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Lecture 4

SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: George Ritzer, Stupid Shit, Neurology

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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SOCA02 Lecture 4
January, 31st, 2013
- feb 15th, 3-5pm In gym
- lectures and readings from lectures 1-6
- 120 multiple chice
topic: bureaucracy and rationalization (brym chapter 6)
traditional societies
- don’t have bur
- small scale (based on traditional authority not rational legal authority)
>personal loyalty
- rule of thumb
>if it works.. (quote) “better than it looks on paper” by mark Edwards
>plus are adaptable
need for organization
-forcing variable
>group size *tables in brym
*groups and relationships, 5 people 15 relationships etc
*primary and secondary groups
need for large scale organization
- pursue specific goals
>services and infrastructure
- systems at breaking point
>no reserve capacity
*there is limit of resources (example, SARS outbreak in Toronto, hospitals
were at breaking point)
- purposive-rational control measure of nature and society
- seek most efficient methods
>use rational circulation
>constant improvement
>seek best “technique”
*”the check list manifesto” much less likely to fail if they go down checklist,
make sure everything is working

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example) body builder title holder in 1950 vs body builder now demonstrate
rationalization at its extreme
- division of labour
- hierarchy of authority
- rules and regulation
- qualification-based employment
- impersonality
mcdonaldization of society (George ritzer)
- efficient, calculable, predicatble
>no surprises
>fast track
- have mcdoctors and mcclinics in USA
>done to get you through, get as many people
*universities are kinda like that too
ambivalence to bureaucracy
- red tape
- ritualism
>drivers license in Ukraine, lungs x-rayed, urine test, certificate from
addiction clinic, psychiatrist certificate, heart check up, blood pressure,
neurologist test knee, or skip it all for 150 dollars
* Russian car crashing
unintended effects
- “iron cage”= cage of rationalization
- alienation
- “chicken shit”
>when you create maximum anxiety about stupid shit
example) in military because they want discipline, bed has to be drawn so
tightly if they drop coin, itll bounce. Shaving kits have to be perfectly
clean, hairless, have two kits.
Departures from efficiency
- goal displacement
>SOPS= standard operating procedures, often violate bureaucratic
example) nurses do checklist of patients, nurse cant do all those things for
time period allotted, look at the patient and if everything looks okay
they’ll tick it off. If there looks like a problem, then theyll do actual
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