The Human Element in Industrialization: A Hypothetical Case Study of Ecuadorean Indians

The Human Element in Industrialization: A Hypothetical Case Study of Ecuadorean Indians

The Human Element in Industrialization: A Hypothetical Case Study of Ecuadorean Indians

The Human Element in Industrialization: A Hypothetical Case Study of Ecuadorean Indians

Excerpt

Industrialization has come to be the watchword of the era which opened with the second World War. It expresses hopes, intentions, programs, plans--and also apprehensions--as well as incipient developments, all centering in countries and areas of the world whose people up to now have remained largely unaffected by the methods and organization of production that were ushered in by the Industrial Revolution some one hundred and fifty years ago. To extend this "revolution" within and, indeed, beyond the confines of the Western world and to transform the economies of "backward" or "underdeveloped" countries by introducing modern, rationalized, power-mechanized mass-production methods in combination with modern factory organization--that is the meaning of industrialization.

Industrialization, so understood, is only one, though very important, phase in economic development. In seeking to increase, improve, and diversify productive capacities and to raise levels and standards of living, industrialization and economic development have many aspects in common. Yet, considered by itself, industrialization is the more radical process. It is not only an "increase of manufacturing and other 'secondary' production,' nor is it limited to introducing "better techniques," "installing more and better capital equipment," or to merely "raising . . . the particular skills of labor" (Staley 1944:6). Industrialization also means a qualitative change of an economy, a frequently fundamental alteration of existing skills, and the introduction of entirely new techniques in, and organization of, productive work. If industrialism is understood as that state of affairs under which a sizable part of a given population derives its living mainly and directly from employment in manufacturing industry, industrialization means transformation of nonindustrial people into industrial workers.

The present study is concerned with the implications of this process of transforming peasants and herders, traders and carriers, craftsmen and servants, the "hewers of wood and the drawers of water," into industrial employables and with their induction into the industrial production system. It intends to furnish a systematic statement of the specifically human problems arising in the early stages of industrialization and a conspectus of the interpersonal and cultural problems faced by incipient industrialism; to lay down a schema of inquiry of what--and particularly who--is involved in industrialization and to point out factors facilitating or inhibiting this process among nonindustrial peoples; and to present a system of orientation toward the study of industrialization prospects and possibilities. The topic of inquiry, broadly stated, is the confrontation of the human factor with the first concrete beginning of industrialization.

During and immediately following World War II, the propositions for industrialization became increasingly articulate. There is now hardly a country or area for which at least a measure of industrialization has not been slated. The proposals for industrialization as part of economic . . .

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