Industrial society

Last updated
Chicago and Northwestern railroad locomotive shop in the 19th century. Chicago and Northwestern railroad locomotive shop fsac.1a34676u.jpg
Chicago and Northwestern railroad locomotive shop in the 19th century.

In sociology, industrial society is a society driven by the use of technology to enable mass production, supporting a large population with a high capacity for division of labour. Such a structure developed in the Western world in the period of time following the Industrial Revolution, and replaced the agrarian societies of the pre-modern, pre-industrial age. Industrial societies are generally mass societies, and may be succeeded by an information society. They are often contrasted with traditional societies. [1]

Contents

Industrial societies use external energy sources, such as fossil fuels, to increase the rate and scale of production. [2] The production of food is shifted to large commercial farms where the products of industry, such as combine harvesters and fossil fuel-based fertilizers, are used to decrease required human labor while increasing production. No longer needed for the production of food, excess labor is moved into these factories where mechanization is utilized to further increase efficiency. As populations grow, and mechanization is further refined, often to the level of automation, many workers shift to expanding service industries.

Industrial society makes urbanization desirable, in part so that workers can be closer to centers of production, and the service industry can provide labor to workers and those that benefit financially from them, in exchange for a piece of production profits with which they can buy goods. This leads to the rise of very large cities and surrounding suburb 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 [3] of agricultural consolidation, due partially to the lack of nearby arable land, associated transportation and storage costs, and are otherwise unsustainable. [4] This makes the reliable availability of the needed energy resources high priority in industrial government policies.

Use in 20th century social science and politics

“Industrial society” took on a more specific meaning after World War II in the context of the Cold War, the internationalization of sociology through organizations like UNESCO, and the spread of American industrial relations to Europe. The cementation of the Soviet Union’s position as a world power inspired reflection on whether the sociological association of highly-developed industrial economies with capitalism required updating. The transformation of capitalist societies in Europe and the United States to state-managed, regulated welfare capitalism, often with significant sectors of nationalized industry, also contributed to the impression that they might be evolving beyond capitalism, or toward some sort of “convergence” common to all “types” of industrial societies, whether capitalist or communist. [5] State management, automation, bureaucracy, institutionalized collective bargaining, and the rise of the tertiary sector were taken as common markers of industrial society.

The “industrial society” paradigm of the 1950s and 1960s was strongly marked by the unprecedented economic growth in Europe and the United States after World War II, and drew heavily on the work of economists like Colin Clark, John Kenneth Galbraith, W.W. Rostow, and Jean Fourastié. [6] The fusion of sociology with development economics gave the industrial society paradigm strong resemblances to modernization theory, which achieved major influence in social science in the context of postwar decolonization and the development of post-colonial states. [7]

The French sociologist Raymond Aron, who gave the most developed definition to the concept of “industrial society” in the 1950s, used the term as a comparative method to identify common features of the Western capitalist and Soviet-style communist societies. [8] Other sociologists, including Daniel Bell, Reinhard Bendix, Ralf Dahrendorf, Georges Friedmann, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Alain Touraine, used similar ideas in their own work, though with sometimes very different definitions and emphases. The principal notions of industrial-society theory were also commonly expressed in the ideas of reformists in European social-democratic parties who advocated a turn away from Marxism and an end to revolutionary politics. [9]

Because of its association with non-Marxist modernization theory and American anticommunist organizations like the Congress for Cultural Freedom [10] , “industrial society” theory was often criticized by left-wing sociologists and Communists as a liberal ideology that aimed to justify the postwar status quo and undermine opposition to capitalism. [11] However, some left-wing thinkers like André Gorz, Serge Mallet, Herbert Marcuse, and the Frankfurt School used aspects of industrial society theory in their critiques of capitalism.

Selected bibliography of industrial society theory

See also

Related Research Articles

Late capitalism, or late-stage capitalism, is a term first used in print by German economist Werner Sombart around the turn of the 20th century. Since 2016, the term has been used in the United States and Canada to refer to perceived absurdities, contradictions, crises, injustices, and inequality created by modern business development.

An information society is a society where the usage, creation, distribution, manipulation and integration of information is a significant activity. Its main drivers are information and communication technologies, which have resulted in rapid information growth in variety and is somehow changing all aspects of social organization, including education, economy,, health, government, warfare, and levels of democracy. The people who are able to partake in this form of society are sometimes called either computer users or even digital citizens, defined by K. Mossberger as “Those who use the Internet regularly and effectively”. This is one of many dozen internet terms that have been identified to suggest that humans are entering a new and different phase of society.

Conflict theories perspectives in sociology and social psychology that emphasize a materialist interpretation of history, dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and political program of revolution or, at least, reform

Conflict theories are perspectives in sociology and social psychology that emphasize a materialist interpretation of history, dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and political program of revolution or, at least, reform. Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such as class conflict, and generally contrast historically dominant ideologies. It is therefore a macro-level analysis of society.

Raymond Aron French philosopher, sociologist, journalist, and political scientist

Raymond Claude Ferdinand Aron was a French philosopher, sociologist, political scientist, and journalist.

Ralf Dahrendorf German-British sociologist, politician

Ralf Gustav Dahrendorf, Baron Dahrendorf, was a German-British sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and liberal politician. A class conflict theorist, Dahrendorf was a leading expert on explaining and analyzing class divisions in modern society. Dahrendorf wrote multiple articles and books, his most notable being Class Conflict in Industrial Society (1959) and Essays in the Theory of Society (1968).

Post-industrial society societies whose service sector provides more economic value than manufacturing

In sociology, the post-industrial society is the stage of society's development when the service sector generates more wealth than the manufacturing sector of the economy.

