-B.A. Sociology (H) -IIIrd Yr
Q. Discuss the relationship between industrialism and industrial societies with reference to various regimes of production.
The 18th CE idea of progress had been in the main abstract and speculative. It postulated stages of development whose actual content was only lightly sketched. It was linked firstly to the progress of science and then to the progressive applications of science, to the process that Saint Simon himself caused to be known as industrialization. As the 19th CE developed, the scope and dimension of the change connoted by the term ‘industrialization’ swelled to gigantic proportions. It came to be seen as a revolution transforming every aspect of human life and thought. Progress, if the concept were to sustain itself, could now only mean industrialization.
An industrial society, according to Raymond Aron, might be simply defined as a society in which large-scale industry is the characteristic form of production. From this definition a number of other features of an industrial economy might be inferred. First the enterprise is completely separated from the family. This however is by no means universal. Secondly, the introduction of technological division of labour, which is one of the characteristics of modern industrial society. Thirdly, an industrial enterprise implies an accumulation of capital. Each workman must use a substantial amount of capital, which must constantly be renewed. The idea of a progressive economy develops from the idea of industrial society. The fourth feature follows from the accumulation of capital, where the idea of rational/economic calculation is introduced. And the fifth being the emergence of trade unions. However, Kumar critiqued the nature of the industrial society saying that there are no pristine distinctions in the themes of continuity and discontinuity of the mass phenomena.
Kumar further provides a sketch of the leading characteristics of industrial society along with their parallel outcomes and problems of an industrial society. The emergence of urbanism as a way of life became quite apparent as industrialization gathered speed. The pre-industrial society had often been of great commercial, cultural, or political importance. But it had existed encapsulated within, usually parasitic upon, the body of the society as a whole. However, in the industrializing societies, the city had emerged from its encapsulated state and come to provide the economic, cultural and political framework of the whole society. Marxists saw this urban life as the expression of one of the central aspects of alienation brought about by this mode of production: the alienation of man from his fellows.
The second characteristic refers to the demographic transition. Industrialization means population growth. A population explosion seemed to be a clear concomitant of industrialization- although, whether population growth itself forced on economic development, or was a consequence of that development, was and remains a matter of dispute.
The decline of the community was one of the most commonly remarked and agreed upon features of the emerging industrial society. There was a shift from community-based interaction (gemeinschaft) to association/contract-based interaction (gesellschaft).
There was also a specialization in the division of labour. According to Spencer and Durkheim, the division of labour was a process of great antiquity and long duration which was inherent and progressive for the growth of society. Both thought that there came a point- and that point had reached in the industrial society- when the phenomenon achieved such dimension in scope and volume that it introduced a new principle of order into the society. The high degree of division of labour and the strict and close...
References: Aron, R. 1972. Eighteen lectures on Industrial Society. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, chs. 5,6,7.
Kumar, K. 1973. Prophecy and progress. London: allen lane. Chs. 2,3,4
Ramaswamy E.A. and U. Ramaswamy. 1981. Industry and Labour. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Ch. 3
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