Companies abound in the national economy ranging from the small family or partnership concern to the faceless multinational corporation; provide the structural framework of the modern industrial society. Explain and illustrate.
An industrial society is a society in which the most important means of survival is industry. Industry is a system of production focused on mechanized manufacturing of goods.
During the 18th and 19th centuries the first known industrial revolution took place in Europe. What is some times referred to as The Second Industrial Revolution describes later, somewhat less dramatic changes resulting from the widespread availability of electric power and the internal-combustion engine. Under the influence of either the US or the USSR during the cold war many developing countries started industrialization.
Because of advanced mechanization, at the present time industry builds up only a comparatively small percentage of highly developed countries labor force in large part. The number of people required to work in production is decreasing because of the use of machines and equipments, and these machines and equipments assist manufacturing process and increase workers efficiency, because of these now a single worker can manufacture considerably more goods in the same amount of time than they used to be able to produce before. This has also resulted in a evolution in most highly developed countries into a post industrial or service oriented economy.
Structural Framework of the Modern Industrial Society:
In sociology, industrial society refers to a society driven by the use of technology to enable mass production, supporting a large population with a high capacity for division of labor. In the period of time following the Industrial Revolution this type of structure formed in the west, and replaced the agrarian societies of the Pre-modern, Pre-industrial age. Industrial society is characterized by the use of external energy sources, such as fossil fuels, to increase the rate and scale of production. . The production of food is shifted to large commercial firms where the products of industry are used to decrease required human labor and increasing production. Excess labor is moved into those factories where mechanization causes many workers shift to service industries as excess labor was not necessary for the production of food. Growth of population and refining of mechanization cause many workers shift to service industries.
Urbanization occurs because of industrial society. It helps workers to be closer to the centers of production. It makes possible the service industry to provide labor to workers so that they benefitted financially from them in exchange for a piece of production profits. This causes the growth of large cities and close suburban areas with a high rate of economic activity.
These urban centers require the input of external energy sources in order to overcome the diminishing returns of agricultural consolidation, due partially to the lack of nearby arable land, associated transportation and storage costs, and are otherwise unsustainable. This makes the reliable availability of the needed energy resources high priority in industrial government policies.
The division of labor in industrial societies is often one of the most notable elements of the society and can even function to re-organize the development of relationships. Whereas relationships in pre-industrial societies were more likely to develop through contact at one’s place of worship or through proximity of housing, industrial society brings people with similar occupations together, often leading to the formation of friendships through one’s work.
1. Energy Fundamentals, Energy Use in an Industrial Society
2. Arthur, Brian: “Positive Feedbacks in the Economy”, Scientific American
3. McGranahan, Gordon; Satterthwaite, David (November 2003). “URBAN CENTERS: An Assessment of Sustainability”. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28: 243–274.
4. Durkheim, Emile, and Lewis A. Coser. 1997. The Division of Labor in Society. Free Press.
Companies provide the structural framework of the modern industrial society:
Companies abound in the national economy ranging from the small family or partnership concern to the faceless multinational corporation; provide the structural framework of the modern industrial society. Industrial society believes in using technology to enable mass production with the help of a large population by using division of labor. So mass production and division of labor are the main elements of industrial society.
Companies emphasize on mass production to gain profit. With the help of technology, company can ensure mass production. Mass production means the manufacture of goods in large quantities, often using standardized designs and assembly-line techniques. ‘Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines. The concepts of mass production are applied to various kinds of products, from fluids and particulates handled in bulk to discrete solid parts to assemblies of such parts.
Mass production uses a high proportion of machinery and energy in relation to workers, which indicates the capital intensiveness and energy intensiveness of mass production. It is also usually automated to the highest extent possible. Capital and energy are increased with fewer labor costs and a faster rate of production, while total expenditure per unit of production is decreased. However, the machinery that is needed to set up a mass production line is so expensive that there must be some assurance that the product is to be successful to attain profits.’5
One of the distinguished elements of the industrial society is the division of labor. It can work to re-organize the improvement of relationships. People of similar interest or occupation come together because of industrial society which often leads to the formation of friendship through one’s work.
Division of labor:
One of the trademarks of industrialism is division of labor. Division of labor makes sure that an individual worker only need to know his specific job. He does not need to know what is going on in the whole production process. His job does not require larger scale knowledge, idea and concept of the total job. He just need to know his own part, and it can be acquire by a short term training. In this way he can easily be perfect on his own part and it makes him able to complete the work more swiftly.
