CORPORATE POWER AND THE MARKET AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE AND THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

by

ALAN LISTIAK

A Thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Toronto

ALAN LISTIAK, 1981

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES

PROGRAM OF THE FINAL

ORAL EXAMINATION

FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

OF

ALAN M. LISTIAK

10:00 a.m., Friday, December 12, 1980 Room 111, 63 St. George Street

CORPORATE POWER AND THE MARKET: AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE AND THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

Committee in Charge: Professor Professor Professor Professor Professor Professor Professor Professor D. Hunt, Chairman B. Baldus U. Franklin R. Gillis, Internal Appraiser R. MacKay R. Ossenberg, External Examiner J.G. Reitz A.T. Turk, Supervisor

Professor W. Van der Berg

CORPORATE POWER AND THE MARKET: AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE AND THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

BY
ALAN LISTJAK

This dissertation is an examination of the sociological debate over the nature of corporate power and the market for consumer goods in modern society. Two sociological theoretical positions, the pluralist/functionalist and the elite/class, are compared and contrasted with respect to this issue. They are

then critically tested by applying them to the automobile industry and the development of the meanings and physical shape of the automobile, in particular, the controversial meanings and designs associated with those non-transportation themes subsumed under the notion of "performance." In comparing and contrasting Che plural ist/ functiona 1 is t and the elite/ class theories three basic conceptual areas must be examined: ( 1 the nature .)

of power and its exercise; (2) the nature of corporate behaviour; and (3) the ' nature of the. market and consumption in modern society. The pluralist/function-

alist position depticts corporate power as well socialized and externally controlled whereas the elite/class position depicts a corporate elite/ruling corporate class able to control the political arena and the market. done little to resolve this debate. Empirical research has

It: is suggested that part of this loggerhead

is due to the inadequate conception of power which underlies these positions. This conception is individualistic and limited in Its scope. This is particularly

problematic for the elite/class perspective because much of what it describes as
i

corporate power is not consistent with this basic concept„

A more sociological

2

conception of power is proposed to comprehend this description based upon the works of Steven Lukes, Tom Baumgartner et al., and Bernd Tialdus. Termed the

meta-power view it conceives of power as the exercise of relational control, that is, the ability to structure social relationships in an interaction system by manipulating action possibilities, reward structures, and orientations. This

conception is applicable, to the collective actions of organizations and institution' A number of power strategies are discussed and special attention given to the strategy of the incorporation of complementary bahaviour patterns. Corporate bahaviour is conceptualized interrns of the model of organizations in action developed by James Thompson. Both theoretical positions are

applied to this model and the respectives views, of corporate behaviour in the market discussed. Both positions are also examined regarding their similar

views of the market as a major social location for the expression of individual freedom, creativity, status, etc. Their differences with respect to the role of

culture in determining human needs and their expression, and rhe role of advertising are discussed. The two positions are applied to the American automobile industry and the development of the automobile. Hypotheses are derived from each predicting

the nature of the interaction between automobile manufacturers and consumers with respect to the determination of automotive design and meaning. using secondary sources: The meta-power view was supported. These were tested It: was found that

manufacturers exercised relational control over the market by selectively emnhazining and developing automotive designs and meanings which measured high in the dimensions of exclusiveness, machismo, styling, ergonomics and reputation. Other dimensions such as safety, technology, economy, functional!sm, and durability were measured low in emphasis and development. The dimension of machismo which

contains the themes of power, performance, speed, masculinity has proven to be a particularly problematic automotive dimension. These performance themes have

been the subject of increasing public concern and criticism, particularly World War II.

since

Parallel with this criticism has developed a subculture known resource

as hot rodding which utilizes'the automobile as a physical and symbolic

to express performance and machismo values and motives, as well as others such as rebellion, freedom, hedonism, and action-seeking. Originally viewed as a

deviant and dangerous minority, by the 1960s it had achieved a degree of social respectability as a commercial sport. To explain the machismo and performance from

content of American automotive design, several hypotheses were derived

each theoretical position regarding the nature of the relationship between the auto manufacturers and hot rodders. They were tested by assessing the attitudes analysis

of the manufacturers and the public toward hot rodding through a content

and a historical analysis of the relationship in question over the postwar period to 1968. It was found that hot rodding functioned as a complementary behaviour This

pattern which was selectively incorporated and supported by r.he industry.

incorporation was based upon certain structural considerations and priorities of the manufacturers in their efforts to reduce demand undertainty for their products. In the 1950s hot rod symbolism was incorporated into design and advertising aimed controlled

at middle class consumers by framing it in a context of comfort and expression.

In the 1960s such symbolism was no longer contained within the middle

class context but stood on its own. Hot rod races were used to 1 ej>i r Lmize horse. power increases and to "proxy" durability and progress. viewed as a means of tapping the youth marker.. Hot rodding was also

It was supported directly and Without this support and

indirectly by the manufacturers at various levels.

without the increasingly powerful automobiles provided by the industry, hot rodding would not have developed into the market or the spectacular sport it has. The

performance market of the 1960s is thus a structured outcome of the industry's actions in the 1950s to develop and incorporate hot rodding.

This disserations shows the utility of the conception of power in terms of meta-power and relational control. The emphasis on structural variables and

interaction systems provides a sociological orientation to power that is missing in the predominant approaches to power. As such it is able to comprehend situatioi

as involving the exercise of power which would not be considered as such by the traditional approach. This enables the terms of reference to be expanded and

a more adequate representation of social reality to be comprehended in sociological analysis.

To the memory of my Father

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABSTRACT CHAPTER PART I. 1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Theoretical Development Automotive Performance and the Automobile Industry. Contributions Outline of Study PART II. 2. THEORETICAL DISCUSSION 32 INTRODUCTION 2 6 13 24 26 vi i
xi

CORPORATE POWER AND ITS CONCEPTUALIZATION

Corporate Capitalism, Revisionist History, and Neo-Marx ism 33 History, Liberalism, and Pluralism 41 Who Controls the Corporation .45 The Conception of Power 59 Reconceptualization of Power 70 Levels of Analysis: Power as Structure . . . . 72 Conceptualizing Power as Structure 76 The Research Problem 94 3. PLURALIST/FUNCTIONALIST VIEWS OF CORPORATE BEHAVIOUR AND THE ENVIRONMENT 98 The Pluralist/Functionalist View of OrganizationEnvironment Interaction 99 Organization Theory and the Environment 109 Organizations in Action 119 The Institutional School 126 Summary ,130 4. CORPORATE POWER STRUCTURES AND THE ENVIRONMENT . . Corporations as Power Structures The Corporate Capitalist Class and the Market . . . Corporate Power Structures.and the Environment . . Summary and Comment 5. CONSUMPTION AND CONTROL: NEEDS, CULTURE, THE MARKET, AND CORPORATIONS The Market: Producer Sovereignty versus Consumer Sovereignty 136 137 142 148 156 160 163

CHAPTER The Pluralist/Functionalist View Critical Theory and the Market The Two Views Considered 6. THEORETICAL SUMMARY AND FORMULATIONS PART III. AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE, THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, AND THE CONSUMER 7. THE AUTOMOBILE AND ITS DEFINITION The Substantive Problem Automotive Performance: "Extra Motives" Hot Rodding: Extra Motives from Deviant to Legitimate Incitement to Performance: the Automobile Industry Indicted Conclusions 8. THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, THE CONSUMER AND THE HOT RODDER The Automobile Industry and the Automobile The Autombile Industry and the Development of the Automobile: the Two Views Considered The Pluralist/Functionalist View The Meta-Power View Directions 9. INITIAL ANALYSIS AND METHODOLOGY A d v e r t i s i n g , Product Development and Relational Control: Roy Van Til's Study Methodology 10. THE FINDINGS OF THE CONTENT ANALYSIS Public Attitudes in Life Industry Attitudes in Business Week Summary 11. THE INCORPORATION OF HOT RODDING: THE INDUSTRY TO THE EARLY 1950s The Hot The The

page

166 172 183 186

195 ;1:95 201 207 214 223 228 229 235 235 242 255 259 259 269 277 277 289 298 301 302 313 318 323 329

,. . HOT RODDING AND

Early Years: the Automobile Industry and Rodding Automobile a n d H o t R o d d i n g Early 1950s (1) Performance Evaluation, (2) Tooling, (3) L e g i t i m a t i o n and S c a p e g o a t i n g (4) Opening New M a r k e t s and (5) P u b l i c i t y and Symbolism

CHAPTER (6) (7) (8) 12. Low Costs -- Contracting Risk Corporate Image Styling THE LATE

Page 336 338 339 357 357 381 396 PART IV. CONCLUSIONS 409 411 413 421 425

THE INCORPORATION OF HOT RODDING: 1950s AND 1960s The Late 1950s The 1960s Summary

13.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The Results The Industry's Influence on Hot Rodding The Automobile Industry and Meta-Power . . . . . . . Theoretical Discussion ....

APPENDIX Articles from Business Week Articles from Life REFERENCES 429 430 432

TABLES AND FIGURES Table 2.1 Characteristics of Models of the Distribution of Power in Society Table 2.2 Three Dimensions of Power Structure of Organizational System 75 80 Ill

Figure 3.1 Figure 3.2 Figure 8.1

Figure 8.2

Factors in Response to Environmental Change 124 Diagram of the Pluralist/Functionalist View of Automobile Sales and Development Process Over Time: Consumer Sovereignty . . 241 Diagram of Meta-Power View of Automobile Sales and Development Process Over Time Representing Advertising as a Key Variable 250 Frequency and Exhibited Attitude Toward Hot Rodding of Articles in Li fe and Business Week M a g a z i n e s , 1948-1968

Table 10.1

278

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS W r i t i n g a d i s s e r t a t i o n is never a s o l i t a r y task -although the author is c e r t a i n l y r e s p o n s i b l e for any errors of o m i s s i o n or comission which occur in,the final p r o d u c t . While

a c c e p t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for this d i s s e r t a t i o n , this author w i s h e s to a c k n o w l e d g e his debts and e x p r e s s his deep a p p r e ciation to those people w h o , in one way or a n o t h e r , c o n t r i b u t e d to the d e v e l o p m e n t and c o m p l e t i o n of this p r o j e c t . Of c o u r s e , those people who c o m p r i s e the d i s s e r t a t i o n c o m m i t t e e are m a j o r c o n t r i b u t o r s to any d i s s e r t a t o r . My com-

m i t t e e -- P r o f e s s o r s A u s t i n T. T u r k , Bernd B a l d u s , and Robert Mac Kay -- was a primary s o u r c e of intellectual g u i d a n c e , sound a d v i c e , and solid s u p p o r t . P e r h a p s my m o s t i m p o r t a n t debt is to my d i s s e r t a t i o n a d v i s o r , my friend and m e n t o r , Austin T u r k . It is fair to say

that w i t h o u t his u n w a v e r i n g e n c o u r a g e m e n t and s u p p o r t over the y e a r s , this d i s s e r t a t i o n would never have been c o m p l e t e d . He listened to me " d i s c u s s " far into too many n i g h t s and read and c o m m e n t e d on w r i t t e n d r a f t s , always able to discern the solid m a t t e r , clarify the cloudy w a t e r , and d i s c a r d the immaterial. And when I failed to get g r o u n d e d , P r o f e s s o r His critical s t y l e ,

Turk p a t i e n t l y built c o n c r e t e shoes for m e .

r i g o r o u s , m e t h o d i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n , and d o w n - t o - t h e - b a s i c s s o c i o l o g y have been a great i n f l u e n c e on the h i g h - r e v v i n g , w h e e l s - o f f - t h e - g r o u n d m a c h i n e r y which I tried to drive h e r e . A second i m p o r t a n t intellectual and moral debt is owed to P r o f e s s o r Bernd B a l d u s . His calm in the face of my crises vi i

and his a b i l i t y to r e d u c e " m a j o r " fears into m i n o r d e t a i l s was most comforting. M o r e o v e r , his c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of power was

an i m p o r t a n t s t i m u l u s and i n t e g r a t i n g d e v i c e in this s t u d y . Many p e o p l e w i l l i n g l y gave of t h e i r time and knowl e d g e t h r o u g h o u t my r e s e a r c h on this d i s s e r t a t i o n . Nobody

can do nay s e r i o u s r e s e a r c h on the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y w i t h o u t the e x p e r t and g e n e r o u s help of J a m e s J. B r a d l e y and his s t a f f at the A u t o m o t i v e H i s t o r y C o l l e c t i o n of the D e t r o i t Public Library. I n v a l u a b l e also was the a c c e s s and a d v i c e

p r o v i d e d by Henry E. E d m u n d s , D i r e c t o r of the Ford A r c h i v e s of the H e n r y Ford M u s e u m . Special t h a n k s a r e due to Nancy

A s k e w , the l i b r a r i a n at the General M o t o r s D e s i g n L i b r a r y , as well as to C u r t A n t o n i u s and the s t a f f at the G e n e r a l Research Library. Motors

O t h e r l i b r a r y s t a f f p r o v i d e d a s s i s t a n c e at University,

Wayne State University, Harvard University, Queen's

the U n i v e r s i t y of W i n d s o r , U n i v e r s i t y of T o r o n t o , and the New York P u b l i c L i b r a r y . P e r s o n n e l in the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y w e r e also g e n e r o u s w i t h t h e i r time and g e n e r a l l y c o o p e r a t i v e and i n f o r m a t i v e . The s t a f f of the p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s d e p a r t m e n t s at the v a r i o u s m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e helpful in g a i n i n g a c c e s s to v a r i o u s d e p a r t m e n t s and p e r s o n n e l w i t h i n their r e s p e c t i v e corporations

-- e s p e c i a l l y John P i c h u r s k i of A m e r i c a n M o t o r s and J a m e s B r a d y of G e n e r a l M o t o r s . M a n y i n t e r v i e w s and d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h v a r i o u s

p e r s o n s w e r e c o n d u c t e d w i t h the u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t a n o n y m i t y w o u l d be a s s u r e d . However, certain people who were especially Those people

helpful said they w o u l d not mind m e n t i o n h e r e .

w e r e Tom C h r i s t i a n s o n , D i r e c t o r of S t y l i n g at General M o t o r s ,

Donald P f e i f e r , A s s i s t a n t D i r e c t o r of L a b o u r R e l a t i o n s at General M o t o r s , and R i c h a r d T e a g u e , V i c e - p r e s i d e n t of S t y l i n g at A m e r i c a n M o t o r s . In my t r a v e l s in and around the w o r l d of hot r o d d i n g I e n c o u n t e r e d m a n y p e o p l e w h o w e r e w i l l i n g to s h a r e their e x p e r i e n c e s and o b s e r v a t i o n s . It is i m p o s s i b l e to name them J e f f and Diane B u r g y ,

a l l , but o u t s t a n d i n g among them w e r e :

John and D i a n n e G u y e r , R o d g e r H o d y k a , Bill L a w , Jim M a r t i n e a u , Tom M c G r a t h , Jim M c K i m , Keith P i n c h i n , S t e v e S c h a e f e r , Sonny Sleeman, Terry Thompson, Bruce Wood. A l s o o u t s t a n d i n g was

Al H a l l , the m a n a g i n g e d i t o r of Hot Rod m a g a z i n e , w h o p r o v i d e d c o p i e s of e a r l y i s s u e s of Hot R o d , as well as m u c h useful i n f o r m a t i o n and m a n y c o n t a c t s . A n u m b e r of p e o p l e have read all or p a r t of this d i s s e r t a t i o n a n d / o r d i s c u s s e d it wil m e ) often times at g r e a t length). They have o f f e r e d i m p o r t a n t i d e a s , c r i t i c i s m s ,

and s u g g e s t i o n s w h i c h I have a l w a y s taken s e r i o u s l y , b u t w h i c h I have not a l w a y s taken or f o l l o w e d in a m a n n e r with w h i c h they w o u l d a g r e e . I w a n t to thank them a l l , and e x p r e s s

a special g r a t i t u d e to Hans B a k k e r , S t e v e B e r k o w i t z , Gus B r a n n i g a n , Jill C o n w a y , Dale D a n n e f e r , David N i e c e , Joe and Judy P i l o t t a , B r u c e S i n c l a i r , and Bryan W e s t w o o d . In t r o u b l e d

times Susan B a z i l l i , Ruth Ellen G r i m e s , M a r t h a S c h m i d t and John W o o d a r d w e r e true f r i e n d s and their s u p p o r t w a s e s s e n t i a l to m e . M a r t h a S c h m i d t s h o u l d be s i n g l e d out b e c a u s e her

a b i l i t y to c l a r i f y issues and q u e s t i o n p r e m i s e s and her refusal to a c c e p t a m b i g u i t y often e x t e n d e d my p o s i t i o n and r e q u i r e d me to be m u c h m o r e a r t i c u l a t e than I had b e e n .

