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George Ritzer

University of Maryland

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

A largely self-taught sociologist, Ritzer is most widely known in the scholarly community for his distinctive contributions to the study of consumption, globalization, meta-theory, and classical, modern and postmodern social theory.

Ritzer is an academic celebrity, however, as a result of The McDonaldization of Society (5th edition 2008; first published in 1993), which is among the most popular monographs ever penned by a sociologist.

A pessimist in the Weberian tradition, Ritzer has expanded and developed his highly critical analysis of contemporary social life in such monographs as Enchanting a Disenchanted World, as well as the aptly titled The Globalization of Nothing.

Moving in what appears to be the completely opposite direction, he is currently working on The Outsourcing of Everything (co-authored with Craig Lair and soon to be published).

He has published a dozen monographs and almost as many textbooks, many of the latter, especially, in numerous multiple editions.

He is founding editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture and has edited almost a dozen professional volumes, as well as three encyclopaedias (including the massive, eleven-volume Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology). He has also authored roughly one hundred scholarly articles in refereed journals.

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Watch video of Plenary session