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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Automation and Society

Automation and Society


Automation and Societyt

Automation related with machines is the feature of modern industrial society which displaces rather than replaces human labour and skill to maintenance, planning, distribution and ancillary work. Nowdays computer has been added in the field of automation with all its qualities. With the aid of computers tool production task can be designed, constructed and redesigned quickly. Fast development has taken place in the design of industrial robots to perform large number of functions performed earlier by human beings. A lot of programmes have been developed in computers which make every kind of calculation easy. These programmes are the example of what is known as Artificial Intelligence –the programming of computers so that they behave in ways that we could call intelligence if they were people.

Automation will bring complexity in social life where social distance among the people would increase, isolation would become more intense and man would be likely lonely crowd. The roles of norms and values would decrease as interaction among the people would lessen creating problem in society. The facilities like INTERNET and satellite programmes have increased interaction among people sitting at distant places but at the same time helped in the increase of crime and pornography which are attacks on norms and values. More automation would bring complexity in human society which would bring changes in the cultural patterns and it will also widen gap between developed and developing societies.

Robert Blauner views that alienation is maximum with mass production industry based on mechanized assembly line technology. Alienation results in the growth of hostility between the workers and management and proliferation of trade unions.Blauner argue that automation of industries will eliminate such hostilities and all forms of alienation. Coercive control of the management will be gone and cooperation and consultation will take its place. Trade Unions will become loyal to the management. The workers will increasingly become white collar workers. Serge Mallet criticized Blauner's views although he says that integration of workers in the factory will take place with the onslaught of automation. Mallet argues that this will not result in the integration of workers into the capitalist society. Since the workers in automated industry have greater control over the forces of production, they will tend to question the authority of the management which will result in the conflict of interest between them. This will strengthen trade union activities and make ways for a class struggle.


  • Industrialization and Environment
  • Important Terms
    • Urban concentration
    • Urban decentralization
    • Urban Succession
    • Metropolis
    • Urban ecological processes
    • Gravity model
    • Region
    • Rank size rule
    • Urban renewal



Industrialization and Environment


Industrialization and Environment

The most severe impact is left on environment by the process of industrialization. Environment has been defined as the aggregate of all the external conditions and influences affecting organism. Every animal or plant species is the product of a lengthy process of evolution that makes the organism uniquely adapted to the environment that supports it. The environmental costs of industrialization are mind boggling. The huge quantities of pollutants solids, liquids and gaseous which are being let out in the air, water, land are investing the relationships between man and the nature with new complexities. Some of the statistics pertaining to environmental scenario are quite revealing. At present nearly 70% of the available water is polluted. Over 73 million days are lost annually due to water related diseases. About half a hectare of land is consumed every second. Life support systems inbuilt in the eco-system are being strained almost to the point of new return.

The drive for economic development has resulted in ecological harm. Extraction of minerals can be destructive as streams and rivers were diverted so that miners can pan the riverbeds for minerals. Fish and other resources are destroyed and erosion increase gently. Energy production can create other kinds of damage as well. Oil spills destroy marine life. Power plants burning coal and gas produce pollution along with electricity. A number of hazards are posed by nuclear power. Nuclear power plants raise the temperature of nearby rivers. Concern about the dangers of nuclear energy has focused public attention on the general problem of radiation as they are harmful to human beings.

Radiation can also alter the structure of genes in the human bodies. Exhaustion of natural resources is another problem faced by the industrialized societies. We are using up natural resources at an uneven pace. US alone consume a third of the world's energy more than 60% of the natural gas, more than 40% of the aluminium and coal,1/3 of the Petroleum,copper,quarter of gold,iron,lead,silver and zinc.


  • Important Terms
    • Urban concentration
    • Urban decentralization
    • Urban Succession
    • Metropolis
    • Urban ecological processes
    • Gravity model
    • Region
    • Rank size rule
    • Urban renewal

Industrialization and Environment Important Terms


Industrialization and Environment Important Terms

Urban concentration: Tendency of people and activities to cluster together

Urban decentralization: Flight of people and activities from the centre of the city.

Urban Succession: Completed replacement of one kind of people or activity by another.

Metropolis: An urban area including a city and its surrounding suburbs.

Urban ecological processes: It is process whereby spatial distribution of people and activities change.

Gravity model: The number of migrants or other persons attracted to a place is directly related to the population size of the destination and inversely related to the distance between the origin and destination


Region: The area that is remarkably different from other areas in terms of some specific criteria.

Rank size rule: The regularity in the population sizes of cities in a country or region such that the largest city is twice the size of second largest city, three times to the third largest city, four times to the fourth largest urban centre and so on. This rule was given by Zipf.

Urban renewal: The projects for the removal of deteriorated sections from the city to make it more attractive for business activities are called urban renewal. It includes removal of the poor, slum dwellers on racial and class lines. The new housing is out of the financial reach of the poor. Urban renewal therefore is often unfair irrespective of whatever the measures undertaken for the rehabilitation of the displaced people.

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