Sharon Hay typed the early versions and the final draft of this dissertation. Her commitment to the project

and the effort she made on my behalf went far beyond the call of duty. Mirdza Troemel and her staff typed the draft for

the senate oral under the awful pressure of a fast approaching deadline. We all suffered the effects. A lot of difficulties and depressions were encountered along the way to completing this dissertation. But my mother

and stepfather, Helene and Fred Orlaw, never doubted me and were always there when I needed them. And need them I did.

Judy Listiak was a shining light throughout this period who refused to be dimmed by the problems we had. Her strength

and resilience were respected sources of encouragement for m e .

ABSTRACT

C O R P O R A T E POWER AND THE M A R K E T :

AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE

AND THE A U T O M O B I L E INDUSTRY by ALAN L I S T I A K This d i s s e r t a t i o n is an e x a m i n a t i o n of the sociological debate over the nature of c o r p o r a t e power and the m a r k e t for c o n s u m e r goods in m o d e r n s o c i e t y . Two s o c i o l o g i c a l theoretical

p o s i t i o n s , the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t and the e l i t e / c l a s s , are compared and c o n t r a s t e d with r e s p e c t to this i s s u e . They are

then c r i t i c a l l y tested by applying them to the a u t o m o b i l e industry and the d e v e l o p m e n t of the m e a n i n g s and physical shape of the a u t o m o b i l e , in p a r t i c u l a r , the c o n t r o v e r s i a l m e a n i n g s and designs a s s o c i a t e d with those n o n - t r a n s p o r t a t i o n themes subsumed under the notion of " p e r f o r m a n c e " . In c o m p a r i n g and c o n t r a s t i n g the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l ist and the e l i t e / c l a s s theories three basic conceptual areas must be e x a m i n e d : (1) the nature of power and its e x e r c i s e ;

(2) the nature of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r ; and (3) the nature of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n in modern s o c i e t y . The p l u r a l i s t /

f u n c t i o n a l i s t position depicts c o r p o r a t e power as well s o c i a l ized and e x t e r n a l l y c o n t r o l l e d w h e r e a s the e l i t e / c l a s s position depicts a c o r p o r a t e e l i t e / r u l i n g c o r p o r a t e class able to control the political arena and the m a r k e t . has done little to resolve this d e b a t e . Empirical research It is suggested that

part of this loggerhead is due to the i n a d e q u a t e conception of power which underlies these p o s i t i o n s . xi i This c o n c e p t i o n is in-

XI

11

d i v i d u a l i s t i c and l i m i t e d in its s c o p e .

T h i s is p a r t i c u l a r l y

p r o b l e m a t i c for the e l i t e / c l a s s p e r s p e c t i v e b e c a u s e m u c h of w h a t it d e s c r i b e s as c o r p o r a t e p o w e r is n o t c o n s i s t e n t w i t h this basic c o n c e p t . A more sociological c o n c e p t i o n of power

is p r o p o s e d to c o m p r e h e n d t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n b a s e d u p o n t h e w o r k s of S t e v e n L u k e s , Tom B a u m g a r t n e r et a l . , and B e r n d B a l d u s . T e r m e d t h e m e t a - p o w e r v i e w it c o n c e i v e s of p o w e r as the e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l , t h a t i s , the a b i l i t y to s t r u c t u r e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s in an i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m by m a n i p u l a t i n g a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s , r e w a r d s t r u c t u r e s , and o r i e n t a t i o n s . This

c o n c e p t i o n is a p p l i c a b l e to the c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n s t i t u t i o n s . A n u m b e r of p o w e r s t r a t e g i e s are d i s -

c u s s e d and s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n g i v e n to t h e s t r a t e g y of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s . C o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r is c o n c e p t u a l i z e d in t e r m s of the m o d e l of o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n d e v e l o p e d by J a m e s T h o m p s o n . B o t h t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n s a r e a p p l i e d to t h i s m o d e l and the r e s p e c t i v e v i e w s of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in t h e m a r k e t d i s c u s s ed. B o t h p o s i t i o n s are a l s o e x a m i n e d r e g a r d i n g t h e i r similar

v i e w s o f t h e m a r k e t as a m a j o r s o c i a l l o c a t i o n f o r t h e e x p r e s s i o n of i n d i v i d u a l f r e e d o m , c r e a t i v i t y , s t a t u s , e t c . Their

d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h r e s p e c t to the r o l e o f c u l t u r e in d e t e r m i n i n g h u m a n n e e d s and t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n , and the r o l e o f a d v e r t i s i n g are d i s c u s s e d . T h e t w o p o s i t i o n s a r e a p p l i e d to t h e A m e r i c a n b i l e i n d u s t r y and the d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e . automoHypothes-

es a r e d e r i v e d f r o m e a c h p r e d i c t i n g the n a t u r e of the i n t e r -

XI V

a c t i o n b e t w e e n a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s and c o n s u m e r s

with

r e s p e c t to the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of a u t o m o t i v e d e s i g n and m e a n i n g . These were tested using secondary s o u r c e s . The m e t a - p p w e r view was supported. It w a s f o u n d t h a t m a n u f a c t u r e r s e x e r c i s e d relation-

al c o n t r o l o v e r the m a r k e t by s e l e c t i v e l y e m p h a s i z i n g and d e v e l o p i n g a u t o m o t i v e d e s i g n s and m e a n i n g s w h i c h m e a s u r e d high in the d i m e n s i o n s of e x c l u s i v e n e s s , m a c h i s m o , s t y l i n g , and r e p u t a t i o n . O t h e r d i m e n s i o n s s u c h as s a f e t y , ergonomics

technology,

e c o n o m y , f u n c t i o n a l i s m , and d u r a b i l i t y w e r e m e a s u r e d low in emp h a s i s and d e v e l o p m e n t . The dimension of m a c h i s m o which conhas

t a i n s the t h e m e s of p o w e r , p e r f o r m a n c e , s p e e d , m a s c u l i n i t y p r o v e n to be a p a r t i c u l a r l y p r o b l e m a t i c a u t o m o t i v e These p e r f o r m a n c e themes have been the subject of

dimension. increasing

p u b l i c c o n c e r n and c r i t i c i s m , p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e W o r l d W a r I I . P a r a l l e l w i t h t h i s c r i t i c i s m has d e v e l o p e d a s u b c u l t u r e known and

as h o t r o d d i n g w h i c h u t i l i z e s the a u t o m o b i l e as a p h y s i c a l s y m b o l i c r e s o u r c e to e x p r e s s p e r f o r m a n c e and m a c h i s m o

values

and m o t i v e s , as w e l l as o t h e r s s u c h as r e b e l l i o n , f r e e d o m , h e d o n i s m , and a c t i o n - s e e k i n g . O r i g i n a l l y v i e w e d as a d e v i a n t and

d a n g e r o u s m i n o r i t y , by the 1 9 6 0 s it had a c h i e v e d a d e g r e e of social r e s p e c t a b i l i t y as a c o m m e r i c a l sport. To e x p l a i n the design, position

m a c h i s m o and p e r f o r m a n c e c o n t e n t of A m e r i c a n a u t o m o t i v e several hypotheses were derived from each theoretical

r e g a r d i n g the n a t u r e o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the a u t o m a n u f a c t u r e r s and h o t r o d d e r s . T h e y w e r e t e s t e d by a s s e s s i n g the

a t t i t u d e s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s and the p u b l i c t o w a r d h o t r o d d i n g t h r o u g h a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s and a h i s t o r i c a l analysis of

XV

the r e l a t i o n s h i p in q u e s t i o n over the p o s t w a r p e r i o d to 1 9 6 8 . It was found that hot r o d d i n g f u n c t i o n e d as a c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n w h i c h w a s s e l e c t i v e l y i n c o r p o r a t e d and s u p p o r t e d by the i n d u s t r y . This i n c o r p o r a t i o n was based upon cer-

tain s t r u c t u r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and p r i o r i t i e s of the m a n u f a c t urers in t h e i r e f f o r t s to r e d u c e d e m a n d u n c e r t a i n t y for t h e i r products. In the 1950s hot rod s y m b o l i s m w a s i n c o r p o r a t e d into

d e s i g n and a d v e r t i s i n g aimed at m i d d l e c l a s s c o n s u m e r s by framing it in a c o n t e x t of c o m f o r t and c o n t r o l l e d e x p r e s s i o n . the 1960s such s y m b o l i s m was no l o n g e r c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the m i d d l e c l a s s c o n t e x t b u t stood on its o w n . H o t rod races w e r e In

used to l e g i t i m i z e h o r s e p o w e r i n c r e a s e s and to " p r o x y " d u r a b i l ity and p r o g r e s s . Hot r o d d i n g was also v i e w e d as a m e a n s of It was s u p p o r t e d d i r e c t l y and i n d i r W i t h o u t this supprovid-

t a p p i n g the y o u t h m a r k e t .

e c t l y by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s at v a r i o u s l e v e l s .

p o r t and w i t h o u t the i n c r e a s i n g l y p o w e r f u l a u t o m o b i l e s

ed by the i n d u s t r y , hot r o d d i n g w o u l d not h a v e been d e v e l o p e d into the m a r k e t or the s p e c t a c u l a r s p o r t it h a s . The p e r f o r -

m a n c e m a r k e t of the 1960s is thus a s t r u c t u r e d o u t c o m e of the i n d u s t r y ' s a c t i o n s in the 1950s to d e v e l o p and i n c o r p o r a t e hot rodding. This d i s s e r t a t i o n s h o w s the u t i l i t y of the c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r in terms of m e t a - p o w e r and r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l . The

e m p h a s i s on s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s and i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m s p r o vides a s o c i o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n to p o w e r that is m i s s i n g in the p r e d o m i n a n t a p p r o a c h e s to p o w e r . As such it is able to

c o m p r e h e n d s i t u a t i o n s as i n v o l v i n g the e x e r c i s e of power w h i c h

XVI

would not be considered as such by the traditional

approach.

This enables the terms of reference to be expanded and a more adequate representation of social reality to be comprehended in sociological analysis.

PART I INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I S T A T E M E N T OF THE PROBLEM Since the end of the second world war the c o r p o r a t e form has emerged as the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c institution of A m e r i c a n society. Its rise has rendered i r r e l e v a n t time-honored theories of politics and e c o n o m i c s , and its explosive growth has created new breeds of men w h o s e b e h a v i o u r can no longer be accounted for by conventional rules of conduct ( H a c k e r , 1 9 6 4 a : 1 ) . The d e v e l o p m e n t of the corporate form as the dominant type of business o r g a n i z a t i o n in modern society has resulted in an increasing c o n c e n t r a t i o n of economic resources in the hands of the relatively few persons who head the major c o r p o r a tions. This c o n c e n t r a t i o n has aroused c o n s i d e r a b l e concern concentration

among social scientists about the effects of such and the base of power it p r o v i d e s .

Much attention has been

given to the internal working of c o r p o r a t i o n s in such areas as the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of c o r p o r a t e b u r e a u c r a t i c s t r u c t u r e s the quality of work e x p e r i e n c e within these s t r u c t u r e s . and But

the central sociological concern with c o r p o r a t e power per se has been on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c o r p o r a t i o n s and their social and political e n v i r o n m e n t s . The question most f r e q u e n t -

ly asked is w h e t h e r the power centered in c o r p o r a t i o n s is exercised in a responsible manner which is a c c o u n t a b l e to the community. Most discussion and research on this question has

dealt with the issues of the distribution of power in s o c i e t y , the supposed transition in corporate control from ownership to salaried m a n a g e r , and the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of external 2 constraints

on c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n s . In s o c i o l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s , t h e s e is-sues h a v e t e n d e d to s p l i t b e t w e e n the two m a j o r t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s , t a k i n g t h e f o r m o f a d e b a t e b e t w e e n the t r a d i t i o n a l p l u r a l i s t and s t r u c t u r a l - f u n c t i o n a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n and t h e c o n f l i c t / M a r x i s t orientation. P l u r a l i s t s and f u n c t i o n a l i s t s see t h e e x e r c i s e

of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r as b a s i c a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e to t h e c o m m u n i t y and in h a r m o n y w i t h its v a l u e s and i n t e r e s t s . W h e n and if t h a t

p o w e r is n o t used e f f e c t i v e l y and e f f i c i e n t l y to a c h i e v e t h o s e v a l u e s and i n t e r e s t s , is u s e d to a c h i e v e i n t e r e s t s n o t in the p u b l i c g o o d , then the c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h p o l i t i c a l and legal m e a n s and t h r o u g h the m a r k e t is a b l e to c o n s t r a i n and c o n t r o l t h o s e a c t i o n s and b r i n g t h e m i n t o l i n e . Conflict theorists

a n d M a r x i s t s , on the o t h e r h a n d , h a v e a r g u e d t h a t the r e l a t i v e ly f e w p e r s o n s w h o c o n t r o l the c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e a b l e to p u r s u e their p a r t i c u l a r , limited interests with little regard for p u b l i c g o a l s and w e l f a r e , and to r e s i s t , n e u t r a l i z e , and e v e n d i r e c t t h e p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s in its e f f o r t s at r e g u l a t i o n . A f u r t h e r i s s u e , m u c h d e b a t e d b u t l i t t l e r e s e a r c h e d by s o c i o l o g i s t s , is w h e t h e r or n o t c o r p o r a t e b u s i n e s s enterprises

m a n i p u l a t e c o n s u m e r d e m a n d and c o n t r o l t h e m a r k e t f o r t h e i r products. sertation. It is t h i s i s s u e w h i c h is the s u b j e c t of t h i s d i s O f c o u r s e , the s o c i o l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s disagreement argues

i s s u e is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h e b a s i c t h e o r e t i c a l noted above.

The p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t position

t h a t c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in the m a r k e t is l i m i t e d and in f a c t c o n t r o l l e d by c o n s u m e r s . C o n s u m e r s d e t e r m i n e their needs for

p a r t i c u l a r g o o d s and s e r v i c e s and e x p r e s s t h e s e n e e d s as

v a r i o u s d e m a n d s in t h e m a r k e t .

C o r p o r a t e p r o d u c e r s can only

r e s p o n d to t h e s e d e m a n d s by c o m p e t i n g to s u p p l y t h e g o o d s and services which will satisfy them. position The c o n f l i c t and Marxist posi-

( w h i c h w i l l be r e f e r r e d to as t h e e l i t e / c l a s s

t i o n ) a r g u e s t h a t c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e a b l e to s u b v e r t t h i s c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y by l e s s e n i n g c o m p e t i t i o n a n d manipulating bene-

d e m a n d to t h e i r a d v a n t a g e w i t h l i t t l e r e g a r d f o r s o c i a l fits. A c c o r d i n g to t h e s t r o n g e s t s t a t e m e n t o f t h i s

position,

c o r p o r a t e d o m i n a t i o n a n d c o n t r o l o f t h e m a r k e t is complete:

virtually

c o n s u m e r s a r e t o l d w h a t to c o n s u m e , w h e n , h o w , a n d They are given shoddy and i n e f f i c i e n t goods instru-

at w h a t p r i c e . on t o p o f i t .

