Showing posts from February, 2010

McDonaldization and Starbuckization

Posted McDonaldization and Starbuckization over at the Social Lens. “I’ll have a Big Mac, Filet of Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries..icy Coke, Big Shake, Sundae, and Apple Pie…”–yeah, I didn’t need to Google that to find the lyrics, that was from memory. That was a popular “nursery rhyme” when I was younger, a chippy jingle by McDonald’s that served its purpose: to lure me in like the sad fast food sap that I am. I’m sure you can relate, but what is it that can be made of this “McDonaldization of Society”? George Ritzer uses McDonald’s as the primary example to illustrate the modernization of society, a move from cultures built on tradition to cultures that are mechanized and highly organized. The principles that Ray Kroc used to build his food empire have been modeled in businesses from motor companies to coffee: 1. efficiency, 2. predictability, 3. uniformity, and 4. control. Look at the pervasiveness of both McDonald’s and Starbucks in the world. This graph dates back

Who Are You?

Posted over at the Social Lens blog. In a previous post ( Facebook and Connection ) I introduced some concepts related to Georg Simmel’s work around associations and sociability. One of the more popular self help gurus of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been Stephen Covey . An extension of Covey’s work “ The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People ” involves a retreat and an examination of one’s circles. Each of us as individuals can gain great depth of understanding of who we are by examining the positions we hold in society (status) and the expectations of those positions (role). These are philosophical and questions of meaning that have been explored for quite sometime. Let me provide a brief introduction to the video below. This is a studio snapshot of The Who, you know, that band that played at halftime of the 2010 Super Bowl? For most Who fans, this is The Who that we would rather you come to know and love. This is a song of theirs, not part of the Super B

For the Love of...Consumerism

Updated in Nov. 2019 due to breaks in links Posted over at the Social Lens blog . Happy belated Valentine’s Day!!!! ….wait, humor me for a minute. Would you rather celebrate a holiday for its meaning or are you moved by the overload of consumerism that surrounds our holidays? Don’t get me wrong, I like to celebrate events, holidays, birthdays, just about anything. But I have found that the consumerism in my environment, the availability of too much “stuff”, has gotten to be so much of an overload that I’m turned off from celebrating. That’s a difficult thing for me to consider, because I try to focus on the intent of events (why the celebration is occurring). That picture above is not an example of overload in and of itself. But let me clarify something: that is a picture I took at my local grocery store on New Year’s Day. Doing some last minute shopping on Valentine’s Day a friend I ran into nearly purchased an Easter gift for Valentine’s Day: the marketing and promotions

Facebook and Connection

Posted Facebook and Connection over at the Social Lens blog. All the world is Facebooked, Twittered, MySpaced, Googled….connected. I have been particularly interested in themes related to connection in my physical community since around the year 2000. One of my areas of focus as a Sociologist is the Sociology of Community. Among German Sociologist Georg Simmel’s many contributions is his work examining group size and relationships. What is integral to the study of community are relationships and connection. In the year 2000 a major work in the social sciences was published by Robert Putnam, a book entitled “ Bowling Alone “. This book was a national bestseller and spent time on the New York Times bestseller list. Putnam’s work spoke to the loss of attachment and connection that people had with one another and how the sense of community had declined over the period of the 1970s-1990s. A basic level research question that I have examined over the past several years is how does t

A Girl Like Me

Posted A Girl Like Me post over at The Social Lens. Socialization is characterized as the life long social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture. The socialization process begins soon after birth, as babies are cared for (or not) by their parents or other loved ones from their family. Of course that experience is as varied as there are cultures in our world. We begin to learn at a very early age how to love, to hate, to care for, to fight, and to ultimately relate to other people in our society. We also learn our position in society, particularly in terms of social class, gender, and race. We are influenced by history and the social norms of society. Norms aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but we gauge ourselves to the cultural standards in society, and as Mead would characterize, we develop that sense of self. As an example of how we internalize what we perceive in society, watch the “Girl Like Me” video below.  Many students qu

Social Interaction and Technology

Due to broken links, the following post has been updated in November 2019. Just made this post over at The Social Lens: Social Interaction and Technology . I authored a blog post in early January entitled Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants . That post addressed the influence of technology on the current generation, using terms to identify the younger generation such as “Wired, Wireless, Mobile, Open, Participatory, and Empowered”. We tend to have informal conversations in my department from time to time around the use of web 2.0 technologies, particularly Facebook and Twitter. It is obvious, as was reflected in the the Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants post , that there is a very large gap regarding the use of information technology and devices between the younger and older generations in the United States. Part of those informal discussions we have around our department involve the environment of the classroom versus the environment of the virtual classroom. Does online lea

State of the Internet Explained In One Giant Infographic [PIC]

Came across this graph via Twitter today. A good breakout of the demographics of Internet use. State of the Internet Explained In One Giant Infographic [PIC]