In its broadest sense, industry is any work that is undertaken for economic gain and that promotes employment. The word may be applied to a wide range of activities, from farming to manufacturing to tourism. It encompasses production at any scale, from the local—sometimes known as cottage industry—to the multinational or transnational.
In a more restricted sense, industry refers to the production of goods, especially when that production is accomplished with machines. It is this limited definition of industry that is embodied by the notion of industrialization: the transition to an economy based on the largescale, machine-assisted production of goods by a concentrated, usually urban, population of workers. Manufacturing, which literally means “making by hand”, has come to describe mechanical production in factories, mills, and other industrial plants
An industry is usually classified as belonging to one of the following four groups:
Primary industries, which collect or extract raw materials, are located where the resources are found.
Secondary industries are those that process or convert the raw materials into finished products. Some of these manufacturing industries must be situated close to the raw materials they use, others are tied to their largest markets, and still others—independent of both resources and markets—are often located wherever it is cheapest at the time.
Tertiary industries are the service industries. These include retailing, wholesaling, transport, public administration, and the professions, such as law.
Quaternary industries comprise activities that provide expertise and information. Consultancy services and research organizations belong to this category. These are generally market oriented, but since electronic communication permits swift contact and the easy
transmission of data, they may be located almost anywhere.
Changes to the industrial structure of a country can be measured using either the value of manufactured output or alterations to the employment structure. For the established industrial nations, there has been a clear shift in the relative importance of different types of industry, and this has been accompanied by a change in employment. Since the mid-19th century, the proportion of the US workforce employed in primary industry has declined from about 70 per cent to its present level of just 3 per cent. Employment in secondary industry reached a peak of 30 per cent in the 1950s, after which it dropped back to 23 per cent.
Tertiary and quaternary industries now employ 74 per cent of the workforce. The corresponding figures for the UK are nearly identical: primary industry has just 2 per cent, secondary 23 per cent, and tertiary and quaternary 75 per cent of the workforce. In
Germany, the distribution is 3 per cent in primary industry, 37 per cent in secondary, and 60 per cent in tertiary and quaternary.
These figures stand in marked contrast to those of the Emerging and Less Developed Ccountries (ELDCs). In India, for example, 65 per cent of the workforce is engaged in primary industry, 19 per cent in secondary, and 11 per cent in tertiary. Not all ELDCs display similar figures, however-much depends on their history and their links with the rest of the world.
In Nigeria and South Africa, for example, approximately 44 per cent and 50 per cent of the workforce respectively is engaged in tertiary activity.
De-industrialization describes the decline in the contribution made by manufacturing industry to a nation’s overall economic prosperity. The process might better be termed reindustrialization, because the shift is not away from industry altogether, but from secondary to tertiary and quaternary industry. In other words, a de-industrializing economy moves away from the manufacture of goods and towards the provision of services. Those countries to industrialize first—the UK, France, and the United States—are now undergoing de-industrialization. The ascendancy of the service economy in the context of the post-industrial society is characterized by a number of apparently negative features, such as a decline in manufacturing employment and a dependence on imports across a wide range of sectors.
Although the loss of the manufacturing base is likely to create unemployment at first, it may not be an adverse development in the long term. Ironically, de-industrialization in the three countries mentioned above has been accompanied by a growth in the high-tech industries in areas such as the Côte d’ Azur in France; Silicon Valley in California; and along the M4 motorway, around Cambridge, and in central Scotland—the so-called Silicon Glen—in the UK. The long-term impact of de-industrialization has yet to be felt. It may be the speed of the process, rather than the process itself, that needs careful management.
Probably the most significant industrial development since the 1960s has been the rise of the multinational or transnational company. Examples of these companies, which operate in many countries, are Ford, General Motors, IBM, Siemens, and Matsushita Electrical. United Nations (UN) estimates that investment by transnational companies has risen by 13 per cent per year over the last 20 years, largely because more and more governments are accepting these firms into their countries. Nevertheless, the growth of multinational corporations has raised a number of concerns. An enormous amount of production power is concentrated in the hands of a few controllers, which means that the countries involved become directly susceptible to economic changes in other parts of the world. The transfer of assets from one country to another may be difficult for governments to manage or prevent, and there are likely to be disparities in the treatment of different countries.