From this point of view c o r p o r a t i o n s are

m e n t s u s e d by a p o w e r f u l e l i t e o r a c a p i t a l i s t r u l i n g to d o m i n a t e a n d c o n t r o l s o c i e t y in i t s o w n interests.

class

This d i s s e r t a t i o n will e x a m i n e both of these and their c o n c e p t u a l

positions

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the n a t u r e of p o w e r ,

the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r , and the n a t u r e of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n . In t h e p r o c e s s , a c o n c e p t i o n o f p o w e r w i l l prebe

be p r o p o s e d w h i c h is m o r e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s e n t e d by t h e e l i t e / c l a s s p o s i t i o n . termed the m e t a - p o w e r view. This conception will of

A more adequate conception

c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r w i l l be p r e s e n t e d , a n d t h e s y m b o l i c of the m a r k e t explored. The pluralist/functionalist

nature

theory

w i l l be c r i t i c a l l y t e s t e d a g a i n s t t h e e l i t e / c l a s s s u p p l e m e n t e d by t h e m e t a - p o w e r v i e w .

position consist

This test will

o f t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e t w o t h e o r i e s to a c a s e s t u d y of t h e m a r k e t for a u t o m o b i l e s and the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and c o n s u m e r s . T h e r e is l i t t l e n e e d to d o c u -

m e n t t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e a u t o m o b i l e and its i n d u s t r y to the 1 e c o n o m i c , p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l l i f e of N o r t h A m e r i c a n society. T h e a u t o m o b i l e is the s e c o n d l a r g e s t s i n g l e p u r c h a s e , n e x t to housing, that most persons ever make. It is a p r o d u c t that

p r o v i d e s m a n y c o n s u m e r b e n e f i t s and s a t i s f a c t i o n s , b u t it is a l s o i n v o l v e d in n u m e r o u s p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l n e g a t i v e s as a c c i d e n t s , p o l l u t i o n , c o n g e s t i o n , e t c . ) . The (such

automobile organization

i n d u s t r y is o f t e n v i e w e d as t h e m o d e l of c o r p o r a t e and o p e r a t i o n . Industrial

G a l b r a i t h b a s e d his a n a l y s i s of T h e New G e n e r a l M o t o r s in p a r t i c u l a r often

State upon it.

is c i t e d as t h e m o d e l of a d e c e n t r a l i z e d c o r p o r a t e w h i c h is e f f i c i e n t and e f f e c t i v e ( P e r r o w , 1 9 7 2 ) . Motor Company was specifically patterned after F o r d II t o o k it o v e r a t t h e end of W o r l d W a r I I . GM

structure T h e Ford when Henry

T h e f o c u s o f t h i s t e s t w i l l be t h e s o c i a l p r o c e s s by w h i c h t h e a u t o m o b i l e is c o n s t i t u t e d as a c u l t u r a l and physical

f o r m , t h a t i s , t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e a u t o m o b i l e c o m e s to h a v e t h e p a r t i c u l a r m e a n i n g s and p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s has at a n y g i v e n t i m e . O n e s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t of t h i s it

"content"

w i l l be s e l e c t e d f o r a n a l y s i s as a f u r t h e r t e s t of t h e two p o s i tions. T h i s a s p e c t is t h e m e a n i n g s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s associ-

a t e d w i t h t h e m e s of p e r f o r m a n c e , p o w e r , s p e e d , and m a c h i s m o . T h e s e t h e m e s as u s e d in p r o m o t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s and t h e i r a u t o standing

m o t i v e e m b o d i m e n t have been the s u b j e c t of a long public issue.

T h e A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y has b e e n c r i -

t i c i z e d and e v e n i n v e s t i g a t e d by t h e g o v e r n m e n t as to t h e i r p r o m o t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t . As s u c h , t h i s c a s e s t u d y w i l l pro-

v i d e a g o o d t e s t s i t e in w h i c h to e x a m i n e t h e

relationships

between c o r p o r a t i o n s , m a r k e t s , and society as p o s t u l a t e d by the two theoretical positions discussed above. It will follow

the d e v e l o p m e n t of p e r f o r m a n c e as a m a j o r a u t o m o t i v e

theme

from the end of World War II to its peak in the late 1 9 6 0 s . Theoretical Development

The theoretical debate over the n a t u r e and e f f e c t i v e ness of c o r p o r a t e power has generated a long tradition, d i s c u s s i o n , research and c r i t i c i s m . of

The two p o s i t i o n s are

little c l o s e r to some form of r e s o l u t i o n at p r e s e n t than they w e r e forty y e a r s a g o . It is obvious that ideological predis-

p o s i t i o n s have affected the o u t c o m e s and p e r c e p t i o n s of research data in subtle w a y s . Y e t , from a s c i e n t i f i c point of

v i e w , the d e b a t e should be r e s o l v a b l e with the p r e s e n t a t i o n of adequate evidence. The g a t h e r i n g of such e v i d e n c e is depend-

ent upon the d i r e c t i o n s and g u i d a n c e p r o v i d e d by the c o n c e p tual f o u n d a t i o n of the t h e o r i e s -- p r o b l e m s of o p e r a t i o n a l i z a tion not w i t h s t a n d i n g . It is s u g g e s t e d that conceptual diffi-

c u l t i e s have p r e v e n t e d the d e v e l o p m e n t of a m o r e d i a l o g u e in this m a t t e r .

profound these

In c o m p a r i n g and c o n s t r a s t i n g

two views of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in the m a r k e t , three basic conceptual areas must be e x a m i n e d : (1) the n a t u r e of power

and its e x e r c i s e ; (2) the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r ; and (3) the n a t u r e of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n in modern With r e s p e c t teethe f i r s t t w o a r e a s , p o w e r and c o r p o r a t e it is argued that they have been c o n c e p t u a l i z e d are not s o c i o l o g i c a l e n o u g h . in terms of the individual They have been society.

behaviour,

in terms that

conceptualized

level of a n a l y s i s and treated as

v a r i a b l e s w h i c h o p e r a t e in r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n

individuals.

In t h e c a s e o f p o w e r , w h a t is n o t c o n s i d e r e d is t h e s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s place. take

In t h e c a s e o f c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r , w h a t is n o t c o n s i d cor-

e r e d is t h e c o n t e x t o f c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e w i t h i n w h i c h p o r a t e d e c i s i o n s and a c t i o n s a r e m a d e . be c o n s i d e r e d i m m e d i a t e l y .

T h e s e two a s p e c t s w i l l a r e a , the

The third conceptual

m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n , w i l l be d i s c u s s e d

thereafter. scientific phenomenon

One of the basic tenets of the social

a p p r o a c h to s o c i a l p o w e r is t h a t i t i s a r e l a t i o n a l

w h i c h c a n e x i s t o n l y in a p l u r a l s e t t i n g w h e r e t w o or m o r e people interact with each other. M a n y c o n c e p t i o n s and m o d e l s of of

o f p o w e r r e l a t i o n s h a v e b e e n d e v i s e d -- as w e l l as m e t h o d s measurement. T h e l i t e r a t u r e is v a s t . B u t in d i s c u s s i o n s the

c o r p o r a t e power one p a r t i c u l a r conception has provided b a s e f o r m o s t a n a l y s e s . T h i s b a s i c c o n c e p t i o n is a l o n g ing o n e w h i c h has e n t e r e d i n t o s o c i o l o g i c a l t h r o u g h M a x W e b e r and R o b e r t D a h l .

stand-

predominance

F o r W e b e r , p o w e r is v i e w e d p o w e r is d e f i n e d their of

in t e r m s o f o n e p e r s o n d o m i n a t i n g a n o t h e r :

as " t h e c h a n c e o f a m a n or o f a n u m b e r o f m e n to r e a l i z e o w n w i l l in a c o m m u n a l a c t i o n e v e n a g a i n s t t h e r e s i s t a n c e others who are participating and M i l l s , 1 9 4 6 : 1 8 0 ) .

in t h e a c t i o n " ( W e b e r in G e r t h

Dahl's definition differs only with reHe a r g u e s t h a t s u c h

s p e c t to p o w e r as " c h a n c e " o r p o t e n t i a l . potential

c a n n o t b e m e a s u r e d -- o n l y a c t u a l b e h a v i o u r can be

m e a s u r e d a n d t h u s p o w e r is t h e a c t u a l r e a l i z a t i o n of a p e r s o n ' s will over another's r e s i s t a n c e . p h r a s e d in t e r m s o f i n d i v i d u a l Both of these d e f i n i t i o n s a c t i o n and i n t e r a c t i o n . are

Resist-

8 a n c e is s p e c i f i c a l l y i n c l u d e d as a c r i t e r i o n f o r t h e e x e r c i s e of p o w e r w h i l e e x c l u d i n g , e s p e c i a l l y in D a h l ' s f o r m u l a t i o n , " r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n a n i m a t e or e v e n objects". (1968:407) non-human

Thus relationships which are n o n - i n t e r a c t i v e and/

or r e s i s t a n c e f r e e a r e n o t c o n s i d e r e d as p o s s i b l e p o w e r r e l a tionships. And the i m p a c t of s t r u c t u r a l and c u l t u r a l variables

is a l s o e l i m i n a t e d f r o m c o n s i d e r a t i o n . H o w e v e r , a number of analyses of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e f r o m an e l i t e / c l a s s p e r s p e c t i v e , c o n s i d e r in t h e i r d e s c r i p t i v e a n a l y s e s s o m e a s p e c t s of t h e s e l a t t e r d i m e n s i o n s -- e v e n w h i l e p a y i n g l i p - s e r v i c e to t h e W e b e r - D a h l c e p t i o n (if t h e y r e f e r to a c o n c e p t i o n at a l l ) . a productive situation. descriptive analyses. con-

T h i s is n o t

This discussion will build upon these T h e w o r k of S t e v e n L u k e s , T o m B a u m g a r t n e r ,

et a ! . , and B e r n d B a l d u s will be u t i l i z e d to d e v e l o p a c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r a d e q u a t e to t h e s e d e s c r i p t i o n s w h i c h can be t e s t ed a g a i n s t t h e p r e d o m i n a n t v e r s i o n . Termed the m e t a - p o w e r view,

it is a s o c i o l o g i c a l c o n c e p t w h i c h d e f i n e s p o w e r as t h e e x e r c i s e of r e ! a t i o n a l . c o n t r o l , t h a t i s , the a b i l i t y to s t r u c t u r e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s in an i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m by m a n i p u l a t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s , r e w a r d s t r u c t u r e s , and o r i e n t a t i o n s . action

This con-

c e p t i o n is a p p l i c a b l e to the c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n s t i t u t i o n s . A n u m b e r of p o w e r s t r a t e g i e s w i l l be d i s into

c u s s e d w i t h s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n g i v e n to the i n c o r p o r a t i o n

c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n o f b e h a v i o u r and s y m b o l i s m in the e n v i r o n m e n t u s e f u l in s o m e w a y to c o r p o r a t e g o a l s ( t e r m e d by B a l d u s c o m piementary behaviour patterns) .

T h i s b a s i c c o n c e p t i o n will be d e v e l o p e d by an e x p l i c a tion of t h e l i t e r a t u r e on o r g a n i z a t i o n a l t h e o r y in o r d e r to f o r m u l a t e a model of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r w h i c h can comp r e h e n d the t y p e s of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n u n d e r s c r u t i n y h e r e . W i t h a few e x c e p t i o n s , p o w e r as a s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e has not b e e n s t u d i e d in the l i t e r a t u r e on o r g a n i z a t i o n s -- in f a c t until f a i r l y r e c e n t l y p o w e r in any form w a s not a t o p i c of g r e a t c o n c e r n in this b o d y of w o r k . And w h a t c o n c e r n t h e r e internal

has b e e n has f o c u s e d m a i n l y on p o w e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s to o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

T h i s is c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the p r e d o m i n a n t

f o c u s on the i n t e r n a l d y n a m i c s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s and the r e l a t i v e lack of a t t e n t i o n to the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n o r g a n i z a t i o n s and t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s . W h e n this r e l a t i o n s h i p has been

c o n s i d e r e d , the e n v i r o n m e n t has been v i e w e d as the l o c u s of v a l u e s , p o w e r , and c o n t r o l in w h i c h o r g a n i z a t i o n s e x i s t in a r e l a t i o n of d e p e n d e n c e and a d a p t a t i o n . T h i s is c o r r e l a t e d -rather

w i t h t h e m a j o r r e s e a r c h s i t e s u t i l i z e d in t h i s l i t e r a t u r e mainly relatively trivial, inconsequential organizations than l a r g e s c a l e c o r p o r a t e b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s . Charles

P e r r o w has a r g u e d this c a s e and has s u g g e s t e d t h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n - e n v i r o n m e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p as p a s s i v e and a d a p t i v e is in need of r e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n w h e n the f o c u s is on t h e s e i m p o r t ant but sociologically neglected corporate enterprises. It is

the e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h o f t e n has to a d a p t to t h e s e o r g a n i z a t i o n s and t h e i r a c t i o n s . It is p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e the d o m i n a n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s or i n s t i t u t i o n s of o u r s o c i e t y h a v e not e x p e r i e n c e d goal d i s p l a c e m e n t and

10 have been a b l e to i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e on t h e i r own t e r m s , to c r e a t e the e n v i r o n m e n t s they d e s i r e , s h a p e the e x i s t i n g o n e s , and d e f i n e w h i c h s e c t i o n s of it they will deal w i t h , t h a t the f a i l u r e to link o r g a n i z a t i o n s such as t h e s e w i t h s o c i e t y is so a l a r m i n g . It is f r o m the m u c k r a k e r s , j o u r n a l i s t s , c o n gressional committees, historians, and, o c c a s i o n a l l y , the e c o n o m i s t s and p o l i t i c a l s c i e n t i s t s t h a t we learn a b o u t the w a y s in w h i c h o r g a n i z a t i o n s s h a p e our e n v i r o n m e n t , n o t , i r o n i c a l l y , from the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s o c i o l o g i s t s . The W C T U may d r i f t , b u t G e n e r a l M o t o r s d o e s not (Perrow, 1972:201). It is the i n t e n t i o n of this s t u d y to c o n t r i b u t e to the c l o s i n g of t h a t gap in s o c i o l o g i c a l k n o w l e d g e n o t e d a b o v e by Perrow. It is a r g u e d t h a t the lack of a m o r e useful dialogue

in the m a t t e r of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r is a l s o due to the lack of an a d e q u a t e d e s c r i p t i o n and c o m p r e h e n s i o n of the n a t u r e of the c o r p o r a t i o n and its o p e r a t i o n in the l i t e r a t u r e . The q u o t a t i o n

by A n d r e w H a c k e r w h i c h o p e n s this c h a p t e r is i n d i c a t i v e of this lack. H a c k e r ( 1 9 6 4 a , 1 9 6 4 c , 1 9 7 0 , 1 9 7 3 ) and s e v e r a l others

( e g . , G a l b r a i t h , 1 9 6 7 ; S t o n e , 1 9 7 5 ; N a d e r and G r e e n , 1 9 7 3 ) a r g u e t h a t the d e v e l o p m e n t of l a r g e b u s i n e s s c o r p o r a t i o n s has c r e a t e d s o c i o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h have n o t b e e n g i v e n a d e q u a t e a t t e n t i o n by a n a l y s t s . T h e s e c o n d i t i o n s are the c o r -

p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e s t h e m s e l v e s and the m a n n e r in w h i c h they d e t e r m i n e the i n t e r e s t s and a c t i o n s of the p e o p l e w h o s u p p o s e d l y " o p e r a t e " t h e m , i r r e s p e c t i v e of the m o t i v e s and i n t e r e s t s of t h o s e p e r s o n s as i n d i v i d u a l s . From this p e r s p e c t i v e c o r p o r a -

t i o n s are social e n t i t i e s w h i c h m u s t be a n a l y z e d at a level w h i c h c o n c e i v e s of them not as an a g g r e g a t e of p e o p l e w h o a c t in such a w a y as to r e a l i z e t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r p u r p o s e s and