<i>One-Dimensional Man</i> 1964 book by Herbert Marcuse

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society is a 1964 book by the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, in which the author offers a wide-ranging critique of both contemporary capitalism and the Communist society of the Soviet Union, documenting the parallel rise of new forms of social repression in both these societies, as well as the decline of revolutionary potential in the West. He argues that "advanced industrial society" created false needs, which integrated individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thought.

Barrington Moore Jr. American historian and sociologist

Barrington Moore Jr. was an American political sociologist, and the son of forester Barrington Moore. He is well-known for his Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (1966), a comparative study of modernization in Britain, France, the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Germany, and India. The book puts forth a neo-Marxist argument that class structures and class alliances at particular points in time can account for the kinds of social revolutions that occurred and did not occur in those countries, putting some countries on a path to democracy, whereas others were put on a path to authoritarianism or communism. He famously argued, "no bourgeois, no democracy".

History of sociology History of sociology

Sociology as a scholarly discipline emerged, primarily out of Enlightenment thought, as a positivist science of society shortly after the French Revolution. Its genesis owed to various key movements in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of knowledge, arising in reaction to such issues as modernity, capitalism, urbanization, rationalization, secularization, colonization and imperialism.

Alain Touraine French sociologist

Alain Touraine is a French sociologist. He is research director at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where he founded the Centre d'étude des mouvements sociaux. Touraine was an important figure in the founding of French sociology of work after World War II and later became an internationally-renowned sociologist of social movements, particularly the May 1968 student movement in France and the Solidarity trade-union movement in communist Poland.

Marxism Economic and sociopolitical worldview based on the works of Karl Marx

Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.

Conflict criminology

Largely based on the writings of Karl Marx, conflict criminology holds that crime in capitalist societies cannot be adequately understood without a recognition that such societies are dominated by a wealthy elite whose continuing dominance requires the economic exploitation of others, and that the ideas, institutions and practices of such societies are designed and managed in order to ensure that such groups remain marginalised, oppressed and vulnerable. Members of marginalised and oppressed groups may sometimes turn to crime in order to gain the material wealth that apparently brings equality in capitalist societies, or simply in order to survive. Conflict criminology derives its name from the fact that theorists within the area believe that there is no consensual social contract between state and citizen.

Georges Philippe Friedmann, was a French sociologist and philosopher, known for his influential work on the effects of industrial labor on individuals and his criticisms of the uncontrolled embrace of technological change in twentieth-century Europe and the United States.

Michel Wieviorka French sociologist

Michel Wieviorka is a French sociologist, noted for his work on violence, terrorism, racism, social movements and the theory of social change.

The following events related to sociology occurred in the 1960s.

The following events related to sociology occurred in the 1980s.

Marxian class theory asserts that an individual's position within a class hierarchy is determined by their role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position. A class is those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interests. Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.

Reification (Marxism)

In Marxism, reification is the process by which social relations are perceived as inherent attributes of the people involved in them, or attributes of some product of the relation, such as a traded commodity.

Base and superstructure Marxist theory term

In Marxist theory, society consists of two parts: the base and superstructure. The base comprises the forces and relations of production into which people enter to produce the necessities and amenities of life. The base determines society's other relationships and ideas to comprise its superstructure, including its culture, institutions, political power structures, roles, rituals, and state. While the relation of the two parts is not strictly unidirectional, as the superstructure often affects the base, the influence of the base is predominant. Marx and Engels warned against such economic determinism.

Herbert Marcuse German philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist

Herbert Marcuse was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Born in Berlin, Marcuse studied at the Humboldt University of Berlin and then at Freiburg, where he received his PhD. He was a prominent figure in the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research – what later became known as the Frankfurt School. He was married to Sophie Wertheim (1924–1951), Inge Neumann (1955–1973), and Erica Sherover (1976–1979). In his written works, he criticized capitalism, modern technology, historical materialism and entertainment culture, arguing that they represent new forms of social control.

References

  1. S. Langlois, Traditions: Social, In: Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, Editor(s)-in-Chief, International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Pergamon, Oxford, 2001, pages 15829-15833, ISBN   978-0-08-043076-8, doi : 10.1016/B0-08-043076-7/02028-3. Online
  2. "Chapter 1: Energy Fundamentals, Energy Use in an Industrial Society" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  3. Arthur, Brian (February 1990). "Positive Feedbacks in the Economy". Scientific American . 262 (2): 92–99. Bibcode:1990SciAm.262b..92A. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0290-92.
  4. McGranahan, Gordon; Satterthwaite, David (November 2003). "URBAN CENTERS: An Assessment of Sustainability". Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 28: 243–274. doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.28.050302.105541.
  5. Brick, Howard (2006). Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  6. Chirat, Alexandre (2019). "La société industrielle d'Aron et Galbraith : des regards croisés pour une vision convergente ?". Cahiers d'économie politique. 76:1: 47–87. doi:10.3917/cep.076.0047.
  7. Gilman, Nils (2003). Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  8. Aron, Raymond (1961). Dix-huit leçons sur la société industrielle. Paris: Gallimard.
  9. Sassoon, Donald (1996). A Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century. New York: Free Press. pp. chapter ten.
  10. Scot-Smith, Giles (2002). "The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the End of Ideology and the 1955 Milan Conference: 'Defining the Parameters of Discourse'". Journal of Contemporary History. 37:3 (3): 437–455. doi:10.1177/00220094020370030601.
  11. Giddens, Anthony (1982). Sociology: A Short But Critical Introduction. London: Macmillan Education. pp. 31–40.