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Title: Is Qualitative Research Becoming McDonaldized?
Authors: Bryman, Alan
Beardsworth, Alan
First Published: 1-Apr-2006
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Citation: Methodological Innovations Online, 2006, 1 (1), pp. 3-13
Abstract: The contention put forward by Ritzer (1993) that the McDonald's restaurant has become the model for the extension of bureaucratic and Scientific Management principles to diverse areas of contemporary social life has seized both the popular and the sociological imagination. The term ‘McDonaldization’ has entered both academic and lay discourses, and its four component themes of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control are seen as embodying current manifestations of an inexorably self-extending process of standardization. Of course, Ritzer's thesis has not gone uncontested, and has been the object of a number of important critiques. One of the areas to which Ritzer and others have applied the concept of McDonaldization is higher education, but in doing so there has been a tendency to emphasize teaching rather than research. It is the primary purpose of this article to explore the utility of the concept of McDonaldization for the understanding of certain aspects of qualitative research in sociology. As such a sociological concept is being turned back onto the academic community to explore whether it can illuminate an aspect of the research process.
DOI Link: 10.4256/mio.2006.0002
eISSN: 1748-0612
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2006. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium non-commercially, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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