonaldization of farming mrsa
McDonaldization of Farming: MRSA
  • Recent studies in Europe and Canada found that confinement pig operations have become reservoirs of MRSA. A European study found that 60 percent of pig farms that routinely used antibiotics had MRSA-positive pigs (compared with 5 percent of farms that did not feed pigs antibiotics). This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that a strain of “MRSA from an animal reservoir has recently entered the human population and is now responsible for [more than] 20 percent of all MRSA in the Netherlands…. According to a study in Veterinary Microbiology, MRSA was found on 45 percent of the 20 pig farms sampled in Ontario, and in 20 percent of the pig farmers. (People can harbor the bacteria without being infected by it.) ” (Pollan 2007: 3)
mcdonaldization and farming negative externatlities sh t
McDonaldization and Farming: Negative Externatlities…Sh*t?
  • Bad Spinach from lethal strain of e-coli 0157:H7
    • 200 people sick in 26 states
  • Strain of E-Coli was unknown before 1982
    • Believed to have evolved in gut of feedlot cattle
      • Cattle stand around in manure all day eating grain…as opposed to wandering around eating grass
      • Somehow got into the spinach…they’re not sure how
      • “Vegetable Industrial Complex” (NYT 10/15/06)
mcdonaldization of farming deforestation and climate change
McDonaldization of Farming: Deforestation and Climate Change
  • These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests (Bittman 2008: 1)
iron cage polar nights
Iron Cage & Polar Nights?
  • Irrationality of Rationality
    • increased presence of places in which we work and receive services which are dehumanizing.
  • A reaction against a McDonaldized world?
    • European Backlash
      • This guy is a folk-hero in France for

driving a bulldozer into a McDonalds

    • Note a Recent Starbucks Memo from the CEO
mcdonaldization at starbucks
McDonaldization at Starbucks
  • Over the past ten years, in order to achieve the growth, development, and scale necessary to go from less than 1,000 stores to 13,000 stores and beyond, we have had to make a series of decisions that, in retrospect, have lead to the watering down of the Starbucks experience, and, what some might call the commoditization of our brand.
    • memo from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
  • http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117234084129218452-RVYJM6leNQzHwBqqebKvphtlQLk_20070327.html?mod=tff_article
mcdonaldization at starbucks1
McDonaldization at Starbucks
  • This specific decision became even more damaging when the height of the machines, which are now in thousands of stores, blocked the visual sight line the customer previously had to watch the drink being made, and for the intimate experience with the barista. This, coupled with the need for fresh roasted coffee in every North America city and every international market, moved us toward the decision and the need for flavor locked packaging. Again, the right decision at the right time, and once again I believe we overlooked the cause and the affect of flavor lock in our stores. We achieved fresh roasted bagged coffee, but at what cost? The loss of aroma -- perhaps the most powerful non-verbal signal we had in our stores; the loss of our people scooping fresh coffee from the bins and grinding it fresh in front of the customer, and once again stripping the store of tradition and our heritage?
  • http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117234084129218452-RVYJM6leNQzHwBqqebKvphtlQLk_20070327.html?mod=tff_article
de mcdonaldization at starbucks
De-McDonaldization at Starbucks
  • Then we moved to store design. Clearly we have had to streamline store design to gain efficiencies of scale and to make sure we had the ROI on sales to investment ratios that would satisfy the financial side of our business. However, one of the results has been stores that no longer have the soul of the past and reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store. Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter, no longer reflecting the passion our partners feel about our coffee. In fact, I am not sure people today even know we are roasting coffee. You certainly can't get the message from being in our stores.
    • memo from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
iron cage polar nights1
Iron Cage & Polar Nights?
  • Irrationality of Rationality?
    • increased presence of places in which we work and receive services which are dehumanizing.
  • What do you think?
  • Are there things you like about McDonaldization?
  • Things you dislike? If so, are there things that can be done to slow or reverse the process?
  • Is the world becoming too McDonaldized for you?
george ritzer 19961
George Ritzer 1996
  • McDonaldization
    • the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society (D)
  • Ritzer argues that McDonalds symbolizes the dominant social process in the world today
    • Note: Ritzer isn’t just talking about fast food
  • Ritzer suggests we experience McDonaldization in many spheres of our lives as both Consumers and Producers (employees)
  • Irrationality of Rationality
    • increased presence of places in which we work and consume that are dehumanizing.
slide54
Next…
  • Marx…