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Submitted by: Jerel Jansen L. Grecia
Submitted to: Professor Karen B. Felices
We all know McDonald’s as a fast-food restaurant loved by the public. But there is more to McDonald’s than any other crispy chicken burger or a hot-fudge sundae. This well-known restaurant started in 1940’s. According to George Ritzer, McDonaldization is a process by which a society takes on the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant. He highlighted its primary components. One of the components is Efficiency. It means that each facet of the association is equipped towards the decrease in time. For example, in essence, with a salad bar, you buy an empty plate, go to the bar and create the salad yourself. This is very efficient for the restaurant, but makes more work for the consumer. In other words you have to pay for the privilege of making your own salad. Another example of this is the ATM machine, popular at many banks. The consumer has to fill out all of the paper work, enter in the deposit or withdrawal to the computer, and, on top of all this, pay for the privilege of being a bank teller. The second component emphasized in McDonaldization is Calculability. Objective should be quantifiable rather than subjective. It is an emphasis on the quantitative aspects of products sold (portion size, cost) and service offered (the time it takes to get the product).Its emphasis leads to the erroneous conclusion that more is better. For example, if there is a lot of a product then it must be good. This is why we "super size" our "Double" Big Mac "extra" value meal. It is thought of as a better product. The next and third component accentuated in McDonaldization is Predictability. It emphasizes such things as discipline, order, systemization, formalization, routine, consistency, and methodical operation. In such a
society, people prefer to know what to expect in most settings at most times. This has a two-fold effect. It makes the experience of the consumer the same at every location of a McDonaldized company. It also makes the work routine for the employees of that company. For example, Burgers from one McDonald's to the next will taste the same. Workers, don't have to worry about thinking for themselves, they will have time to concentrate on other things, while they go through the motions of performing their jobs. The last and the fourth component stressed by McDonaldization is Control- control over both employees and customers because, people are the great source of uncertainty, unpredictability and inefficiency in any rationalizing system. And by increasing control, though there is increased mechanization, employers uphold a healthier manipulation over the entire rationalization process. Ritzer's focus involves control through the substitution of non-human for human technology. By making tasks repetitive and forcing employees not to think, employers can maintain a tighter control over them. An example of this is using the microwave to unfreeze our freeze meals- such as left-over meals and popcorns. Our microwaves even have "popcorn" buttons on them, so the popcorn is perfect every time. So, the procedure of McDonaldization can be summed up as the method in which the theory/theories of the fast-food restaurant are coming to take over progressively in the different division of not only the American society but as well as of the rest of the world.
Ethnocentrism is the view that one particular ethnic group is somehow superior to all others. The word ethnocentrism derives from the Greek word ethnos, meaning “nation” or “people,” and the English word center. The term Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency for each society to place its own culture patterns to the center of things-a commonly used word in circles where ethnicity, inter-ethnic relations, and similar social issues are of concern. Everyone is ethnocentric. We may not notice it but it implies to everyone. The question is why we are ethnocentric? This is all we know. What we have already experienced is the basis for our "reality", what we expect. It is normal to assume it is the "natural" basis of reality... because our own ways work for us. Our perceptions of colors, our time frames, our values on industriousness, our social roles, our beliefs about Life and the Universe, and all our other ways help us organize life experience and provide important meanings and functions as we move through daily and life span activities. Therefore, our limited experiences we have already had are the basis for interpreting new experiences, in this case, others’ behavior. For example, A snowmobile race sponsored by the Inuit (Eskimo) community council in a village on the Hudson's Bay in the Canadian Arctic, Christmas 1969. Inuit friends urged a person to join in a snowshoe race across the river ice, but, knowing he was inexperienced at this, he was reluctant to participate. They persisted, however, and, recognizing that they wanted him to be involved, he agreed. Of course, he was the last one to return, way behind everyone else in the race. He was very embarrassed, but to his surprise, people came up to him and congratulated him, saying, "You really tried!" A month later, when he was on a caribou
hunting trip with three Inuit men in a remote area, we got trapped by a winter storm and had to go several days without food. This was when he learned that trying was much more important than winning. While the Inuit like to win, their greater value on trying has a distinct adaptive function. One way anthropologists learn about other cultures is "participant observation," being involved in their daily life, watching what they do, and doing what they do. We seek to learn the meanings and (more important) the functions of their ways. We are also involved in "crosscultural comparison," comparing their life experiences with other groups (mostly our own). In the case of the snowshoe race, I learned about Inuit values on trying, but I also learned about American values on competition and winning. The problem of ethnocentrism is that it leads to misunderstanding others. We falsely distort what is meaningful and functional to other people’s lives through our own tinted glasses. We see their ways in terms of our life experience, not their context. We do not understand that their ways have their own meanings and functions in life, just as our ways have for us. At the best, we simply continue in our unawareness. Yet this can have consequences within our own society and in international relations. We may be well meaning in interethnic relations, for example, but can unintentionally offend others, generate ill feelings, and even set up situations that harm others.
Invitation to Sociology BY Peter Berger
Sociology is the systematic study of human society. According to Peter Berger in his book entitled “Invitation to Sociology”, sociological perspective involves seeing the general in the particular, seeing the strange in the familiar and individuality in social context. It sees how sociology looks at the patterns of life in people’s behavior. Peter Berger encourages the sociologists to “see through” the society. We must look behind people’s closed doors to really find what’s going on. Their goal is to look at inside the facades of society to find out what is really going on underneath it all. I noticed how he mentioned a need for more answers, and a curiosity to see what's behind closed doors. He said people who are interested in human beings and understanding man are truly sociologists. Berger mentioned sociologists will be drawn towards both tragedy, celebration, and still be interested in the day to day events of the world. I took a highlighter to the areas of interest, and to the places where he mentioned exactly what was needed for a good sociologist. I found myself thinking what I had been drawn towards in the past. I was asking myself questions about whether or not this person he was mentioning in his article had any relation to who I am and how I think. I know that in the past I've wanted to work in a people orientated field mostly because people are so interesting to me. Seeing cause and effect play out with society is one of the most amazing things I can think of. "Why" has always been my favorite word. Now, after reading this, I can place a finger on where my mind was going with all of this.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life BY Erving Goffman
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman was published in the year 1959. It seeks to show the reader how everyone sets out to present themselves to the world around them, always trying to maintain the role they have selected for themselves, since those whom they meet not only try to decide what role it is you are playing, but also whether or not you are competent to play that role. Erving Goffman portrays everyday interactions as strategic encounters in which one is attempting to sell a particular self-image--and, accordingly, a particular definition of the situation. He refers to these activities as face-work. Beginning by taking the perspective of one of the addressee, and he interprets the impact of that person's performances on the others and on the situation itself. He considers being in wrong face, out of face, and losing face through lack of tact, as well as savoir-faire (diplomacy or social skill), the ways a person can attempt to save face in order to maintain self-respect, and various ways in which the person may harm the face of others through faux pas such as gaffes or insults. Though the book was detailed, it did not provide an inclusive portrayal of interactive process. Goffman did not fully discover the scenery of marginalized individuals, the significance of ritual or ceremony in the construction of character. The book supplied a breaking insight into the nature of interpersonal interaction and the institution to which interaction more strongly applies. Through an inquiry into the daily life of humanity, the book provided a strong foundation for the understanding of micro sociological
phenomenon, which is an understanding investigation to his other writings.