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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology
Lecture 3: Specialization and Rationalization
Wednesday, September 8 Evolutionary sociology
Herbert Spencer Organismic analogy society is an organic whole, made up of interrelated parts Universal law evolution consists of a change from a state of homogeneity to a state of heterogeneity
Population growth Resource scarcity Competition Specialization Social Darwinism societies evolve over time or they will be unable to adapt to environmental challenges ("survival of the fittest") Specialization and social solidarity
mile Durkheim Mechanical solidarity: A form of social solidarity that is solidarity:
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 to the average members of a society." Organic solidarity: A form of social solidarity that is characterized
by mutual dependence on others for survival, enacted through social exchanges, and enforced through education and law. Rationalization
Max Weber Rationalization Rationalization: The process through which social action
becomes more organized Development of codes and guidelines Institution of regularities of action Breaking down of complex activities into manageable parts Reliance on rationality (instead of emotions, values, or customs) Rationalization Synchronization of social behavior (specialization, efficiency) Bureaucratization 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 Increased efficiency and speed of social action Meritocracy, social leveling Meritocracy, Greater emphasis on education, credentialism Subordination of emotion, tradition, and spirituality to rationality and calculation Rationalized society constitutes an "iron cage" or a "shell as hard as steel" that we can't escape Creates a society that feels like "the polar night of icy darkness" ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course NS 1150 taught by Professor Levitsky during the Fall '05 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).
- Fall '05