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CONTEXT: Although premarital partnerships—whether or not they involve sex—are widely discouraged in

India, some youth do form such partnerships. It is important to know more about the prevalence of these
METHODS: Data are drawn from a study of 15–24-year-old girls in and around Kolkata, WB.
RESULTS: Among young women, 100% had had a romantic relationship, 40-45% had engaged
in some form of physical intimacy and 16–18% had had sex. Exposure to alcohol, drugs or
pornographic films and having more frequent interaction with peers were positively associated with
romantic and sexual relationships for young women. Educational attainment was negatively associated with
both types of relationships for young women. Closeness to parents was negatively associated with
relationships only for young women.
CONCLUSIONS: Government interventions are necessary to ensure that young women are fully informed
and equipped to make safe choices and negotiate wanted outcomes, while positively influencing their peer
networks; encourage closer interaction between parents and children; and be tailored to the different
circumstances and experiences of young women.
Premarital partnerships among youth, including those not involving sexual intercourse, are widely
discouraged in India; yet, despite strict sanctions, including parental violence, loss of reputation and swiftly
arranged marriages to someone other than the romantic partner, up to 10% of young women form such
partnerships. A review of the literature suggests that little is known about the nature of these relationships,
such as whether they are romantic or casual, or how individual, family, peer and community factors are
associated with partnership formation.
Evidence on factors associated with sexual relations among unmarried youth is sparse. Indeed, a global
review concludes that the identification of factors that inhibit or facilitate safe sexual behavior among young
women and men is an urgent issue for research.7
The research that is available, which comes largely from developed countries, has identified a number of
factors associated with risky or safe premarital sexual relations. Key factors relating to the individual that
appear protective against unsafe sex include skills in problem solving, decision making and negotiation, and
feelings of self-worth;8–11 on the other hand, substance use and exposure to pornographic materials have
been found to be inversely associated with safe sex.10,12
The literature suggests, however, that although individual attributes are important in preventing negative
outcomes, a supportive environment—particularly a young person's family, school and peer network—is
equally important.8 Youths' behaviors are also known to be influenced by peer-related factors, such as the
norms and behaviors of their friends.9,10,12,13 Although peer norms and peer pressure may be important
factors underlying early sexual initiation,9,10 it is also likely that larger peer groups and higher levels of social
interaction lead to greater opportunities for youth to form romantic partnerships. Finally, among family
and household factors, poverty clearly exacerbates the risks that youth face; it constrains their ability to
engage in safe sexual relationships and is associated with adverse sexual and reproductive health
outcomes.14 Key family factors observed to be protective against unsafe premarital sex include living with
both parents, having a father present in the household, appropriate monitoring and supervision, parent-
child communication and connection, and the absence of family violence.9,10,13–17
In India, studies that address correlates are rare. Findings from a study of college students in Mumbai, for
example, found that individual factors—notably access to resources, attitudes favorable to premarital sex
and exposure to pornographic materials—were associated with premarital sex.4 At the family level,
individuals who perceived their family environment to be restrictive or uncomfortable were more likely
than others to report sexual experience. Findings from a qualitative study of youth in a Delhi slum setting
describe how, despite strict parental supervision, girls found ways of forming romantic friendships and
engaging in sexual relations.2 Finally, frequency of peer interaction was positively associated with sexual
Although the existing research has focused on the prevalence of premarital sexual behavior among young
girls, we hypothesize that in a highly restricted social setting such as India's, any partnership—regardless of
whether it involves sex—may be influenced by a similar set of factors. Our conceptual framework, which is
derived from the available literature, postulates that whether a romantic partnership is formed and whether
that partnership involves physical intimacy or sex depends on three sets of factors: individual attributes,
such as schooling, economic activity status and agency; familial attributes, such as parent-child
communication, parental restrictiveness and family violence; and peer attributes, including frequency and
depth of peer interaction and youth norms.
Study Setting
The study was conducted in Kolkata and some areas of (N) 24 Parganas District of West Bengal. West
Bengal is moderately developed and provides youth with a range of educational and employment
opportunities.18 Educational attainment levels are considerably higher in West Bengal than in India overall,
and gender differences in enrollment are considerably narrower. Furthermore, marriage occurs during
adolescence for large proportions of young women.
Study Design
The study consisted of three phases: a presurvey qualitative phase; a survey of unmarried young women;
and postsurvey in-depth interviews with selected survey respondents.24,25 The presurvey qualitative phase—
conducted in 2003—comprised 13 focus group discussions with youth;21 interviews with local health care
providers, teachers and other individuals familiar with youth; and 13 in-depth interviews with selected
youth. This phase was intended to inform the development of the survey instrument and gain insight into
the romantic and sexual experiences of youth. Post survey in-depth interviews, 149 in all, were conducted
with married and unmarried youth reporting various romantic and sexual experiences in the survey. These
interviews were intended to enable researchers to better understand the nature of these relationships. In
this article, we restrict our discussion to unmarried participants and focus largely on survey findings, using
textual data to provide insight into survey findings.
In light of the expected gender differences in sexual experience, the possible refusal and nonresponse to
sensitive questions related to sexual experiences and a probable design effect that could have biased the
randomness of the sample, our sampling strategy called for a sample size of 2,150 and 950 unmarried
young women and men, respectively, from each site. An initial house-listing exercise identified all
households in each site with youth aged 15–24: A total of 21,179 rural households and 19,336 urban slum
households, containing populations of 99,237 and 96,680 people, respectively, were enumerated. We
prepared lists of all unmarried and married youth. These lists contained 3,646 females and 7,352 males in
the rural setting and 4,169 and 8,191, respectively, in the urban setting. Samples were drawn randomly from
each list; if a household contained more than one eligible male, only one was selected at random; if more
than one eligible female was identified, likewise, only one was selected at random. More than 80% of each
of the four sample targets of unmarried females and males in rural and urban slum settings was reached.
Conducted in 2004–2005, the survey used closed-ended questions to explore in detail the romantic
partnerships in which young people engage. Questions were posed in terminology identified in the
presurvey qualitative phase as language used by young people. Efforts were made to ensure that the
interviews were conducted in private and in locations that were convenient for the respondents; interviews
typically lasted an hour.
The reliability of survey self-reports on sexual experience is a matter of concern, and we had no way of
assessing internal or external consistency of data.26 Thus, we undertook several measures to reduce
potential underreporting and made special efforts to build rapport between the study communities and the
study team. For instance, emphasis was placed on the selection and training of interviewers: Interviewers,
who were generally in their 20s, underwent an intensive three-week training during which they not only
became familiar with the questionnaire and with sexual and reproductive matters relating to youth, but also
learned how to build rapport with their respondents and overcome any discomfort they had about
discussing sexual matters.
The survey instrument was informed by findings from the presurvey qualitative phase as well as other
instruments relating to youth behaviors,27–31 and underwent several revisions following pretesting.
Questions on the nature of relationships proceeded in a gradual way from less to more sensitive;
experiences (e.g., holding hands, kissing and sex) in romantic relationships were asked separately from
other experiences—sex that was forced, with a same-sex partner, or, for young men, with a sex worker or
married woman. At the conclusion of the interview, respondents were asked a single question: "Have you
ever had sex with anyone?" The respondents were asked to indicate their answer on a blank card and place
the card in an envelope, which they sealed and returned to the interviewer; they were informed that the
principal investigators (but not the interviewers) would be able to link their responses in the face-to-face
interview with that reported in the sealed envelope24 Finally, textual data, drawn from presurvey focus
group discussions and key informant interviews, enabled researchers to corroborate the evidence presented
in survey data.
•Outcome measures. We included three key outcome indicators. The first measures whether or not
young people had ever had a romantic relationship. Those who reported a romantic opposite-sex
relationship were asked whether they had ever held hands, hugged, kissed on the lips or had sex with that
partner. Respondents were also asked whether they had experienced sex in other situations. Key indicators
included whether or not the respondent had ever had a premarital romantic relationship with a person of
the opposite sex, whether they had experienced any physical intimacy with a romantic partner and whether
they had engaged in sexual relations with a romantic partner or in a number of other situations.
•Individual characteristics. Key indicators included respondents' age, educational attainment and
economic activity, and their exposure to alcohol, drugs and pornographic films. In addition, youth were
asked a range of questions concerning their ability to have a voice in determining their own lives, including
such dimensions of agency as mobility and sense of self-worth. To measure mobility, we created an index
that summed the number of places out of a total of five—a local shop, a friend's house, a film or fair (mela),
a temple or mosque, and anywhere outside the neighborhood—young people said they could visit without
obtaining permission. Scores on this index ranged from 0 (for those who required permission to visit all five
places) to 5 (for those who could visit any of the five places without permission). Self-worth was measured
by two dichotomous variables: whether respondents felt that their opinions were respected by their family
and whether they found it easy to build new friendships.
•Peer influence and connections. We included four measures of peer influence and connections: an
index of youth norms regarding the acceptability of premarital sex in the urban neighborhood or village of
residence, membership in a social group, peer contact and peer support. The youth norm index was based
on youth agreement or disagreement with four statements: that it was all right for young men and women
to kiss, hug and touch each other; that there was nothing wrong with engaged couples having sex before
marriage; and that it was all right for young men and young women, respectively, to have sex before
marriage. Respondents were assigned a score of 1 if they agreed with the statement and zero if not.
To construct the youth norm index, we first summed responses of all individuals to the four statements
concerning the acceptability of premarital sex. We then calculated the average for each gender in each
village or urban block. Each respondent residing in a specific village or urban block was assigned the mean
value for males or females in that community; the index ranged from 0 to 4, with 0 signifying that youth in
a community considered premarital sex unacceptable in all four situations and 4 signifying that youth
considered it acceptable in all four situations.
We measured membership in a social group (mandal) by a dichotomous indicator. Peer contact was
measured by an index of the frequency of respondents' interaction with peers, ranging from 0 (never) to 3
(regularly). Finally, peer support was measured by an index of the extent to which respondents identified
peers as their most likely confidants on life issues. Youth were asked with whom (among a range of options
including peers, parents, siblings, extended kin, teachers and so on) they would be most likely to discuss
issues related to health, education, work, relationships with the opposite sex, menstruation (young women)
or nocturnal emission (young men), and family matters. A score of 1 was assigned for each of the six types
of issues for which peers were identified as the most likely confidants; thus, the index ranged from 0 to 6.
•Family influences. We included dichotomous measures of residence in a two-parent household,
observation or experience of family violence, paternal substance use and perceived parental strictness. In
addition, we constructed an index of parental support—identical to the index of peer support discussed
above—that summed how many times respondents identified a parent as their most likely confidant on six
types of life issues; the index ranged from 0 to 6. In addition, background characteristics of youth were
collected, including, for example, religion, housing amenities, household economic status and parental
educational attainment.
Data Analysis
We first calculated the proportions of young males and females in each setting (urban or rural) who
reported aspects of romantic and sexual partnerships, and the proportions reporting selected individual,
peer and family characteristics. In each case, t-tests were calculated to identify significant differences
between young women and men in each setting.
Finally, we conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify associations between selected
individual, peer and family factors and youths' relationship experience.† The first analysis examined
romantic partnerships of males and females with a member of the opposite sex. Because few young women
reported sexual intercourse, the second analysis focused on young women's experience of physical intimacy
with a romantic partner (defined as holding hands, hugging, kissing on the lips or sexual intercourse) or sex
with any other partner. In the third analysis, the dependent variable was young men's experience of sexual
intercourse with any partner (i.e., romantic partner, sex worker or other). Data were weighted to reflect the
rural-urban distribution of Pune District.
Respondent Characteristics
In all four groups, the vast majority (83–92%) of the young people who responded to questions on
partnerships were Hindu (Table 1). Economic status, as measured by the mean number of seven consumer
goods owned (TV, telephone, pressure cooker, mobile phone, bicycle, motorcycle or car and VCR), appears
to be similar across groups (2.7–3.3), although rural households typically possessed slightly fewer amenities
than urban households. A large majority of urban and rural youth (87–98%) reported that their households
had electricity, but a larger proportion of urban respondents than of rural respondents cooked with gas
(80–86% vs. 45–51%) or had access to piped or well water within the home (69–87% vs. 35–38%). In
contrast, a larger proportion of rural youth than of urban youth reported having toilet facilities in their
home (21–27% vs. 7–8%).
Partnerships and Sexual Relations
About one-third of urban males and females and one-fourth of rural males and females reported having
made or received a proposal of romantic partnership (Table 2, page 154). Within each setting, a larger
proportion of young men than of young women had made or received such proposals; however, the extent
to which proposals were accepted and the nature of subsequent relationships varied widely by the
respondent's gender and residence. In the urban setting, 24% of males and 8% of females reported ever
having had a romantic partner; the proportions in the rural setting were 17% and 5%. According to findings
from a life table analysis using Kaplan-Meier estimates that examined the probability of having spent time
alone with the partner by age 16 (not shown), 11% percent of urban males and 7% of rural males had done
so; the proportions among females were 6% and 4%.
Overall, 18% of urban males and 16% of rural males reported having had sexual intercourse, compared with
1% and 2% of females. When we probed about type of partner, 8–9% of young men and fewer than 1% of