Manufacturing countries experiencing the decline of home-based industry, such as the UK, have proved attractive targets for multinationals. So have countries in Asia and South America, where energy and labour are relatively inexpensive. By contrast, few African countries have benefited from investment by transnational corporations because of the general lack of skilled workforce and adequate infrastructure. Not all transnational have their origins in the developed nations. The development of such companies is encouraged in the NICs as a means of securing expanding export markets.
Consequences of Industrialization
Most countries regard industrialization as a positive development capable of generating rapid wealth, revitalizing run-down areas, and conferring influence in world affairs. Most also now recognize the need for a diversified industrial base to safeguard their economies from fluctuations in the market price for their own specialized product.
Industrialization schemes commonly require a parallel development of energy sources. In the case of hydroelectric plants, there is social dislocation, since large areas may be flooded to create the necessary water reserves behind the so-called super-dams.
Environmental safeguards may be overlooked, leading to serious problems of air, land, and water pollution. One of the worst incidents occurred in Minamata, Japan, where mercury residues from nearby chemical plants contaminated the water of Minamata Bay, were ingested by fish, and then entered the human food chain to cause death and illness for up to 30 years after the event. Another notorious example was Bhopal, India, where a leak of poisonous gas killed thousands of people and blinded or otherwise injured many others.
In Europe, the North Sea is suffering from the effects of industrial waste, thermal pollution from power stations, atmospheric fallout containing high levels of lead, oil spilled form ships, and radioactive materials from nuclear power stations. Increasing industrialization means that pressures to conserve resources are rising. Urbanization and associated problems such as housing, crime unemployment etc
The Future of Industry
Several trends are likely in the global pattern of industrialization. First, only certain countries, and not the world as a whole, may experience a post-industrial future. A second trend will be the efficient and careful use of resources and the growth in recycling as the concept of sustainability becomes better established. Recycling industries are a growth area themselves, and established manufacturers are increasingly operating product recycling schemes.
A final trend will be the growing need for alternative technologies to reduce the consumption of resources for industrial production and to protect the natural environment. Worldwide cooperation will be necessary if all nations are to gain from the potential benefits of industry.
Modernization is a concept used in sociology and politics. It is the view that a standard, teleological (the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes) evolutionary pattern, as described in the social evolutionism theories, exists as a template for all nations and peoples According to theories of modernization, each society would evolve inexorably from
barbarism to ever greater levels of development and civilization. The more modern states would be wealthier and more powerful, and their citizens freer and having a higher standard of living. According to the Social theorist Peter Wagner, modernization can be seen as processes, and as offensives.
The former view suggests that it is developments, such as new data technology or dated laws, which make modernization necessary or preferable. This view makes critique of modernization difficult, since it implies that it is these developments which control the limits of
human interaction, and not vice versa. The latter view of modernization as offensives argues that both the developments and the altered opportunities made available by these developments are shaped and controlled by human agents. The view of modernization as offensives therefore sees it as a product of human planning and action, an active process capable of being both changed and criticized. This was the standard view in the social sciences for many decades. It was also viewed as a “development of the rational and universal mind towards self-consciousness and freedom.”
This theory stressed the importance of societies being open to change and saw reactionary forces as restricting development. Maintaining tradition for tradition’s sake was thought to be harmful to progress and development. This approach has been heavily criticized, mainly because it conflated modernization with westernization. In this model, the modernization of a society required the destruction of the indigenous culture and its replacement by a more westernized one. Technically modernity simply refers to the present, and any society still in existence is therefore modern.
Proponents of modernization typically view only Western society as being truly modern arguing that others are primitive or ‘unevolved’ by comparison. This view sees ‘unmodernized’ societies as inferior even if they have the same standard of living as western societies. Opponents of this view argue that modernity is independent of culture and can be adapted to any society. Japan is cited as an example by both sides. Some see it as proof that a thoroughly modern way of life can exist in a non-western society. Others argue that Japan has become distinctly more western as a result of its modernization. In addition, this view is accused of being Eurocentric, as modernization began in Europe with the industrial revolution.