sociology questions for first 5 chapters

Posted: October 17th, 2013





1.         The technology industry is comprised of different individuals whose roles are interdependent, including the management that run these companies, the different suppliers of the companies, the clients of the companies and the stakeholders. The employees ensure continuity in production, while the management ensures that the company is run effectively. The stakeholders provide part of the capital and the clients provide the market for the services and goods offered by the company. The general values that run the industry of technology are those of integrity, client satisfaction, quality goods and services, community participation and employee satisfaction. The industry has seen the invention of technology that has reduced the input needed in the production process. The speed of production has also increased and the world’s conversion to a global village has enhanced communication.

2.         The five characteristics of bureaucracy are functionality specialization, impersonality, a formal structure of hierarchy, management by rules and technical qualifications as the basis for employment. The bureaucratic entity has a defined chain of command and the members perform defined roles. The members are also employed based on their skill. The entity is governed by a set of rules enforced by the management. The evidence of the defined hierarchy is the existence of various posts in the office. The office also has codes of ethics and policies that govern the employees and employers. Employees are also hired based on their qualifications.

3.         Four characteristics of the Mcdonaldization theory are efficiency, calculability, predictability and substitution of humans with technology. Efficiency refers to the ability to make tasks easier and less expensive. Calculability refers to the act of quantifying things in life. The emphasis is on the quantity and not the quality. Predictability is the trait that is possessed by an environment that is void of surprises. The last quality of replacing humans with technology is done in order to achieve maximum control. Efficiency is seen in my use of the microwave to get easy and fast meals. The application of calculability is evident in my perspective of academic success. Predictability is seen in my shopping patterns. I prefer shopping at the mall where similar layouts are kept and there is the elimination of unpredictability. The replacement of human skill with technology can be seen in the use of premixed seasonings at home.

4.         Division of labor is influenced by gender. During the early days of division of labor, tasks that required a high degree of physical strength were given to men while the lighter tasks were given to women. The industrial revolution greatly influenced the roles of man and women as the women who were to stay home and take care of the children were expected to spend long hours in the factories during the industrial revolution. In the current society, the boundaries of gender roles are not definite. This is because the occupations that were traditionally reserved for men are being done by women while those that were for women are done by men.

5.         Marx believes that the main source of man’s satisfaction is in work. This is because he believes that the labor that man puts into work gives him self-realization and freedom. The concept of objectification and materialism however, alienates man from the true purpose of work. This is because commodification of labor focuses on the monetary value of labor. Labor is manipulated to ensure that it produces monetary value. The monetary value is then not equally apportioned to the laborer. Surplus value is directed to the owners of the labor.

6.         Scientific management is based on the principle that the needs of employer and employee are not antagonistic and both of them can be satisfied. It has seen the domination of the management in the policy making of the companies. This has led to continuous loss of employee power.

7.         Slavery encouraged the creation of social classes based one’s material wealth. The masters were in an upper class because they were the owners of the labor. In the ancient world, like the Roman society, individuals would volunteer to become slaves. This was because slaves were treated well and the Romans would allow their slaves to acquire Roman citizenship. This was known as ascribed status. On the other hand, slavery in the American society did not give room for the elevation of the slaves’ social or economic status. The rights of the slaves were infringed and they were treated as commodities. The black Americans were treated as second-rate citizens and they were susceptible to slavery.

8.         The three fundamental ways of distributing goods and services are based on equality, power and needs. In a communist society, goods and services are distributed based on one’s efforts. In the socialist society, goods and services are shared and given according to one’s needs. In a capitalist society, the goods and services are distributed in accordance to one’s power. Those who are the owners of the means of productions manipulate the structures of society to receive the goods and services.

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