females reported having had sex with a romantic partner. Some 9% and 3% of urban and rural young men,
respectively, had had other sexual experiences, including sex with another man, exchange or paid sex,
forced sex or sex with an older married woman; a very small proportion of young women (fewer than 1%)
reported forced sex, exchange sex or same-sex relations. Also, a small proportion of young men—
particularly in urban areas—who reported sex in the face-to-face interview reported sex with both a
girlfriend and at least one other partner. In addition, 3–5% of young men and 1–2% of young women
reported by sealed envelope (but not in their interview), that they had experienced sexual relations. Some
20–26% of young men and 4–6% of young women reported ever having experienced any kind of physical
intimacy with a romantic opposite-sex partner or sexual intercourse with anyone.
When we considered only respondents who had had a romantic partnership, 85% of young men and about
60% of young women reported having experienced any type of physical intimacy, including holding hands,
hugging, kissing or sex; smaller proportions had ever kissed or had sex (76–77% of males and 36–40% of
females) and still smaller proportions had had sex (37–49% of males and 6–13% of females). Young men
were typically 1–3 years older than their partners.
A smaller proportion of young men than of young women had entered their current relationship with
expectations of marriage. This finding was supported by data from in-depth interviews:
"No, not at all [did I want to marry her]. For time-pass, I got friendly with her."—19-year-old urban male
"I asked him if he would get married to me or not. He would only say yes.…When I would ask him anything,
he would say that when the time comes, we shall talk.…I would think that he did not want to get married to
me because whenever I would talk about it he would change the topic and if he wanted to get married to me,
he himself would have brought up the topic."—17-year-old rural female
Finally, although 82–85% of youth in a partnership reported that their peers were aware of the relationship,
only 30–49% said that their parents knew about it.
Individual, Peer and Family Factors
•Individual characteristics. On average, young men in the sample were older than young women (19
years vs. 17 years—Table 3). A large majority (73–81%) of young people had completed eight or more years
of school. In the 12 months preceding the survey, 64–67% of males had engaged in a wage-earning activity,
compared with 27–34% of females.
There was a large gender difference in mobility, with young males reporting greater freedom of movement
than young women (mobility index score, 3.0–3.2 vs. 1.6–1.7). Gender differences in indicators of self-
worth were mixed. For instance, 92–95% of males and 88–91% of females reported that their views were
respected by their family; however, confidence in one's ability to forge new friendships was reported by
greater proportions of females (30–31%) than of males (18–25%).
Finally, large gender differences were apparent in exposure to alcohol, drugs and pornographic films. Fifty-
seven percent of urban males and 41% of rural males reported having used alcohol or drugs, or having been
exposed to a pornographic film, compared with 2% and 1% of females, respectively.
•Peer influence and connections. Mean youth norm index scores were low among young men (0.6–0.7
—Table 4) and lower still among young women (0.1–0.2), indicating that norms about premarital sex
remain traditional overall. Large gender differences in aspects of young people's peer networks were
evident. A much smaller proportion of young women than of young men reported being a member of a
social group (4–5% vs. 44–56%), and young women reported having fewer friends than did young men
(averages of five and 15–19 friends, respectively). Furthermore, young women scored lower, on average,
than young men on the peer contact index (0.7–0.8 vs. 1.7–1.8) and peer support index (0.7–0.8 vs. 1.6–
1.7), suggesting that young women are in touch with and confide in their friends less frequently.
•Family and parental influences. At least 74% of youth resided in two-parent homes, and more than
90% lived with at least one parent (Table 5, page 156). On average, youth were better educated than their
parents: Whereas youth had completed 9–10 years of school, their fathers had had 5–6 years and their
mothers 2–3 years.
Clear gender differences were observed in youth perceptions of parental strictness, underlining the greater
permissiveness with which young males are socialized. Although 40–41% of young women reported their
parents to be strict, only 28–32% of males did so. This finding is reinforced by data from focus group
discussions. For example, an urban female said, "If we start a friendship with a boy, if he meets us
somewhere and if our parents see us talking then something might come to their minds… parents are really
very strict."
A sizeable minority of respondents depicted their family life as involving violence and substance use.
Overall, 12–19% of youth reported having witnessed their father beating their mother, with little difference
by gender; 8–15% of young women and 22–32% of young men reported having been beaten by a family
member, usually a parent. Some 28–45% of youth reported paternal substance use (mainly alcohol).
On average, young women scored higher than men on the index of family support (4.3–4.4 vs. 2.5–2.7);
however, both genders confided about more matters to family than to peers. The exception was problems in
relationships with the opposite sex: Some 45–63% of youth confided in peers about such matters, whereas
16–27% confided in parents. In addition, young men tended to confide more in peers about nocturnal
emission, whereas young women confided more in their mother about menstruation.
Partnership Progression: Correlates
In multivariate analyses, factors from all three levels—individual, peer and parental—were found to be
associated with romantic partnerships and physical intimacy for females; only individual and peer factors
were linked to sexual relations for males (Table 6, page 157). Several individual factors were associated with
partnership formation for both young women and young men. For example, age was positively associated
with the odds of having had a romantic partnership for females (odds ratio, 1.1) and of having had sex for
males (1.1); education was negatively associated with the odds of forming a romantic partnership or of
engaging in physical intimacy for females (odds ratio, 0.9 each), and of having sex for males (0.9). Exposure
to alcohol, drugs or pornographic films was positively associated with all outcomes, for both young men and
young women (3.5–5.7).
Differences by gender, however, were also apparent: Among young men but not young women, current
wage work was associated with having formed a romantic partnership (odds ratio, 1.5) and mobility was
associated with having experienced a sexual relationship (1.1). In contrast, women who perceived
themselves as being able to make friends easily had elevated odds of having had romantic and physical
relationships (1.6 for each); among men, this factor had only a marginally significant relationship with the
formation of romantic partnerships (1.4).
Of the peer-related factors, greater community-level acceptance of premarital sex was strongly associated
with romantic partnership formation for males and females, physical intimacy for females and sex for males
(odds ratios, 2.1–5.2), as was greater frequency of peer contact (1.3–1.6). The influence of other peer factors
was less consistent. Group membership was strongly associated with romantic partnership formation for
males (odds ratio 1.6); peer support was associated with physical intimacy for females (odds ratio 1.2).
Qualitative data confirmed that in the area of romantic and sexual relations, peers—particularly for young
men—offered support in many ways, ranging from providing space where a couple could meet to giving
advice on appropriate methods of contraception, as revealed in the following:
"We have friends with whom we discuss everything…. And having such friendships is necessary since we
discuss such things [romance, sex] only amongst friends. We never discuss such things with family
members."—focus group discussion, urban males
"[We had sex] there only—in my friend's house. She [the friend] used to wait outside or would go
somewhere." —in-depth interview, urban female, age 16
"My friends told me that if a condom is used then the girl does not get pregnant."—in-depth interview,
rural male, age 21
In contrast, family influences and connections were more likely to be associated with outcome measures for
young women than for young men. For example, young women who reported having a close relationship
with their parents had reduced odds of forming romantic relationships (odds ratio, 0.9), while those who
had witnessed their father beating their mother had elevated odds of forming such relationships (1.6).
Young women who had been beaten by their family were significantly more likely to form romantic (3.0)
and sexual (2.6) partnerships.
In focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, young women and some young men themselves made
the link between parental support and partnership formation. For example:
"Why does a boy or a girl go out? It is when there is no one at home who understands him or her.…Then
with whom should they share their problems? When he faces this problem, then he starts searching for a
solution [opposite sex friend] in the neighborhood."—focus group discussion, urban males
"Sometimes if in the family, someone is not getting love, or if every day the father comes home drunk…in
such situations one tends to find some support outside."—in-depth interview, urban female, age 23
In regard to parental monitoring, youth who reported parental strictness were no less likely than others to
report a relationship that included any physical intimacy (females) or to have engaged in sex (males).
Textual data suggest that opportunities do arise, despite strict supervision, for youth to find moments of
"I told her that whatever they do after marriage, I wanted to do it only once. In the beginning she did not
agree but afterwards she told me that on Saturday afternoon her family was going out. She told me that she
would be at home."—in-depth interview, rural male, age 20
"When I used to go to school he used to come behind me. Sometimes he used to meet me and tell me [where
to meet]. So I used to tell my parents I had class or some programme in school."—in-depth interview, 19-
year-old urban female
Our study builds on previous research and makes several new and important contributions to
understanding the levels and correlates of premarital relationships among youth. Our findings are
community-based and reiterate that even in this traditional setting, opportunities do exist for social mixing
between young men and women, and that expressions of interest in developing intimacy with the opposite
sex are not uncommon. Opportunities also exist for the formation of romantic partnerships among
unmarried youth, for physical intimacy (including sex) within such partnerships and for sex with romantic
and other partners. Overall, 16–18% of young men and 1–2% of young women reported having had sex—
levels that fall within the broad range reported in other smaller and less representative studies conducted in
In addition, our study adds to the limited body of research on the associations between individual, peer and
family factors and the formation of premarital romantic partnerships and engagement in premarital
physical intimacy or sex.4,8–17 Our findings, like those of previous research,4 suggest that age, education,
frequency of peer contact, positive attitudes toward premarital sex and exposure to alcohol, drugs or
pornographic films are indeed correlated with romantic or sexual experience for both young women and
young men.
Our data also show gender differences in correlates of premarital relationships. For young women,
romantic relationships were negatively associated with closeness to parents and positively associated with
having seen their father beat their mother. Young women who had been beaten by their families had
elevated risks of forming romantic and physically intimate relationships. These correlations did not appear
among young men.
Although peer influences were associated with increased odds of physical intimacy and sex among young
women and men, the associations tended to be stronger among young women. Peer support may enable
closely guarded young women to defy traditional norms, to exercise individual choice and to engage in
nonconformist behavior, whereas young men face fewer restrictions and therefore are less likely to require
peer support to engage in nonconformist—including sexual—behavior. Also, our data suggest that young
men's greater mobility and greater access to resources enable them to form romantic or sexual
relationships; in contrast, among young women, it is clearly those who express agency—in terms of the
ability to forge new friendships—who are able to overcome parental restrictions on mobility and form
Finally, our finding of a marginal, positive relationship between the strictness of socialization and
engagement in romantic partnerships and the lack of association with physical intimacy or sex suggests that
parental beliefs that strict supervision of children may inhibit their formation of romantic or sexual
relationships may be unfounded. On the other hand, as seen previously in the literature,2 closeness to
parents may discourage the early formation of romantic relationships for young women, while family
violence may raise the risk of all types of relationships.
Potential limitations of our study must be acknowledged. First, youth in our sample may have
underreported their romantic, physical and sexual experiences—a limitation observed in most studies of
this nature.7,26 Pune is a traditional setting, where powerful norms inhibit premarital friendships with the
opposite sex, whether they are platonic, romantic or sexual. In such a setting, relationships are usually
carried on secretly, and youth—particularly young females, who have more to lose than young males—may
be unwilling to disclose them. And although young males may have been more forthcoming than young
females in their reporting of romantic partnerships, they may have underreported their same-sex or
transactional sex experiences. We attempted to reduce underreporting by arranging the progression of
survey questions from less to more sensitive, and by giving respondents the opportunity to report sexual
behavior anonymously. Reporting in our study is consistent with that in other studies in India,1-6 few of
which extended their samples to youth at the lower end of the age spectrum (i.e., 15–16). Thus, although we
cannot rule out the underreporting of premarital experiences and possible measurement error, we believe
that they are unlikely to be of sufficient magnitude to compromise the validity of our findings.
A second potential limitation is the cross-sectional nature of our study and the resulting inability to infer
causation. Our study findings cannot be interpreted as evidence of the determinants of romantic
partnerships, physical intimacy or sexual relations; however, in some cases—notably parental factors—
temporal ordering rules out the possibility that causality could go in either direction. Qualitative evidence
strengthens the suggestion of a causal link between some of the associations observed in multivariate
analyses—for example, between family instability or closeness, the supportive role of parents and
engagement in romantic or physical relationships.
Program Implications
The declining age at puberty and the increasing age at marriage have created a growing period in which
young people may engage in premarital romantic and sexual relations. Likewise, evidence that large
proportions of youth remain in school for extended periods suggests that opportunities to spend time
together in acceptable spaces away from the watchful eyes of parents will increasingly present themselves.
The challenge is, therefore, for programs to ensure that young women and men are fully informed and
equipped to make safe choices and negotiate wanted outcomes. Sexuality education must be made
universal, and should address relationship issues as well as consent and safety from an early age in schools
and other settings in which young people congregate.
Our findings also highlight the importance of peer networks, which can have a positive or negative influence
on the safety and wantedness of young people's relationships. At present, it appears that the network plays
a role in enabling the establishment of romantic or sexual relations. Good sexuality education may enable
peers to play a role in ensuring that these are safe and wanted as well.
Also needed are efforts to ensure a supportive environment; programs need to address parental inhibitions
about discussing sexual matters with their children and encourage greater openness and interaction
between parents and children. Finally, gender disparities in the extent and correlates of premarital
partnership formation and experience of sexual relations argue against generic programming. They suggest
a need for sexuality education programs tailored to the different circumstances and experiences of young
women and men; and for programs that sensitize parents about more equitable socialization patterns and
ways of developing closer interaction with both daughters and sons.

