Tags: corporations, organizations/occupations/work, theory, weber, alienation, authority, bureaucracy, rationalization, white-collar, subtitles/CC, 06 to 10 minsYear: 1999
Access: Extended clip no online access; (short 2:11 clip available at MovieClips
)Summary: While the entire Office Space film is
a great satire on bureaucracy and office work, this excerpt (on DVD begin at 0:30; end at 6:50; shorter clip available above) is particularly good for demonstrating Weber's concept of bureaucracy. It is also super funny. This clip specifically conveys key dimensions of bureaucracy: functions and roles organized by rules; positions organized in a hierarchy; administrative acts, decisions, and rules communicated through written documents; division of positions based on competencies; those in authority have greater pay and social status compared with those they manage; and positions within the bureaucracy are not dependent on an individual. Weber viewed bureaucracy as essential to industrial capitalism, but noted that the rationality of bureaucratic workplaces often turn us into "specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart." Like Lumberg in the clip above, the rationalized organization of the contemporary workplace (and life more generally), can rule over us like an "iron cage." As one watches the clip, you may want to consider how the workplace depicted in this clip does or does not match up to Weber's ideal-typical bureaucracy, and what are its consequences on workers and everyone throughout society?Submitted By
: Paul Dean
, political economy
, social mvmts/social change/resistance
, culture industry, 21 to 60 minsYear
: This video is an interview and commentary with scholar/activist Naomi Klein based on her book No Logo
. Using hundreds of media examples, No logo
shows how the commercial takeover of public space, destruction of consumer choice, and replacement of real jobs with temporary work (the dynamics of corporate globalization) impact everyone, everywhere. It also draws attention to the resistance arising globally to challenge the hegemony of brands. The video begins by focusing on consumerism, and moves to globalization later in the film.Submitted By
: Paul Dean
Tags: marketing/brands, capitalism, commodification, consumption/consumerism, corporations, culture industry, subtitles/CC, 00 to 05 minsYear: 1999
Access: No online accessSummary: Use of 2 separate
scenes to create a familiar, and highly interesting dialogue about consumers and the culture industry (begin/end 4:45-5:40; 29:06-31:15). The scenes include (Edward Norton) discussion of Ikea, and his conversation with Tylder Durden (Brad Pitt) about consumption and social control. When I used it in class, I ended with Durden's quote "The things you own end up owning you," which facilitated very lively and interesting class discussion.Submitted By
: Paul Dean
Tags: capitalism, class, corporations, globalization, government/the state, marx/marxism, political economy, capitalist, internal contradiction, labor, 11 to 20 minsYear: 2010
Access: GOOD BlogSummary: The GOOD Blog describes the video as "another of those fantastic RSAnimate videos from London's Royal Society for the Arts, the Marxist sociologist David Harvey explains how the 'internal contradictions of capital accumulation,' not human nature or faulty institutions, are the actual root cause of the recent financial collapse (along with a host of other economic crises)." The clip would work well in a class grappling with Marxism and the continuing relevance and application of Marxist theory. In my view, the clip is particularly useful when attempting to broaden the discussion to the way capitalism works on a global scale.
The clip can be used in conjunction with Harvey's new book, The Enigma of Capital: and the Crisis of Capitalism
, and a fifteen minute audio interview
he recently gave to Wisconsin Public Radio about the causes of the financial crises.
Harvey's argument dovetails nicely with Mark Blyth's argument
about class politics and the true meaning of "austerity," which is also posted on The Sociological Cinema
Submitted By: Lester Andrist
Tags: capitalism, corporations, globalization, inequality, political economy, social mvmts/social change/resistance, subtitles/CC, 21 to 60 mins
Access: No Online Access
Summary: This is a documentary by the University of Hawaii that introduces globalization through interviews with a variety of people with diverse backgrounds and points of views on what globalization is about. Questions about globalization are addressed, such as: 'What is it?'; 'When did it begin?'; 'Who is in Charge?'; 'Who is Resisting?'; 'What are they Protesting?'; 'Who wins and who loses?'; 'What's Good about Globalization?'; 'What are the challenges facing globalization?'; and 'Can We Change Globalization?'
Added By: Paul Dean
Tags: corporations, economic sociology, globalization, government/the state, social mvmts/social change/resistance, political economy, capitalism, democracy, power elite, privatization, 00 to 05 mins
Access: YouTubeSummary: This excerpt from the documentary The Corporation explores the relationship between corporations and government. It shows CEOs and business leaders stating that corporations have attained unusual power in contemporary society, documents high level cooperation between corporations and intelligence agencies ("how the industry and government are consulting with each other and working with each other"), and shows this cooperation at an international free trade meeting where protesters are gassed outside. The clip convincingly illustrates Mills' power elite, where 2 out of the 3 top institutions (corporations and federal governments) are believed to share the same assumptions about society, come from similar origins, and work together to achieve their common interests. They are inside a protected area making the decisions affecting society, while mass society remains physically and politically separate with little control over the decisions made that affect their lives. The clip also works well with William Domhoff's Who Rules America?. The YouTube clip is 8:58, but I used only the first 5:00.
Submitted By: Paul Dean