Singer’s Lip Sync and McDonaldization

In the last class, we studied McDonaldization by George Ritzer. We learned the reason why McDonald’s success in business can be explained in four key concepts by Ritzer’s McDonaldization; that is, predictability, efficiency, substitution, and calculability. These concepts lead to irrationality although they seem to be rational and good aspects of McDonald’s system, and I agree with the idea that the McDonaldization is related not only to fast-food industries but to other business worlds. This is because I think I could find many examples of the McDonaldization there, if I intended to seek.

At the end of last year, we could see many music programs on TV in Japan. When I watched such programs, I noticed some singer’s lip sync. Today in Japan, there seems to be a tacit understanding about singer’s lip sync. But I feel something strange and can’t accept it in my mind. But after I learned the Mcdonaldization, I found that singer’s lip sync was similar to it. Then, I would like to write about the connections between singer’s lip sync and McDonaldization using Ritzer’s PESCI model.

I think predictability, efficiency and substitution are especially connected with singer’s lip sync. The predictability of McDonald is showed in the constant tastes and menus. McDonald’s foods are not surprisingly delicious, but their taste is always stable. Singers also try to arrange enough and successful entertainment to the audience. Considering singers’ lip sync is caused by the intention to avoid failing in singing, we can say it is predictability. The efficiency means McDonald serves food quickly by omitting troublesome jobs. In the same way, lip sync makes everything go well. Thanks to the lip sync, singers can introduce hard dance scenes to their performance. They can show their up-tempo songs and hard dances at the same time. Referring to substitution, lip sync needs non-human technology. While singers lip sync and dance to the music, they depend on recorded voices. The human voice is substituted to the non-human recorded voice.

In this way, I think singer’s lip sync is related to McDonaldization. Lip sync has many rational points, but we think it is irrational because singers who lip sync seem to lose what real singers should be. In these days, various things are gradually rationalized. The Mcdonaldization can be seen anywhere. Without being contented with it easily, we should always try to see McDonaldization objectively.

by Sakiko Maruyama

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