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Is technology contributing to alienation in the workplace in
Transcript of Is technology contributing to alienation in the workplace in
Within contemporary society, technology is contributing to alienation in the workforce by decreasing jobs, diminishing human communication (social alienation) and deskilling, this is best explained through the theories of Henry Ford (Fordism), Braveman and Robert Blauner.
SCS110 Task 2 - Presentation of Essay Plan
by Mignon Tonsing
Is technology contributing to alienation in the workplace in contemporary society?
PARAGRAPH 1: Decreasing jobs
DIMINISHING human COMMUNICATION
The division of labour had resulted in alienation by the control and appropriation to the products being produced (Kellner 2002).
Some would argue that technology will create more jobs than it destroys, as the business will expand and more job opportunities will become available (Brooks 1983).
It is said that the jobs that are going away aren't coming back. The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyse vast amounts of data faster than humans (Holloway 1997) .
However software that runs computers and other machines have become more sophisticated and powerful and are now more powerful and capable of doing more efficient tasks that humans have always done (Blauner 1964).
While not all job losses are to be blamed onto technology some American employers had lost their technological edge to foreign companies who have heavy manufacturing companies (Holloway 1997).
The use of automated systems in workplaces will mean that manual labour will be cut down, which would only benefit the business owner, though this would cause the loss of jobs to many employees.
Because of the technological boundaries the issue of communication is heightened, as it declines teamwork, interaction with other colleagues or customers.
Although there are video conferencing that seem to provide the more personal communication in workplace, it also threatens to complete the illusion of the virtual office space. Thus leaving few opportunities for workers to leave their working space to interact with each other and their relationships deteriorate and they are left with the feeling of isolation. Most industries are designed and monitored with the goal of maximizing worker productivity, even to the extent in which employee interaction and staff lounges are initially avoided and discouraged (Ausuebel 2013).
In the workplace interpersonal communication is important for building workplace relationships, this interaction is killed by technology. Employees tend to become more reserved and self-centered as they are buried in their work, which can in some cases cause harm to the business (Ausuebel 2013).
Sociologist Robert Blauner (1964) has found that there the most extreme alienation are on the assembly production lines of automobile industries, where workers on the line have no control over the pace of the work and there is no need for independent thought or judgement. Only few workers are required to monitor the advanced machinery and the interpersonal communication between the workers are lost.
In the workplace interpersonal communication is important for building workplace relationships, this interaction is killed by technology. Employees tend to become more reserved and self-centred as they are buried in their work, which can in some cases cause harm to the business.
Most employers need necessary skills in the terms of the imperative to compete in global economy.
Deskilling occurs when traditional skills are replaced by jobs that require few skills by the workforce.
Deskilling is also related to Fordism which is the idea of mass consumption and the changes of working condition of workers over time. Also Braveman (1974) explains how employers will use technology to deskill and control their workforce hence increasing alienation.
Key Findings on Job Decrease due to technology:
Over the past 50 years, technology has dramatically reduced the number of jobs in manufacturing, as robots and other machines controlled by computers make fewer mistakes than humans and work faster (Ausuebel 2013).
Technology is also being acquired by every industry that employees people.
Technology is also replacing workers in developed countries regardless of their politics, policies and laws (Ausuebel 2013).
Most jobs that were lost were in middle-paying industries, these jobs then can’t be returned because the new jobs that are being created aren’t middle class paying jobs or for cheap labour (Greyer 1972).
Most companies use technology to communicate with one another, though it its decreasing the human communication between co-workers and managers.
Notes for Essay:
- Find statistics- back up
- Add more information
- Change third topic in thesis
Ablett, P 2014, Sociology: an introduction to sociology SCS110, 2nd edn, Pearson Australia, Sydney.
Ausuebel, J 2013, ‘ Loss of middle-class jobs compounded by tech advances’, MSN News, 23 January, viewed 5 September 2014, <http://news.msn.com/us/loss-of-middle-class-jobs-compounded-by-tech-advances>.
Caplan, S E 2006, ‘Problematic Internet use in the Workplace’, in M Anadarajan, T S H Teo & C A Simmers (eds), The Internet and Workplace Transformation, Armonk, New York, viewed 6 September 2014. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/unisouthernqld/Doc?id=10178079&ppg=1>
Geyer, R. F. 1972. Bibliography: Alienation. Amsterdam: Netherlands University Joint Society Cent, 2nd edn, IOS Press, Amsterdam.
Holloway, J 1997, ‘A note on alienation’, Lost texts of Critical Marxism
Wallace, M 1982, ‘Work and Occupations’, Brave new workplace: technology and work in the new economy, vol.15, no. 4, pp. 363-392.
Milkman, R & Pullman, C 1991, ‘Work and Occupations’, Technological change in an auto assembly plant: the impact on workers tasks and skills, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 127-147.
Vallas, S 1988, ‘Work and Occupations’, New technology, job content and worker alienation: a test of two rival perspectives, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 149-177.
Vallas, S & Yarrow, M 1982, ‘Work and Occupations’, Advanced technology and worker alienation, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 126-142.
Therefore, technology is contributing to alienation in the workforce by diminishing the jobs and deskilling jobs, and workers are affected by the loss of communication between each other.