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Max Weber (1864 - 1920)

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Introduction

Max Weber (1864 - 1920) conceived of modernisation as a universal process of rationalisation that occurs as humanity becomes disenchanted with religious worldviews Rationality is redefined as thinking that is ready to submit to criticism and systematic examination as an ongoing process. A broader definition is that rationality is a disposition expressed in behaviour for which good reasons can be given. http://www.stefan-szczelkun.org.uk/phd405.htm It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/whatisai/node1.html According to Weber, rationalisation creates three spheres of value as the differentiated zones of Science, Art and Law.[4] This fundamental disunity of reason constitutes the danger of modernity. This danger arises not simply from the creation of separate institutional entities but through the specialisation of cognitive, normative and aesthetic knowledge that in turn permeates and fragments everyday consciousness. This all-pervasive 'rationalisation' is argued to have profoundly negative effects on socialisation, social integration and cultural production. This 'disunity of reason' implies that culture moves from a traditional base in a consensual collective endeavour to forms which are rationalised by commodification and led by individuals with interests which are separated from the purposes of the population as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

for other justifications and ended up telling them how much time it was going to save him in doing his taxes.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_%28psychology%29 McDonalds fast food chain started in U.S.A. in the 1950's. The hierarchy within each store usually employs a manager and a large team of staff. The business thrives on the word fast in terms of turnover this is in relation to burgers, fries, milkshakes etc. and also customers. Its success is due to its ability to offer consumers, workers, and managers four basic components these are; efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. These four basic components can be thought of as a rational system. These components introduced originally in Weber's theory of rationality are amplified by McDonalds and are a clear extension of Weber's theory. Many aspects of McDonalds mirror the concept of rationalisation using these basic components this is illustrated in the following examples. Efficiency is used to; streamline operations, have faster service, make burgers quicker. Calculability (calculating, counting, quantifying) is seen at McDonalds as to how many burgers can be sold in an hour - speed of productivity (usually high) and what are the end results (usually large). ...read more.

Conclusion

Again, to use an example Weber might have used, the millions of recipients of checks from the Social Security Administration know precisely when they will receive their checks and exactly how much money they will receive. Finally, bureaucracies emphasise control over people through the replacement of human with nonhuman technology. As you will recall, nonhuman technologies (machines and rules, for example) tend to control people, while human technologies (hammers and pens, for example) tend to be controlled by people. Indeed, the bureaucracy itself may be seen as one huge nonhuman technology. Its nearly automatic functioning may be seen as an effort to replace human judgement with the dictates of rules, regulations, and structures. The division of labour, which allocates to each office a limited number of well-defined tasks, controls employees. Incumbents must do those tasks, and no others, in the manner prescribed by the organisation. They may not, in most cases, devise idiosyncratic ways of doing those tasks. Furthermore, by making few, if any, judgements, people begin to resemble human robots or computers. Having reduced people to this status, it is then possible to think about actually replacing human beings with machines. This has already occurred to some extent: in many settings, computers have taken over bureaucratic tasks once performed by humans. One can imagine http://www.stedwards.edu/bss/farrall/bureau.htm ... ...read more.

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