Discussion question** sociology mcdonaldization *** due today 1100pm

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This week you will read about how McDonaldization is actually the application to the fast food industry of the principles of “Scientific Management” which were first formalized by Frederick Taylor, who advocated that there was “One Best Way” to accomplish any task.  He believed that the work of planning should be the domain of corporate staff specialists, who would use the scientific method—data analysis and experimentation—to find that One Best Way.  These people used to be called “industrial engineers,” but now the term “process engineer” is a more common term for them.  The idea was to divest the worker of as many decisions as possible, in effect reducing him (or her) to a set of hands guided by explicit work instructions.  The more successful the process engineers were, the less dependent on the skills of the workforce a company would be, the easier it became to backfill a worker with someone off the street, and the less of the worker’s mental capabilities would be required to complete a job.  But there is, as Ritzer will indicate later in the book, a limit to this process, beyond which inefficiencies start to set in.  As you will see as you read the book, he calls this the “irrationality of rationality.” 


Here are two options for doing this week’s discussion: 

(Before you address these questions, go online and look up the definition of “McJob.”) 

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Option 1:  At what point is “rationalization”—the proliferation of “McJobs”—likely to create inefficiency?  You can use your own work experience for examples to illustrate your answer. 


Option 2:  Watch the video (link is on page 9 of the Module 2 Presentation) called “Building Airplanes Economically.”  Do you think the jobs shown in it are “McJobs”?  Why or why not? Would you want to ride on a plane made by people with McJobs?  Discuss.

This section lists options that can be used to view responses.


Responses are listed below in the following order: response, author and the date and time the response is posted.

  Modified:10/27/2014 11:15 PM

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