Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Wilbert E. Moore

Capitalism and Industrialism

The cultural values and social institutions that converge in their bearing on modern industrialism may be classified under the following heads: (1) general features of capitalism and industrialism, (2) science, (3) technology, (4) individualism, and (5) rational division of labor. Since these have been closely interrelated in fact, the lines of distinction between them are in particular cases likely to be a little artificial. This is more especially true since it is possible to expand the connotations of "capitalism" or "individualism" or "division of labor" to include all the others. Nevertheless, we may make some reasonable separation, and proceed from the characteristics of capitalism to those of its close relatives. . . .

The system of ideas and principles that underlay factory production and complex industrial organization had--and continues to have--a number of distinct but interrelated elements. In the most general terms these may be grouped under two principal characteristics: (1) free labor and (2) a free market. . . .

The free labor characteristic of capitalism involves (a) emphasis upon the acquisitive individual, (b) individual technical efficiency, and (c) private ownership of productive goods. . . . In the most general terms a free market is one that is not positively regulated or manipulated by any social agency or organization, political or otherwise, but that is rather "determined" by the impartial operation of unregulated "supply and demand." Public regulation is presumably minimal and indirect, designed primarily to keep the market free. Without undue elaboration at this point, this simply means that individual consumers "come to the market" willing to buy at certain prices for certain qualities, whereas separate and discrete producers are willing to sell goods of a certain quality at a certain price. . . .

The free market of industrial capitalism involves (a) free competition and impersonal judgment of efficiency; (b) freedom of contract and equality of opportunity; (c) commercialization and transferability of all property, including rational capital accounting, monetary exchange and paper symbols of ownership, and fluidity of capital; finally, (d) the whole presupposes certainty and predictability in the operation of the law. . . .

Science and Technology

An outstanding characteristic of modern industry is its widespread use of exact knowledge. Science and industrial production are separate yet related aspects of our civilization. . . .

Technology, simply defined, is the application of scientific principles for the achievement of particular concrete ends, taken as given. These


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 618

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?