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2S06 Lecture 22.docx

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David Young

Fox 1 Lecture 22 SOCIOL 2S06 Monday December 2, 2013  The Theoretical Ideas of Frankford School cont. 3) Scientific Rationality – refers to the use of scientific information to advance precision in task execution • Example: Private companies within capitalist society engage in scientific management • Scientific management was developed over 100 years ago by Fredrick Taylor • Scientific management involved timing how long it took workers to perform certain tasks, then figuring out ways for the worker to perform that task more efficiently 4) Technological Rationality – refers to the use of devices and procedures to strategically manage and control everyday corporate and individual activities • Emphasized in capitalist society • This type of rationality is an extension of scientific rationality • Private companies in capitalist society use technology to measure and monitor the activities of workers • Along the lines of scientific management, this becomes a way of measuring their productivity • Computer systems are used to measure and monitor the activities o Owners of companies can tell how quickly a check-out clerk processed an order and got out the sale C) The Dialectic of Enlightenment • Essentially, the Dialectic of Enlightenment suggests there is a conflict and an opposition between the ideas of the enlightenment thinkers (about the use of reason) and the actual use to which reason is put in capitalist thought • On the one hand, enlightenment thinkers emphasized the use of reason to advance knowledge, freedom, and democracy – all of which involved emancipation • On the other hand, bureaucratic organizations in capitalist society focus on the use of reason to advance profit, control, and inequality (all of which involve domination) D) Knowledge and Culture in Capitalist Society 1. Two Types of Industries a. Knowledge Industry i. Saw the knowledge industry as being made up of bureaucratic organizations that control the production of knowledge in capitalist society 1. Universities, research institutes, and think tanks 2. Think about these organizations in terms of the rationality: we can certainly see that parts (at least) of these organizations do have the potential to engage in normative rationality – THEY CAN ADVANCE THE VALUES ASSOCIATED WITH INEQUALITY AND FREEDOM a. Universities: think about the sociology department in university – they have courses on social inequality, but having said that, we need to realize that something else is going on: while parts of the organizations can advance normative rationality, the members of the Frankfurt school saw the organizations as being increasingly associated with technical rationality and other types i. Think about the growing influence of business schools – get corporate funding, well connected to corporate capital, tied to the thinking involved with corporate rational – connected to technological rationality b. Culture Industry i. Saw
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