The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

November 5, 2013

Primus Mootry: Living and coping in a McDonaldization society

Last week I shared some thoughts on the challenges of coping in a changing world. I suppose the subject isn’t a very exciting one. Most folk, I suspect, are too preoccupied with the routines of daily living to think much about the profound ways in which our society — the way we live, work, and play — is changing.

For whatever reason, the subject has captured my imagination for quite some time. Coming from a social service background, it irks me to no end to hear people in the field talking about how what they are doing represents a new paradigm. The reason it irks me so is because we have no more control over paradigm shifts than we do the weather. But I guess that’s my problem.

Anyway, “The McDonaldization of Society” is a book written over 10 years ago by University of Maryland social science professor George Ritzer. In it, he uses McDonald’s as an extended metaphor for the ways in which the future is being shaped. Although I read his book some time ago, I still find its ideas relevant and useful to understanding where we are now and where we may be headed.

Although time and space here do not permit me to go into much detail about some of Ritzer’s views, I believe it is worth sharing some of my own summary perspectives on his and futurists like Alvin Toffler (The Third Wave, Power Shift) work. The central idea is that we are rapidly moving from an industrial, manufacturing society into an information (or knowledge-based) one.

Like a tsunami, the coming change is coming from a great distance, it’s eventual impact barely perceptible. When it does hit, however, everything — everything — is torn, twisted, turned upside down, uprooted, drowned, or otherwise forever changed. That’s a paradigm shift. All else is child’s play.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How are you spending Easter Sunday?

At church
At an Easter egg hunt
In the great outdoors
A lazy day at home
     View Results