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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

George Ritzer

The purpose of this paper is to address the concern for prosumption, created by Alvin Toffler’s work, and its fusion with Marx’s ideas to create the view that the people now live…

1168

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the concern for prosumption, created by Alvin Toffler’s work, and its fusion with Marx’s ideas to create the view that the people now live in an era of prosumer (rather than producer or consumer) capitalism. As a social theorist, the author routinely studies the ideas of classical (and contemporary) theorists not only to understand their thinking, but also for ideas that he can use, and expand upon, to better understand contemporary society, especially the economy. The author has used the ideas of Max Weber on rationalization – to develop his thinking on McDonaldization, and his ideas on enchantment and disenchantment – in the development of the author’s thinking on the cathedrals of consumption. The latter can also be seen as means of production from the perspective of Karl Marx’s theories. Georg Simmel’s theorizing about money led the author to insights on credit cards, especially the greater temptation to imprudence associated with them in comparison to cash. More recent postmodern theory helped the author understand the mechanisms (e.g. simulations) by which the cathedrals of consumption have undergone a process of enchantment.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a work in historical theory and metatheory.

Findings

The careful review of classical (and contemporary) social theories could, when adapted, help us to better understand contemporary society, especially, in this case the economy.

Research limitations/implications

This is not a piece of research, but rather a theoretical exploration of contemporary prosumer culture based on classical ideas in social theory. It implies a radical change in the thinking about the modern economy.

Originality/value

This essay brings together some of the author’s ideas – and their classical roots – to offer an original perspective on the contemporary economy.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Douglas Kellner

Seeks to provide critical reflections on George Ritzer's globalization analysis.

1946

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to provide critical reflections on George Ritzer's globalization analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

Draws on a critical reading of Ritzer's work, in particular, his most recent book The Globalization of Nothing.

Findings

Highlights Ritzer's neglect of the dialectic of production and consumption, a dialectic that the author views as central to globalization.

Originality/value

The contributions and limitations of Ritzer's book are identified and discussed.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

David Collins

760

Abstract

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2010

P.J. Rey and George Ritzer

George Ritzer (2010) recently conceptualized globalization in terms of liquidity and, especially, flows. This conceptualization is largely rooted in Zygmunt Bauman's theory of a…

Abstract

George Ritzer (2010) recently conceptualized globalization in terms of liquidity and, especially, flows. This conceptualization is largely rooted in Zygmunt Bauman's theory of a world dominated by increasing liquidity. However, neither Bauman nor Ritzer put these ideas in the context of their intellectual genealogy. This essay seeks to do that by reviewing the surprisingly rich history of thought pertaining to these ideas, especially flows. Through this review we also hope to call attention to some long-debated philosophical questions that inform how a theory of flows (and structures) can be applied to our contemporary globalized world.

Details

Theorizing the Dynamics of Social Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-223-5

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Naziat Choudhury

The present study provides an overview of the historical as well as the global expansion of Facebook from developed countries to the developing countries. The chapter also…

Abstract

The present study provides an overview of the historical as well as the global expansion of Facebook from developed countries to the developing countries. The chapter also provides an elaboration over the features and the architectural design of this Online Social Networking service. In order to understand the worldwide usage and acceptance of Facebook, and the gradual spread of Facebook from the United States to the European countries and then to the developing world, we need to pay close attention to the evolution of Facebook in these cultures. In comparison to the developed world, Facebook was slow to spread throughout developing countries. This chapter argues that certain conditions contributed to the expansion of Facebook in these countries. The growth of mobile technology and the usage of Facebook in multiple languages accelerated the increase in its membership. Although majority of the developing countries started using Facebook later than developed countries, within a few years they soon became the nations with the highest growth of Facebook users.

Details

Media and Power in International Contexts: Perspectives on Agency and Identity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-455-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Clive Nancarrow, Jason Vir and Andy Barker

The purpose is to examine the insights gained from applying Ritzer's thesis of McDonaldization to international qualitative marketing research, in particular the four pillars of…

9130

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to examine the insights gained from applying Ritzer's thesis of McDonaldization to international qualitative marketing research, in particular the four pillars of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.

Design/methodology/approach

The factors influencing choice of qualitative method in practice are examined drawing on the literature, the authors' observations based on experience (a team of practitioners) and a qualitative research study, using a mix of interviews and a workshop with those who co‐ordinate international research or who are subject to the co‐ordination.

Findings

The research suggests McDonaldization or “factory farming” may be a reality in some quarters in the qualitative marketing research industry and examples of how the four pillars of McDonaldization bear on the industry are examined.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need to determine and monitor the extent of the McDonaldization phenomenon and at the same time explore across different cultures two key interfaces that can be adversely affected by McDonaldization, namely the respondent‐researcher interface and the researcher‐researcher interface when the researchers come from different cultures.

Practical implications

Management may now reflect on whether their practices increase or decrease the likelihood of gleaning qualitative insights and the case for considering developing a more eclectic research philosophy.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new framework for evaluating applied qualitative marketing research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Joanne Roberts

Explores the use of strategies adopted by authors and publishers to enhance the success potential of their books.

