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Unformatted text preview: tape” associated with the operation of most
bureaucracies. Or, take the example of the arms race in which a focus on quantifiable aspects of nuclear weapons may well have made the occurrence of nuclear
war more, rather than less, unpredictable.
Of greatest importance, however, is the variety of negative effects that rational
systems have on the individuals who live, work, and are served by them.We might
say that rational systems are not reasonable systems. As we’ve already discussed, rationality brings with it great dehumanization as people are reduced to acting like robots.Among the dehumanizing aspects of a rational society are large lecture classes,
computer letters, pray TV, work on the automobile assembly line, and dining at a
fast-food restaurant. Rationalization also tends to bring with it disenchantment
leaving much of our lives without any mystery or excitement. Production by a
hand craftsman is far more mysterious than an assembly-line technology where
each worker does a single, very limited operation. Camping in an RV tends to suffer in comparison to the joys to be derived from camping in the wild. Overall a
fully rational society would be a very bleak and uninteresting place. ARTICLE 43 THE MCDONALDIZATION OF SOCIETY CONCLUSION Rationalization, with McDonald’s as the paradigm case, is occurring throughout
America, and, increasingly, other societies. In virtually every sector of society
more and more emphasis is placed on efficiency, predictability, calculability, replacement of human by nonhuman technology, and control over uncertainty. Although progressive rationalization has brought with it innumerable advantages, it
has also created a number of problems, the various irrationalities of rationality,
which threaten to accelerate in the years to come.These problems, and their acceleration should not be taken as a case for the return to a less rational form of
society. Such a return is not only impossible but also undesirable.What is needed
is not a less rational society, but greater control over the process of rationalization
involving, among other things, efforts to ameliorate its irrational consequences. 379...
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2014 for the course HST 414 taught by Professor Spokes during the Fall '13 term at Syracuse.
- Fall '13