McDonaldization in Households


  • Jacob Paul Woolridge Tarleton State University
  • Leslie Stanley-Stevens Tarleton State University



McDonaldization, family, households, consumerism, Maslow's Hierarchy


Using data collected over three years and mimicking the methodology of Arnold et al. (2012) in Los Angeles, a study in Texas was conducted in which 66 families opened their homes and allowed video, survey data, and pictorial evidence to be collected. These data are used to determine if McDonaldization has spread from the public sphere into the private sphere by determining if the four factors of McDonaldization: predictability, calculability, efficiency, and control are present, and if so, in what ways they are represented. Ultimately, every single household studied showed instances of all four factors of McDonaldization, thus heavily supporting the hypothesis that McDonaldization has encroached into the private sphere. This phenomenon will be explained by using McDonaldization either as a rational means to pursue individualistic self-actualization as described through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or as a means by corporations to extend their own factor of control into the private sphere and thus influence consumers. Finally, the fifth factor of McDonaldization, irrationality emerging from rationality, was examined with examples provided. 


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