Bureaucracy - Bureaucracy A. The Development of Formal...

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Bureaucracy A. The Development of Formal Social Structure: Division of Labor The impact of social structure is great indeed! Durkheim, in his epic work, The Division of Labor in Society (1983) maintained "as society becomes larger and more complex, there is a vast increase in the interdependence among its members as the labor needed to feed, house, educate, communicate with, transport, care for, and defend them becomes more complex" (in Kornblum, 1988:160). Durkheim argued that the increasing complexity was an advantage for any society because it gave the members of society more choice and, therefore, more freedom. Much of Durkheim's work centers on social organization. Social organization means, on one hand, that the individual has to give up a certain amount of individual freedom. On the other hand, people are not overly concerned about losing that freedom. By the time they are a part of an organization, organizations have socialized them to accept the rules and goals of the organization as their own. Individuals ultimately offer a great amount of respect to organizations. People define themselves through the organizations to which they belong. B. Freedom from a Durkheimian Point of View Durkheim raised the point that the freedom an individual experiences depends on the level of social organization (order). Imagine a condition where no reliable organization exists. Without organization a state of anarchy would prevail. Individuals would lose the safety provided by organization and would thus lose their freedom. On the other hand, too much organization, like that found in fascist states, likewise places extreme limits on the freedom of individuals. With the latter, the individual can experience too much order. No system of organization is perfect with respect to guaranteeing freedom. Democracy may facilitate human freedom and emancipation, but freedom does not automatically flow from democracy. American style democracy, for example, confronts one with what Tocqueville called the "tyranny of the majority." In a democracy, once the voting is over, the minority (those who lost the vote) must abide by the decision of the majority. (Ex: The debate concerning abortion issues highlights this kind of dilemma). Despite the problematic aspects of democracy, it appears that a moderate amount of organization is most desirable. Another freedom-limiting problem associated with developing social structure revolves
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Bureaucracy - Bureaucracy A. The Development of Formal...

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