11 g o a l s , but r a t h e r as a c t o r s in t h e m s e l v e s w i t h i n t e r e s t s g o a l s , i n d e p e n d e n t of t h o s e w h o s t a f f t h e m , w h i c h the a c t i o n s of t h o s e p e o p l e w i t h i n t h e m . and

determine Stone

Christopher

in his b o o k W h e r e the Law E n d s ; The S o c i a l C o n t r o l of C o r p o r a t e B e h a v i o u r d e s c r i b e s t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s in the f o l l o w i n g manner:

In this s e t t i n g each m a n ' s own w a n t s , i d e a s -- even his p e r c e p t i o n s and e m o t i o n s are s w a y e d and d i r e c t e d by an i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e so p e r v a s i v e t h a t it m i g h t be c o n s t r u e d as h a v i n g a s e t of g o a l s and c o n s t r a i n t s (if n o t a mind and p u r p o s e ) of its o w n . T h i s is n o t , of c o u r s e , to say t h a t the l a r g e b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n s is j u s t like an o r d i n a r y p e r s o n , a " b o s s " . B u t t h e r e is no r e a s o n to s u p p o s e t h a t the m o t i v e s of a c o r p o r a t i o n , the w a y it will r e s p o n d and a d a p t to e x t e r n a l t h r e a t s , the w a y it will scan its e n v i r o n m e n t for i n f o r m a t i o n , the w a y it will c a l c u l a t e and w e i g h its p l e a s u r e s a g a i n s t its p a i n s -- in s u m , its d e c i s i o n s and the w a y it a r r i v e s at t h e m -- will c o i n c i d e w i t h t h o s e of any one p e r s o n w i t h i n i t , not e v e n n e c e s s a r i l y t h o s e of the p r e s i d e n t . Nor s h o u l d we w i t h any c o n f i d e n c e p r e s u m e to t r e a t its d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s e s as t h o u g h the c o r p o r a t i o n w e r e m e r e l y the a g g r e g a t e sum of all the p e r s o n s w h o are l a b o r i n g w i t h i n it ( S t o n e , 1 9 7 5 : 7 ) . T h i s e m p h a s i s on c o r p o r a t i o n s as a c t o r s , the of a n a l y z i n g them at the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l their structural l e v e l , and necessity

considering attention

d i m e n s i o n s has r e c e i v e d i n c r e a s e d

r e c e n t l y but r e m a i n s t h e o r e t i c a l l y u n d e v e l o p e d and l a c k i n g in solid empirical research. T h e r e has been d i s c u s s i o n on the areas

n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e i n t e r e s t s , c o r p o r a t e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g ,

in w h i c h c o r p o r a t i o n s are r e l a t i v e l y f r e e to p u r s u e t h e i r int e r e s t s w i t h o u t i n t e r f e r e n c e , w a y s c o r p o r a t i o n s a c t to m a i n t a i n / i n c r e a s e t h e i r p o w e r , the social e f f e c t s of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n , and w a y s of c o n t r o l l i n g that a c t i o n . But t h e s e d i s c u s -

s i o n s are h a m p e r e d in t h e i r a n a l y t i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t by the u n e x a m i n e d l i m i t s i m p o s e d upon them by the o p e r a t i o n a l acceptance

12 in m o s t o f t h e m o f t h e p r e d o m i n a n t c o n c e p t i o n o f p o w e r w h i c h , it is a r g u e d , is i n a d e q u a t e to t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l analysis. level of

It is u n a b l e e i t h e r to i n t e g r a t e t h e r a n g e o f consideraThe

c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r s r a i s e d f o r s c r u t i n y o r to a l l o w

tion of o t h e r i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r .

m e t a - p o w e r v i e w to be d e v e l o p e d h e r e i n i n c l u d e s a s t r u c t u r a l d i m e n s i o n and can c o m p r e h e n d the i n t e r a c t i o n of c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and the r e s u l t i n g activity. collective be

T h i s v i e w o f c o r p o r a t i o n s as a c t i v e a g e n t s w i l l

f o r m u l a t e d on t h e b a s i s o f t h e w o r k o f J a m e s T h o m p s o n a n d J o h n Kenneth Galbraith. C o r p o r a t e a c t i o n s will be conceptualized and

in t e r m s o f s t r a t e g i e s d e s i g n e d to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t i e s r i s k s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t .

P a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n w i l l be g i v e n

to c o r p o r a t e s t r a t e g i e s to r e d u c e m a r k e t u n c e r t a i n t y , e s p e c i a l ly t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h c e r t a i n b e h a v i o u r s a n d s y m b o l s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t ( c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s ) are u t i l i z e d or i n c o r p o r a t e d into the g o a l - d i r e c t e d action of c o r p o r a t i o n s . Both the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t and the e l i t e / c l a s s (supplebe

m e n t e d by t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f m e t a - p o w e r ) f r a m e w o r k s w i l l a p p l i e d to t h i s a n a l y s i s o f c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n .

T h e t h i r d c o n c e p t u a l a r e a n o t e d a b o v e is t h e n a t u r e o f the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n . This r e l a t e s to the a b o v e emphasis

on b e h a v i o u r a n d s y m b o l i s m in t h e c o r p o r a t e e n v i r o n m e n t , f o r t h e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n i n v o l v e d h e r e is t h e s o c i a l m e a n i n g o f the m a r k e t and the role of needs and the total d o m i n a t i o n implies. it

T h i s a l t e r n a t i v e is b a s e d u p o n t h e w o r k o f W i l l i a m They view the market expres-

L e i s s a n d J o h n A l t in p a r t i c u l a r .

s i o n s o f i n d i v i d u a l s as b o t h f r e e a n d c o n s t r a i n e d in k e e p i n g

13 w i t h the m e t a - p o w e r c o n c e p t i o n . C o n s u m e r s are a b l e to use

c o m m o d i t i e s as r e s o u r c e s to c r e a t e t h e i r own m e a n i n g s and g r a t i f i c a t i o n s even w h i l e being c o n s t r a i n e d by the s t r u c t u r e s and m e a n i n g s given to the c o m m o d i t i e s by c o r p o r a t e p r o d u c e r s . H o w e v e r , they a r g u e that the c o n s t a n t c h a n g i n g and f r a g m e n t a tion of i m a g e s and d e s i g n s d i s o r i e n t s c o n s u m e r s and p r e v e n t s of n e e d s and s a t i s f a c t i o n s . Ad-

the r a t i o n a l a r t i c u l a t i o n

v e r t i s i n g is an i m p o r t a n t c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e in this p r o c e s s . In c o n t r a s t , p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s do n o t see a d v e r t i s i n g as an i n f l u e n t i a l d e v i c e ; r a t h e r it is a m o r e or less neutral tool w h i c h is a r e f l e c t i o n of the needs and d e m a n d s of c o n s u m ers. This d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n the two t h e o r i e s will be e x p l o r -

ed in some detai 1 . Part II of this d i s s e r t a t i o n will e l a b o r a t e this t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n by e x a m i n i n g r e l e v a n t t h e o r e t i c a l and r e Their con-

s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e from each of the p e r s p e c t i v e s .

c e p t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s and t h e i r r e s o l u t i o n as d i s c u s s e d a b o v e will be d e v e l o p e d t h e r e as w e l l . In P a r t III the two t h e o r i e s

will be c r i t i c a l l y tested by a p p l y i n g t h e m to the m a r k e t for a u t o m o b i l e s and the d e v e l o p m e n t o f the s y m b o l i c and p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the a u t o m o b i l e . A b r i e f d e l i n e a t i o n of this

s u b s t a n t i v e p r o b l e m will now be p r e s e n t e d . A u t o m o t i v e P e r f o r m a n c e and the A u t o m o b i l e Industry

The t h e o r e t i c a l d i v i s i o n n o t e d a b o v e c h a r a c t e r i z e s d i s c u s s i o n of the m a r k e t for a u t o m o b i l e s . The conventional

w i s d o m of the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e views the

14 m a r k e t for a u t o m o b i l e s as b a s i c a l l y " f r e e " and c o m p e t i t i v e with c o n s u m e r s in the power p o s i t i o n . In this m a r k e t con-

sumers e x p r e s s their needs and desires for a u t o m o b i l e s and it is the role of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s to respond to these e x p r e s sions by s u p p l y i n g p r o d u c t s which will s a t i s f y them. From

the array of a u t o m o t i v e d e s i g n s supplied by the v a r i o u s prod u c e r s , c o n s u m e r s c h o o s e those found to be m o s t s a t i s f a c t o r y . D e s i g n s not successful in the m a r k e t m u s t be a b a n d o n e d or red e s i g n e d by the p r o d u c e r s in order to b e t t e r c o m p e t e a g a i n s t other designs. The o p e r a t i o n of the m a r k e t in this m a n n e r

o p t i m i z e s the selling price of a u t o m o b i l e s , the d e s i g n of a u t o m o b i l e s , and the e f f i c i e n t a l l o c a t i o n of r e s o u r c e s . This p o s i t i o n is the one voiced by the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u facturers themselves. S p o k e s p e r s o n s for the i n d u s t r y argue

that their p r o d u c t d e s i g n s and m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s are d e p e n d ent upon c o n s u m e r demand and r e s p o n s e . They a t t e m p t to sell They try to

a u t o m o b i l e s using the m o s t e f f e c t i v e a p p r o a c h e s .

a s s e s s the w a n t s and needs e x p r e s s e d by c o n s u m e r s in the m a r k e t and to r e s p o n d to changes in them q u i c k l y w i t h the b e s t p r o d u c t they can s u p p l y , sold by the most i n f o r m a t i v e and a p p e a l i n g methods. A typical s t a t e m e n t of this p o s i t i o n is given by J.O.

W r i g h t who at the time was a vice p r e s i d e n t in the Ford M o t o r Company: Our normal p o s i t i o n is one of a b j e c t p r o s t r a tion at the feet of our c u s t o m e r s . Far from leading the c o n s u m e r by the n o s e , we are fore v e r trying to fathom his w a n t s and to keep up with him (cited in S t e t s o n , 1 9 5 8 : 7 6 ) . On the other h a n d , there is the view of n u m e r o u s of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y . critics

They argue that the A m e r i c a n a u t o -

15 m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s have i n t e r f e r e d with the m a r k e t by r e d u c ing their d e p e n d e n c e upon c o n s u m e r s , m a n i p u l a t i n g needs and s u s p e n d i n g c o m p e t i t i o n . consumer

They p r o d u c e the types

of a u t o m o b i l e s which are m o s t p r o f i t a b l e for them but which do not m e e t the " t r u e " and l e g i t i m a t e needs of c o n s u m e r s t h e r e b y do not meet those of s o c i e t y ) . (and

The m a n u f a c t u r e r s are In

able to do this b e c a u s e of the e c o n o m i c p o w e r they h a v e . his b o o k , W h a t ' s Good for GM . . . . Edward A y r e s p r e s e n t s a typical s t a t e m e n t of the p o s i t i o n .

(1970:83)

All this c o n c e n t r a t i o n of e c o n o m i c power has a c r u s h i n g e f f e c t on the p e o p l e w h o drive c a r s . T h e r e was a t i m e , p r e s u m a b l y , when m a n u f a c t u r e r s d e c i d e d w h a t to build on the basis of w h a t the c u s t o m e r said he w a n t e d . In the m o d e r n a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , the m a n u f a c t u r e r s first d e c i d e w h a t to b u i l d , then how to make the c u s t o m e r w a n t it. With c o r p o r a t e p l a n ning r e p l a c i n g c o m p e t i t i o n as the principal d e t e r m i n a n t of the p r o d u c t , the old p r o c e s s of s u p p l y - a n d - d e m a n d is s h o r t - c i r c u i t e d . The c u s t o m e r no longer has the p o w e r he once had to get the p r o d u c t he once got by inducing d i f f e r e n t p r o d u c e r s to vie for his p a t r o n a g e . A m o n g the c o n c r e t e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the consumers w a n i n g i n f l u e n c e are h i g h e r costs (both of p u r c h a s e and of r e p a i r ) , poor q u a l i t y , and t e c h n o l o g i c a l o b s o l e s c e n c e . D e s i r e d imp r o v e m e n t s fail to m a t e r i a l i z e , w h i l e changes for which the c u s t o m e r never a s k e d , p r o l i f e r a t e . The critical l i t e r a t u r e has raised n u m e r o u s i s s u e s , 2 e s p e c i a l l y w i t h i n the last f i f t e e n y e a r s . The p r e d o m i n a n c e of the a u t o m o b i l e as a p r i v a t e c o m m o d i t y used for personal trans-

p o r t a t i o n is d i r e c t l y related to p r o b l e m s of t r a f f i c c o n g e s t i o n , air p o l l u t i o n , energy u s e , the t h o u s a n d s of " a c c i d e n t a l " deaths and injuries each y e a r , the high c o n s t r u c t i o n and m a i n t e n a n c e costs of streets and h i g h w a y s , s u b u r b a n i z a t i o n and central city d e c l i n e , e t c . C r i t i c s have argued that the social

16 and e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o s t s of the a u t o m o b i l e a r e too h i g h , t h a t

the c o n s e q u e n c e s are s o c i a l l y " i r r a t i o n a l " ( W h i t t , 1 9 7 9 : 9 5 ) . T h e c a u s e s o f , or r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s is said to be the c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n s of the a u t o m o b i l e manufactur-

ers w h o c o n t r o l the m a r k e t and o t h e r r e l e v a n t a s p e c t s of t h e i r environment. C o n t r o l of the m a r k e t , as n o t e d a b o v e , interferes

w i t h its e f f i c i e n t and r a t i o n a l o p e r a t i o n a l l o w i n g the p r o d u c e r s to r e a l i z e t h e i r i n t e r e s t s at the e x p e n s e of and s o c i e t y . A t the i n s t i t u t i o n a l consumers that

l e v e l , it is a r g u e d

the m a n u f a c t u r e r s and t h e i r c o r p o r a t e a l l i e s in the h i g h w a y l o b b y a c t to p r o m o t e l e g i s l a t i o n and p u b l i c

so-called policies

w h i c h f a v o u r the p r i v a t e use of a u t o m o b i l e s and b l o c k the d e v e l o p m e n t of e f f e c t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e s y s t e m s of u r b a n tion. bility. transporta-

Of c o u r s e , the a u t o m o b i l e p r o d u c e r s d e n y t h i s r e s p o n s i T h e y are s u p p o r t e d by o t h e r a n a l y s t s in t h e i r position

t h a t the m a r k e t and c o n s u m e r s d e t e r m i n e c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n s . It is the m a r k e t level of a n a l y s i s w h i c h is of i n t e r e s t to t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . little sociological these concerns. For s o m e r e a s o n , t h e r e has b e e n very

r e s e a r c h d e s i g n e d s p e c i f i c a l l y to a d d r e s s conducted are

T h e a v a i l a b l e r e s e a r c h has b e e n

m o s t l y by e c o n o m i s t s and m a r k e t r e s e a r c h e r s w h o s e i n t e r e s t s o n l y p a r t i a l l y r e l e v a n t to the s o c i o l o g i c a l p o r a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the m a r k e t and

q u e s t i o n s of c o r -

society. which

In the c a s e of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , r e s e a r c h

f o c u s e s on c o m p e t i t i v e s t r a t e g i e s and t h e i r o p e r a t i o n , or on the n a t u r e of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s , o f t e n is n o t d i r e c t e d to the m o s t s a l i e n t d i m e n s i o n s of the s o c i o l o g i c a l problem. The study society

of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s , m a r k e t s , and

17 r e q u i r e s a p r o b l e m in w h i c h the a c t i o n s of the automobile

i n d u s t r y , c o n s u m e r s , and social g r o u p s in s o c i e t y can be o b served. T h e p r o b l e m c h o s e n to be the v e h i c l e for this study

is the d e v e l o p m e n t of the m e a n i n g and s h a p e of the a u t o m o b i l e . One s i g n i f i c a n t set of m e a n i n g s and r e l a t e d d e s i g n s has b e e n f u r t h e r s e l e c t e d for a n a l y s i s . T h e s e m e a n i n g s and designs

are t h o s e r e l a t e d to the t h e m e s of p e r f o r m a n c e , p o w e r , s p e e d , and m a c h i s m o . The elite/class theoretical the c o n c e p t i o n of m e t a - p o w e r and the framework supplemented by

pluralist/functionalist Hypotheses derived

f r a m e w o r k will be a p p l i e d to this p r o b l e m .