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attributes, 2004, Child Development, 75(6):1832–1849.

9. Jessor R, Adolescence as a critical life stage, paper presented at the WHO/UNICEF Adolescence
Consultative Meeting, Washington, DC, June 12–16, 2000.

10. Kirby D, Antecedents of adolescent initiation of sex, contraceptive use, and pregnancy, American
Journal of Health Behavior, 2002, 26(6): 473–485.

11. Serovich J and Green K, Predictors of adolescent sexual risk taking behaviors which put them at risk for
contracting HIV, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1997, 26(4):429–444.

12. Mott F et al., The determinants of first sex by age 14 in a high-risk adolescent population, Family
Planning Perspectives, 1996, 28(1):13–18.

13. Holtzman D and Rubinson R, Parent and peer communication effects on AIDS-related behavior among
U.S. high school students, Family Planning Perspectives, 1995, 27(6):235–240.

14. Romer D et al., Social influences on the sexual behavior of youth at risk for HIV exposure, American
Journal of Public Health, 1994, 84(6): 977–985.
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exploratory study, AIDS and Behavior, 2003, 7(3):245–252.

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of Sociology,1988, 94(1):130–152.

17. Newcomer S and Udry JR, Parental marital status effects on adolescents' sexual behavior, Journal of
Marriage and the Family,1987, 49(2): 235–240.

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indicators of states in India, <>, accessed Sept. 3, 2006.

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(NFHS-2), 1998–1999, India: Maharashtra, Mumbai: IIPS, 2002.

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IIPS, 2007.

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Delhi: NACO, 2002.

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Corporation, 2002.

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of the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner, 2005, p. 212.

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Community-Based Study in Pune District, Maharashtra, New Delhi: Population Council, 2006.

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men, Pune District, India, 2006, Reproductive Health Matters, 14(28):144–155.

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and Stone N, eds., Asking Young People About Sexual and Reproductive Behaviors. Illustrative Core
Instruments, Geneva: World Health Organization, 2001.

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Research Centre, 1995.

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urban slum dwellers in India, unpublished survey questionnaire, New Delhi: Population Council, 2004.
The bureaucratic form is the basic organizing form for public sector organizations and for most
private sector organizations as well. There are basic principles of the form and some advantages
offered by the form.
Max Weber, a German sociologist, wrote in the 1930s a rationale that described the bureaucratic
form as being the ideal way of organizing government agencies. The bureaucratic form and its use
spread throughout both public and the private sectors. Even though Weber’s writings have been
widely discredited, the bureaucratic form lives on. The bureaucratic form has six major
1. A formal hierarchical structure. Each level controls the level below and is controlled by the level
above. A formal hierarchy is the basis of central planning and centralized decision making.
2. Management by rules. Controlling by rules allows decisions made at high levels to be executed
consistently by all lower levels.
3. Organization by functional specialty. Work is to be done by specialists, and people are organized
into units based on the type of work they do or skills they have.
4. An "up-focused" or "in-focused" mission. If the mission is described as "up-focused," then the
organization’s purpose is to serve the stockholders, the board, or whatever agency empowered it. If
the mission is to serve the organization itself, and those within it, e.g., to produce high profits, to
gain market share, or to produce a cash stream, then the mission is described as "in-focused."
5. Purposely impersonal. The idea is to treat all employees equally and customers equally, and not
be influenced by individual differences.
6. Employment based on technical qualifications. (There may also be protection from arbitrary
The bureaucratic form according to Parkinson has another attribute.
7. Predisposition to grow in staff "above the line." Weber failed to notice this, but Parkinson found
it so common that he made it the basis of his humorous "Parkinson’s law." Parkinson
demonstrated that the management and professional staff tends to grow at predictable rates,
almost without regard to what the line organization is doing.
The bureaucratic form is so common that most people accept it as the normal way of organizing
almost any endeavor. People in bureaucratic organizations generally blame the ugly side effects of
bureaucracy on management, or the founders, or the owners, without awareness that the real
cause is organizing based on the bureaucratic form. After all, the bureaucratic form has been so
common because it promises some major benefits.

The major benefits promised by the bureaucratic form

Hierarchical authority promises control and responsibility. According to organizational design
theory, a major benefit promised by the bureaucratic form is that the top executive would have
control over the entire organization, and the outside world would know who to hold responsible.
Management by rules promises control and consistency. If the entire organization was managed by
rules, then top management could be sure that the organization would be controlled by their
decisions. And, top management could be sure that no arbitrary "judgment" was introduced into
the operation to make things inconsistent. The top executive could decide how things would be
done, and forever after they would be done that way.
Consistency seemed desirable because the world prior to the industrial revolution was marked by
inconsistency. People were discriminated against because of class, education, race, religion or
creed. People were given advantages because of wealth, class or education. In a world where people
were treated very differently from one another, consistency must have seemed very desirable.
An up-focused mission promised that governmental agencies would serve the legislative or
executive bodies that formed them. The idea seemed sound, because it promised that an agency of
government wouldn’t end up serving the people who were in the agency, nor would it end up
serving people outside of the agency. Instead, theoretically, it would serve the government—hence,
all the people.
In corporations, an up-focused mission promised that the organization would serve the
stockholders, represented by the board of directors, rather than the people within the organization.
Specialization of sub-units promised accountability, control and expertise. If specialists were in
charge of each function of the organization, then top management could be certain that an
educated or trained person was responsible for that function. In addition, top management could
be reasonably certain that the people handling that function were expert in that function. Both of
these benefits promised more certain control and effectiveness.
Prior to the twentieth century, people were given responsibility for managing most often because
of their wealth, class or family–not necessarily because they were trained or skilled. So, having
specialists handle functions seemed like a big improvement over having people manage things
because they were the boss’s son, or the family had contacts.
Being impersonal promises objectivity, consistency and equality. The theory suggests that if you
wipe out the human elements of the business transaction, and focus only on the "business" side,
that you could be sure that no customer or citizen was treated better or worse than another. If you
treat everyone identically, as though they had no individual differences, then you could ensure
fairness through equal treatment. You could also ensure consistency. This was highly valued in
those days because many people felt they didn’t get treated equally with those of wealth, power or
position. In the various European and North American cultures of the early twentieth century,
customers were not always treated equally by businesses, and citizens were not treated equally by
government. Bureaucracy promised fairness and equality.
Employment based on technical qualifications promises equal opportunity, and protection from
arbitrary dismissal promises job security to those who can pass a test and follow the rules.
Equal opportunity meant that a middle class educated person had the same opportunity of entry
into government as an upper class or wealthy person. That was highly valued in an era when
government tended to be controlled or dominated by those with money, power or position.
Job security was little known in the early twentieth century, but highly valued and highly prized.
Bureaucracy promised protection against arbitrary dismissal. People with wealth, power or
position exerted powerful control over businesses and government. Workers were subject to
arbitrary dismissal if they offended the wrong people.

Paid & Unpaid work

Paid work has an important role in social wellbeing. It provides people with incomes to meet their
basic needs and to contribute to their material comfort, and it gives them options for how they live
their lives. Paid work is also important for the social contact and sense of self-worth or satisfaction
it can give people. The desired outcomes highlight four aspects of paid work: access to work, the
financial return from work, the safety of the working environment and the balance between work
and other areas of life.
For most people, income from paid work is the main factor determining their material standard of
living. Wage and salary income makes up around two-thirds of the total income received by New
Zealanders aged 15 years and over. Income saved during their working life contributes to the
standard of living of many retired people.
The social and personal dimensions of paid work are both important. Ideally, work should not only
be materially rewarding but it should contribute to other aspects of wellbeing. Meeting challenges
at work can contribute to a sense of satisfaction and self-worth. Paid work is more likely to be
satisfying where people can find employment to match their skills and abilities.
Social contact is an important part of wellbeing. For many people, much of their social contact is
through their jobs. People often gain a sense of belonging or identity from their jobs, identifying
themselves and others through the organisation they work for or the type of work they do.
Conversely, unemployment can isolate people from society and cause them to lose self-confidence.
Unemployment is associated with poorer mental and physical health, and lower levels of
satisfaction with life.
The quality of work is critically important. A meaningful job can enhance people’s satisfaction with
their work. An unsafe job, on the other hand, places people’s wellbeing at risk.
Work can also be stressful. People may be required to work longer hours than they want to or need
to. The desired outcomes acknowledge that wellbeing is best served by maintaining a balance
between paid work and other aspects of life including spending time with family and friends,
taking part in leisure and recreational activities, and doing unpaid work such as housework and
voluntary work. Where that balance lies will differ from person to person.

Unpaid work is perhaps the biggest contribution that women make to the economy. In Canada
unpaid work is estimated to be worth up to $319 billion in the money economy or 41% of GDP;
globally the numbers skyrocket to $11 trillion US. Most unpaid work in Canada and around the
world is performed by women. The unpaid work that women perform for their households and
families is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the rest of society. Indeed our monetary
economy is dependant on women's reproductive and care-giving work for the health, well-being
and indeed the very existence of the paid work force. The economy also relies heavily on women to
pick up the slack which the paid economy ignores - nursing elderly people, tutoring, child care, and
supporting new immigrants. Unpaid work is as much a part of the monetary economy as paid
work. Yet precisely because it is unpaid, unpaid work has long been overlooked and undermined in
economic equations. Sometimes we ourselves even forget that unpaid work is actually work.
Society holds to certain assumptions about what constitutes 'work.' For example:
⇒ Work is something you have to do - it's drudgery, not pleasure.
⇒ Work is what happens during the work day from 9 am to 5 pm.
⇒ Work is work when you're paid to do it.
⇒ Work is what happens outside the home.
Many of these assumptions about what work is do not fit with the reality of women's lives. Much of
women's work is not structured into workdays but instead intermingled with socializing and play.
Many women do many things simultaneously and sometimes have trouble naming which is work
and which isn't as not all the work is drudgery. Some work, like playing with children,
breastfeeding a baby, or tending a garden, can actually be quite enjoyable. As well, much of
women's work happens inside the home and much of it is unpaid.
Statistics Canada divides unpaid work into three categories: house and yard work, care of children,
and care and assistance to seniors. Volunteer work with community or charity organizations is not
included. While this definition is limited, it is a significant first step in measuring and recognizing
women's unpaid work.
Because women's unpaid work has no dollar value attached to it, it took many years for
governments to even measure the hours dedicated to unpaid work. Because of this, much of
women's activities were not taken into account in the development of laws and policies. This
omission exacerbated existing inequalities. Measuring unpaid work was one of the major
challenges to governments that came out of the UN Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi
in 1985 as well as the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The Platform for
Action that developed out of Beijing calls for national and international statistical organizations to
measure unpaid work and reflect its value in satellite accounts to the GDP.
In Canada, the 1996 Census was the first to collect data on unpaid work, marking a major
breakthrough for feminists across the country and providing an example for other countries
around the world. What do the statistics tell us? Women and men in Canada have similar total
workloads but men spend most of their time, 4.5 hours a day, in paid work and 2.7 hours in unpaid
work. For women, the statistics are reversed with 2.8 hours in paid work and 4.4 hours in unpaid
work.2 Statistics Canada, after the 2006 census, reported that on average, “Women spend about
an hour a day more on basic housework chores than their male counterparts. In 2005, women
aged 25 to 54 averaged 2.4 hours daily cooking, cleaning and doing other basic unpaid household
chores, compared with 1.4 hours per day for men in this age range.” Women perform 2/3 of the 25
billion hours of unpaid work Canadians perform every year3 and on average women spend twice as
much time (2/3) on unpaid work as on paid work (1/3).
Globally many countries are adopting time-use surveys to measure unpaid work. Japan, Australia,
Mali, Morocco, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Palestine, Cuba, Ecuador, and many
European countries have designed or undertaken surveys while many other countries have
expressed interest.

The state of being unemployed or not having a job; The state of having no job; joblessness; The
phenomenon of joblessness in an economy; The level of joblessness in an economy, often
measured as a percentage of the workforce; A type of joblessness due to a particular economic
mechanism; An instance or period of joblessness
Unemployment is lack of full utilization of resources, and eats up the production of the economy.
Unemployment is highly and negatively correlated with the productivity of the economy.
Unemployment management is one of the toughest jobs of every government in the world.
A concept generally restricted to the wage economy. It means being without work, ie not in paid
employment, nor in self-employment (performing 'some work for profit or family gain') but
currently available for employment and seeking it. This is the official meaning used in statistics.
Unemployment, as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are
without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks. The unemployment
rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by
dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labour force.
There remains considerable theoretical debate regarding the causes, consequences and solutions
for unemployment. Classical, neoclassical and the Austrian School of economics focus on market
mechanisms and rely on the invisible hand of the market to resolve unemployment. These theories
argue against interventions imposed on the labour market from the outside, such as unionization,
minimum wage laws, taxes, and other regulations that they claim discourage the hiring of workers.
Keynesian economics emphasizes the cyclical nature of unemployment and potential interventions
to reduce unemployment during recessions. These arguments focus on recurrent supply shocks
that suddenly reduce aggregate demand for goods and services and thus reduce demand for
workers. Keynesian models recommend government interventions designed to increase demand
for workers; these can include financial stimuli, job creation, and expansionist monetary policies.
Marxism focuses on the relations between the controlling owners and the subordinated proletariat
whom the owners pit against one another in a constant struggle for jobs and higher wages. This
struggle and the unemployment it produces benefit the system by reducing wage costs for the
owners. For Marxists the causes of and solutions to unemployment require abolishing capitalism
and shifting to socialism or communism.
In addition to these three comprehensive theories of unemployment, there are a few types of
unemployment that are used to more precisely model the effects of unemployment within the
economic system. The main types of unemployment include structural unemployment which
focuses on structural problems in the economy and inefficiencies inherent in labour markets
including a mismatch between the supply and demand of laborers with necessary skill sets.
Structural arguments emphasize causes and solutions related to disruptive technologies and
globalization. Discussions of frictional unemployment focus on voluntary decisions to work based
on each individual’s valuation of their own work and how that compares to current wage rates plus
the time and effort required to find a job. Causes and solutions for frictional unemployment often
address barriers to entry and wage rates. Behavioral economists highlight individual biases in
decision making and often involve problems and solutions concerning sticky wages and efficiency
While many of us surely don’t appreciate it from a personal perspective, unemployment is
unavoidable in any economy. However, it is not necessarily harmful. In a healthy economy, a
certain degree of unemployment indicated as a percentage reflects the fact that there constantly
are job seekers and employers voluntarily running after better opportunities for their own good.

