Unformatted text preview: TICLE 43 THE MCDONALDIZATION OF SOCIETY restaurant.When human robots are found, mechanical robots cannot be far behind. Once people are reduced to a few robot-like actions, it is a relatively easy
step to replace them with mechanical robots.Thus, Burgerworld is reportedly
opening a prototypical restaurant in which mechanical robots serve the food.
Much of the recent history of work, especially manual work, is a history of
efforts to replace human technology with nonhuman technology. Scientific management was oriented to the development of an elaborate and rigid set of rules
about how jobs were to be done.The workers were to blindly and obediently
follow those rules and not to do the work the way they saw fit.The various skills
needed to perform a task were carefully delineated and broken down into a series
of routine steps that could be taught to all workers.The skills, in other words,
were built into the routines rather than belonging to skilled craftspersons. Similar
points can be made about the assembly line which is basically a set of nonhuman
technologies that have the needed steps and skills built into them.The human
worker is reduced to performing a limited number of simple, repetitive operations. However, the control of this technology over the individual worker is so
great and omnipresent that individual workers have reacted negatively manifesting such things as tardiness, absenteeism, turnover, and even sabotage.We are now
witnessing a new stage in this technological development with automated
processes now totally replacing many workers with robots.With the coming of
robots we have reached the ultimate stage in the replacement of humans with
Even religion and religious crusades have not been unaffected by the spread
of nonhuman technologies.The growth of large religious organizations, the use
of Madison Avenue techniques, and even drive-in churches all reflect the incursion of modern technology. But it is in the electronic church, religion through
the TV screens, that replacement of human by nonhuman technology in religion
is most visible and has its most important manifestation. . . . CONTROL This leads us to the fifth major dimension of rationalization—control. Rational
systems are oriented toward, and structured to expedite, control in a variety of
senses. At the most general level, we can say that rational systems are set up to
allow for greater control over the uncertainties of life—birth, death, food production and distribution, housing, religious salvation, and many, many others.
More specifically, rational systems are oriented to gaining greater control over the...
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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