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Unformatted text preview: socy2031notes4/17 17/04/2008 10:27:00 ← Day 24: Introduction to McDonaldization • Bureaucracy and rationalization: Max Weber ← Bureaucratization: Making life more rational • Max weber(german sociologist, did work in the 19 th century) o Era of people moving from rural areas into cities to take factory jobs, era of mass production • Bureaucracy: large scale organization composed of a hierarchy of offices • In these offices, people have certain responsibilities and must act in accordance with rules exercised by those who occupy higher-level positions. • Bureaucracies are based on formal rationality. Formal rationality • Individual decision-making is shaped by rules • Allows individuals little choice of means to ends • Since the choice of means is guided or even determined, virtually everyone can(or must) make the same, optimal choice. ← Four Basic dimensions of rationalization • Efficiency: the optimum method for getting from one point to another • Calculability: an emphasis on the quantitative aspects of activities. o Reduce things to numbers whenever possible • Predictability: the assurance that products and services will be the same over time and in all locales. • Control: control over humans by nonhuman technologies. o Ritzer and weber most concerned about this one ← Control • Organizations gain control over individuals gradually and progressively. • Once people are controlled, it is possible to begin reducing their behavior to a series of machine-like actions. • Once people behave like machines, they can be replaced with actual machines • The replacement of humans by machines is the ultimate stage in control- people can cause no more uncertainty or unpredictability because they are no longer involved in the process. ← Scientific management and the assembly line • Assembly line as an early example of rationalization in our society. • The assembly line—each worker performs one task, the conveyer belt moves things to them. • People as part of a machine. ← McDonald’s itself • How is McDonald’s a rational system? • What are some of the positive aspects of this rationality? What are some of the negative aspects? o Positive-provides a lot of jobs for people who need them, increases profit for the managers, cuts out a lot of time for consumers, same menu throughout, efficiency lowers the costs and that is passed on to the consumers, anyone could work there, not complicated job so people can be easily replaced o Negative aspects- quality goes down because you try and make it as fast as you can, don’t care and there can be less attention given to the...
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