SOCA02 - LEC4
Weber recognized bureaucracy.
• Bureaucracy = necessary but has unintended consequences (hate it but need it)
Traditional society (when getting by in life was harder)
1. small scale (you know everybody sorta thing)
2. traditional authority (personal authority eg tribal authority)
3. rule of thumb (if it works keep doing it, if it doesn't then advance things)
Need for organization = group size becomes a forcing variable. eg: know 6 people, 15
• Primary group = family
• Secondary group = others (you will spend more time with them)
Need for large-scale organization = pursue specific goals, services and infrastructure, health,
transportation and power.
systems must be at breaking point and reserve capacity, eg: hospitals don't have spare
Rationalization (Weber) - rationally control nature & society by seeking the most efficient
Seeking most efficient methods:
1. use rational calculation "checklist manifesto" (tells you what to do when you need help)
eg: doctors use 'checklist manifesto' when they need help with things.
2. seek best technique "consistent technique"
eg: body building has become rationalized, building dams to control nature has been
• Division of labour (allows specializations)
• Hierarchy of authority eg: ratio of orders you give / take (more orders given = higher
• Rules & Regulations
• Qualifications based on employment
• Impersonality: "don't treat ppl differently, cause you know them well" McDonaldization (McDonalds system) of society by George Ritser.
This system is being copied in hospitals and such.
• McDonaldization = Efficient, calculable, predictable
• automated (certain amount of every burger)
• no surprises (if you see if in diff country = same)
• fast track (get good quick)
Ambivalence to Bureaucracy "Redtape & Ritualism"
• Ukraine = buy their license don't need to pass the test.
• Russia = elites have blue lights on car so ppl have to stop for them. Elites can pass any
red light, now normal ppl follow that example and do the same.
Bureaucracy = unintended effects
1. Iron cage
3. Chicken shit - maximize anxiety about minor things
eg: military inspections (disciplining for disciplining sake)
• you have to pull the bed sheets so tight so quarter could bounce.
• shaving kit = has to really clean.
Departures from efficiency
1. SOPS (standard operating procedures) = "satisfying" solutions
• nurses who o