Along with price level, unemployment is probably the most observable economic indicator that the
general public complain about their government. Unemployment rate can be anywhere between
1% ~ 30% (beyond is very much unlikely), and a healthy economy is believed to have a
unemployment rate around 5%. Unemployment rate is highest among young workers aged
between 15 and 24.
In economics, unemployment refers to the condition of unwanted job losses, or willing workers
without jobs. It’s as simple as that, only one thing you should pay attention that the willingness of
the unemployed worker to be employed is the key to the idea. Therefore, not everyone who’s out of
work is seen as unemployed. A person with a large fortune not looking a job is not counted in the
unemployed population in that he is not willing to work in the first place, though he’s officially out
of work.
There are essentially 4 types of unemployment, namely frictional unemployment, structural
unemployment, seasonal unemployment and cyclical unemployment, which respectively states the
reason behind each type of unemployment and the paradox that job vacancies and unemployment
always coexist.
Frictional unemployment – Just as friction always takes place before the slider comes to its final
position on the surface, people need time to find the best job, thus voluntarily rubbing back and
forth between choices and staying unemployed. It’s the same with employers who rarely hire the
first applicant that enters the door. Both of them, the job applicants and employers need time to
explore the labor force market. Therefore, frictional unemployment is a type of voluntary
unemployment that arises because of the time needed to match job seekers with job openings. A
good example is that when you make up your mind and set off looking for a better job and
abandoning the current one, you are in the frictional unemployment labor force.
Structural unemployment – This happens when a large amount of unemployed workers (labor
force supply) don’t qualify for a large amount of labor force demand. It’s either because that the
workers don’t have the skills demanded by the employers or they live too far from the demanding
area. Thus, unemployment caused by massive mismatch of skills or geographic location is noted as
structural unemployment. Major shifts of consumption taste, technological change, tax and a
variety of other factors can reduce the demand for certain skills and increase that of others, thus
making structural unemployment occur.
While frictional unemployment is short-term and mostly voluntary, structural unemployment
poses more of a problem because workers must seek jobs elsewhere or must develop the skills
demanded. The process is full of pain and frustration, and may lead to negative impacts on society.
Seasonal unemployment – In some markets, the demand for goods and services may expectedly
fluctuate fiercely with seasons in a year, incurring waves of demand for related labor force. As the
season of Christmas comes, demand for postal services rise sharply so is postal workers because
the workload is much bigger than that of any seasons else in the year. After that, demand for postal
service drops to normal and so does demand for postal workers, bringing about unemployment.
So, unemployment caused by seasonal changes in labor supply and demand during the year is
called seasonal unemployment.
Cyclical unemployment – Because of business cycles, many firms reduce the demand for inputs,
including labor in recessional periods when production declines. Cyclical unemployment is used to
refer to the fluctuation in unemployment that is incurred by business cycles, more specifically, the
unemployment caused by economic recessions.
Cyclical unemployment can be zero in full expansions during a business cycle. For example,
between 1942 and 1945, when the entire America is much too busy producing weaponary for
WWII, business cycle arrived at an inflated expansion, thereby cyclical unemployment actually
drops to zero, resulting in an average 1.6% unemployment rate during those good years.
Macroeconomic unemployment is typically measured and comes to be known repeatedly as
unemployment rate. The unemployment rate (UR) expresses the number of people unemployed as
a percentage of the labor force (LF). With labor force (LF) comprising of all unemployed (U) and
employed (E) people, that is,
LF = U + E
we have unemployment rate or UR, expressed as
UR = U / LF * 100%
In a case of 100,000 people in the labor force and 10,000 of whom are unemployed (lost jobs and
actively seeking one), the unemployment rate would be calculated as
UR = U / LF * 100% = 10,000 / 100,000 * 100% = 10%
In addition to labor, land and capital can also be unemployed. With a little common sense, we
would expect that a high unemployment rate of labor would result in a low level of utilization of
capital, land and other forms of production factors, simply because men are the operators that
make these things work for the economy and produce economic value. If more men are laid off
their work, more resources are left to rot rather than utilized in production.
For individuals and households, unemployment forces them to curtail their consumption
drastically and perhaps liquidate some of the assets – often at a loss – to meet financial
obligations. All these have negative impact on the whole economy.
For economy as a whole, unemployment reduces the output of goods and services that could
otherwise have been produced by unemployed labor force. An economy is producing substantially
below its potential if unemployment rate is extremely high, thus everybody in the society loses by
consuming and enjoying less because less is produced for distribution.
The economic loss caused by unemployment can be measured as a loss in aggregate supply (total
output) or aggregate demand (total income), more specifically, the difference of potential GDP
minus actual GDP.
Costs are not always economic, though, and it’s true. In non-economic aspects, unemployed
individuals might be very much discouraged for their inability to secure jobs, and the feelings of
frustration and dismay usually lead to anti-social activities: indulgence, theft, violence, sabotage
and other forms of crime, which would pose serious problems especially if the unemployment rate
is unbearable.
Unemployment ruins family happiness also: quarrel, fight, divorce, children losing their education
and good health that would have an enduring effect over their lives. The misery and suffering
cannot be measured by economic statistics, but they significant and as real as it gets.
McDonaldization is a term used by sociologist George Ritzer in his book The McDonaldization of
Society (1993). He explains it occurs when a culture possesses the characteristics of a fast-food
restaurant. McDonaldization is a reconceptualization of rationalization, or moving from traditional
to rational modes of thought, and scientific management. Where Max Weber used the model of the
bureaucracy to represent the direction of this changing society, Ritzer sees the fast-food restaurant
as having become a more representative contemporary paradigm (Ritzer, 2004:553).
Ritzer highlighted four primary components of McDonaldization:
Efficiency – the optimal method for accomplishing a task. In this context, Ritzer has a very specific
meaning of "efficiency". Here, the optimal method equates to the fastest method to get from point
A to point B. In the example of McDonald's customers, it is the fastest way to get from being
hungry to being full. Efficiency in McDonaldization means that every aspect of the organization is
geared toward the minimization of time.
Calculability – objective should be quantifiable (e.g., sales) rather than subjective (e.g., taste).
McDonaldization developed the notion that quantity equals quality, and that a large amount of
product delivered to the customer in a short amount of time is the same as a high quality product.
This allows people to quantify how much they're getting versus how much they’re paying.
Organizations want consumers to believe that they are getting a large amount of product for not a
lot of money. Workers in these organizations are judged by how fast they are instead of the quality
of work they do.
Predictability – standardized and uniform services. "Predictability" means that no matter where a
person goes, they will receive the same service and receive the same product every time when
interacting with the McDonaldized organization. This also applies to the workers in those
organizations. Their tasks are highly repetitive, highly routine, and predictable.
Control – standardized and uniform employees, replacement of human by non-human
With these four processes, a strategy which is rational within a narrow scope can lead to outcomes
that are harmful or irrational. The process of McDonaldization can be summarized as the way in
which "the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of
American society as well as of the rest of the world."
There are other dimensions of McDonaldization that Ritzer didn't include with the main four, but
are worthy enough for prime attention. They are:
Irrationality - A side effect of over-rationalized systems. Ritzer himself hints that this is the fifth
dimension of McDonaldization. An example of this could be workers on an assembly line that are
hired and trained to perform a single highly rationalized task. Although this may be a very efficient
method of operating a business, an irrationality that is spawned can be worker burnout.
Deskilling - A work force with the minimum abilities possible to complete simple focused tasks.
This means that they can be quickly and cheaply trained and are easily replaceable.
Consumer Workers - One of the sneakiest things about McDonaldization is how consumers get
tricked into becoming unpaid employees. They do the work that was traditionally performed by the
company. The prime example of this is diners who bus their own tables at the fast food restaurant.
They dutifully carry their trash to friendly receptacles marked "thank you." (The extreme
rationalization of this is the drive-thru; consumers take their trash with them!) Other examples are
many and include: ATM's, salad bars, automated telephone menus, and pumping gas.


