According to George Ritzer, in his book The Mcdonaldization of Society, he defines this theory of Mcdonaldization of having four main components. They are:
1.Predictability having emphasis on discipline, systematization and routine so that things are the same from one time or place to another.
2.Efficiency who can obtain what they need more quickly with less effort
3.Calculability being able to produce and obtain large amounts of things in a very rapid and timely fashion
4.Control this is replacing human with non-human technology. This not only includes machines, but also materials, skills, knowledge, rules, regulations, procedures and techniques.
He feels that slowly but surely, many aspects of our daily living will result in being “McDonaldized”. I tend to feel that there is a great deal of truth behind what he is saying. A perfect example to support his theory lies in graduation speeches.
The first component of McDonaldization that also applies to graduation speeches is predictability. Pretty much all graduation speeches, whether given by a graduate, principal, superintendent, dean, etc. start out with a quote from some famous person. After the quote, the speaker will almost definitely go on to talk about one of the following. Here I have composed a list of probably every possible topic to speak about when addressing a graduating class.
Predictable Graduation Speech Topics:
1.)Journey into Learning: A look back at 12+ years of education as a journey that comes to completion at graduation.
2.)Dreamers of the Day: Making our dreams a reality through planning, sacrifice, and dedication.
3.)The Worst of Times/The Best of Times: Looking at the problems and opportunities and challenges that await students upon graduation.
4.)Gaining Insight: The search, which we all face, of determining who we are and where our place in life lies.
5.)Our Future: The potential of our future lives and the part our education will play in it.
6.)New Ideals: Facing the challenges ahead with such new ideals and virtues as industry, honesty, courage, and understanding.
7.)Intellectual Development: The part our education has played in our development as adults and in our ability to enjoy the world around us.
8.)The Curtain Drops: A look back at our school years, comparing it to a play.
9.)The Challenge of Graduation: The challenge facing graduates and the achievements that each generation makes possible for following generations.
10.)The World We Face: The problems that face the world today and this generation’s ability to face them.
11.)Intellectual Growth: Education as a tool to develop our ability to apply what we know to our everyday life.
12.)Perseverance: The value of persevering in life even when there would be no blame for quitting.
13.)The Fruits of Education: How education aids in an understanding of the world around us and its problems.
I am sure that almost each and every one of us has either heard, spoke of, or known someone who spoke of at least one of these topics. This just proves my point that graduation speeches are highly predictable in content.
The second aspect of McDonaldization that applies to graduation speeches is efficiency. This is the ability to obtain what is necessary more rapidly and with less effort. For starters, the topic of the graduation speech has already been narrowed down for the speaker because the audience already is already expecting what to hear. From this point, the speech write can either make up there own speech, or they can go the effortless route which is have somebody else write it for them.
There are a variety of websites that people can turn to to avoid having to write their own speech. One site states:
“We can solve your speech/toast writing problem in 60 seconds. How? Order our Ready-to-Go Graduation ceremony speeches/toasts for Mature (over 25) students, general graduation students, health college/school students, high school, or valedictorian. You will receive a selection of alternative speeches and poems suitable for your need for address at a graduation ceremony. They are pre-written and they are ready to be emailed to you, automatically, within 60 seconds of our receiving your order. The speeches/toasts may be used individually, or mixed and matched i.e. using the opening of one and the closing of another. We also have speeches by a teacher, tutor, or guest speaker.”
If this isn’t obtaining something more rapidly with less effort, than I don’t know what is. The funny thing about this site is that not only do they offer graduation speeches, but they also offer speeches for best man, grand openings, retirement, weddings and yes, they too offer eulogies. I think I would roll over in my grave if somebody ordered my eulogy of a computer for a fee of $16.00.
That’s a whole other issue however.
This brings us to the third aspect of McDonaldization, which is calculability, being able to obtain large amounts of things in a very timely fashion. Although a speech isn’t a large amount of things to produce, it requires a large amount of time to produce. With these speech-writing services, like they said, 60 seconds and you have what you want. I think with this being said, I would consider this to be calculable.
Lastly, the fourth idea behind McDonaldization that can be shown in graduation speeches is control, replacing human with non-human technology. The computer is what is replacing the human in this scenario. Normally, the speechwriter would have to come up with their own thoughts and ideas, and use their brainpower to write a good speech. That idea can be tossed out the window thanks to the McDonaldization of graduation speeches. Now, all the person must do is click on a topic and type in their credit card number.
I always thought that when addressing a graduating class that the speaker should be sincere and speak from the heart. With the current McDonaldization of society today, it only appears that these are the real feelings of the speaker, when in reality, it is just a memorization from a $16.00 piece of paper purchased off of the internet.