f r o m each p r e d i c t i n g the n a t u r e of the i n t e r a c t i o n

between

a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s and c o n s u m e r s w i t h r e s p e c t to the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of a u t o m o t i v e d e s i g n and m e a n i n g will be t e s t e d . T h i s t e s t will i n v o l v e the use of s e c o n d a r y s o u r c e s of d a t a . To e x p l a i n the p e r f o r m a n c e c o n t e n t of A m e r i c a n automotive In d e -

d e s i g n , s e v e r a l h y p o t h e s e s will be d e r i v e d and t e s t e d .

r i v i n g and t e s t i n g t h e s e h y p o t h e s e s the s p e c i f i c c o n t o u r s and h i s t o r y of the a u t o m o b i l e m a r k e t and the i n d u s t r y m u s t be considered. P e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s are s i g n i f i c a n t and w o r t h y of s t u d y b e c a u s e they h a v e b e e n the s u b j e c t of i n c r e a s i n g p u b l i c c o n c e r n and c r i t i c i s m s i n c e the end of W o r l d W a r I I . This public develop-

c r i t i c i s m a s s e r t s t h a t p e r f o r m a n c e m e a n i n g s and d e s i g n s

ed and p r o d u c e d by m a n u f a c t u r e r s are o v e r - e m p h a s i z e d and h a v e d e l e t e r i o u s e f f e c t s upon the c o n s u m e r s , the s y s t e m and s o c i e t y . transportation

T h e s e p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s are not r e l a t e d

18 to the p r i m a r y use of the a u t o m o b i l e as t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . As

s u c h , they are said to be i r r a t i o n a l , to appeal to the e m o t i o n s , and to e x c i t e m o t i v e s w h i c h are not f u n c t i o n a l in the t r a n s p o r t ation s y s t e m . T h e s e m o t i v e s (sometimes r e f e r r e d to as "extra

m o t i v e s " ) are b e l i e v e d to be "a m a j o r f a c t o r of d a n g e r o u s t r a f f i c b e h a v i o u r and h e n c e c o n t r i b u t e g r e a t l y to the high a c c i d e n t t o l l " (Naatanen and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 2 6 ) . T h e s e themes

and their a s s o c i a t e d m o t i v a t i o n a l base also e n c o u r a g e u n n e c e s sary d r i v i n g , the w a s t e of e n e r g y , and the f o r m a t i o n of a t t i tudes w h i c h m a k e v a r i o u s safety d e v i c e s and r e g u l a t i o n d i f f i cult to a p p l y . The a u t o m o b i l e p r o d u c e r s in p r o m o t i n g such non-

t r a n s p o r t a t i o n themes are said to play upon c o n s u m e r f o i b l e s and w e a k n e s s e s , p r e v e n t them from m a k i n g rational c h o i c e s , m a n i p u l a t e and a r t i f i c i a l l y s t i m u l a t e the demand for a u t o m o b i l e s . M o r e o v e r , the a r g u m e n t c o n t i n e s , the a u t o m o b i l e s they p r o d u c e are not p r o p e r l y b a l a n c e d w i t h r e s p e c t to the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e tween the p o w e r , w e i g h t and b r a k i n g c a p a c i t i e s . These unbalanc-

ed d e s i g n s are not rational or safe as t r a n s p o r t a t i o n d e v i c e s . The i n d u s t r y p r o f i t s g r e a t l y from such b e h a v i o u r w h i l e the int e r e s t s of c o n s u m e r s and s o c i e t y s u f f e r . The m a n u f a c t u r e r s deny these c h a r g e s and s p e c i f i c a l l y deny their r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the c o n s e q u e n c e s pointed out by critics. In line w i t h the c o n v e n t i o n a l s o c i o l o g i c a l wisdom,

they a r g u e , with the s u p p o r t of other a n a l y s t s , that the types of a u t o m o b i l e s they p r o d u c e and p r o m o t e are a r e s p o n s e to the w a n t s of c o n s u m e r s e x p r e s s e d in the m a r k e t . A typical counter-

a r g u m e n t r e p r e s e n t i n g this p o s i t i o n is p r e s e n t e d by Kenneth

19 Ford in a S p e c i a l R e p o r t to the r e a d e r s of Pri n t e r ' s a prominent advertising industry trade journal. The e f f e c t i v e n e s s of D e t r o i t ' s a d v e r t i s ing s t y l e is b e y o n d q u e s t i o n -- it s e l l s cars at an i n c r e a s i n g r a t e , and t h a t is the n a m e of the g a m e . Or w a s . For now the a u t o s a f e t y f a n a t i c s are c h a l l e n g i n g Detroit's advertising techniques. They c h a r g e t h a t it g l o r i f i e s speed and p o w e r , e n c o u r a g e s r e c k l e s s d r i v i n g and is at l e a s t in p a r t r e s p o n s i b l e for the n a t i o n ' s 4 9 , 5 0 0 annual t r a f f i c d e a t h t o l l . T h i s is u t t e r n o n s e n s e . As I r v i n g R u b i n . . . n o t e d . . . " P o w e r f u l cars are no m o r e d a n g e r o u s than a r o p e . The r o p e is n o t d a n g e r o u s until s o m e o n e d e c i d e s to m a k e a n o o s e and use it to k i l l " ( F o r d , 1 9 6 6 : 9 - 1 0 ) . T h e c o n c e p t u a l g u i d a n c e p r o v i d e d by the t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k s s u g g e s t s p e c i f i c v a r i a b l e s and t h e i r as s i g n i f i c a n t for e x p l a i n i n g this i s s u e . relationships Ink,

In both c a s e s the

a u t o m o b i l e m a r k e t is r e c o g n i z e d as h a v i n g a s i g n i f i c a n t s y m b o l ic or c u l t u r a l d i m e n s i o n . Both m o r e or less a g r e e t h a t the

a u t o m o b i l e can be used as a r e s o u r c e by i n d i v i d u a l s and g r o u p s for the p u r s u i t of e x p e r i e n c e and g r a t i f i c a t i o n s , for m e a n i n g ful s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n , and for m e a n i n g f u l s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . Both a g r e e t h a t t h e s e m e a n i n g s and uses come to be r e f l e c t e d in the c o m m e r i c a l s y m b o l i s m and d e s i g n s of a u t o m o b i l e s . They disagree

on how t h e s e " r e f l e c t i o n 1 ^ oo;me to be t h e r e . T h e y a l s o d i s a g r e e on the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s of t h e s e r e f l e c t i o n s of c o n s u m e r interests. And they d i s a g r e e on the e f f e c t s of s a l e s strategies

such as a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e s i g n . The p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t view e m p h a s i z e s d e m a n d and its l e g i t i m a c y . The combined elite/class consumer meta-power

view (to be t e r m e d s i m p l y the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w ) e m p h a s i z e s the m a n n e r in w h i c h b e h a v i o u r s and s y m b o l s in the e n v i r o n m e n t of

20 p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s a r e u t i l i z e d by o r i n c o r p o r a t e d goal d i r e c t e d a c t i o n s . into their issue,

W i t h r e s p e c t to t h e p e r f o r m a n c e

it is f o u n d t h a t a r o u n d t h e s e t h e m e s h a s a r i s e n a s u b c u l t u r e > to b e c a l l e d t h e p e r f o r m a n c e s u b c u l t u r e , w h i c h is e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y d e v o t e d to t h e a u t o m o b i l e a n d i t s u s e in t h e s a t i s f a c t i o n of these values and m o t i v e s , among o t h e r s . O f all the

m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of this s u b c u l t u r e e x i s t i n g t o d a y , that form k n o w n as " h o t r o d d i n g " is t h e m o s t v i s i b l e . The sociologicalearly the

ly i n t e r e s t i n g t h i n g a b o u t h o t r o d d i n g is t h a t in i t s h i s t o r y a r o u n d t h e e n d o f W o r l d W a r II a n d t h r o u g h o u t

1 9 5 0 s , it a r o u s e d g r e a t p u b l i c c o n c e r n a n d w a s l a b e l e d as a d e v i a n t a n d d a n g e r o u s a c t i v i t y p u r s u e d by i r r e s p o n s i b l e q u e n t s and " r e b e l s " . In m a n y r e s p e c t s h o t r o d d e r s a n d delintheir

hot rods w e r e the social e m b o d i m e n t of the n e g a t i v e o f t h e a r g u m e n t s r a i s e d by c r i t i c s o f t h e a u t o m o b i l e

aspects industry.

Y e t , in t h e 1 9 6 0 s h o t r o d d i n g h a d a c h i e v e d a d e g r e e o f s o c i a l r e s p e c t a b i l i t y as a c o m m e r c i a l sport. And the automobile manu-

f a c t u r e r s b e g a n to p r o d u c e t h e i r o w n h o t r o d s f o r t h e m a r k e t . T h e s e a u t o m o b i l e s c a m e to b e k n o w n as " M u s c l e C a r s " o r Cars". Over this period of time automobile m a n u f a c t u r e r s not only promoting performance themes but were also in h o t r o d d i n g in v a r i o u s w a y s . This p r o m o t i o n and were "Super

involved involvement govern-

w a s the s u b j e c t of c o n t i n u a l p u b l i c c r i t i c i s m .

Several

ment inquiries into traffic safety focused upon this

issue. that teams

In 1 9 5 7 t h e A u t o m o b i l e M a n u f a c t u r e r s A s s o c i a t i o n d e c i d e d manufacturers should voluntarily stop supporting racing and a d v e r t i s i n g p e r f o r m a n c e . A p p a r e n t l y this did not

eliminate

21 the p r o m o t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t of p e r f o r m a n c e . a g r e e m e n t w a s o v e r t h r o w n by Ford and C h r y s l e r . T h i s h i s t o r y and t h e t h e o r e t i c a l concerns mentioned In 1 9 6 2 the

a b o v e s u g g e s t t h a t to u n d e r s t a n d the d e v e l o p m e n t of a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e performance automobile

s u b c u l t u r e , o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d as hot r o d d i n g , and t h e i n d u s t r y is s i g n i f i c a n t .

Hypotheses regarding this relation-

s h i p w i l l be t e s t e d by a s s e s s i n g the a t t i t u d e s of t h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s and t h e p u b l i c t o w a r d h o t r o d d i n g . D a t a w i l l be o b t a i n literature.

ed by a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s of r e l e v a n t p e r i o d i c a l

T h i s w i l l be s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h an h i s t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s of this relationship. I n v o l v e d in this t e s t and a n a l y s i s w i l l be the concerns discussed previously.

a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e c o n c e p t u a l

T h e t e s t p e r i o d w i l l c o n s i s t of t h e t w e n t y - o n e y e a r s p a n f r o m 1 9 4 8 to 1 9 6 8 . T h i s w i l l a p p l y to the c o n t e n t analy-

s i s , w h i l e the end p o i n t s w i l l l o o s e l y l i m i t the

historical periods basic (1) By

a n a l y s i s w h e r e r e l e v a n t d a t a f r o m e a r l i e r or l a t e r m u s t be c o n s i d e r e d . p o i n t to b e g i n T h e y e a r 1 9 4 8 is an a p p r o p r i a t e

the s t u d y f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s .

1 9 4 8 t h e e c o n o m y had r e c o v e r e d f r o m the e f f e c t s of W o r l d W a r II and a l s o f r o m the d e p r e s s i o n y e a r s of the 1 9 3 0 s . A period

of long t e r m g r o w t h w a s b e g u n w h i c h has no c o u n t e r p a r t in this century. Real p e r c a p i t a d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e i n c r e a s e d f r o m the

p r e v i o u s y e a r c o n t i n u o u s l y t h r o u g h o u t the p e r i o d e x c e p t for three y e a r s : 1 9 4 9 , 1 9 5 4 and 1 9 5 8 ( E c o n o m i c R e p o r t of the T h i s g r o w t h w a s a b a s i s for r i s i n g e x -

President, 1974:169).

p e c t a t i o n s and w a s an i m p o r t a n t i m p e t u s f o r a u t o m o b i l e s a l e s . (2) By 1 9 4 8 t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y had b e e n f u l l y reconverted

22 f r o m m i l i t a r y to d o m e s t i c p r o d u c t i o n . It had b e g u n a p a t t e r n In 1 9 4 9 , t h e

of v o l u m e sales w h i c h e x c e e d e d p r e - w a r v o l u m e s .

r e c o r d v o l u m e of s a l e s e s t a b l i s h e d in 1 9 2 9 w a s b r o k e n f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e ( 4 . 8 m i l l i o n c a r s s o l d in 1 9 4 9 to 3.8 m i l l i o n s o l d in 1 9 2 9 ) ; sales discontinuously expanded through (3) cars

the

p e r i o d to 9.4 m i l l i o n in 1 9 6 8 ( W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 ) .

The industry

i n t r o d u c e d p o s t w a r m o d e l s and s t y l e s w i t h t h e i n d e p e n d e n t m a n u f a c t u r e r s in 1 9 4 7 . The Big Three i n t r o d u c e d t h e i r new models (4) Associ

and d e s i g n s o v e r the n e x t few y e a r s ( E d w a r d s , 1 9 6 5 ) .

a t e d w i t h t h e s e i n t r o d u c t i o n s w a s a r a p i d i n c r e a s e in t o o l i n g c o s t s and a d v e r t i s i n g e x p e n d i t u r e s p e r c a r . F r o m 1 9 5 0 to 1 9 5 8

these expenditures tripled (Banner, 1954; Lanzillotti, 1971). (5) H o t r o d d i n g had by 1 9 4 8 g r o w n l a r g e e n o u g h to s t a r t o r g a n -

i z i n g i t s e l f , e s p e c i a l l y in S o u t h e r n C a l i f o r n i a b u t a l s o in the M i d W e s t and E a s t C o a s t . T h e f i r s t i s s u e o f H o t Rod m a g a z i n e Hot rodding was being noticed levels

w a s p u b l i s h e d in J a n u a r y , 1 9 4 8 .

as a s o c i a l p r o b l e m , e s p e c i a l l y at l o c a l a n d r e g i o n a l (Balsley, 1950; Parks, 1965).