Fordism refers to the system of mass production and consumption characteristic of highly
developed economies during the 1940s-1960s. Under Fordism, mass consumption combined with
mass production to produce sustained economic growth and widespread material advancement.
The 1970s-1990s have been a period of slower growth and increasing income inequality. During
this period, the system of organization of production and consumption has, perhaps, undergone a
second transformation, which when mature promises a second burst of economic growth. This new
system is often referred to as the "flexible system of production" (FSP) or the "Japanese
management system." On the production side, FSP is characterized by dramatic reductions in
information costs and overheads, Total Quality Management (TQM), just-in-time inventory
control, and leaderless work groups; on the consumption side, by the globalization of consumer
goods markets, faster product life cycles, and far greater product/market segmentation and
Fordism. Henry Ford was once a popular symbol of the transformation from an agricultural to an
industrial, mass production, mass consumption economy. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
(1932), for example, styles the modern era AF -- after Ford. Although partly myth, there is some
merit to this attribution. Ford was the creative force behind the growth to preeminence of the
automobile industry, still the world's largest manufacturing activity. As Womack, Jones, and Roos
(1990: 11) explain: "Twice in this century [the auto industry] has changed our most fundamental
ideas about how we make things. And how we make things dictates not only how we work but what
we buy, how we think, and the way we live."
The first of these transformations was from craft production to mass production. This helped to
create the market as we know it, based on economies of scale and scope, and gave rise to giant
organizations built upon functional specialization and minute divisions of labor. Economies of
scale were produced by spreading fixed expenses, especially investments in plant and equipment
and the organization of production lines, over larger volumes of output, thereby reducing unit
costs. Economies of scope were produced by exploiting the division of labor -- sequentially
combining specialized functional units, especially overheads such as reporting, accounting,
personnel, purchasing, or quality assurance, in multifarious ways so that it was less costly to
produce several products than a single specialized one. It also engendered a variety of public
policies, institutions, and governance mechanisms intended to mitigate the failures of the market,
and to reform modern industrial arrangements and practices (Polanyi, 1944).
Ford's main contributions to mass production/consumption were in the realm of process
engineering. The the hallmark of his system was standardization -- standardized components,
standardized manufacturing processes, and a simple, easy to manufacture (and repair) standard
product. Standardization required nearly perfect interchangeability of parts. To achieve
interchangeability, Ford exploited advances in machine tools and gauging systems. These
innovations made possible the moving, or continuous, assembly line, in which each assembler
performed a single, repetitive task. Ford was also one of the first to realize the potential of the
electic motor to reconfigure work flow. Machines that were previously arrayed about a central
power source could now be placed on the assembly line, thereby dramatically increasing
throughput (David, 1990). The moving assembly line was first implemented at Ford's Model-T
Plant at Highland Park, Michigan, in 1914, increasing labor productivity tenfold and permitting
stunning price cuts -- from $780 in 1910 to $360 in 1914 (Hounshell, 1984; Abernathy, 1978)).
Hence, the term Fordize: "to standardize a product and manufacture it by mass means at a price so
low that the common man can afford to buy it."
Ford ultimately made everything he needed for his cars from the raw materials on up. Ford
vertically integrated for two reasons. First, he had perfected mass production techniques and could
achieve substantial economies by doing everything himself. Second, given the information
processing capabilities of the time, plus Ford's skepticism about accounting and finance, direct
supervision could more efficiently coordinate the flow of raw materials and components through
the production process than arms-length relationships (Chandler 1977). Of course, total vertical
integration required the organization of huge numbers of activities and employees. Workers, staff
specialists, and middle managers had to be recruited, sorted out, and fitted into a hierarchical
The model for Ford's administrative system was largely perfected by the Prussian Bureaucracy
under Heinrich von Stein, Gerhard von Scharnhorst, August von Gneisenau, and Helmuth von
Moltke during the 19th century. Their administrative innovations included detailed centralized
materials requirements and logistical planning, control by rules, standard operating procedures,
and the merit principle, functional administrative design, decomposition of tasks to their simplest
components, and sequential processing. The Prussian administrative system was widely emulated
by forward looking contemporary organizations and in a majority of cases these organizations out
performed the market.
Not only did the Prussian administrative system make large, complex organizations efficient, it
also evidently made them inevitable. Only very large organizations could take full advantage of the
Prussian administrative system. Only they could afford to devote substantial amounts of resources
to gathering and processing quantities of data for top management to use to coordinate activities
and allocate resources. Hence, for a long time it seemed that bigger organizations were necessarily
better. And, there seemed to be no natural limits to this conclusion. The planning and control
system used by the General military bureaucracy under Ludendorff to mobilize Germany's
resources during World War I, the Kriegwirtschaftsplan, was practically identical to Ford's
administrative system. The centralized planning system, Gosplan, used in the Soviet Union to
implement its long-term policies and strategic plans was merely an adaption of the
Kriegwirtschaftsplan. Indeed, Lenin explicitly joined the two elements of Ford's system in his
definition of socialism: "Soviets plus Prussian railway administration plus American industrial
organization" (Hughes, 1989:474).
By the 1930s, Ford's standardized product and his direct planning and control system had been
rendered obsolete by innovations in marketing and organization at General Motors. These
innovations were implemented by Alfred P. Sloan, who is best known for the multi-product, or M-
form, organizational structure, in which each major operating division serves a distinct product
market. When Sloan took over GM in the early 1920s, it was little more than a loose confederation
of car and car-parts companies. Sloan repositioned the car companies to create a five-model
product range from Chevrolet to Cadillac and established a radically decentralized administrative
control structure.
GM's operating divisions -- the five automotive divisions, the divisions making components (e.g.,
Fisher Body or Delco-Remy), and those making refrigerators, air conditioning, locomotives, etc. --
were managed entirely by the numbers from a small corporate headquarters, using the DuPont
system of financial controls, devised by Donaldson Brown, later GM's chief financial officer. Under
this system, each division kept its own books and its manager was evaluated in terms of a return-
on-assets target.
Sloan, believed that it was inappropriate, as well as unnecessary, for top managers at the corporate
level to know much about the details of division operations (Womack, Jones, and Roos, 1990: 40-
1). If the numbers showed that performance was poor, it was time to change the division manager.
Division managers with consistently good numbers got promoted, ultimately to headquarters.
Short run coordination between GM's five automotive divisions and the divisions making
components (e.g., Fisher Body or Delco-Remy) was achieved via buyer-seller relationships. Longer
run coordination was achieved via the first modern capital budgeting system used in the US, also
devised by Brown (Chandler 1977).
Within each of its operating divisions, however, GM, was organized and operated like Ford -- or
any other mass-production manufacturer. In this system, assemblers were as interchangeable as
parts. The mass-production system rested on the presumption that activities should be simplified
to the nth degree and controlled from above, engineering and administrative functions delegated
to staff specialists, and the exercise of judgment passed up the managerial ranks.
Under mass production, not only were parts interchangeable, so too were assemblers. According to
Womack, Jones, and Roos (1990: 31), the mass-production system carried the division of labor to
its ultimate extreme: "[T]he assembler ... had only one task -- to put two nuts on two bolts or
perhaps to attach one wheel to each car. He didn't order parts, procure his tools, repair his
equipment, inspect for quality, or even understand what workers on either side of him were
doing. ... Special repairmen re-paired tools. Housekeepers periodically cleaned the work area.
Special inspectors checked quality, and defective work, once discovered, was rectified in a rework
area after the end of the line. ... The role of the assembly worker had the lowest status in the
factory. In some ... plants, management actually told assembly workers that they were needed only
because automation could not replace them yet." Of course, this system required armies of middle
managers and staff specialists, whose job it was to gather and process quantities of data for top
management to use to coordinate activities, allocate resources, and set strategy.
Assembly line work is unpleasant in a mass production environment. It is physically demanding,
requires high levels of concentration, and can be excruciatingly boring. As a consequence, Ford
experienced very high labor turnover, 380 percent in 1913. (Even today, double-digit absenteeism
is common in mass-production assembly plants, necessitating a buffer stock of utility workers,
who fill in for the assemblers that fail to show up at the start of each shift). According to the
somewhat stylized facts, Ford, believing "men work for only two reasons: one is for wages, and one
is for fear of losing their jobs," dealt with labor turnover by doubling pay to $5 a day; that other
manufacturer's emulated Ford's wage policies along with his production methods; and that
eventually all employers were forced to bring wages into line with those offered unskilled labor in
manufacturing. In other words: premium pay for putting up with what Gramsci described as mass
production's "monotonous, degrading, and life draining work process."
Regardless of the means, unskilled assembly workers eventually reaped substantial gains from
increased industrial productivity -- a forty percent reduction in working hours and a twenty-five-
fold increase in wages. In the English speaking world, unions enforced artificial scarcity to win
supracompetitive wages for their members -- sometimes on their own, sometimes in cooperation
with other unions, and sometimes in collusion with specific firms. In the social-market economies
of Northern Europe, workers did even better. Coordinated wage setting between national
associations of employers and national labor organizations, usually led by blue-collar unions,
achieved both high wages and considerable income equality, almost without strikes (Scharph,
However, the ability of unskilled manufacturing employees to gain and hold supracompetitive
wages ultimately depended upon their political power. By the 1950s, the rise of mass production
had made them the largest single group in every developed country. Already organized by their
employers, they were easily mobilized on behalf of their own interests. In every developed country,
labor unions emerged as the best-organized and often the most powerful political force. Their
preferences were reflected not only in labor laws, but in public policy generally. They were the
architects and chief supporters of the postwar Keynesian welfare state, with its goals of full
employment, social security, and income parity. Indeed, some refer to the welfare state as the
Fordist state (see Albo, Langille, and Panitch, 1993; the complementarity between mass
production, consumption, and politics is especially well developed by M. Aglietta in A Theory of
Capitalist Regulation: the US Experience (1979); see, however, McDermott, 1991).
Despite gains to unskilled industrial workers, Ford's mass-production system always had critics.
Surprisingly, one of the first was Frederick Taylor, who coined the term Fordism. Taylor directed
his criticism at the deskilling of assembly line workers, likening Ford's assemblers to trained
gorillas. Another was the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, who presciently observed in
Americanismo e Fordismo (written in 1929-32, but published in 1949), that "Taylor expresses the
real purpose of American society -- replacing in the worker the old psycho-physical nexus of
qualified professional work, which demanded active participation, intelligence, fantasy, and
initiative, with automatic and mechanical attitudes. This is not a new thing, it is rather the most
recent, the most intense, the most brutal phase of a long process that began with industrialism
itself. This phase will itself be superseded by the creation of a new psycho-physical nexus, both
different from its predecessors and superior. As a consequence, a part of the old working class will
be eliminated from the world of work, and perhaps from the world."
The transformation forecast by Gramsci, is now well under way (although perhaps not in a form he
would have recognized, let alone approved). Flexible production, the second of the 20th century's
great transformations in the organization of work, was, like mass production, brought to our
attention by a revolution in the automobile industry. In this revolution, mass production and its
champion, mighty General Motors, was utterly routed by the Toyota Production System.
However, the transformation didn't really start in the automobile business, IBM, for example,
combined total quality management (TQM), lean manufacturing, just-in-time (JIT) delivery, and
price based costing twenty years before Eiji Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno implemented the Toyota
Production System.
Flexible production rests on the presumption that a competitive edge cannot be gained by treating
workers like machines and that nobody in the manufacturing process, but the assembly worker,
adds value, that the assembly worker can perform most functions better than specialists (lean
manufacturing), and that every step of the fabrication process should be done perfectly (TQM),
thus reducing the need for buffer stocks (JIT) and producing a higher quality end-product (Piore
and Sabel, 1985).
Like Fordism, this second transformation extends well beyond process engineering. It is
transforming not only how we make things, but also how we live and what we consume. It reflects
the declining importance of both scale and scope and is driven by reductions in communications,
logistics, and information processing costs -- reductions stimulated if not caused by the
introduction of computers and by our increasing ability to use them. (Reschenthaler and
Thompson, 1996). It is axiomatic, of course, that the comparative advantage of any organizational
arrangement ultimately boils down to a question of information costs.
Today, an organization that can afford a computer workstation and software (about $20,000) can
have first-class functional overhead systems. Not long ago these systems were available only to
giants. Moreover, computerized product design and manufacture permits organizations to produce
customized services at mass-production prices. As a result, even large companies are mimicking
their smaller competitors: shrinking head offices, removing layers of bureaucracy, and
concentrating on core businesses.
Although these firms work to tighter schedules and parts quality standards than Ford or GM in
their heyday, they have not integrated their suppliers into a single, large bureaucracy. Nike is an
extreme example of this -- it doesn't fabricate or move anything. It markets products -- including
their development and design. It contracts everything else out. Its suppliers do not so much sell
products as production services. Toyota is another example. Taking intermediate as well as final
products into account, it makes one tenth as many different goods as GM. Consequently, along
with reduced economies of scale and scope, average firm size has been falling for the last twenty
Information technology has also given rise to new modes of internal organization, which
emphasize multidisciplinary teams, whose members work together from the start of a job to its
completion, in part because modern information systems and expert systems make it efficient to
push the exercise of judgment down into the organization, to the teams that do an organization's
work. As Shoshana Zuboff explains in The Age of the Smart Machine (1988), efficient operations in
the modern workplace call for a more equal distribution of knowledge, authority, and
responsibility. This means "dismantling the very same managerial hierarchy that once brought
Nowadays, single product organizations are often organized as virtual networks; multiproduct
organizations as alliances of networks. The system used by IBM at its plant in Dallas, Texas, is the
quintessential example of a virtual network, or self organizing system. Everyone in the
organization plays the part of customer or provider, depending on the transaction, and the entire
plant has been transformed into a network of dyads and exchanges. Johnson & Johnson is an
example of a multi-product business that has organized itself into a loose alliance of networks,
sharing only its top management and information system, a set of core competencies, and a
common culture.
It would be surprising, indeed, if the transformation from mass production to flexible production,
did not ultimately effect changes to the state and its institutions of a magnitude comparable to
those engendered by transformation from craft production to mass production. It has already
profoundly altered the political structure of society.
Flexible production dramatically reduced the demand for unskilled labor. Flexible production
requires numerate and literate workers, capable of a high degree of self-direction. As a
consequence, the number of unskilled industrial workers in the developed world has been falling
for nearly thirty years. Decreased numbers have been reflected in political decline, as unskilled
labor lost its leading role in the union movement and union influence in general has waned, and
also in falling relative or, in some cases, real wages. Increasingly, workers are forced to chose
between full employment (the US choice) and job security (Western Europe's).
Moreover, mass production's decline has been accompanied by a decline in mass consumption.
Instead of standardized products designed and manufactured for the lowest common
denominator, final products reflect the full array of preferences and pocketbooks. This too has
probably exacerbated the trend to further real income inequality.
Agenda Setting Theory
Agenda setting describes a very powerful influence of the media – the ability to tell us what issues are
important. As far back as 1922, the newspaper columnist Walter Lippman was concerned that the media
had the power to present images to the public. McCombs and Shaw investigated presidential campaigns in
1968, 1972 and 1976. In the research done in 1968 they focused on two elements: awareness and
information. Investigating the agenda-setting function of the mass media, they attempted to assess the
relationship between what voters in one community said were important issues and the actual content of
the media messages used during the campaign. McCombs and Shaw concluded that the mass media exerted
a significant influence on what voters considered to be the major issues of the campaign.
Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. Two
basis assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: (1) the press and the media do not reflect
reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to
perceive those issues as more important than other issues. One of the most critical aspects in the concept of
an agenda-setting role of mass communication is the time frame for this phenomenon. In addition,
different media have different agenda-setting potential. Agenda-setting theory seems quite appropriate to
help us understand the pervasive role of the media (for example on political communication systems).
Bernard Cohen (1963) stated: “The press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to
think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.”
Cultivation Theory
With the decline of hypodermic needle theories a new perspective began to emerge: the stalagmite theories.
Black used the metaphor of stalagmite theories to suggest that media effects occur analogously to the slow
buildup of formations on cave floors, which take their interesting forms after eons of the steady dripping of
limewater from the cave ceilings above. One of the most popular theories that fits this perspective is
cultivation theory.
Cultivation theory (sometimes referred to as the cultivation hypothesis or cultivation analysis) was an
approach developed by Professor George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the
University of Pennsylvania. He began the 'Cultural Indicators' research project in the mid-1960s, to study
whether and how watching television may influence viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like.
Cultivation research is in the 'effects' tradition. Cultivation theorists argue that television has long-term
effects which are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant.
Cultivation theory in its most basic form, suggests that television is responsible for shaping, or ‘cultivating’
viewers’ conceptions of social reality. The combined effect of massive television exposure by viewers over
time subtly shapes the perception of social reality for individuals and, ultimately, for our culture as a whole.
Gerbner argues that the mass media cultivate attitudes and values which are already present in a culture:
the media maintain and propagate these values amongst members of a culture, thus binding it together. He
has argued that television tends to cultivate middle-of-the- road political perspectives. Gerbner called this
effect ‘mainstreaming’. Cultivation theorists distinguish between ‘first order’ effects (general beliefs about
the everyday world, such as about the prevalence of violence) and ‘second order’ effects (specific attitudes,
such as to law and order or to personal safety). There is also a distinction between two groups of television
viewers: the heavy viewers and the light viewers. The focus is on ‘heavy viewers’. People who watch a lot of
television are likely to be more influenced by the ways in which the world is framed by television programs
than are individuals who watch less, especially regarding topics of which the viewer has little first-hand
experience. Light viewers may have more sources of information than heavy viewers. ‘Resonance’ describes
the intensified effect on the audience when what people see on television is what they have experienced in
life. This double dose of the televised message tends to amplify the cultivation effect.
Dependency Theory/ Media System Dependency Theory
Dependency theory was originally proposed by Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur (1976). This
theory merged out of the communication discipline.
Dependency theory integrates several perspectives: first, it combines perspectives from psychology with
ingredients from social categories theory. Second, it integrates systems perspectives with elements from
more causal approaches. Third, it combines elements of uses and gratifications research with those of
media effects traditions, although its primary focus is less on effects per se than on rationales for why media
effects typically are limited. Finally, a contextualist philosophy is incorporated into the theory, which also
features traditional concerns with the content of media messages and their effects on audiences. Research
generated by this model had tends to be more descriptive than explanatory or predictive.
Dependency theory proposes an integral relationship among audiences, media and the larger social system.
This theory predicts that you depend on media information to meet certain needs and achieve certain goals,
like uses-and-gratifications theory. But you do not depend on all media equally. Two factors influence the
degree of media dependence. First, you will become more dependent on media that meet a number of your
needs than on media that provide just a few. The second source of dependency is social stability. When
social change and conflict are high, established institutions, beliefs, and practices are challenged, forcing
you to reevaluate and make new choices. At such times your reliance on the media for information will
increase. At other, more stable times your dependency on media may go way down.
One’s needs are not always strictly personal but may be shaped by the culture or by various social
conditions. In other words, individuals’ needs, motives, and uses of media are contingent on outside factors
that may not be in the individuals’ control. These outside factors act as constraints on what and how media
can be used and on the availability of other non-media alternatives. Furthermore, the more alternatives and
individual had for gratifying needs, the less dependent he or she will become on any single medium. The
number of functional alternatives, however, is not just a matter of individual choice or even of psychological
traits but is limited also by factors such as availability of certain media.
Hypodermic Needle Theory
direct influence via mass media
Or: Magic Bullet Theory
(in Dutch also known as: ‘almacht van de media-theorie’, stimulus-response, injectienaald, transportband,
lont in het kruidvat theorie).
History and Orientation
The "hypodermic needle theory" implied mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its
audiences. The mass media in the 1940s and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behavior
Several factors contributed to this "strong effects" theory of communication, including:
- the fast rise and popularization of radio and television
- the emergence of the persuasion industries, such as advertising and propaganda
- the Payne Fund studies of the 1930s, which focused on the impact of motion pictures on children, and
- Hitler's monopolization of the mass media during WWII to unify the German public behind the Nazi party
Core Assumptions and Statements
The theory suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly
by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with appropriate messages designed to trigger a desired response.
Both images used to express this theory (a bullet and a needle) suggest a powerful and direct flow of
information from the sender to the receiver. The bullet theory graphically suggests that the message is a
bullet, fired from the "media gun" into the viewer's "head". With similarly emotive imagery the hypodermic
needle model suggests that media messages are injected straight into a passive audience which is
immediately influenced by the message. They express the view that the media is a dangerous means of
communicating an idea because the receiver or audience is powerless to resist the impact of the message.
There is no escape from the effect of the message in these models. The population is seen as a sitting duck.
People are seen as passive and are seen as having a lot media material "shot" at them. People end up
thinking what they are told because there is no other source of information.
New assessments that the Magic Bullet Theory was not accurate came out of election studies in "The
People's Choice," (Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet, 1944/1968). The project was conducted during the
election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 to determine voting patterns and the relationship between the
media and political behavior. The majority of people remained untouched by the propaganda; interpersonal
outlets brought more influence than the media. The effects of the campaign were not all-powerful to where
they persuaded helpless audiences uniformly and directly, which is the very definition of what the magic
bullet theory does. As focus group testing, questionnaires, and other methods of marketing effectiveness
testing came into widespread use; and as more interactive forms of media (e.g.: internet, radio call-in
shows, etc.) became available, the magic bullet theory was replaced by a variety of other, more instrumental
models, like the two step of flow theory and diffusion of innovations theory.
Media Richness Theory
a medium fits with a task
History and Orientation
Media richness theory is based on contingency theory and information processing theory (Galbraith 1977).
First proponents of the theory were made by Daft & Lengel (1984).

