How is studying bureaucracy as an ideal type useful - Assignment Example

Studying bureaucracy as an ideal type is useful when attempting to understand how an organization works sort of like “what makes the world go round”. Max Weber defined bureaucracy as a completely rational organization; one that uses the most efficient means to achieve a valued goal. It has seven major characteristics that allow it to coordinate people so that their actions focus on achieving the organizations goals.

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There are two dimensions of organizations referred to as formal and informal dimensions. The author defines the formal dimension as the official aspect of an organization that consists of job descriptions and written rules, guidelines, and procedures established to achieve valued goals. The informal dimension is defined as the unofficial aspect of an organization, including behaviors that depart from the formal dimension; an example would be an employee ignoring the official rules and guidelines established by the formal organization.

The dominance of formal organizations coincide with rationalization; rationalization is defined as a process in which thought and action rooted in emotion, superstitions or tradition is replaced by thought and action grounded in logical assessment. Rationalization can be found in many formal organizations today. What is alienation as described by Karl Marx? Karl Marx describes alienation as a state of being in which human life is dominated by the forces of its inventions.

I believe alienation was a key part in many of Marx’s research projects because it gave insight on how in the process of industrializing society personal interest or care that individuals once had for their occupation has been lost and is now sort of a routine. In many occupations people have been alienated from their families, community and products. For example people who work for manufacturing companies may work odd shifts which don’t allow them to have family time or socialize with others in their community.

It also alienates the individual from the product because they are only one part in completing the ultimate product verses having that personal connection and care for the product they are making. Just like puzzle pieces they all have to work together to complete the big picture. How do sociologist and other social scientist explain the “McDonaldization” of society? The McDonaldization of society is defined as the process in which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world.

Those principles are efficiency (claim to be the best), quantification and calculation (numerical indicators enabling consumers to evaluate the product or service easily), predictability (the expectation that the service or product will be the same no matter where it is purchased), and control(regulating and planning in detail the production of a service or product). One example of McDonaldization I can think of is the prescription drug Ambien. Ambien was introduced at first as a sleep aid for people who suffered from a severe case of insomnia.

Now the drug is prescribed to people who my work long hours, women who are pregnant and having trouble sleeping and those who live a busy life and practically have to force themselves to sleep. The product was made, advertised by ads and by consumers who were on the drug proclaiming that it one pill will help you sleep, which caused other consumers to inquire and request the product from their physicians, which in turn gives consumers control over their sleep patterns. As stated in a song by the rapper JayZ “Now the whole world is on Ambien”.

To me this shows that the McDonaldization concept really does work because to have so many people on or wanting one medication that was originally for severe cases of insomnia is amazing. Why do you think Emile Durkheim focused on the division of labor as a major theme when he compared traditional and modern societies in his early 1900 publications? Durkheim was one of the first sociologists to provide insight into the division of labor. He described it as work that has been broken down into specialized task, are performed by a different set of persons trained to do that task.

The workers often live in different parts of the world; the same applies for the parts and materials needed to manufacture products. Durkheim stated that as the division of labor becomes more specialized and as the sources of materials for products become more geographically diverse, a new kind of solidarity emerges. Today Durkheim’s statement has proven to be true. An example is the relationship that the United States has with China. All most all the materials that the U. S need come from China; the division of labor is needed so that resources can be gathered and shared amongst the countries that may not produce the materials needed.

What are the agents of socialization? What is Socialization? Socialization plays a major part in each person’s life. It determines how we act, think and what type of person an individual will become. The book defines socialization as the process by which people develop a sense of self and learn the ways of the society in which they live in. There are two agents that hold importance in socialization which are; nature and nurture. Nature is one’s human genetic makeup or biological inheritance. Nurture refers to the social environment or the interaction experiences that make up every individual’s life.

Socialization has played and still plays a big part in my life. I can remember spending part of my early childhood days up until I was ten years old, living in an area where the people were at or below poverty level and the majority of them were African American or Hispanic. Although that is what my parents and I were born in to that is not where our minds stayed. My parents socialized with people who wanted more out of life and wanted to achieve greatness. Therefore my parents thought to want more; which made them work harder so that myself and my siblings would not have to grow up in that environment.

This changed the way I was being socialized; I went from living in an area where the African Americans and Hispanics where the majority to living in an area where I was truly a minority. This change affected the schools I attend, the friends I socialized with and my way of viewing others. I feel that I have an advantage over others who have only been socialized with a certain group of individuals; because I have been socialized with different groups of individuals I am able to view things differently. How did George Mead explain the development of self?

George Mead described development of self as “Me and I” that engage in continuous dialogue and do not mechanically strive to reach others expectations. Med describes the “me” term as the social self; the part of the self that has learned and internalized society’s expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior and appearances. Before an individual speaks or acts, the “me” anticipates how others will respond. The “I” is the spontaneous, autonomous, creative self, capable of rejecting expectations and acting in unconventional, inappropriate or unexpected ways.

The “I” takes chances and violates expectations. I think that Meads explanation of self-development makes sense. I can actually recall some times when I myself have chosen to listen to “I” and bend the rules. Mead stated that a sense of self cannot arise outside of social interaction; but that self is a product of interaction experiences. I do believe that in everyone possess the two aspects of self but it is the individuals’ choice on which aspect they will use. How can the sociological imagination be used to explain “collective memory”?

Memory is one of the main keys when looking at socialization; without memory socialization is impossible. The book defines collective memory as the experiences shared and recalled by significant numbers of people. Such memories are revived, preserved, shared, passed on, and recast in many forms, such as stories, holidays, rituals, and monuments. Memory allows people to know others and remember interacting with them; it also preserves the cultural past. Without memories no there would be no such thing as history and we would all just be on a reinventing wheel.

Memory is more than just an individual quality it is strongly social. No one would be able to participate in society without the ability to recall things like names, faces, words, and places. What has been the importance of social contact in your personal contact in your life? We are all socialized in some way when are born whether it is with our family or close family friends. In life it is very important for individuals to have social contact so that they learn how to interact with others. Being isolated can affect emotional, mental and physical development skills.

Socialization depends on interaction with others. Social contact has been a very big part of my life. From day one I have always had social contact with family and friends. Social contact is how we learn many of the things that make us who we are. It helps develop our speech, social behavior skills, motor skills, and the ability to survive in society. What information would you include in a presentation on HIV/AIDS? If I were given the opportunity to give a presentation on HIV/AIDS I would first explain how the virus derived.

I would explain to them that the virus is not hereditary but it is developed after contact with an individual who carries the virus or \it can be passed on from mother to baby during birth. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus which attacks your cells and weakens your immune system causing the virus to eventually turn into AIDS if not treated regularly. AIDS stands for Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is very deadly and can eventually lead to death if not properly treated. Having HIV/AIDS does not mean that this is the end of your life it just means that you have to adapt to a new way of living.

How does Durkheim define suicide? Durkheim defined suicide as the act of severing relationships. To make his case he argued that every group has greater or lesser propensity for suicide. There are four types of suicide; #1 being Egoistic which is suicide resulting from weak social ties that fail to attach the person to the group and #2 Altruistic which results from social ties so strong that the self has no life from the group. #3 Atomic results from social ties disrupted by dramatic change in economic circumstances. #4 Fatalistic resulting from social ties whose disiplin is so oppressive it offers no chance of release.