Industrial Economies

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Industrial Economies

Industrialization brings sweeping changes _to the system of production and distribution of good\ and services. Drawing on new forms of energy (such "';;steam.
gasoline. and electricity) and machine technology. factories  proliferate as the primary means of producing goods. Most workers engage in secondary sector production- the processing of raw materials (from roe primary sector) into finished goods. For exarnple, steelworkers proces~ metal ore; autoworkers then c onvert the ore into automobiles, trucks. and buses. In industrial economies. work becomes specialized and repetitive.  activities become bureaucratically organized.and workers primarily work with machines instead of  with one another.Mass production results in larger surpluses that benefit some people and organizations but not others. Goods and services become more unequally distributed because some people can Alford anything they want and others can afford very little. Nauons engaging primarily in secondary sector production also have some primary sector production. but they rely on less-industrialized nations for the raw materials from which to make many  products. In sum. the typical characteristics of industrial  include the following:

1. New forms of energy mechanization, and the growth of the factory system. With the introduction of the steam engine and steam-powered machines. work becomes
centered in factories, which are viewed as separate and distinct spheres from the home and the earlier collage industries that had been located in the home.

2. Increased division of labor and specialization among workers. With industrialization. people carry out a wider diversity of jobs which have different but integrated activities that contribute to the production of specific goods.

3. Universal application of scientific methods to problem solving and profit making. Scientific knowledge  makes the assembly line and mass production (discussed later) possible. New technologies allow the transformation of raw materials into goods that can be sold as commodities at a far greater cost than the value of the raw materials.

4. Introduction of wage labor, time discipline; and workers' deferred gratification. In industrial economies. workers are employees. Managers. supervisors, or owners determine what days people will work and how many hours per day they will be required to be at the work site. Workers typically do not have control over what time they are supposed to be at work or what time they leave at the end of the workday.
As a result. workers are expected to engage in deferred gratification. meaning that they are to toil diligently at work and wait until they are on "their own time- before pursuing personal pleasures or recreational activities.

5. Strengthening of bureaucratic organizational structure. To develop the most efficient workplace. it is necessary to implement and enforce rules. policies. and procedures. thus requiring the creation of a well-defined bureaucratic organizational structure (see Chapter C "Groups and Organizations"). Ultimately.
the goal is to make the workplace more efficient and more profitable for owners and upper level managers.

1929) was a leading critic of U.S. industrialism. According to Veblen (1967/1899). those who got wealthy  from industrialization often engaged in conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure. In The Theory of the Leisure  lass (1967/1899). Veblen stated that the idle rich. who made their vast sums of money through ownership of the factories and from the toil and sweat of workers. represented a conspicuously. consuming, parasitic leisure class. For Veblen. conspicuous consumption is the ostentatious display of symbols of wealth. such as owning numerous mansions and expensive works of art. wearing extravagant jewelry and  clothing. or otherwise flaunting the trappings of great wealth. Veblen believed that conspicuous consumption also occurs when rich people participate in wasteful and highly visible leisure activities such as casino gambling or sporting events that require costly gear or excessive travel expenses (such as going on a safari
in Africa). ff Veblen were alive t day. do you think he might modify his theoretical perspective on conspicuous consumption to incorporate the spending habits of
some high-tech entrepreneurs, whose wealth is linked to the postindustrial economy?