Core Assumptions and Statements

Core: Researchers Daft, Lengel and successors propose that communication media have varying capacities
for resolving ambiguity, negotiating varying interpretations, and facilitating understanding.
Two main assumptions of this theory are: people want to overcome equivocality and uncertainty in
organizations and a variety of media commonly used in organizations work better for certain tasks than
others. Using four criteria, Daft and Lengel present a media richness hierarchy, arranged from high to low
degrees of richness, to illustrate the capacity of media types to process ambiguous communication in
organizations. The criteria are (a) the availability of instant feedback; (b) the capacity of the medium to
transmit multiple cues such as body language, voice tone, and inflection; (c) the use of natural language;
and (d) the personal focus of the medium. Face-to-face communication is the richest communication
medium in the hierarchy followed by telephone, electronic mail, letter, note, memo, special report, and
finally, flier and bulletin. From a strategic management perspective, the media richness theory suggests that
effective managers make rational choices matching a particular communication medium to a specific task
or objective and to the degree of richness required by that task (Trevino, Daft, & Lengel, 1990, in Soy,
Medium Theory
the medium affects perception
(also known as channel theory, or media formalism)

History and Orientation

McLuhan (1964) challenged conventional definitions when he claimed that the medium is the message.
With this claim, he stressed how channels differ, not only in terms of their content, but also in regard to
how they awaken and alter thoughts and senses. He distinguished media by the cognitive processes each
required. McLuhan popularized the idea that channels are a dominant force that must be understood to
know how the media influence society and culture.

Core Assumptions and Statements

Core: Medium theory focuses on the medium characteristics itself (like in media richness theory) rather
than on what it conveys or how information is received. In medium theory, a medium is not simply a
newspaper, the Internet, a digital camera and so forth. Rather, it is the symbolic environment of any
communicative act. Media, apart from whatever content is transmitted, impact individuals and society.
McLuhan’s thesis is that people adapt to their environment through a certain balance or ratio of the senses,
and the primary medium of the age brings out a particular sense ratio, thereby affecting perception.
Statement: Some of the metaphors used by McLuhan are: The medium is the message! The medium is the
massage. We live in a mess-age. The content of a new medium is an old medium.
Two Step Flow Theory
influence of media messages
History and Orientation
The two-step flow of communication hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson,
and Hazel Gaudet in The People's Choice, a 1944 study focused on the process of decision-making during a
Presidential election campaign. These researchers expected to find empirical support for the direct
influence of media messages on voting intentions. They were surprised to discover, however, that informal,
personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to radio or newspaper as sources of
influence on voting behavior. Armed with this data, Katz and Lazarsfeld developed the two-step flow theory
of mass communication.
Core Assumptions and Statements
This theory asserts that information from the media moves in two distinct stages. First, individuals (opinion
leaders) who pay close attention to the mass media and its messages receive the information. Opinion
leaders pass on their own interpretations in addition to the actual media content. The term ‘personal
influence’ was coined to refer to the process intervening between the media’s direct message and the
audience’s ultimate reaction to that message. Opinion leaders are quite influential in getting people to
change their attitudes and behaviors and are quite similar to those they influence. The two-step flow theory
has improved our understanding of how the mass media influence decision making. The theory refined the
ability to predict the influence of media messages on audience behavior, and it helped explain why certain
media campaigns may have failed to alter audience attitudes an behavior. The two-step flow theory gave
way to the multi-step flow theory of mass communication or diffusion of innovation theory.
Spiral of Silence
formation of public opinion
History and Orientation
Neumann (1974) introduced the “spiral of silence” as an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is
formed. She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political positions that led to national defeat,
humiliation and ruin in the 1930s-1940s.
Core Assumptions and Statements
The phrase "spiral of silence" actually refers to how people tend to remain silent when they feel that their
views are in the minority. The model is based on three premises: 1) people have a "quasi-statistical organ," a
sixth-sense if you will, which allows them to know the prevailing public opinion, even without access to
polls, 2) people have a fear of isolation and know what behaviors will increase their likelihood of being
socially isolated, and 3) people are reticent to express their minority views, primarily out of fear of being
The closer a person believes the opinion held is similar to the prevailing public opinion, the more they are
willing to openly disclose that opinion in public. Then, if public sentiment changes, the person will
recognize that the opinion is less in favor and will be less willing to express that opinion publicly. As the
perceived distance between public opinion and a person's personal opinion grows, the more unlikely the
person is to express their opinion.
Knowledge Gap
increasing gap between higher and lower educated people
History and Orientation
The knowledge gap theory was first proposed by Tichenor, Donohue and Olien at the University of
Minnesota in the 70s. They believe that the increase of information in society is not evenly acquired by
every member of society: people with higher socioeconomic status tend to have better ability to acquire
information (Weng, S.C. 2000). This leads to a division of two groups: a group of better-educated people
who know more about most things, and those with low education who know less. Lower socio-economic
status (SES) people, defined partly by educational level, have little or no knowledge about public affairs
issues, are disconnected from news events and important new discoveries, and usually aren’t concerned
about their lack of knowledge.
Core Assumptions and Statements
The knowledge gap can result in an increased gap between people of lower and higher socioeconomic
status. The attempt to improve people’s life with information via the mass media might not always work the
way this is planned. Mass media might have the effect of increasing the difference gap between members of
social classes.
Tichenor, Donohue and Olien (1970) present five reasons for justifying the knowledge gap. 1) People of
higher socioeconomic status have better communication skills, education, reading, comprehending and
remembering information. 2) People of higher socioeconomic status can store information more easily or
remember the topic form background knowledge 3) People of higher socioeconomic status might have a
more relevant social context. 4) People of higher socioeconomic status are better in selective exposure,
acceptance and retention. 5) The nature of the mass media itself is that it is geared toward persons of higher
socioeconomic status.
MNC Corporations
Multinational corporations are business entities that operate in more than one country. The typical
multinational corporation or MNC normally functions with a headquarters that is based in one
country, while other facilities are based in locations in other countries. In some circles, a
multinational corporation is referred to as a multinational enterprise (MBE) or a transnational
corporation (TNC).
The exact model for an MNC may vary slightly. One common model is for the multinational
corporation is the positioning of the executive headquarters in one nation, while production
facilities are located in one or more other countries. This model often allows the company to take
advantage of benefits of incorporating in a given locality, while also being able to produce goods
and services in areas where the cost of production is lower.
Another structural model for a multinational organization or MNO is to base the parent company
in one nation and operate subsidiaries in other countries around the world. With this model, just
about all the functions of the parent are based in the country of origin. The subsidiaries more or
less function independently, outside of a few basic ties to the parent.
A third approach to the setup of an MNC involves the establishment of a headquarters in one
country that oversees a diverse conglomeration that stretches to many different countries and
industries. With this model, the MNC includes affiliates, subsidiaries and possibly even some
facilities that report directly to the headquarters.
The idea of a multinational corporation has been around for centuries. Some trace the origins of
the concept back to the Dutch East India Company of the 17th century, as the corporate structure
involved a presence in more than one country. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the idea of a
company that functioned in more than one nation became increasingly common. In the 21st
century, this business model continues to be highly desirable.
There are several ways that an MNC can come into existence. One approach is to intentionally
establish a new company with headquarters in one country while producing goods and services in
facilities located elsewhere. In other instances, the multinational corporation comes about due to
mergers between two or more companies based in different countries. Acquisitions and hostile
takeovers also sometimes result in the creation of multinational corporations.
In a world that continues to become more interconnected each day, a multinational corporation
sometimes has a greater ability to adapt to economic and political shifts that corporations that
function in a single nation. Along with decreasing costs associated with producing core products,
this business model also opens the door for diversification, which often makes it possible for a
company to remain solvent even when one division or subsidiary is posting a temporary loss.
Multinational corporations have existed since the beginning of overseas trade. They have remained
a part of the business scene throughout history, entering their modern form in the 17th and 18th
centuries with the creation of large, European-based monopolistic concerns such as the British
East India Company during the age of colonization. Multinational concerns were viewed at that
time as agents of civilization and played a pivotal role in the commercial and industrial
development of Asia, South America, and Africa. By the end of the 19th century, advances in
communications had more closely linked world markets, and multinational corporations retained
their favorable image as instruments of improved global relations through commercial ties. The
existence of close international trading relations did not prevent the outbreak of two world wars in
the first half of the twentieth century, but an even more closely bound world economy emerged in
the aftermath of the period of conflict.
In more recent times, multinational corporations have grown in power and visibility, but have
come to be viewed more ambivalently by both governments and consumers worldwide. Indeed,
multinationals today are viewed with increased suspicion given their perceived lack of concern for
the economic well-being of particular geographic regions and the public impression that
multinationals are gaining power in relation to national government agencies, international trade
federations and organizations, and local, national, and international labor organizations.
Despite such concerns, multinational corporations appear poised to expand their power and
influence as barriers to international trade continue to be removed. Furthermore, the actual nature
and methods of multinationals are in large measure misunderstood by the public, and their long-
term influence is likely to be less sinister than imagined. Multinational corporations share many
common traits, including the methods they use to penetrate new markets, the manner in which
their overseas subsidiaries are tied to their headquarters operations, and their interaction with
national governmental agencies and national and international labor organizations.
As the name implies, a multinational corporation is a business concern with operations in more
than one country. These operations outside the company's home country may be linked to the
parent by merger, operated as subsidiaries, or have considerable autonomy. Multinational
corporations are sometimes perceived as large, utilitarian enterprises with little or no regard for
the social and economic well-being of the countries in which they operate, but the reality of their
situation is more complicated.
There are over 40,000 multinational corporations currently operating in the global economy, in
addition to approximately 250,000 overseas affiliates running cross-continental businesses. In
1995, the top 200 multinational corporations had combined sales of $7.1 trillion, which is
equivalent to 28.3 percent of the world's gross domestic product. The top multinational
corporations are headquartered in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan; they have the
capacity to shape global trade, production, and financial transactions. Multinational corporations
are viewed by many as favoring their home operations when making difficult economic decisions,
but this tendency is declining as companies are forced to respond to increasing global competition.
The World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World
Bank are the three institutions that underwrite the basic rules and regulations of economic,
monetary, and trade relations between countries. Many developing nations have loosened trade
rules under pressure from the IMF and the World Bank. The domestic financial markets in these
countries have not been developed and do not have appropriate laws in place to enable domestic
financial institutions to stand up to foreign competition. The administrative setup, judicial
systems, and law-enforcing agencies generally cannot guarantee the social discipline and political
stability that are necessary in order to support a growth-friendly atmosphere. As a result, most
multinational corporations are investing in certain geographic locations only. In the 1990s, most
foreign investment was in high-income countries and a few geographic locations in the South like
East Asia and Latin America. According to the World Bank's 2002 World Development Indicators,
there are 63 countries considered to be low-income countries. The share of these low-income
countries in which foreign countries are making direct investments is very small; it rose from 0.5
percent 1990 to only 1.6 percent in 2000.
Although foreign direct investment in developing countries rose considerably in the 1990s, not all
developing countries benefited from these investments. Most of the foreign direct investment went
to a very small number of lower and upper middle income developing countries in East Asia and
Latin America. In these countries, the rate of economic growth is increasing and the number of
people living at poverty level is falling. However, there are still nearly 140 developing countries
that are showing very slow growth rates while the 24 richest, developed countries (plus another 10
to 12 newly industrialized countries) are benefiting from most of the economic growth and
prosperity. Therefore, many people in the developing countries are still living in poverty.
Similarly, multinational corporations are viewed as being exploitative of both their workers and
the local environment, given their relative lack of association with any given locality. This criticism
of multinationals is valid to a point, but it must be remembered that no corporation can
successfully operate without regard to local social, labor, and environmental standards, and that
multinationals in large measure do conform to local standards in these regards.
Multinational corporations are also seen as acquiring too much political and economic power in
the modern business environment. Indeed, corporations are able to influence public policy to some
degree by threatening to move jobs overseas, but companies are often prevented from employing
this tactic given the need for highly trained workers to produce many products. Such workers can
seldom be found in low-wage countries. Furthermore, once they enter a market, multinationals are
bound by the same constraints as domestically owned concerns, and find it difficult to abandon the
infrastructure they produced to enter the market in the first place.
The modern multinational corporation is not necessarily headquartered in a wealthy nation. Many
countries that were recently classified as part of the developing world, including Brazil, Taiwan,
Kuwait, and Venezuela, are now home to large multinational concerns. The days of corporate
colonization seem to be nearing an end.


