foundation hyperamerican

They offer a limited simple menu that can be cooked

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Unformatted text preview: possible.They offer a limited, simple menu that can be cooked and served in an assembly-line fashion.The latest development in fast-food restaurants, the addition of drive-through windows, constitutes an effort to increase still further the efficiency of the dining ex- ARTICLE 43 THE MCDONALDIZATION OF SOCIETY perience.The family now can simply drive through, pick up its order, and eat it while driving to the next, undoubtedly efficiently organized, activity.The success of the fast-food restaurant has come full circle with frozen food manufacturers now touting products for the home modeled after those served in fast-food restaurants. Increasingly, efficiently organized food production and distribution systems lie at the base of the ability of people to eat their food efficiently at home, in the fast-food restaurant, or in their cars. Farms, groves, ranches, slaughterhouses, warehouses, transportation systems, and retailers are all oriented toward increasing efficiency. A notable example is chicken production where they are massbred, force-fed (often with many chemicals), slaughtered on an assembly line, iced or fast frozen, and shipped to all parts of the country. Some may argue that such chickens do not taste as good as the fresh-killed, local variety, but their complaints are likely to be drowned in a flood of mass-produced chickens.Then there is bacon which is more efficiently shipped, stored, and sold when it is preserved by sodium nitrate, a chemical which is unfortunately thought by many to be carcinogenic. Whatever one may say about the quality or the danger of the products, the fact remains that they are all shaped by the drive for efficiency. . . . One of the most interesting and important aspects of efficiency is that it often comes to be not a means but an end in itself.This “displacement of goals” is a major problem in a rationalizing society.We have, for example, the bureaucrats who slavishly follow the rules even though their inflexibility negatively affects the organization’s ability to achieve its goals.Then there are the bureaucrats who are so concerned with efficiency that they lose sight of the ultimate goals the means are designed to achieve.A good example was the Nazi concentration camp officers who, in devoting so much attention to maximizing the efficiency of the camps’ operation, lost sight of the fact that the ultimate purpose of the camps was the murder of millions of people. P R E D I C TA B I L I T Y A second component of rationalization involves the effort to ensure predictability from one place to another. In a rational society, people want to know what to expect when they enter a given setting or acquire some s...
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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.

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