T h e y e a r 1 9 6 8 w a s c h o s e n as the e n d p o i n t o f t h i s s t u d y for the following r e a s o n s . (1) T h e y e a r 1 9 6 8 is a h i g h p o i n t It m a r k s

in t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e S u p e r C a r and its c o u s i n s .

t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a d o w n - t u r n in p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s in a d v e r t i s ing c o n t e n t ( V a n T i l , 1 9 7 5 ) and t h e a p p r o a c h i n g s a t u r a t i o n o f the p e r f o r m a n c e m a r k e t . (2) T h e p r o d u c t i o n o f h o r s e p o w e r had increases

reached a technological plateau beyond which further would require costly development programs. had g r o w n t r e m e n d o u s l y . It had b e c o m e v e r y (3)

Hot rodding

commercialized

a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l i z e d w i t h a l a r g e e c o n o m i c b a s e -- it w a s s e e n

23 as t h e " g r o w t h " s p o r t of t h e 1 9 7 0 s ( Y a t e s , 1 9 7 6 ) . (4) Most shape

i m p o r t a n t , h o w e v e r , were the trends which were taking

in t h e 1 9 6 0 s and w h i c h b e g a n to c r y s t a l l i z e in t h e l a t e 1 9 6 0 s and 1 9 7 0 s . T h e s e t r e n d s m a r k the b e g i n n i n g o f a new era in

the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and its e n v i r o n m e n t c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i n c r e a s e d c o m p l e x i t y , i n c r e a s e d i z a t i o n of c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r s , and i n c r e a s e d organ-

governmental By 1 9 6 8 the

i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t o the o p e r a t i o n of the i n d u s t r y .

c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r of the e n v i r o n m e n t a l m o v e m e n t , the c o n s u m e r m o v e m e n t and the s a f e t y " c r u s a d e " w a s b e g i n n i n g to a f f e c t t h e i n d u s t r y in m a n y c o m p l e x w a y s . U n d e r the t h r e a t of f e d e r a l

l e g i s l a t i o n , p o l l u t i o n c o n t r o l b e g a n " v o l u n t a r i l y " in 1 9 6 3 w i t h the PCV d e v i c e s ( p o s i t i v e c r a n k c a s e v e n t i l a t i o n ) b u t t o u g h e r s t a n d a r d s on e x h a u s t e m i s s i o n s w e r e i m p o s e d by the M o t o r V e h i c l e A i r P o l l u t i o n A c t of 1 9 6 5 and the C l e a n A i r A c t of 1 9 7 0 . the 1970s The Environmental Protection Agency was By

publicizing automobile

p o l l u t i o n and m i l e a g e p e r g a l l o n d a t a for v a r i o u s m a k e s i n d e p e n d e n t l y of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

And, significantly,

t h e c r i t i c i s m s o f p e r f o r m a n c e and s a f e t y w e r e g a l v a n i z e d in the c o n s u m e r m o v e m e n t s p e a r h e a d e d by R a l p h N a d e r and his a s s o c i a t e s . A c c o r d i n g to t h e a n a l y s i s o f Paul H a l p e r n ( 1 9 7 2 ) in his u n p u b l i s h e d P h . D . d i s s e r t a t i o n , N a d e r a l m o s t s i n g l e h a n d e d l y inf l u e n c e d p u b l i c p o l i c y on a u t o m o b i l e s a f e t y . His confrontations

w i t h the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and his e f f o r t s to i n s t i t u t i o n a l ize the c r e a t i o n of p u b l i c i t y m a r k e t s w e r e s i g n i f i c a n t in e s t a b l i s h i n g the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of c o n s u m e r i n t e r e s t s d e f i n e d by a small n u m b e r of i n t e r p r e t e r s ) in g o v e r n m e n t agencies. By a t t e m p t i n g to i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e " t h e m u c k - r a k i n g (as

24 f u n c t i o n " , he has c r e a t e d p u b l i c i t y m a r k e t s on c o n s u m e r issues

( a l t h o u g h t h e s e m a r k e t s do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y r e p r e s e n t a n y o r g a n ized p r i v a t e c o n s u m e r c o n c e r n s ) . T h e s e m a r k e t s f u n c t i o n as had

new c o n s t i t u e n c i e s f o r p o l i c y - m a k i n g a g e n c i e s w h o f o r m e r l y

to r e l y on o r g a n i z a t i o n s f o r i n p u t -- w h i c h in the c a s e of autom o t i v e s a f e t y w e r e o r g a n i z a t i o n s c l o s e l y l i n k e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and s t a t e h i g h w a y a g e n c i e s . s a f e t y b e g a n to c o m e u n d e r f e d e r a l In 1 9 6 6 automotive passage

l e g i s l a t i o n w i t h the

of t h e N a t i o n a l T r a f f i c and M o t o r V e h i c l e S a f e t y A c t . Of c o u r s e , N a d e r ' s s u c c e s s e s d e p e n d e d u p o n m a n y s i t u a t i o n a l f a c t o r s in the p o l i t i c a l ed u p o n the l a r g e r e n v i r o n m e n t a l arena. But they also depend-

s i t u a t i o n as w e l l .

Such fact-

o r s as c h a n g e s in p o p u l a t i o n and f a m i l y d e m o g r a p h i c s , the i n c r e a s e d s t a t u s of o t h e r c o n s u m e r g o o d s in c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h a u t o m o b i l e , the rising m a i n t e n a n c e c o s t s , traffic the

congestion, which

e t c . , w e r e all i m p o r t a n t in c r e a t i n g the c o n t e x t w i t h i n Nader acted.

A n d t h e r e is a d i r e c t s e n s e in w h i c h t h e s e c h a n g social form

ing c o n d i t i o n s w e r e a r e s u l t of the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and

c o s t s w h i c h a c c r u e d as t h e a u t o m o b i l e b e c a m e the d o m i n a n t o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , s o l d as an i n d i v i d u a l

s o l u t i o n to p r i v a t e corporaera study.

t r a n s p o r t a t i o n n e e d s by p r o f i t - s e e k i n g , g r o w t h o r i e n t e d tions. T h e s e c h a n g i n g c o n d i t i o n s and the n e w a u t o m o t i v e

t h e y a r e b r i n g i n g a b o u t a r e f a r b e y o n d the s c o p e o f t h i s Contributions

T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n w i l l e x a m i n e and c r i t i c a l l y t e s t two theoretical v i e w s of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r , m a r k e t b e h a v i o u r , and T h e s e t w o v i e w s t e n d to

t h e s o c i a l m e a n i n g of c o n s u m p t i o n .

25 o p p o s i t e e n d s of t h e s p e c t r u m o v e r w h o c o n t r o l s the m a r k e t , c o n s u m e r s or c o r p o r a t e e l i t e s / c a p i t a l i s t ruling c l a s s ; both

t e n d to be t o t a l i s t i c in t h e i r a s s e s s m e n t o f t h e d e g r e e of c o n trol m a n i f e s t e d . The traditional pluralist/functionalist view

w i l l be c o n t r a s t e d w i t h t h e e l i t e / c l a s s v i e w .

The latter frame-

w o r k w i l l be c o n c e p t u a l l y g r o u n d e d in a c o n c e p t i o n o f p o w e r (as m e t a - p o w e r ) w h i c h is m o r e a d e q u a t e to its d e s c r i p t i o n corporate behaviour. This conceptual d e v e l o p m e n t will of

contrithese

b u t e to m o v i n g b e y o n d the l o n g s t a n d i n g d e b a t e b e t w e e n

t w o o r i e n t a t i o n s by s h i f t i n g t h e f o c u s to t h e s o c i a l a n d c u l tural c o n t e x t within which behaviour takes place. The applicaclar-

t i o n to t h e m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n w i l l c o n t r i b u t e n e e d e d i f i c a t i o n to a n e g l e c t e d a r e a o f s o c i o l o g i c a l concern.

Again develop-

t h e t e r m s o f t h e d e b a t e w i l l be a l t e r e d by c o n c e p t u a l

m e n t s w h i c h do n o t d e n y t h e v a l i d i t y o f h u m a n n e e d s n o r r e i f y cultural variables. The critical t e s t o f t h e s e p o s i t i o n s is in the f o r m o f physical be

a case study of the d e v e l o p m e n t of the s y m b o l i c and c o n t e n t of the American a u t o m o b i l e .

Special a t t e n t i o n will

p a i d to t h e t h e m e s r e l a t e d to a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e .

The re-

l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the a u t o m o b i l e industry and hot rodding will be a n a l y s e d . In t h e p r o c e s s , t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n w i l l contribute

to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e d o m i n a n t f o r m o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n t e c h n o l o g y in m o d e r n s o c i e t y a n d t h e mechanisms and

w h e r e b y it h a s c o m e to be d e s i g n e d and u s e d f o r p u r p o s e s in w a y s w h i c h a r e d e t r i m e n t a l

and d a n g e r o u s f o r " r a t i o n a l , purposes

e f f i c i e n t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of such and u s e s . In t h e 1 9 8 0 s , w i t h i n f l a t i o n , c o n g e s t i o n ,

pollution,

26 r e g u l a t i o n , energy p r o b l e m s , e t c . , changing the environment

d r a s t i c a l l y , new d e m a n d s a r e b e i n g f o r m u l a t e d and m a d e , n e w patterns taking shape. T h e t y p e s of a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h w i l l respond drive But be

p r o d u c e d , t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , the w a y p e o p l e will

to t h e m , w h a t t h e y w i l l m e a n to t h e m , a n d t h e w a y t h e y

t h e m in t h e 1 9 8 0 s c e r t a i n l y m u s t m e e t t h e s e n e w d e m a n d s . a u t o m o t i v e p r o d u c t i o n and u s e a r e t h e p r o d u c t s o f p a t t e r n s d e v e l o p e d o v e r a l o n g t i m e and a r e n o t e a s i l y or s w i f t l y ed. S i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s and p a t t e r n s often carry

changover

i n t o f u t u r e c o n d i t i o n s , a l t h o u g h in m o d i f i e d f o r m .

To m e e t

p r e s e n t and f u t u r e c o n d i t i o n s , it w i l l h e l p to k n o w w h a t t h e past was like. O u t l i n e of Study P a r t II o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n w i l l d i s c u s s t h e t w o theoretical f r a m e w o r k s and develop the conceptual Chapter Two will foundations outline

for the revised elite/class view.

the two views of the social c o n t e x t of c o r p o r a t e and its d e v e l o p m e n t w i t h s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n to t h e social i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n .

capitalism increasing The litera-

t u r e on c o r p o r a t e p o w e r w i l l b e r e v i e w e d a n d t h e c o n c e p t of meta-power developed. C h a p t e r Three will o u t l i n e the p l u r a l -

i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t v i e w o f c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in t h e m a r k e t a n d d e v e l o p a m o d e l b a s e d on t h e w o r k o f J a m e s T h o m p s o n and

o t h e r s w h i c h c o r r e c t s t h e d e f i c i e n c i e s of t h i s v i e w b u t is still c o m p a t i b l e with it. C h a p t e r Four will p r e s e n t the m e t a -

p o w e r v i e w of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r and t h e p r o c e s s o f d e m a n d m a n a g e m e n t b a s e d u p o n G a l b r a i t h ' s a n a l y s i s o f T h e New Industrial

27 State. T h e Fifth C h a p t e r will then d i s c u s s the two v i e w s of

the m a r k e t and the role of c u l t u r e in d e t e r m i n i n g h u m a n n e e d s and t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n . ed in s o m e d e t a i l . discussion. P a r t III of this d i s s e r t a t i o n c o n s i s t s of the c a s e s t u d y of the s h a p e of the a u t o m o b i l e and the c r i t i c a l t e s t of the two t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k s . C h a p t e r S e v e n will p r e s e n t a T h e r o l e of a d v e r t i s i n g w i l l be e x a m i n theoretical

C h a p t e r Six will s u m m a r i z e the

d i s c u s s i o n of the p u b l i c i s s u e of a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e and its r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h o s e " e x t r a m o t i v e s " a r g u e d to be d e t r i m e n t a l to the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s y s t e m and s o c i e t y . The develop-

m e n t of h o t r o d d i n g w i l l be e x a m i n e d and a b r i e f r e v i e w of the c r i t i c i s m s d i r e c t e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y presented.

In C h a p t e r E i g h t the two t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s are a p p l i e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and the b e h a v i o u r of the p r o d u c e r s . H y p o t h e s e s f r o m each p o s i t i o n are d e r i v e d p r e d i c t i n g the g e n eral n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n c o n s u m e r s and the m a n u f a c t u r e r s w i t h r e s p e c t to the c o n t e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e . H y p o t h e s e s are a l s o d e r i v e d p r e d i c t i n g the n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n h o t r o d d i n g and the m a n u f a c t u r e r s . In C h a p t e r N i n e an i n i t i a l t e s t of the g e n e r a l m i n a t i o n of a u t o m o t i v e c o n t e n t is p r e s e n t e d . deter-

The methodology

for the t e s t of the hot rod m a n u f a c t u r e r r e l a t i o n s h i p is d i s cussed. C h a p t e r Ten p r e s e n t s the r e s u l t s of the c o n t e n t a n a l are

y s i s w h e r e it is f o u n d t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s

i n v o l v e d in hot r o d d i n g and u t i l i z i n g a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g in t h e i r d e s i g n and p r o m o t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s . Their involvement

and i n c o r p o r a t i o n is f o u n d to b e g i n at a t i m e far e a r l i e r than

28 p r e d i c t e d by the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t h y p o t h e s i s . Chapters

E l e v e n and T w e l v e are the h i s t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s of the r e l a t i o n ship b e t w e e n hot r o d d i n g and the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s . A

s p e c i f i c f e a t u r e of this a n a l y s i s is the a t t e m p t to f o l l o w the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n the s t r u c t u r a l and p l a n n i n g p r i o r i t i e s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , the s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s e m p l o y e d by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , and the c h a n g i n g s t a t e s of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s . m a n n e r in w h i c h the m a n u f a c t u r e r s u t i l i z e and incorporate The

a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g into t h e i r s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t is t r a c e d t h r o u g h this i n t e r a c t i o n . T h i s is a c a s e

s t u d y in the e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l b a s e d upon the inc o r p o r a t i o n of a c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n . F i n a l l y , P a r t IV p r e s e n t s the c o n c l u s i o n s to this s t u d y in C h a p t e r T h i r t e e n . discussed. T h e r e s u l t s of the c r i t i c a l t e s t are

The i m p l i c a t i o n s of the e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l c o n -

trol for u n d e r s t a n d i n g the d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e and the b e h a v i o u r o f the m a n u f a c t u r e r s are d e v e l o p e d . tical s i g n i f i c a n c e of the f i n d i n g s for the o n g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n are e x p l o r e d . The t h e o r e theoretical

FOOTNOTES 1 The l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h p r o v i d e s this d o c u m e n t a t i o n is v a s t and c o v e r s both the p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s of the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and e c o n o m i c -- as well as p h y s i c a l -- imp o r t a n c e of the a u t o m o b i l e and its i n d u s t r y . For a s e l e c t e d s a m p l e , see D e n i s o n , 1 9 5 6 ; D o n o v a n , 1 9 6 5 ; E d w a r d s , 1 9 6 5 ; F l i n k , 1972, 1975; Brownell, 1972; White, 1971; Purdy, 1960; Chandler, 1967, 1969; Mowbray, 1969; Rothschild, 1973; Snell, 1975; B r u c e - B r i g g s , 1 9 7 7 ; B o t k i n , 1 9 7 0 ; Finch and S m i t h , 1 9 7 0 ; B o g a r t , 1976; Johnson, 1975. 2 T h i s critical l i t e r a t u r e is m o s t l y an e x a m i n a t i o n of the n e g a t i v e i m p a c t of the a u t o m o b i l e upon p e o p l e , c i t i e s , c o u n t r y s i d e , c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y . L i t t l e of it is based upon s y s t e m a t i c r e s e a r c h or solid e m p i r i c a l d a t a . S e e , for e x a m p l e , the f o l l o w i n g s a m p l e of w o r k : C a r a s s o , 1 9 7 0 ; M o f f i t t , 1 9 7 6 ; M e r r i t t , 1 9 7 1 ; M u m f o r d , 1 9 6 6 ; D r e w , 1 9 6 6 ; O ' C o n n e l l and M e y e r , 1966; Schneider, 1971; Rothschild, 1973; Flink, 1975; Moynihan, 1959, 1960, 1966; Jerome, 1972; Ayres, 1970, Leavitt, 1970; B u e l , 1 9 7 3 ; K e a t s , 1 9 5 8 ; B u r b y , 1 9 7 1 ; C e n t e r for A u t o S a f e t y , 1 9 7 2 ; N a d e r , 1 9 5 9 , 1 9 6 3 , 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 . For a s p i r i t e d d e f e n c e of the role and p o s i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e and its i n d u s t r y , see Bruce-Briggs, 1977. The lack of s e r i o u s r e s e a r c h a t t e n t i o n to the i m p a c t of the a u t o m o b i l e and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n p r o b l e m s has c a u s e d diff i c u l t i e s for both a n a l y s i s and p o l i c y - m a k i n g . On this see T o b i n , 1 9 7 4 and B u r b y , 1 9 7 1 . The c r i t i c a l s t u d i e s by Ralph N a d e r and his a s s o c i a t e s on the C o r v a i r and the V o l k s w a g e n d e s e r v e c o m m e n t . N a d e r ' s ( 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 ) U n s a f e at Any Speed and the c o n t r o v e r s y w h i c h it f o s t e r e d was an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r in the i n c r e a s i n g " p o l i t i c i z a t i o n " of the a u t o m o b i l e (of w h i c h the l i t e r a t u r e cited a b o v e is an e x a m p l e ) w h i c h took p l a c e in the late 1960s and 1 9 7 0 s . The book is a c o m p i l a t i o n of r e s e a r c h , s t a t i s t i c s and o p i n i o n w h i c h c o n d e m n the C h e v r o l e t C o r v a i r as p r o d u c e d from 1960 to 1 9 6 3 . N a d e r c h a r g e s that the C o r v a i r (and by i m p l i c a t i o n m o s t if not all A m e r i c a n m a d e a u t o m o b i l e s ) was p o o r l y d e s i g n e d , and that m a n u f a c t u r e r s knew it but for c o s t and o t h e r r e a s o n s i n t r o d u c e d it to the m a r k e t . The r e s u l t s w e r e u n n e c e s s a r y d e a t h s and i n j u r i e s . The c o n t r o versy t h e s e c h a r g e s m a d e are well k n o w n . H o w e v e r , s e r i o u s q u e s t i o n s a b o u t the c h a r g e s and the data upon w h i c h they are based are r a i s e d by a l i t t l e p u b l i c i z e d study f i n a n c e d by the D e p a r t m e n t of T r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o n d u c t e d by T e x a s T r a n s p o r t a t i o n I n s t i t u t e at the T e x a s Ai & M U n i v e r s i t y . T h i s r e s e a r c h and its e v a l u a t i o n c o n c l u d e d that the 1960 - 1963 C o r v a i r m e t or e x ceeded contemporary standards regarding stability, cornering and r o l l - o v e r c a p a b i l i t i e s . The C o r v a i r was j u d g e d not to have a s a f e t y d e f e c t and to be no m o r e prone to r o l l - o v e r than o t h e r c o n t e m p o r a r y a u t o m o b i l e s . (National H i g h w a y T r a f f i c S a f e t y A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , 1 9 7 2 ) . The N a d e r g r o u p ' s The V o l k s w a g e n : An 29