Before the industrial revolution, people were mainly self-sufficient, as they had to complete the whole task all by their own. They had to know about the total job, and they had to be very knowledgeable. It was not possible for them to work quickly, as they had to concentrate on the full production system. Industrial revolution ensured division of labor and division of labor helped people to be specialized at their task. Specialization helps to increased productivity. But at the same time specialization help to decreased self-sufficiency which increase the mutual dependency of workers.
In the industrial society, there is a tendency of increasing economic efficiency. One of the major elements of industrialism is improved efficiency which brought by the continued division of labor, specialization and economic of scale. A compartmentalization of accountability and awareness follow this specialization of task. An assembly line worker doing the part of production may have no clue what is going on in the other part of production. His knowledge and awareness about the whole process is incomplete.
‘Ford’s automobile assembly line production innovations provide the perfect example.
Earlier to Ford’s advancement of the assembly line for automobile production, cars were primarily produced by craftsmen. Each car was individually produced by a team of craftsmen, and each of these craftsmen had to be highly skilled and very knowledgeable about the mechanics of cars in order to build them. Every person on the team had a very good working knowledge of virtually all aspects of car manufacture. Many of these craftsmen were capable of building an entire car by themselves. Not only did they have the skills, but they designed the cars, understood the mechanics, understood physics, engineering, metallurgy, etc. They had a wide range of knowledge and skills, often a complete set of skills and knowledge about the cars they were building.
Then Henry Ford came along and started to build cars using an assembly line process. With the assembly line a small team of people designed the car and assembly process, and a larger team of unskilled workers built the cars. What was so remarkable about Ford’s process was that any men off the street, even if he had never seen a car before, could work on the assembly line and with a few instructions he could be a part of the team building cars. In fact it was found that this process was faster, cheaper and more efficient. There was less overlap of skills or knowledge, every person knew what they needed to do their job and that was it.’6
In this way in industrialist society we all become specialized workers, as we have a very little knowledge of what we are doing and we become citizens with a narrow focus of awareness. Increasingly workers become ideologically compartmentalized and their consideration of the society as a whole is increasingly getting narrowed. Division of labor increased productivity and quantity and also save money. At the same time it decrease quality, and makes labors less knowledgeable and discourage skilled, knowledgeable workers
6. Division of Labor, Assembly Line Thought – The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism By – R.G price January 29, 2004
Division of labor:
Figure a shows man at the most basic level of social organization, that of complete autonomy and self-sufficiency. In this situation each individual is completely responsible for producing all the products needed for continued existence.
Figure b shows the beginnings of social production and division of labor. In the early stages labor is only partly specialized with some idleness resulting in a condition where individuals are still largely self-sufficient, but some specialization, and thus slight dependency, takes place. The dependency is not “life critical” – individuals are not dependent on others for survival, but a degree of luxury is afforded by shared production.
Figure c shows increasing socialization of production and specialization of labor. With the further division of labor an increasing number of products can be made, making more new things available.
Figure d shows one subsection of industrialized labor. With Industrialized labor individuals no longer produce final products; they produce components, which are assembled into final products – a further division of labor. This is not just the case with a true assembly line, it is the case on a larger scale in many aspects of social labor. Further specialization takes place making each facet of production more efficient, increasing efficiency and ultimately the number of products that can be produced.7
7. Division of Labor, Assembly Line Thought – The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism By – R.G price January
Companies in the national economy provide the main elements of the modern industrial society. Companies ranging from the small family or partnership concern to the faceless multinational corporation, use technology to gain mass production. They emphasized on division of labor to make huge amount of production. Division of labor increased productivity and quantity and also save money. At the same time it decrease quality, and makes labors less knowledgeable and discourage skilled, knowledgeable workers. By ensuring main elements of industrial society, companies provide the structural framework of the modern industrial society.
- Energy Fundamentals, Energy Use in an Industrial Society
- Arthur, Brian: “Positive Feedbacks in the Economy”, Scientific American
- McGranahan, Gordon; Satterthwaite, David (November 2003). “URBAN CENTERS: An Assessment of Sustainability”. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28: 243–274.
- Durkheim, Emile, and Lewis A. Coser. 1997. The Division of Labor in Society. Free Press.
- Division of Labor, Assembly Line Thought – The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism By – R.G price January 29, 2004
- Kaczynski, Theodore: Industrial society and its future.