The velvet cage of educational con(pro)sumption

Ritzer, G, Jandrić, P and Hayes, S ORCID: 0000-0001-8633-0155 (2018) 'The velvet cage of educational con(pro)sumption.' Open Review of Educational Research, 5 (1). pp. 113-129. ISSN 2326-5507

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In the year that George Ritzer publishes the ninth edition of The McDonaldization of Society, moving his famous theory firmly Into the Digital Age, critical educator Petar Jandrić and sociologist Sarah Hayes invited George to a dialogue on the digital transformation of McDonaldization and its critical application to Higher Education. In this article, George first traces for us the origins of his theory that has endured for four decades. A key dimension of McDonaldization is the ‘iron cage’ of control, via rationalization. Once contained within physical sites of bricks and mortar, now, we encounter a ‘velvet cage’ in sites of digital consumption, at the hands of non-human technologies, that threaten human labor and autonomy. Whilst the concept of the McUniversity is not without some critique, this interview provides compelling reasons to open new dialogue about McDonaldization in augmented settings such as Higher Education. With the rise of prosuming machines such as blockchain and bitcoin, that can both produce and consume without intervention from human ‘prosumers’, universities cannot afford to ignore the challenges of prosumer capitalism, which George concludes, will explode into unprecedented and unpredictable directions in the years to come.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: McDonaldization, digital prosumer capitalism, Higher Education, rationalization, velvet cage, pro(con)sumption, prosuming machines, globalization, bitcoin, blockchain, dialogue
Divisions: School of Education
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Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2023 09:51
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2023 09:51
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