Part One centres on a discussion of Karl Mannheim's theory of rationalization. The author also assesses the degree to which sociology in general and sociological theory in particular have been `McDonaldized'. The second part demonstrates the empirical reach of the `McDonaldization' process with discussions on work, credit and globalization. Part Three moves beyond `McDonaldization' to the worlds of `new means of consumption' and the postmodern perspectives that best illuminate them. The author concludes with a re-evaluation of the McDonaldization thesis and its future.