1829

Abstract

Purpose

Explores the use of strategies adopted by authors and publishers to enhance the success potential of their books.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the literature on the production of best selling business books, strategies and techniques increasingly being deployed in the production of social science texts are considered. These strategies are collectively referred to as the “Ritzerization of knowledge”. The Disneyization of Society, by Alan Bryman, is explored as an example of this Ritzerization strategy.

Findings

It is argued that while such techniques aid in the production of easy reading, or “knowledge‐lite”, the dictates of the market may threaten the survival of more demanding texts and, worryingly, the capacity for a scholarly depth of understanding or the development of a substantial knowledge base.

Originality/value

Examines the “Ritzerization of knowledge” in both a social and a marketing context.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Maximiliano E. Korstanje and Hugues Seraphin

An increasing number of studies claim on the decline of hospitality in the West. These works focus on the lack of tolerance or expressions against foreigners as the clear sign…

Abstract

Purpose

An increasing number of studies claim on the decline of hospitality in the West. These works focus on the lack of tolerance or expressions against foreigners as the clear sign that something is changing. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic mainly marked a type of intolerance with the foreign tourists. This book chapter brings reflection on the plot of HBO Saga Westworld to understand the ways forms of hospitality in a post-modern world.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The present book chapter is based on the technique of content analysis or film ethnography which dissects elements of films and movies. In so doing, film ethnography occupies a central position in the constellations of qualitative methods.

Findings

The present piece is a critique on what specialists dubbed as robot tourism. Westworld shows not only the cautions policymakers should have on robot tourism but also how the depersonalisation process works. Basically, Westworld speaks us of a dystopian amusing park where rich guests travel to torture and victimise humanoids (hosts) who are unable to retaliate. Westworld brings reflection on the decline or the end of hospitality, at least as we know it.

Originality/Value

Just after 9/11 some critical voices alerted Western hospitality was in decline. This chapter goes on in the same direction. Westworld brings the problems of free choice, the liberty as well as hospitality into the foreground.

Details

Tourism Through Troubled Times
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-311-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2018

Chelsea Jordan-Makely

Bureaucracy in libraries is typically presented in terms of six banal characteristics originally identified by the historian Max Weber at the turn of the twentieth century. In…

1898

Abstract

Purpose

Bureaucracy in libraries is typically presented in terms of six banal characteristics originally identified by the historian Max Weber at the turn of the twentieth century. In some cases, bureaucracy in libraries is seen as a system that might be undone. These characterizations underestimate the power of bureaucracy as a force external and intrinsic to libraries. The purpose of this paper is to reintroduce the topic of libraries as bureaucracies such that library practitioners can identify, question and reform aspects of bureaucracy in libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of literature from the library field and from the social sciences is presented in the framework of a SWOT analysis, such that readers can see bureaucracy in libraries for its strengths and weaknesses, as well as in regards to its external opportunities and threats.

Findings

Bureaucracy is a largely misunderstood and overlooked topic, in all disciplines, including library science. Generally, bureaucracy is presented as a negative and ineffective system operating in the public sector only, though bureaucracies serve many positive purposes and functions in all aspects of society. Bureaucracy cannot be dismantled, though opportunities exist to eliminate its less desirable aspects and effects. In some ways, libraries exemplify bureaucratic thinking, yet in webs, libraries are poised to offset or challenge the harmful effects of bureaucracy in all other aspects of society.

Originality/value

Bureaucracy is seldom considered in library research or in other fields. As such, it is a grossly misunderstood subject. This extensively research paper synthesizes the literature that does exist on the topic, and expands upon it using theory from the social sciences. As such, this paper stands to begin a discussion about how libraries can restructure and respond to change.

Details

Library Management, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 July 2008

Kevin Fox Gotham and Daniel A. Krier

Since Karl Marx fashioned his theory of capitalism in the nineteenth century, scholars have continually updated Marxian theory to capture the pervasiveness of commodity relations…

Abstract

Since Karl Marx fashioned his theory of capitalism in the nineteenth century, scholars have continually updated Marxian theory to capture the pervasiveness of commodity relations in modern society. Influenced by Georg Lukács and Henri Lefebvre, the members of the French avant-guard group, the Situationist International (1957–1972), developed an intransigent critique of consumer capitalism based on the concept of the spectacle. In the spectacle, media and consumer society replace lived experience, the passive gaze of images supplants active social participation, and new forms of alienation induce social atomization at a more abstract level than in previous societies. We endeavor to make two theoretical contributions: First, we highlight the contributions of the Situationist International, pointing out how they revised the Marxian categories of alienation, commodification, and reification in order to analyze the dynamics of twentieth century capitalism and to give these concepts new explanatory power. Second, we build a critical theory of consumer capitalism that incorporates the theoretical assumptions and arguments of the Situationists and the Frankfurt School. Today, critical theory can make an important contribution to sociology by critically examining the plurality of spectacles and their reifying manifestations. In addition, critical theorists can explore how different spectacles connect to one another, how they connect to different social institutions, and how spectacles express contradictions and conflicting meanings. A critical theory of spectacle and consumption can disclose both novelties and discontinuities in the current period, as well as continuities in the development of globalized consumer capitalism.

Details

No Social Science without Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-538-3

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