Multinational corporations follow three general procedures when seeking to access new markets:
merger with or direct acquisition of existing concerns; sequential market entry; and joint ventures.
Merger or direct acquisition of existing companies in a new market is the most straightforward
method of new market penetration employed by multinational corporations. Such an entry, known
as foreign direct investment, allows multinationals, especially the larger ones, to take full
advantage of their size and the economies of scale that this provides. The rash of mergers within
the global automotive industries during the late 1990s are illustrative of this method of gaining
access to new markets and, significantly, were made in response to increased global competition.
Multinational corporations also make use of a procedure known as sequential market entry when
seeking to penetrate a new market. Sequential market entry often also includes foreign direct
investment, and involves the establishment or acquisition of concerns operating in niche markets
related to the parent company's product lines in the new country of operation. Japan's Sony
Corporation made use of sequential market entry in the United States, beginning with the
establishment of a small television assembly plant in San Diego, California, in 1972. For the next
two years, Sony's U.S. operations remained confined to the manufacture of televisions, the parent
company's leading product line. Sony branched out in 1974 with the creation of a magnetic tape
plant in Dothan, Alabama, and expanded further by opening an audio equipment plant in Delano,
Pennsylvania, in 1977.
After a period of consolidation brought on by an unfavorable exchange rate between the yen and
dollar, Sony continued to expand and diversify its U.S. operations, adding facilities for the
production of computer displays and data storage systems during the 1980s. In the 1990s, Sony
further diversified it U.S. facilities and now also produces semiconductors and personal
telecommunications products in the United States. Sony's example is a classic case of a
multinational using its core product line to defeat indigenous competition and lay the foundation
for the sequential expansion of corporate activities into related areas.
Finally, multinational corporations often access new markets by creating joint ventures with firms
already operating in these markets. This has particularly been the case in countries formerly or
presently under communist rule, including those of the former Soviet Union, eastern Europe, and
the People's Republic of China. In such joint ventures, the venture partner in the market to be
entered retains considerable or even complete autonomy, while realizing the advantages of
technology transfer and management and production expertise from the parent concern. The
establishment of joint ventures has often proved awkward in the long run for multinational
corporations, which are likely to find their venture partners are formidable competitors when a
more direct penetration of the new market is attempted.
Multinational corporations are thus able to penetrate new markets in a variety of ways, which
allow existing concerns in the market to be accessed a varying degree of autonomy and control
over operations.


While no one doubts the economic success and pervasiveness of multinational corporations, their
motives and actions have been called into question by social welfare, environmental protection,
and labor organizations and government agencies worldwide.
National and international labor unions have expressed concern that multinational corporations in
economically developed countries can avoid labor negotiations by simply moving their jobs to
developing countries where labor costs are markedly less. Labor organizations in developing
countries face the converse of the same problem, as they are usually obliged to negotiate with the
national subsidiary of the multinational corporation in their country, which is usually willing to
negotiate contract terms only on the basis of domestic wage standards, which may be well below
those in the parent company's country.
Offshore outsourcing, or offshoring, is a term used to describe the practice of using cheap foreign
labor to manufacture goods or provide services only to sell them back into the domestic
marketplace. Today, many Americans are concerned about the issue of whether American
multinational companies will continue to export jobs to cheap overseas labor markets. In the fall of
2003, the University of California-Berkeley showed that as many as 14 million American jobs were
potentially at risk over the next decade. In 2004, the United States faced a half-trillion-dollar trade
deficit, with a surplus in services. Opponents of offshoring claim that it takes jobs away from
Americans, while also increasing the imbalance of trade.
When foreign companies set up operations in America, they usually sell the products
manufactured in the U.S. to American consumers. However, when U.S. companies outsource jobs
to cheap overseas labor markets, they usually sell the goods they produce to Americans, rather
than to the consumers in the country in which they are made. In 2004, the states of Illinois and
Tennessee passed legislation aimed at limiting offshoring; in 2005, another 16 states considered
bills that would limit state aid and tax breaks to firms that outsource abroad.
Insourcing, on the other hand, is a term used to describe the practice of foreign companies
employing U.S. workers. Foreign automakers are among the largest insourcers. Many non-U.S.
auto manufacturers have built plants in the United States, thus ensuring access to American
consumers. Auto manufacturers such as Toyota now make approximately one third of its profits
from U.S. car sales.
Social welfare organizations are similarly concerned about the actions of multinationals, which are
presumably less interested in social matters in countries in which they maintain subsidiary
operations. Environmental protection agencies are equally concerned about the activities of
multinationals, which often maintain environmentally hazardous operations in countries with
minimal environmental protection statutes.
Finally, government agencies fear the growing power of multinationals, which once again can use
the threat of removing their operations from a country to secure favorable regulation and
All of these concerns are valid, and abuses have undoubtedly occurred, but many forces are also at
work to keep multinational corporations from wielding unlimited power over even their own
operations. Increased consumer awareness of environmental and social issues and the impact of
commercial activity on social welfare and environmental quality have greatly influenced the
actions of all corporations in recent years, and this trend shows every sign of continuing.
Multinational corporations are constrained from moving their operations into areas with
excessively low labor costs given the relative lack of skilled laborers available for work in such
areas. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the modern consumer to the plight of individuals in
countries with repressive governments mitigates the removal of multinational business operations
to areas where legal protection of workers is minimal. Examples of consumer reaction to
unpopular action by multinationals are plentiful, and include the outcry against the use of
sweatshop labor by Nike and activism against operations by the Shell Oil Company in Nigeria and
PepsiCo in Myanmar (formerly Burma) due to the repressive nature of the governments in those
Multinational corporations are also constrained by consumer attitudes in environmental matters.
Environmental disasters such as those which occurred in Bhopal, India (the explosion of an unsafe
chemical plant operated by Union Carbide, resulting in great loss of life in surrounding areas) and
Prince William Sound, Alaska (the rupture of a single-hulled tanker, the Exxon Valdez, causing an
environmental catastrophe) led to ceaseless bad publicity for the corporations involved and
continue to serve as a reminder of the long-term cost in consumer approval of ignoring
environmental, labor, and safety concerns.
Similarly, consumer awareness of global issues lessens the power of multinational corporations in
their dealings with government agencies. International conventions of governments are also able
to regulate the activities of multinational corporations without fear of economic reprisal, with
examples including the 1987 Montreal Protocol limiting global production and use of
chlorofluorocarbons and the 1989 Basel Convention regulating the treatment of and trade in
chemical wastes.
In fact, despite worries over the impact of multinational corporations in environmentally sensitive
and economically developing areas, the corporate social performance of multinationals has been
surprisingly favorable to date. The activities of multinational corporations encourage technology
transfer from the developed to the developing world, and the wages paid to multinational
employees in developing countries are generally above the national average. When the actions of
multinationals do cause a loss of jobs in a given country, it is often the case that another
multinational will move into the resulting vacuum, with little net loss of jobs in the long run.
Subsidiaries of multinationals are also likely to adhere to the corporate standard of environmental
protection even if this is more stringent than the regulations in place in their country of operation,
and so in most cases create less pollution than similar indigenous industries.


Current trends in the international marketplace favor the continued development of multinational
corporations. Countries worldwide are privatizing government-run industries, and the
development of regional trading partnerships such as the North American Free Trade Agreement
(a 1993 agreement between Canada, Mexico, and United States) and the European Union have the
overall effect of removing barriers to international trade. Privatization efforts result in the
availability of existing infrastructure for use by multinationals seeking to enter a new market,
while removal of international trade barriers is obviously a boon to multinational operations.
Perhaps the greatest potential threat posed by multinational corporations would be their
continued success in a still underdeveloped world market. As the productive capacity of
multinationals increases, the buying power of people in much of the world remains relatively
unchanged, which could lead to the production of a worldwide glut of goods and services. Such a
glut, which has occurred periodically throughout the history of industrialized economies, can in
turn lead to wage and price deflation, contraction of corporate activities, and a rapid slowdown in
all phases of economic life. Such a possibility is purely hypothetical, however, and for the
foreseeable future the operations of multinational corporations worldwide are likely to continue to

Organizations competing on an international basis face choices in terms of resource allocation, the
balance of authority between the central office and business units, and the degree to which
products and services are customized in order to accommodate tastes and preferences of local
markets. When employing a transnational strategy, the goal is to combine elements of global and
multidomestic strategies. Each of these will now be briefly discussed.
A global strategy involves a high degree of concentration of resources and capabilities in the
central office and centralization of authority in order to exploit potential scale and learning
economies. Customization at the local level is thus necessarily low. The multidomestic strategy, on
the other hand, represents the opposite view of international strategy. Resources are dispersed
throughout the various countries where the firm does business, decision-making authority is
pushed down to the local level, and each business unit is allowed to customize product and market
offerings to specific needs. The corporation as a whole foregoes the benefits that could be derived
from centralization and coordination of diverse activities.
A transnational strategy allows for the attainment of benefits inherent in both global and
multidomestic strategies. The overseas components are integrated into the overall corporate
structure across several dimensions, and each of the components is empowered to become a
source of specialized innovation. It is a management approach in which an organization integrates
its global business activities through close cooperation and interdependence among its
headquarters, operations, and international subsidiaries, and its use of appropriate global
information technologies (Zwass, 1998).
The key philosophy of a transnational organization is adaptation to all environmental situations
and achieving flexibility by capitalizing on knowledge flows (which take the form of decisions and
value-added information) and two-way communication throughout the organization. The principal
characteristic of a transnational strategy is the differentiated contributions by all its units to
integrated worldwide operations. As one of its other characteristics, a joint innovation by
headquarters and by some of the overseas units leads to the development of relatively standardized
and yet flexible products and services that can capture several local markets. Decision making and
knowledge generation are distributed among the units of a transnational organization.
Structure follows strategy (Chandler, 1962), implying that a transnational strategy must have an
appropriate structure in order to implement the strategy. Just as the transnational strategy is a
combination or hybrid strategy between global and multidomestic strategies, the organizational
structure of firms pursuing transnational strategies is a structure that draws on characteristics of
the worldwide geographic structure and the worldwide product divisional structure. The
combination of mechanisms needed is somewhat contradictory, because the structure need be
centralized and decentralized, integrated and nonintegrated, and formalized and nonformalized.
But firms that can successfully implement this strategy and structure often perform better than
firms pursuing only multidomestic or global strategies.
Transnational companies often enter into strategic alliances with their customers, suppliers, and
other business partners to save time and capital. As long-term partnerships, these alliances may
bring to the firm specialized competencies, relatively stable and sophisticated market outlets that
help in honing its products and services, or stable and flexible supply sources. This may result in a
virtual corporation, consisting of several independent firms that collaborate to bring products or
services to the market.
A transnational model represents a compromise between local autonomy and centralized decision
making. The organization seeks a balance between the pressures for global integration and the
pressures for local responsiveness. It achieves this balance by pursuing a distributed strategy
which is a hybrid of the centralized and decentralized strategies. Under the transnational model, a
multinational corporation's assets and capabilities are dispersed according to the most beneficial
location for a specific activity. Simultaneously, overseas operations are interdependent, and
knowledge is developed jointly and shared worldwide.
Transnational firms have higher degrees of coordination with low control dispersed throughout
the organization. The five implementation tactics (Vitalari and Wetherbe, 1996) used for
implementing the transnational model are:
Mass customization-synergies through global research and development (e.g., American Express,
Time Warner, Frito-Lay, MCI)
Global sourcing and logistics (e.g., Benetton, Citicorp)
Global intelligence and information resources (e.g., Andersen Consulting, McKinsey Consulting)
Global customer service (e.g., American Express)
Global alliances (e.g., British Airways and US Air; KLM and Northwest)

Effects of Globalisation on labour markets

Trade openness does not Contrary to the fear expressed in some quarters that rising imports might
undermine aggregate threaten the overall number of jobs in advanced economies, trade openness has
employment… not undermined aggregate employment (OECD, 2005c; European Commission,
2005). From the demand side, emerging-market countries offer an expanding
export market for OECD producers.5 From the supply side, a number of factors,
work to increase employment.

