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Word Count: 1,306
The rationalisation process is the practical application of knowledge to achieve a desired end It leads to efficiency coordination and control over both the physical and the social environment It is the guiding principle behind bureaucracy and the increasing division of labour It has led to the unprecedented increase in both the production and distribution of goods and services It is also associated with secularisation depersonalisation and oppressive routine Increasingly human behaviour is guided by observation experiment and reason to master the natural and social environment to achieve a desired end Webers general theory of rationalisation of which bureaucratic evolution is but a particular case refers to increasing human mastery over the natural and social environment In turn these changes in social structure have changed human character through changing values philosophies and beliefs Such superstructural norms and values as individualism efficiency self-discipline materialism and calculability have been encouraged by the bureaucratic process Bureaucracy and rationalisation were rapidly replacing all other forms of organisation and thought Beginning to form a stranglehold on all sectors of Western society Denying the possibility of developmental laws in sociology Weber essentially presented rationalisation as the master trend of Western capitalist society Rationalisation is the process whereby every area of human relationships is subject to calculation and administration While Marxists have noted the prominence of rational calculation in factory discipline and the labour process Weber detected rationalisation in all social spheres - politics religion economic organisation university administration the laboratory and even musical notation Webers sociology as a whole is characterised by a metaphysical pathos whereby the process of rationalisation eventually converted capitalist society into a meaningless iron cage For Weber rationalisation involved in economic organisation the organisation of the factory by the bureaucratic means and the calculation of profit by systematic accounting procedures in moral behaviour a greater emphasis on discipline and training in society as a whole the spread of bureaucracy state control and
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