Karl Mannheim's Conception of Self-Rationalization

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Karl Mannheim's Conception of Self-Rationalization "Karl Mannheim's conception of self-rationalization is useful in understanding what is one of the central social psychological processes of organizational life. In a world where appearances - in the broadest sense - mean everything, the wise and ambitious person learns to cultivate assiduously the proper, prescribed modes of appearing. He dispassionately takes stock of himself, treating himself as an object. He analyses his strengths and weaknesses, and decides what he needs to change in order to survive and flourish in his organization. And then he systematically undertakes a program to reconstruct his image. Self-rationalization curiously parallels the methodical subjection of self to God's will that the old Protestant Ethic counseled; the difference, of course, is that one acquires not moral virtues but a masterful ability to manipulate personae."(Berger p.263)) Like Mannheim, Ritzer also analyzes society but on a more macro level. Ritzer describes the McDonaldised society as a system of "iron cages" in which all institutions come to be dominated by the same principle. The fundamental problem with McDonaldised systems is that it's other people in the system structuring our lives for us, rather than us structuring our lives for ourselves. "You don't want a creative person clerk at the counter - that's why they are scripted. You don't want a creative hamburger cook - you want somebody who simply follows routines or follows scripts." That's the reason why it is dehumanizing." (Ritzer) Humanity is essentially creative and if you develop these systems that are constraining and controlling people they can't be creative, they can't be human. "The idea is to turn humans into h... ... middle of paper ... ...es his downfall and ultimately his death. Ritzer argues that we have lost touch with our traditional beliefs in that fact that postmodern ways such as McDonalization has ruined our way of life. Okonkwo would have agreed with Rizer in that aspect that Christianity like McDonalization has corrupted our society. Lasch would also be in agreement with Okonkwo in the fact that Lasch believes that the New Elites have corrupted society as we see it. The older generation of Elites were good people who gave back to their community and created a bond of friendship and respect with the people. Okonkwo would agree that there culture has changed in the face of new power with in his African society. Ritzer, Okonkwo and Lasch would all agree on a sense of agency. Agency being a reluctance to change. All three people are over whelmed by social change within their own society.

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