Jun 16

Reading Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation is a great way to get introduced to sociology and the sheer dominance of organizations and institutions. Obviously there is always more than meets the eye when observing popular organizations, but understanding where to start and what to consider is crucial. Standing in line at McDonald’s can provide a flood of sociological observations. Watching person after person after person designate what they want to eat by a number and wait no longer than 1 minute to receive their food can be a little disturbing. In addition, there is primarily young teenagers working the counters and delivering the final product. Quality and Quantification are the key elements in fast food, or uniformity. Presenting customers over thousands of convenient locations with food they know will be satisfactory for a low price can raise many questions.

Has the rationalization of society become more concerned with efficiency and formalized social control? Bureaucratic organizations now dominate our day-to-day social world and fast food restaurants provide a great example of how far our society is pushing the rationalization process. Our capitalistic society values power, progress, money, and other aspects that the fast food industry helps fuel. The simple rural-style feeding is simply just obsolete when compared to our exponentially growing economic system we live in. There are millions of fast paced blue-collared workers who need to eat fairly expensive, are there other ways to provide for them besides fast food?

I’m really beginning to get disgusted by the tactics used by McDonald’s and other dominating companies. I do not think ethics and the individual are a high concern for the power involved in structuring this institution. Is there ever going to be a line that is visible enough to these companies, that they know they can not cross?

Advertising in our schools, targeting our youth with toys, mascots, and other paraphernalia just seems wrong. It appears that there have been movements and legal acts trying to minimize this conflict, but to no real avail. These companies simply can’t ignore the vast youth audience that fuels their business so effectively.

Corporations shouldn’t be allowed to shove this fast-food pill down our youth’s throats. Our youth needs more positive food outlets and other nutritional supplements available. Not just available, but available to the degree that McDonald’s is. I’m not just saying to replace every McDonald’s location with something more healthy, but to decrease the amount of going out to eat and acknowledge the benefits to ‘slow-down’ and take careful consideration on what you are consuming. How did our society get in such a rush? We can’t even take the time to grow, harvest, and prep our own food anymore, wouldn’t that be more efficient? The means of rationalization have grown drastically and will continue to grow if these global corporations continue to focus on our youth. Our youth simply doesn’t have the mental capacity to hypothesize alternatives at such a young age, so we as parents, guardians, and teachers need to be mindful for them.