Change and Development in Industrial Society

Change and Development in Industrial Society

Question

Discuss briefly giving some ideas of great thinkers like Karl Marx, what were the images of industrial society in their mind when industrialisation was taking place in Europe?

Answer

Some thinkers and images of industrial society at the beginning stage:

(i) Many of the great works of sociology were written at a time when industrialisation was new and machinery was assuming great importance.

(ii) Thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim associated a number of social features with industry, such as urbanisation, the loss of face-to-face relationships that were found in rural areas where people worked on their own farms or for a landlord they knew, and their substitution by anonymous professional relationships in modern factories and workplaces.

(iii) Industrialisation involves a detailed division of labour. People often do not see the end result of their work because they are producing only one small part of a product.

(iv) The work is often repetitive and exhausting. Yet, even this is better than having no work at all, i.e., being unemployed. Marx called this situation alienation, when people do not enjoy work, and see it as something they have to do only in order to survive, and even that survival depends on whether the technology nas room for any human labour.

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