Chinese Semiotic Studies | VOL. 18

Umwelt, enchantment, and McDonaldization

Publication Date Nov 1, 2022


Abstract The enchantment and re-enchantment of formal rationalized systems has been an important study in sociology and the social sciences since its first discussion by Max Weber. However, it has received relatively little attention in animal studies, ecology, or environmental studies. This article attempts to fill this gap in the research by focusing on a multiscale perspective that considers the relationship between nonhuman animal umwelt and human perception within the confines of enchantment, re-enchantment, and McDonaldized systems. This is done through a theoretical synthesis of George Ritzer’s work on rationalization, spectacles, extravaganzas, and simulations with Jakob von Uexküll’s concept of umwelt, and zoosemiotic and ecosemiotic perspectives on multispecies environments. It is concluded that enchantment and re-enchantment make use of nonhuman animals and environments to enchant formal rationalized systems, which consequently presents and uses nonhuman animals in situations injurious to their umwelt, while also making use of affect, intersubjectivity, and simulations to influence human perspectives.


Concept Of Umwelt Jakob Von Multiscale Perspective Nonhuman Animals Study In Sociology Human Perception Animal Studies Social Sciences Ecology Studies Animal Ecology

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