… and can even reduce More competition in product markets, as a result of globalisation, implies
structural unemployment greater demand for labour at a given real wage. And increased exposure of jobs to
competition reduces wage pressures at a given employment level (Boulhol et al.,
2006). Both effects reduce unemployment. Experience shows that the effect can
be large. Despite very little progress in easing rigid labour market policy settings,
the structural unemployment rate has fallen by one percentage point in the
European Union over the past ten years. This improvement appears to have been
primarily driven by the intensification of competitive pressures in European
product markets (OECD, 2007b), even though it was not exclusively due to
globalisation. However, the full gains from greater competition will only emerge
if labour is successfully reallocated from disappearing to new jobs.

Labour reallocation has not The reallocation of labour to more productive jobs is required in response to
implied greater insecurity... globalisation and other factors. However, the number of job losses due to trade-
related adjustment is small compared with the overall rate of job destruction in the
economy (Mankiw and Swagel, 2006). Moreover, despite the accelerating pace of
globalisation, the rate of change in sectoral employment patterns has been fairly
stable in the OECD area (OECD, 2005d). Average job tenure has even increased
in most OECD countries since the early 1990s, belying the perception that jobs
have generally become more insecure. The longer average tenure has been
paralleled by a rising incidence of temporary employment in a majority of OECD
countries, driven to a large extent by changes in labour market regulation that
have unfortunately favoured the emergence of a two-tier labour market. Despite
fears of offshoring, the data show no systematic link

Globalization and Labour Markets:

1. Since the 1970s, labour markets in Europe and North America (except for the past decade in the
United States, UK, and Australia) have been characterized by historically high unemployment
2. In the last 25 years in Europe and North America there has been a rise in non-traditional work
arrangements. It increases in the proportion of the labour force employed part-time time in
shiftwork, self-employed employed, and in the proportion of workers holding multiple jobs and
casual/temporary jobs. These non non-traditional labour arrangements are evident throughout the
economies of most developed nations.
3. The increase in part part-time employment has gone hand in hand with increases in multiple job
holding particularly for women. In the 1980s in Canada there was an 89% increase in female and a
28% increase in male multiple multiple-job holders. These Canadian trends in part part-time
employment and multiple job holding are similar to trends observed in other OECD nations during
this time.
4. There has been a dramatic shift away from manufacturing and towards service sector
employment over the past quarter of a century.
5. A study of changes in employment across sector and occupation in G7 countries found that from
1971 – 1991, manufacturing as a proportion of employment decreased by an average of 24 percent.
In 1971 the service sector employed, on average, 1.4 times as many workers than in the
manufacturing sector. In 1991 the ratio of service to manufacturing employment had increased by
61% to 2.3. By 1991, seventy eight percent of the G7 workforce was employed in the service sector.
6. In G7 nations, from 1971 1991, producer services showed the fastest rate of employment growth
utilizing highly educated and skilled workers. The lowest rates of employment growth in the
service sector were in the distributive and personal services, which mainly employ low skill
workers. The rate of employment growth in producer services was over 3 times the rate for
distributive and personal services in G7 countries.
7. As well as these overall structural shifts in labour markets a number of related trends have
occurred within occupations. Researchers in the USA, Canada, and the UK have demonstrated an
overall increase in the skill level required in jobs since the 1970s. The Employment in Britain
Survey and the Social Change and Economic Life Initiative Survey assessed worker, the worker’s
perceptions of their job & job’s change in skill & requirements from 1981 - 1985 and from 1987 -
1992. It demonstrated an increase in self-reported skill requirements for all categories of workers
in the study between the study periods. Four times as many semi semi-and unskilled manual
workers reported increases in skill requirements in their jobs compared to workers in the
professional and administrative categories.
8. Along with increased skill requirements within jobs, Canadian researchers have observed a
trend of increasing entry barriers (known as “credential inflation) particularly for unskilled jobs.
Holzer compared qualifications required for various occupations in the early 1980s and the mid
mid-1990s in a large study of Canadian workers & found that the requirement for post-secondary
education in unskilled manual and clerical occupations increased by 60 % and 96 % respectively
compared to decreases of 3% for managerial occupations and increases of 6% for professional jobs.
9. While skill requirements for jobs appear to have increased, in some developed nations, and
labour market entry has become more difficult and education dependent, during the past quarter
century, there is evidence that working conditions, even within the expanding service sector, may
be worsening. European surveys have shown that the proportion of high strain jobs (work with
low control, low support and high demands) increased from 25 to 30 percent between 1991 and
1996 (European Foundation 1997; Bond et al., 1998; Walters 1998).
10. As well, in race to the bottom many nations have cut back social and employment related
benefits and corporations cutting back on pension, health and other social insurance benefits.
Concentric Zone Theory

The Burgess Urban Land Use Model

In 1925, Burgess presented a descriptive urban land use model, which divided cities in a set of concentric
circles expanding from the downtown to the suburbs. This representation was built from Burgess'
observations of a number of American cities, notably Chicago, for which he provided empirical evidence.
The model assumes a relationship between the socio-economic status (mainly income) of households and
the distance from the CBD. The further from the CBD, the better the quality of housing, but the longer the
commuting time. Thus, accessing better housing is done at the expense of longer commuting times (and
costs). According to this monocentric model (see above figure), a large city is divided in six concentric
Zone I: Central Business District (CBD) where most of the tertiary employment is located and where the
urban transport infrastructure is converging, making this zone the most accessible.
Zone II: Immediately adjacent to the CBD a zone where many industrial activities locate to take advantage
of nearby labor and markets. Further, most transport terminals, namely port sites and railyards, are located
adjacent to the central area.
Zone III: This zone is gradually been reconverted to other uses by expanding manufacturing / industrial
activities. It contains the poorest segment of the urban population, notably first generation immigrants
living, in the lowest housing conditions.
Zone IV: Residential zone dominated by the working class and those who were able to move away from the
previous zone (often second generation immigrants). This zone has the advantage of being located near the
major zones of employment (I and II) and thus represents a low cost location for the working class.
Zone V: Represents higher quality housing linked with longer commuting costs.
Zone VI: Mainly high class and expensive housing in a rural, suburbanized, setting. The commuting costs
are the highest. Prior to mass diffusion of the automobile (1930s), most of these settlements were located
next to rail stations.
According to Burgess, urban growth is a process of expansion and reconversion of land uses, with a
tendency of each inner zone to expand in the outer zone. On the above figure, zone II (Factory zone) is
expanding towards zone IV (Working class zone), creating a transition zone with reconversion of land use.
Although the Burgess model is simple and elegant, it has drawn numerous criticisms:
The model is too simple and limited in historical and cultural applications up to the 1950s. It is a product of
its time.
The model was developed when American cities were growing very fast in demographic terms and when
motorized transportation was still uncommon as most people used public transit. Expansion thus involved
reconversion of existing land uses. This concept cannot be applied in a contemporary (from the second half
to the 20th century) context where highways have enabled urban development to escape the reconversion
process and to take place directly in the suburbs.
The model was developed for American cities and has limited applicability elsewhere. It has been
demonstrated that pre-industrial cities, notably in Europe, did not at all followed the concentric circles
model. For instance, in most pre-industrial European cities, the center was much more important than the
periphery, notably in terms of social status. The Burgess concentric model is consequently partially
There were a lot of spatial differences in terms of ethnic, social and occupational status, while there were
low occurrence of the functional differences in land use patterns. The concentric model assumed a spatial
separation of place of work and place of residence, which was not generalized until the twentieth century.
However, the Burgess model remains useful as a concept explaining concentric urban development, as a
way to introduce the complexity of urban land use and to explain urban growth in American cities in the
early-mid 20th century.

Factors involved in the location of cities

Situations for defence originally most important. - Later trade routes located by topography create
commercial cities, where break in transportation occurs. - In manufacturing, extractive Industries follow
raw materials, and cheap power, and later seek the largest cities for labor supply, home markets and cheap
transportation. - Political locations compromises. - Exact starting points analyzed. - Topographical
influences most compelling.
Situations favorable for defence determined the location of ancient cities, as with the Greek colonies on a
promontory or an island, the Etruscan cities on hill tops, Athens with the Acropolis, Rome on seven hills,
Paris on an island and London in the midst of swamps. In modern times the individual settler locates his
cottage to satisfy his first needs for water, wood, grass, shelter, etc., and small settlements are widely
scattered in all available spots. It is largely geographical superiority which renders certain localities capable
of satisfying more extensive demands and lifts small settlements into cities.
Trade routes, the lines of least resistance between the sources of products and their final markets, have in
all ages located commercial cities at the points where a break in transportation occurs. Where a trade route
traverses an ocean or lake, cities arise at the harbors which have easy topographical approach from
productive regions and from which markets can be readily reached. For example, the phenomenal growth of
New York is due to there being but one topograhically easy route from the West through the Appalachian
Range to the Atlantic Coast, concentrating the flow of products to New York, aided first by the Erie Canal
and later by the New York Central and other railroads. Where a gulf exists, the trading city is commonly
located at the innermost angle, as with Christiania, Liverpool, Genoa, Naples, Venice and Hamburg. Where
the action of the sea closes harbors, ancient cities were ruined, as with Ephesus, Utica, and the coast cities
of Asia Minor and northern Africa, while modern cities retain their harbors by constant dredging.
Where the trade route follows a river, cities arise either near the mouth where ocean and river navigation
meet, as at New Orleans or Philadelphia, at the head of rivers where river and creek navigation meet, as at
Albany, Richmond and St. Paul, at the confluence of two or more rivers or branches of the same river, as at
St. Louis, Omaha, Mayence, Coblentz, and Cairo, at the intersection of a river and a canal, as at Richmond,
Syracuse, Evansville, and Fort Wayne, at an obstruction in the river requiring unloading, as formerly at
Louisville, or at a marked bend changing the direction of a river, as at Cincinnati, Kansas City, Madgeburg,
Toulouse, and Lyons. A river in forming a natural highway forms also a natural barrier to intercourse
between its two sides, so that facilities for crossing the river may so concentrate travel as to create a small
trade route and thus a town at the river crossing. For example, Harrisburg started at a ferry across the
Susquehanna River; Rockford and Reading at fords in the Rock and Schuylkill Rivers, and Terre Haute at
the bridge of the National Pike, across the Wabash River. Deep water in rivers will locate cities, as with
Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, Bremen, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Havre. New Orleans owes its location to
the fact that the land on which it was built was a few feet higher than any river land within many miles of it.
Land trade routes, prior to the time of railroads, created cities at their intersections, commonly in the centre
of great plains, as with Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague. Other points were where plain and
mountain met, requiring a change in transportation, as with Turin, Milan, Augsburg, and Munich. The old
trails from the Missouri River to the West caused the beginning of a number of towns as oufitting points,
such as Council Bluffs, St Joseph, and Topeka.
Where politics govern in selecting a city site the location is ordinarily a compromise. Thus Washington was
located half way between the north and the south, before the west was developed, and Columbus and
Indianapolis were located at the geographical centres of their respective states. The influence of climate in
locating cities is shown in such summer resorts as Newport, Bar Harbor, and Lenox, and such winter
resorts as Los Angeles, St. Augustine, Atlantic City, and Pasadena.
The exact starting point of cities is worth noting, since all growth consists of movement away from it To say
that a city owes its location to a harbor, to the head of river navigation or to a fertile inland plain, is
somewhat indefinite, since a large part of the harbor may be neglected and valueless, and the head of river
navigation and the inland plain may furnish many other locations apparently equally desirable and yet not
utilized. In the early days when protection was all-important, the fort was the point of origin, but with
commercial cities the starting point is the most convenient point of contact with the outer world; this being
a wharf where deep water and a high bank meet, if transportation is by water, the intersection of turnpikes
topographically located, if transportation is by wagon, and a railroad depot placed for the convenient
shipping of products, if transportation is by rail. With river cities the requirement of deep water and a high
bank, and further, the avoidance of swift currents, was frequently best met where a creek ran into a river,
the first docks of New York being on the creek where Broad St. now is; of Philadelphia, where Dock Creek
joined the Delaware River; of Toledo, where Swan Creek joined the Maume6 River; of Memphis, where
Wolf Creek joined the Mississippi River, and of Richmond, where Shockoe's Creek joined the James River.
Where steep hills descend close to the water's edge there are in some instances two starting points for the
town, one for business buildings at the water's edge and the other for residences on the hill, as at
Richmond, Knoxville, and Kansas City. At Omaha, owing to variations in the height of water, the town
started about ten blocks back from the waterfront.
Where the first settlers, having in mind a future city, lay out a plat at the inception of the city, the starting
point of the city may be determined arbitrarily, the central point being a public square or a public building.
Corporate or private ownership is in some cases sufficiently powerful to alter the location of a city, either by
forcing it away from the original point of the older settlement, as at West Superior and Tacoma, or by
preventing it from occupying its normal site, as at Houston.
Sometimes the first location of a city is so unsatisfactory that the entire settlement is moved, as with Akron,
O., where the soil did not hold the water from the power canal for the flour mill, Hence the mill was moved
and the town followed. Also Charleston, S. C, first started on the west bank of the Ashley River, and Mobile
moved in 1710 from 27 Mile Bluff. Small towns have been bodily moved either to avoid municipal debt or to
secure better locations. Recently in the Dakotas several towns were moved on rollers from six to twelve
miles, from the small rivers on which they were first built to the new extension of the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy R. R. In most cases vested interests, both in the buildings and in the value of the land, are too
powerful to permit of a wholesale moving, the efforts of inhabitants being aimed towards counteracting any
deficiencies of location by increased or differently directed labor.