Sociology Index


George Ritzer

Among distinguished sociologists, George Ritzer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, and author who studies globalization, metatheory, patterns of consumption, and modern and postmodern social theory. George Ritzer's major areas of interest are sociological theories and the sociology of work. George Ritzer's idea of McDonaldization is an extension of Max Weber's classical theory of the rationalization of modern society and culture. George Ritzer applied this idea to an influential social system in the twenty-first century: McDonald's. George Ritzer argues that McDonald's restaurants have become the better example of current forms of instrumental rationality and its ultimately irrational and harmful consequences on people. George Ritzer's main theoretical interests lie in metatheory as well as in the theory of rationalization. In metatheory he has written Matatheorizing in Sociology (1991) and earlier books Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science (1975, 1980) and Toward an Integrated Sociological Paradigm (1981). He has written a number of books on rationalization such as Expressing America.

George Ritzer has served as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Sections on Theoretical Sociology and Organizations and Occupations. Weber famously used the terminology "iron cage" to describe the stultifying, Kafkaesque effects of bureaucratized life. - Farganis, James (2010), Readings in Social Theory, 6th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company.

According to Ritzer, "Something" is a locally conceived and controlled social form that is comparatively rich in distinctive substantive content. It also describes things as being fairly unusual. "Nothing" is "a social form that is generally centrally conceived, controlled and comparatively devoid of distinctive substantive content" - Mann, Douglas (2007).

Other works of George Ritzer are: A critique of the Global credit Card Society (1996), The McDonaldization of Society (1996), The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions (1998) and Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (1999).