30 A s s e s s m e n t of D i s t i n c t i v e H a z a r d s ( C e n t e r f o r A u t o S a f e t y , 1 9 7 2 ) m a d e s i m i l a r c h a r g e s a g a i n s t the V o l k s w a g e n . B u t an eval u a t i o n of the s o u r c e s and d a t a c i t e d by t h e m s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h o t h e r a v a i l a b l e d a t a led the s t a f f at Road and T r a c k m a g a z i n e to c o n c l u d e : " R a l p h N a d e r a l l e g e d t h a t V o l k s w a g e n a u t o m o b i l e s are d i s t i n c t i v e l y h a z a r d o u s . Road and T r a c k , a f t e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and on the b a s i s of its c o n s i d e r a b l e e x p e r i e n c e in the a u t o m o t i v e f i e l d , a s s e r t s t h a t R a l p h N a d e r is w r o n g " ( T o m e r l i n , 1 9 7 2 : 3 3 ) . T h i s s i t u a t i o n c e r t a i n l y does n o t h e l p r e s o l v e the i s s u e s i n v o l v e d in t h e p r o b l e m s o f a u t o m o b i l e s a f e t y and t h e r o l e of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

PART II THEORETICAL DISCUSSION

CHAPTER 2 C O R P O R A T E P O W E R A N D ITS CONCEPTUALIZATION

T h e s t u d y of s o c i a l p o w e r is and a l w a y s h a s b e e n a c e n t r a l c o n c e r n of the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . P o w e r and its exercise and

has b e e n e x a m i n e d in m a n y d i f f e r e n t l o c a t i o n s and s e t t i n g s at m a n y d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s . T h e l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h has

accumulated

is as v a s t as it is d i f f u s e .

F o r t u n a t e l y t h e r e is no n e e d to

e x a m i n e h e r e all the n u a n c e s and c r i t i c a l d i a l o g u e s in t h i s l i t e r a t u r e -- f o r w h e n all t h e s e a r e b o i l e d a w a y , t h e r e remains

the b a s i c c o n c e p t of p o w e r w h i c h i n f o r m s the v a r i o u s w o r k s . It is f r o m t h i s b a s i c c o n c e p t and its u n c r i t i c a l acceptance of the

t h a t m a n y of the p r o b l e m s f a c i n g the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n p o w e r of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y d e r i v e .

T h e p r o b l e m of the producer

p o w e r of t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y is the p r o b l e m of

i n t e r f e r e n c e in the o p e r a t i o n of w h a t is s u p p o s e d to be a " f r e e " m a r k e t and p o l i t i c a l arena. T h a t i s , f r e e in the s e n s e a r e n a s h o u l d be u n d e r the c o n -

t h a t the m a r k e t and the p o l i t i c a l

trol o f t h e a g g r e g a t e v o i c e o f a u t o n o m o u s i n d i v i d u a l s w h o e x p r e s s t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and v a l u e s in the f o r m of t h e d e m a n d c o n s u m e r g o o d s and in v o t i n g p r e f e r e n c e s . for

P r o d u c e r s and p o l i -

t i c i a n s are to be p a s s i v e l y r e s p o n s i b l e to t h e v o i c e of t h e i r c u s t o m e r s and c o n s t i t u e n t s and to p r o v i d e the o u t p u t and p o l i c i e s n e c e s s a r y to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of t h o s e e x p r e s s e d T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l d e s c r i b e f i r s t the r i s e of c a p i t a l i s m as the s o c i a l c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h t h e industry operates. It w i l l p r e s e n t the two m a j o r concerns. corporate

automobile interpreta-

t i o n s of t h i s h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s , l i b e r a l and r e v i s i o n i s t , and 32

33 their theoretical underpinnings. N e x t , the d i f f e r i n g views

on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r and its o p e r a t i o n in the c a p i t a l ist s y s t e m of t h e s e two t r a d i t i o n s w i l l be p r e s e n t e d . p r o b l e m s of d e f i n i t i o n of the c o n c e p t of p o w e r w h i c h t h e s e two v i e w s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d and m o r e a d e q u a t e w i l l be d e v e l o p e d . The underlie concepts

S p e c i f i c a l l y , a c o n c e p t i o n o f p o w e r will (1) structural and historical

be p r e s e n t e d w h i c h c o n s i d e r s : f a c t o r s ; (2)

the " m o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s " in n o n - i n t e r a c t i v e t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e unsolicited complementary

r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; and (3)

b e h a v i o u r of o t h e r m e m b e r s in the s y s t e m ( t e r m e d

b e h a v i o u r ) can c o n t r i b u t e to the m a i n t e n a n c e of a p o w e r s t r u c ture. From this structural p e r s p e c t i v e it is hypothesized

t h a t the p e r f o r m a n c e s u b c u l t u r e in the f o r m o f h o t r o d d i n g is a c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n w h i c h the a u t o m o b i l e b e g a n to i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o its s t r u c t u r e in the e a r l y industry

1950s.

S e v e r a l h y p o t h e s e s w i l l be p r e s e n t e d on t h e n a t u r e of this incorporation. C o r p o r a t e C a p i t a l i s m , R e v i s i o n i s t H i s t o r y and Neo-Marxism

It is i m p o r t a n t to pl.ace the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and t h e c o m p l e x of i n d u s t r i e s and s e r v i c e s w h i c h r i d e a l o n g w i t h it in its s o c i a l c o n t e x t . T h i s is b e c a u s e it is w i t h i n this

c o n t e x t t h a t the i n d u s t r y d e v e l o p e d and t o o k its p r e s e n t s t r u c ture. A n d t h i s s t r u c t u r e , as shall be d i s c u s s e d , is very im-

p o r t a n t in u n d e r s t a n d i n g the p r e s e n t c o n t o u r s of the d e m a n d f o r the a u t o m o b i l e as w e l l as the very i t s e l f as a c o n s u m e r d u r a b l e . f o r m of t h e a u t o m o b i l e

T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f the a u t o m o -

b i l e and its i n d u s t r i a l c o m p l e x s i n c e the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y

34 is of a p i e c e w i t h the d e v e l o p m e n t of c o r p o r a t e T h a t i s , the t r a n s i t i o n from i n d u s t r i a l or capitalism.

entrepreneurial

c a p i t a l i s m to c o r p o r a t e or m o n o p o l y c a p i t a l i s m , as it is s o m e times referred to. of this h i s t o r i c a l T h e r e are l i t e r a l l y h u n d r e d s of a c c o u n t s development. W h i l e t h e r e are m a n y d i s a g r e e -

m e n t s o v e r d e t a i l s , causal f a c t o r s , c o n s e q u e n c e s , and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , t h e r e is s u b s t a n t i a l this t r a n s i t i o n t o o k . here. (1) a g r e e m e n t on the b a s i c form

O n l y a b r i e f s k e t c h can be p r e s e n t e d

T h e m a i n f e a t u r e s of this c h a n g e in c a p i t a l i s t form a r e : the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of s c i e n c e into i n d u s t r i a l production based

p r o c e s s e s in the late 1 8 0 0 s ; (2)

the r i s e of s c i e n c e

i n d u s t r i e s at the turn of the c e n t u r y ; (3)

the g r o w t h of in-

d u s t r i e s to l a r g e s i z e and the i n c r e a s i n g a d o p t i o n of the c o r p o r a t e f o r m of o r g a n i z a t i o n ; (4) the i n c r e a s i n g a d o p t i o n of

m a c h i n e p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s e s , and the d e v e l o p m e n t of m a s s p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n i q u e s ; (5) the d e v e l o p m e n t of a c o r p o r a t e the reform

m o v e m e n t and its p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s ; (6)

increasing realms;

i n t e r v e n t i o n of the s t a t e into e c o n o m i c and social (7) (8) (9) c o n t i n u e d c o r p o r a t e e x p a n s i o n and e n l a r g e d

production;

the d e v e l o p m e n t of m o d e r n " s c i e n t i f i c " m a n a g e m e n t ; and the g r o w t h of c o n s u m p t i o n as a m a i n s t a y of the e c o n o m y . The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n p r e s e n t e d h e r e of the e v e n t s and

m o t i v e s u n d e r l y i n g t h e s e c h a n g e s f o l l o w s t h a t of the r e v i s i o n 1 ist t r a d i t i o n in the social s c i e n c e s . In the late 1800s the c h r o n i c o v e r p r o d u c t i o n w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e d the industrial system)

c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m (as it does the c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t

led to p r i c e d e p r e s s i o n s , e f f o r t s to e x p a n d m a r k e t s , and intense competition. David N o b l e ( 1 9 7 7 : 5 4 - 5 5 ) s u m m a r i z e d the

35 s i t u a t i o n as the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y b e g a n : By the turn of the c e n t u r y the l a r g e r c o r p o r a t i o n s w h i c h had s u r v i v e d this comp e t i t i o n u n d e r t o o k to s t a b i l i z e the c h a o t i c e c o n o m i c s i t u a t i o n , to keep c a p i t a l i s m a l i v e by e l i m i n a t i n g m u c h of the e c o n o m i c f r e e d o m t h a t had both m a d e it so p o p u l a r and d r i v e n it to the b r i n k of d i s a s t e r . In the p l a c e of e c o n o m i c f r e e d o m , they o f f e r e d the g o o d s , the a b u n d a n t f r u i t of e f f i c i e n t and r e g u l a t ed i n d u s t r i a l p r o d u c t i o n . T o w a r d this e n d , and in a c o u n t r y w h o s e 1 a i s s e z - f a i re t r a d i tions p r e c l u d e d the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of legal c a r t e l s , t h e s e c o r p o r a t i o n s e x p a n d e d to c o n trol as much of the m a r k e t and the p r o d u c tion p r o c e s s as p o s s i b l e , to e l i m i n a t e l e s s e r c o m p e t i t o r s and c o o r d i n a t e the m a n y a s p e c t s of each i n d u s t r y . By m e a n s of c o n s o l i d a tions, mergers, trusts, holding companies, trade a s s o c i a t i o n s , and, ultimately, governm e n t r e g u l a t o r y a g e n c i e s , they s t r u g g l e d to r e g u l a t e p r o d u c t i o n and s t a b i l i z e p r i c e s . A t the same t i m e , they u n d e r t o o k to r a t i o n a l i z e the s p r a w l i n g e m p i r e s w h i c h they had a c q u i r e d in the p r o c e s s -- to m a k e them p r o f i t a b l e as well as p o w e r f u l by u t i l i z ing e x p e n s i v e p l a n t s at m a x i m u m c a p a c i t y , f u l l y r e a l i z i n g the p o t e n t i a l of t e c h n o logical d e v e l o p m e n t s , and c o - o r d i n a t i n g all the varied a c t i v i t i e s u n d e r t h e i r c o m m a n d . In the s c i e n c e b a s e d i n d u s t r i e s (which s e r v e d as the m o d e l s for t o d a y ' s large i n d u s t r i a l c o r p o r a t i o n s ) this m e a n t the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of m o d e r n t e c h n o l o g y i t s e l f as well as the p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s it m a d e p o s s i b l e : the r e g u l a r i z a t i o n of p a t e n t p r o c e d u r e s , the e f f i c i e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h , and the s y s t e m a t i c p r o d u c t i o n of technical power. T h e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and m e c h a n i z a t i o n of p r o d u c t i o n c r e a t e d p r o b l e m s w i t h the l a b o u r pool and this w a s compounded until

by the t r e m e n d o u s i n f l u x of i m m i g r a t i o n w h i c h c o n t i n u e d the 1 9 3 0 s .

T h i s r e s u l t e d in l a b o u r u n r e s t and at the same time for

h e l p e d to p r e v e n t l a b o u r unity and to p r o v i d e o p p o r t u n i t i e s

e m p l o y e r s to m a i n t a i n low w a g e s , r a t i o n a l i z e p r o d u c t i o n and to keep l a b o u r u n o r g a n i z e d . P r e d o m i n a n t m e m b e r s of corporations

36 w e r e a c t i v e in t h e A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n m o v e m e n t w h i c h a i m e d in p a r t to o r i e n t w o r k e r s to i n d u s t r i a l c o n d i t i o n s . At the political condi-

l e v e l t h e r e w a s a g r e a t deal o f c o n c e r n a b o u t i n d u s t r i a l

t i o n s , a n d t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t e c h n o l o g y a n d i n d u s t r y in r e a l i z ing t h e d e m o c r a t i c g o a l s of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . Many conserva-

t i v e s w e r e o p p o s e d to t h e i n c r e a s i n g c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f p o w e r in c o r p o r a t e h a n d s , s a w c o r r u p t i o n a n d a b u s e in t h e s y s t e m , a n d w a n t e d p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n to m a i n t a i n t h e f r e e m a r k e t . The progreswealth

s i v e r e f o r m m o v e m e n t in p a r t i c u l a r s o u g h t to r e d i s t r i b u t e and o p p o r t u n i t y t h r o u g h w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n , w o m a n ' s industrial " u p l i f t " p r o g r a m s ; it a l s o a t t e m p t e d to

suffrage, rebalance further support anarchist system,

e c o n o m i c p o w e r by t h e u s e o f a n t i - t r u s t l e g i s l a t i o n , g o v e r n m e n t r e g u l a t i o n of b u s i n e s s a n d t h e m a r k e t , a n d of trade u n i o n s .

