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McDonaldization Thesis - Topics

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1 McDonaldization Thesis - Topics
Labour Process Theory and Marx McDonaldization Thesis and Weber Labour Process Theory & McDonaldization Thesis ; Continuity and Differences Labour Process Theory & McDonaldization thesis Strengths and Weaknesses Modernity, Postmodernity and the McDonaldization thesis

2 Labour Process Theory - Summary
As capitalism moves from competitive to monopoly markets so the priority shifts from labour cheapening to labour control The latter goal is achieved through the process of deskilling; reducing work to repetitive physical motions This is made possible by the separation of the performance of work from the planning of work A conflict of interests develops between ‘planners’ managers, and ‘performers’ workers

3 Rationalisation the master concept of M. Weber’s analysis of modern capitalism, referring to a variety of related processes by which every aspect of human action became subject to rational calculation and control….the concept..was.. part of Weber’s view of capitalist society as an ‘iron cage’ in which the individual, stripped of religious meaning and moral value would be increasingly subject to government surveillance and bureaucratic regulation. Source: Abercrombie, N et al Penguin Dictionary of Sociology

4 Rationalization (via Ritzer)
Efficiency achieving goal with minimum use of resources Calculability enables assessment of efficiency Predictability calculation of possible outcomes removes uncertainty, shocks and surprises Non-Human Technology eliminates the uncertainty of human behaviour Outcome - Control

5 The ‘regular’ family Regular (adjective) habitual, usual; conforming to a rule or principle; conforming to correct procedure Regulate (verb) subject to restrictions; adapt to requirements; adjust to work accurately Regulation (noun) prescribed rule Regulator (noun) one who regulates; part of a mechanism that maintains normal operating conditions Source: (mainly) Concise Oxford Dictionary

6 LPT &McDonaldization Compared
Does the McDonaldization thesis: Restate LPT? Fail to explain as adequately as LPT? Cover a wider range of sociological issues than LPT? Cover a wider range of phenomena than LPT? Cover a wider range of social processes than LPT?

7 1. McDonaldization thesis simply restates the practise of workplace surveillance and control – or does it?

8 2. McDonaldization thesis describes but does not explain the growth of workplace surveillance and control – is rationalisation an explanation?

9 3. McDonaldization thesis has sociologically interesting things to say about the maintenance of dominant cultural values through McDonaldization. It draws attention to the possibility that workplace autonomy may be lost even tho’ skill is retained It is not limited to market based activities re its occurrence in health, education organisations etc

10 4. Unlike LPT the McDonaldization thesis is not limited to workplace processes

11 5. McDonaldization thesis does not attempt to reduce workplace organisation to class interests alone

12 Extended Range of McDonaldization Thesis - Culture
McDonaldization reinforces the commodification of time

13 Extended Range of McDonaldization Thesis - Social System
Rationalisation of work has been extended beyond profit-oriented work. McDonaldization becomes a norm for all types of organisations

14 Extended Range of McDonaldization Thesis - Interaction
Attempts by McDonaldized organisations to deny the rationalisation of work result in the degradation of intimacy throughout society

15 McDonaldization & Postmodernisation
Claim that ‘Fordist’ based analyses of modern work are outdated McDonaldization said by Ritzer to have affinities with the superficiality, impermanence, hyper-reality and consumerism of postmodern culture McDonaldization merges with Disneyisation re Bryman

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