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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology
Lecture Lecture 3: Specialization and Rationalization
Monday, February 8 Evolutionary Evolutionary sociology
Spencer • Organismic analogy – society is an organic whole, made up of interrelated parts • Universal law – evolution consists of “a change from a state of relatively indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a state of relatively definite coherent heterogeneity”
Population growth Resource scarcity Competition Specialization • Social Darwinism – societies evolve over time or they will be unable to adapt to environmental challenges Specialization Specialization and social solidarity
Durkheim • Mechanical solidarity: A form of social solidarity that is solidarity: form
characterized by a feeling of kinship and camaraderie, common beliefs and values, and the prioritization of group over individual interests. – Collective consciousness: “The body of beliefs and sentiments
common common to the average members of a society.” • Organic solidarity: A form of social solidarity that is characterized form
by mutual dependence on others for survival, enacted through social exchanges, and enforced through education and law. Rationalization Rationalization
Weber Rationalization Rationalization
Weber • Rationalization: A process through which social action process
becomes more organized
– Development of guidelines (codes, rules, laws) – Institution of regularities of action – Breaking down of complex behaviors into more manageable parts Reliance on rationality (instead of emotions, values, or customs) Rationalization Rationalization Synchronization of social behavior (specialization, efficiency) Rationalization Rationalization of production Reduce Reduce labor force Goal: maximize profit, profit, reduce production production costs Increase worker efficiency Adopt new production technology Mass production Organize Organize the production process Rationalization Rationalization of administration
• Bureaucracy: A body of administrative officials, and the
procedures and tasks involved in a system of administration
– Administrative duties are atomized – Decisions made according to rules, not judgment rules, – Bureaucrats are exacting, impersonal – Promotion is based on merit – Provides a hierarchical authority structure Consequences Consequences of rationalization
• Increased efficiency and speed of social action • Meritocracy, social leveling • Emphasis on education, credentialism • Subordination of emotion, tradition, custom, and spirituality to rationality and calculation
– An “iron cage” of rationalization that we can’t escape – A society like “the polar night of icy darkness” ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2010 for the course PSYCH 2150 taught by Professor Christiansen, m during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).
- Spring '09
- Christiansen, M