Catalogue and internet shopping demonstrate how we have become accustomed, and even grown to like the impersonal, efficient services in our lifestyles demonstrated by McDonalds and staff. A catalogue or internet sales place such as Freemans direct catalogue or asos. com are extremely effective in their practices. Both firms will employ minimum staff and have little premises and rent compared with a high street chain, and a potentially global market. while customers can enjoy shopping from home.
This extract is taken from the BBC website which shows how the internet has changed our habits, in 2004 “Forecasts predict that British people will spend 4bn buying gifts online during the festive season, an increase of 64% on 2003” the efficiency of using the internet to shop means it has become a popular option for many. An example of how the internet has encouraged Mcdonalization is the website www. ScreenSelect. co. uk which is DVD rental company like “Blockbuster” but based on the internet. The next extract is taken from the Screen Select homepage “Choose online from over 44,500 titles.
Get your DVDs by 1st class post, Keep as long as you like – no late fees, Post back FREE & we’ll send you more”. This company, like catalogue firms, will employ minimum staff and like McDonalds gets the customers to do all the work. They also demonstrate control over the customer by making them post the DVDs back rather than collecting them themselves. Furthermore the customer is led to believe they are getting a good deal; “FREE 1st class postage both ways No due dates or late fees No hassles, no queues No contracts, cancel anytime.
” (www. screenselect. co. uk) with the stress on “Free”. This is the same way McDonald’s operate by getting you to order your food, to take your food to the table and to clean away your rubbish, under the pretence that the speed of food makes up for the lack of service compared with traditional waiting staff. It is also interesting that the firm stresses the number of titles available (calculability) they could be unpopular films yet the company stresses its volume.
However there are still areas for those not wishing to live in Mcdonalized society. Specialist Butchers will stock meats such as pigeon or pheasant that are not sold in supermarkets because they do not widely appeal. People requiring these products will therefore use smaller shops instead of Asdas or Tescos. We may even consider a slight “revolt” against the Mcdonalized society as people actually want better goods, so may return to these smaller, home produce or individually run shops.
This slight change in thinking could be shown on a larger scale by the increase in high quality ranges in supermarkets such as “Sainsbury’s “taste the difference”” or “Tescos “Finest*”” with the emphasis on quality not quantity. Local shops such as greengrocers in small villages are also relied on by the local community for amenities and do genuinely provide a local shopping community where the newsagent will know its customers. I would say that society has and is becoming more Mcdonalized.
However as long as there is need or a niche for other markets they will exist and I don’t think society will ever become wholly Mcdonalized but the evidence above shows how it has considerable altered. Unless you have a particular passion or are able to afford other options, you are likely to have been Mcdonalized through society. Most of us do want the quick, cheap, easy option and therefore as Ritzers text says Mcdonalization reaches further and wider than you imagine.
Additionally we can note that technology, the internet and cheap travel have significantly opened up our options to the world, allowing us to experience foods, cultures, products and markets that 50 years ago would have been alien. Yet despite the new options available to us, we in fact want the complete opposite. People do not take advantage of the new, diverse, strange, possibly expensive, superior, unanticipated and ungovernable goods and experiences open to them because all we want efficiency, predictability, calculability and control.