George Ritzer's article, The McDonaldization of Society, makes valid points about the emphasis placed on uniformity, efficiency, and predictability on an increasing number of social settings. Providing food, clothing, other goods, and even education for ourselves has become a series of quick, efficient, usually impersonal activities. .
But my question in all of this is, Is McDonaldization really such a bad thing? Ever since Henry Ford unveiled the assembly line a century ago, the concept has been applied to many kinds of production, to increase volume, profit, and efficiency. We can accomplish more while saving money and time. Having more money and time are not wrong in themselves. We might not spend them wisely, but it seems foolish to blame the things that save us time and money for our choices.
As a housewife in the 1950s in America (being both time- and culture-bound, of course), my grandmother had appliances, products, access to those products, modes of transport, and services available to her that her grandmother had not had in turn-of-the-century Quebec. My grandmother never churned butter or slaughtered her prize pig for dinner. She didn't get up at dawn to begin household work that would last all day. Dinner took only part of the afternoon to prepare. She had time not only for her family but for various social activities as well. Living in a further McDonaldized society, my mother has not only been able to care for her family but work outside the home part-time and volunteer at our church. Not having to spend a large amount of time in daily activities of existence frees us to do whatever else we deem important. More simply, McDonald's itself and McDonaldized aspects of society save us time, and how we spend that time is up to us. Ritzer implies that if we McDonaldize, if we obtain meals, work, and even education quickly, we will only feel empty and disconnected from the world around us.