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A small social group whose members share personal and lasting relationships. These people spend a great deal of time together, engage in a wide range of activities, and feel that they know one another pretty well. An end in itself (not a means to an end). Our friends are unique and not replaceable.
A large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity. Involve weak emotional ties, exist for a short period of time, tend to be impersonal. A means to an end.
A web of weak social ties. Technology has generated a global network of unprecedented size in the form of the Internet.
Three types of Formal Organizations
- Utilitarian Organization- anyone who works for income belongs to one
- Normative Organization- join to pursue some goal they think is morally worthwhile
- Coercive Organization- forced to join these organizations as a form of punishment or treatment
The "Great Bureaucracy"
An organizational model rationally designed to perform tasks efficiently. Characteristics are: specialization, training, rules, hierarchy of office, technical competence through evaluation, impersonality, formal written communications/instrucions, recognition is merit-based. The system could not exist without the organizational capacity to keep track of everything. The great bureaucracy developed because of overall progression of society (growing population=greater needs,desire to become more efficient). Consequences include: dehumanization, alientation, efficiency becomes inefficient(too many subgroups, people get confused), ritualism creates "red tape"
Three Challenges of Formal Organizations
- Race and Gender: By excluding women and minorities from the workplace you ignore more than half the population, possibly decreasing efficiency- this isn't based on competence like it should be.
- The Japanese Work Organization: (rising competition from abroad)
- The Changing Nature of Work: service and technology are now important, rather than production
"McDonaldization" of Society, what is it?
Refers to the extent to which we have adopted the principles of fast food to all aspects of our life, including- Efficiency (what is fast is necessarily good), calculability(quantification rather than quality), uniformity and predictability/standardization, control through automation