O t h e r g r o u p s s u c h as t h e s o c i a l i s t a n d

m o v e m e n t s w e r e d e v o t e d to t h e e l i m i n a t i o n o f t h e c a p i t a l i s t

T h e b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y ' s r e s p o n s e to t h e s e c h a l l e n g e s w a s n o t u n i f o r m a n d w e n t in s e v e r a l d i r e c t i o n s . B u t t h e p e o p l e in t h e con-

l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s d e v e l o p e d s t r a t e g i e s d e s i g n e d to m i n i m i z e f l i c t w h e r e v e r p o s s i b l e a n d to i s o l a t e t h e m o r e r a d i c a l T h e y a t t e m p t e d to d e v e l o p s t r a t e g i e s w h i c h t h e y b e l i e v e d

elements. would

r e c o n c i l e the liberal t r a d i t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c d e m o c r a c y with their own " c o r p o r a t e - c a p i t a l i s t and scientific-technological (Noble, called,

d e m a n d s for o r d e r , s t a b i l i t y , and social e f f i c i e n c y " 1977:61).

T h i s " c o r p o r a t e l i b e r a l i s m " , as it h a s b e e n

w o r k e d t h r o u g h t h e " c a p t u r e " or o t h e r r e d i r e c t i o n o f g o v e r n m e n t a g e n c i e s , c r e a t i o n o f p r i v a t e a s s o c i a t i o n s s u c h as t r a d e a s s o c i a t i o n s and c h a m b e r s of c o m m e r c e , d e v e l o p m e n t of r e s e a r c h a g e n c i e s , p r o m o t i o n o f s o c i a l w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n , a n d t h e a t t e m p t to t r e a t

37 l a b o r u n i o n s as v o l u n t a r y p a r t n e r s in the c o r p o r a t e 2 s y s t e m in o r d e r to p r e v e n t d a m a g i n g c o n f l i c t . industrial

To t h e e x t e n t t h a t c o r p o r a t i o n s w e r e a b l e to g a i n c o n t r o l o v e r t h e p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s , p r i c i n g and m a r k e t s , t h e y w e r e a b l e to g e n e r a t e v e r y l a r g e p r o f i t s w h i c h a l l o w e d for f u r t h e r e x p a n s i o n of o u t p u t . In t h e e a r l y d e c a d e s of t h i s c e n t u r y as p r o d u c became

tive capacity continually increased, markets eventually

s a t u r a t e d and d e m a n d w o u l d s l i p , e v e n w i t h e f f o r t s to r e g u l a t e output. W a y s to e x p a n d e x i s t i n g m a r k e t s w i t h o u t diminishing of

p r o f i t w e r e s o u g h t as w e r e new m a r k e t s and n e w t e c h n i q u e s m a r k e t i n g and m e r c h a n d i s i n g .

T h e r i s i n g s u r p l u s had to be c o n In

s u m e d and t h i s w a s r e c o g n i z e d in the b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y .

1 9 3 4 E d w a r d F i l e n e , a f a m o u s d e p a r t m e n t s t o r e m a g n a t e , in a b o o k e n t i t l e d , T h e C o n s u m e r ' s D o l l a r , w r o t e t h a t it w a s no l o n g e r s o c i a l l y n e c e s s a r y to d i r e c t w e a l t h f r o m c o n s u m p t i o n to the u s e s of c a p i t a l . W i t h o u r p r e s e n t r a t e of p r o d u c t i v i t y , in f a c t , it has b e c o m e f o o l i s h and is no l o n g e r g o o d b u s i n e s s . C o n t i n u i n g in t h a t c o u r s e w o u l d d e s t r o y c a p i t a l i s m ; for t h e r e can be no a d e q u a t e s p e n d i n g , and s p e n d i n g on a s c a l e which only the m a s s e s , with mass leisure can a c h i e v e ( F i l e n e , 1 9 3 4 : 2 0 ) . As o p p o r t u n i t i e s for c a p i t a l i n v e s t m e n t d e c l i n e d w i t h i n the s p h e r e o f n e c e s s a r y g o o d s p r o d u c t i o n , c a p i t a l b e g a n to be i n v e s t e d in a r e a s of l e i s u r e g o o d s p r o d u c t i o n . T h e s e r i o u s p r o b l e m s of u n -

e m p l o y m e n t e m e r g i n g as p r o d u c t i o n w a s r a t i o n a l i z e d w e r e a l l e v i a t e d to s o m e e x t e n t by t h e e m p l o y m e n t o p p o r t u n i t i e s in the e x p a n d ing s e r v i c e i n d u s t r i e s w h i c h b o t h c r e a t e d and s e r v e d l e i s u r e . T h u s in t h e 1 9 2 0 s b e g a n the " s a l e s e f f o r t " ( B a r o n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 ) and the d e v e l o p m e n t of s u c h s o c i a l s t r a t e g i e s as a d v e r t i s i n g , i n s t a l l m e n t and c r e d i t b u y i n g , h i g h e r w a g e s and shorter

38 working hours. The D e p r e s s i o n and the S e c o n d W o r l d War d e l a y e d Ewen's (1976) analy-

its f u l l i m p l e m e n t a t i o n u n t i l a f t e r 1 9 4 5 .

sis of the trade j o u r n a l s , s p e e c h e s , and books of this early period b r i n g s out the f o l l o w i n g t h e m e s : (1) d e m a n d s for w o r k e r

c o n t r o l in i n d u s t r y ( i . e . , " b o l s h e v i s m " ) w o u l d b e w e a k e n e d by i n c r e a s i n g a c c e s s to c o n s u m e r g o o d s ; ( 2 ) c o r o l l a r y to t h e f i r s t , t h e n o t i o n s o f " p a r t i c i p a t i o n " and d e m o c r a c y w e r e r e d e f i n e d to mean the e x e r c i s e of c o n s u m e r c h o i c e ; (3) a d v e r t i s i n g would to " A m e r i c a n i z e " n o n - E n g l i s h e t h n i c m i n o r i t i e s a n d c r e a t e a u n i f o r m national " t a s t e " ; (4) the realms of p r o d u c t i o n and cons u m p t i o n w o u l d be k e p t s e p a r a t e ; ( 5 ) t h e f a m i l y w o u l d c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y u n d e r s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s , f o r e x a m p l e , by n e w c o n s u m p t i o n m o d e l s t a u g h t in " h o m e e c o n o m i c s " c l a s s e s a t s c h o o l and help

b r o u g h t h o m e by t h e c h i l d r e n ; ( 6 ) s e x u a l i t y a n d s e x r o l e s w e r e u s e f u l in s e l l i n g g o o d s ; ( 7 ) p e r s o n a l c o n s u m p t i o n a n d t h e s k i l l s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h it w o u l d c h a n g e as m a n u f a c t u r e d g o o d s w o u l d replace home-made goods. T h i s r e v i s i o n i s t h i s t o r y is a r e v i s i o n o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l , m a i n s t r e a m liberal history which d o m i n a t e d the social s c i e n c e s -- a n d in m a n y r e s p e c t s s t i l l d o e s . Some of this re-

v i s i o n i s t h i s t o r y h a s b e e n w r i t t e n by n e o - M a r x i s t a n d r a d i c a l liberal social s c i e n t i s t s w h i l e others of these h a v e u t i l i z e d it in t h e i r f o r m u l a t i o n s . orientations

In e i t h e r c a s e , t h e

h i s t o r i c a l " d a t a " a r e u s e d as an e x p l a n a t i o n as to w h y t h e w o r k e r r e v o l u t i o n p r e d i c t e d by o r t h o d o x M a r x i s m d i d n o t a r i s e a n d w h y s o c i a l i s t i c a n d c o m m u n i s t i c p o l i t i c a l m o v e m e n t s f a i l e d to gain much popular support. The c a p i t a l i s t class and their cor-

p o r a t i o n s , a b l e to g a i n g o v e r n m e n t s u p p o r t , a b l e to r a t i o n a l i z e

39 p r o d u c t i o n and m a n a g e m e n t , a b l e to n e u t r a l i z e p o l i t i c a l and a b l e to s h i f t t h e r e a l m o f i n d i v i d u a l dissent,

f r e e d o m a n d its m e a n contradictions

ing to c o n s u m p t i o n , e t c . , w e r e a b l e to r e s o l v e t h e of i n d u s t r i a l ing c l a s s .

c a p i t a l i s m and d e f u s e t h e r e v o l u t i o n o f t h e w o r k possible and result

In t h i s t h e y w e r e h e l p e d by t h e c h a n g e s m a d e ( s u c h as t r a n s p o r t a t i o n The overall

by t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t e c h n o l o g y

c o m m u n i c a t i o n ) -- e s p e c i a l l y s u b u r b a n i s m .

w a s t h e g r o w t h of a c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y w h i c h h a s b e e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d as t h e " m a s s s o c i e t y " , t h e " a b s t r a c t society" 1964),

( Z i j d e r v e l d , 1 9 7 0 ) , the " o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l " society ( M a r c u s e , the " p l u r a l i s t " s o c i e t y .

W h a t t h e s e t e r m s r e f e r to is a s o c i e t y

c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n p u b l i c a n d p r i v a t e , w o r k and l e i s u r e , and t h e r e l e g a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l freedom, selfprivate the

e x p r e s s i o n , and t h e s e a r c h f o r e x p e r i e n c e m a i n l y to t h e

s p h e r e ( c a l l e d l e i s u r e ) a n d its r e a l i z a t i o n m a i n l y t h r o u g h c o n s u m p t i o n of c o m m o d i t i e s . O f t e n t h i s is c a l l e d

"privatization".

T h e n e o - M a r x i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e s o called critical t h e o r i s t s , t h e o r i z e s t h a t s u c h f a c t o r s as s c i e n -

tific m a n a g e m e n t , the p r o g r e s s i v e m o v e m e n t , s u b u r b a n i s m , e t c . , were instrumental in d e s t r o y i n g t h e b a s i c c o n d i t i o n s necessary forma-

f o r t h e w o r k i n g c l a s s to d e v e l o p as a c l a s s .

Such social

t i o n s as c o l l e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s in t h e w o r k - p l a c e a n d t h e c o m m u n i t y , and an a u t o n o m o u s c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n w h i c h and o p p o s e d e c o n o m i c d o m i n a t i o n / e x p l o i t a t i o n d e p r i v a t i o n s in t h e f o r m o f an i d e o l o g i c a l recognized these

and e x p r e s s e d

r a t i o n a l e --

these

w e r e e l i m i n a t e d and t h e w o r k e r s w e r e l e f t i s o l a t e d in b o t h w o r k and c o m m u n i t y . T h i s a l l o w e d t h e m to be s o c i a l i z e d i n t o t h e

p r a c t i c e and v a l u e s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m a n d t h e p r i v a t e p u r s u i t o f

40 m o n e t a r y and m a t e r i a l interests. The replacement c u l t u r e , criassociated

tical t h e o r i s t s a r g u e , w a s p r o v i d e d by the v a l u e s w i t h c o n s u m p t i o n and c o m m o d i t i e s .

T h e p u b l i c w o r l d of c o l l e c -

t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s of c l a s s and the c o m m u n i t y w e r e r e p l a c e d by the p r i v a t e c o n s u m e r w h o now had no a l t e r n a t i v e s o u r c e s for the d i s c u s s i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t of t r a n s c e n d e n t i d e o l o g i e s . Commer-

cial p r o d u c t s , it is a r g u e d , w e r e o f f e r e d as the m e a n s of r e s o l v i n g and a l l e v i a t i n g the p r o b l e m s of l i f e and l a b o r for the i n d i v i d u a l , the c o m m u n i t y and the p o l i t y ; the f u n c t i o n a l s t i t u t e for c l a s s p o l i t i c s . ate and s e n s u a l l y real. sub-

And the s a t i s f a c t i o n s w e r e i m m e d i -

T r a d i t i o n a l d e m o c r a t i c i d e a l s -- f r e e d o m , c i t i z e n s h i p ; social n e e d s for c o m f o r t , f r i e n d s h i p , r e l a x a t i o n , s t a t u s , l e i s u r e ; as well as i d e o l o g i c a l t h e m e s and d e m a n d s f o r i n d u s t r i a l d e m o c r a c y ; w e r e c o - o p t e d and r e i f i e d i n s t r u m e n t a l l y to the p r o m i s e o f f e r e d by m a s s c o m m o d i t i e s as i m m e d i a t e l y -- r e a l i z a b l e m o d e s of s a t i s f a c t i o n . I n s t e a d , t h e r e f o r e , of c a p i t u l a t i n g to w o r k i n g c l a s s d e m a n d s for a b e t t e r and d e m o c r a t i c w a y of l i f e w i t h i n and w i t h o u t the f a c t o r y , a c c e s s to the c o n s u m e r g o o d s m a r k e t p l a c e w a s o f f e r e d as a s u b s t i t u t e U t o p i a and d e m o c r a c y . P r o b l e m s of p e r s o n , c o m m u n i t y , and p o l i t i c s , w e r e d e f i n e d as s o l v a b l e t h r o u g h p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the m a s s c o n s u m e r s o c i e t y . By thus o f f e r i n g d e m o c r a c y and a b e t t e r w a y of life as a c o n s u m a b l e c o m m o d i t y , the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s t h e r e b y c e m e n t ed this social h e g e m o n y to the p e r f o r m a n c e of l a b o r (one m u s t w o r k to e a r n an i n c o m e in o r d e r to c o n s u m e ) ( A l t , 1 9 7 7 : 1 7 8 ) . T h u s , c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m w a s l e g i t i m a t e d by a c u l t u r e b a s e d upon p r i v a t e g r a t i f i c a t i o n -- "the p r i v a t e p e r s o n as r e a c h i n g new h e i g h t s of f u l f i l l m e n t and s a t i s f a c t i o n commoditized sensual g r a t i f i c a t i o n s . through class

As the c o r p o r a t e

a n s w e r to the social q u e s t i o n of c h a n g e , t h e n , the f r u s t r a t i o n s , p a s s i v i t y , and u n r e s t of d a i l y life w e r e to be r e p l a c e d w i t h the

41 sensual e x c i t e m e n t and f u l f i l l m e n t of c o n s u m e r i s m " ( A l t , 1 9 7 7 : 179). The c a p i t a l i s t need for p r o f i t c o n d i t i o n s the i m p e r a tives of p r o d u c t i o n and c o n s u m p t i o n and the c a p i t a l i s t e f f o r t s at c o n t r o l l i n g the social e n v i r o n m e n t . P r o d u c t i o n and c o n s u m p -

tion come to h a v e , it is a r g u e d , l i t t l e to do w i t h the s a t i s f a c tion of b a s i c human n e e d s b u t r a t h e r are g e a r e d to m a n i p u l a t i n g and s t i m u l a t i n g trivial and i r r a t i o n a l a s p e c t s of the human p s y c h e for the sake of p r o f i t . G o o d s are p r o d u c e d on the b a s i s

of p o t e n t i a l p r o f i t a b i l i t y w i t h l i t t l e c o n c e r n for social w e l fare or r a t i o n a l i t y . The u p s h o t of this s i t u a t i o n , a c c o r d i n g to m o s t c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s , is that class d o m i n a t i o n is m y s t i f i e d (but still r e m a i n s ) by the d i s t o r t i n g lens of the p r i v a t e , g r a t i f i c a t i o n based culture. This d o m i n a t i o n t a k e s the form of c o r p o r a t e c a p -

i t a l i s t p r o d u c t i o n and c o n s u m p t i o n , and the a c t i o n s of the c a p i t a l i s t class erode the " c o m m u n i c a t i v e c o m p e t e n c e " of the w o r k ing class and r e p l a c e it w i t h the i n s t r u m e n t a l r a t i o n a l i t y of t e c h n o l o g y and the " r e s t r i c t e d l i n g u i s t i c c o d e " of c o n s u m e r i s m (Habermas, 1971, 1975; Meuller, 1970, 1973). T h u s is c r e a t e d

the " o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l " s o c i e t y , the " r e p r e s s i v e d e s u b l i m a t i o n " of t r a d i t i o n a l l y a u t o n o m o u s i d e a l s and w a y s of life t h r o u g h the g e n e r a t i o n of "false n e e d s " to i n d u c e c o n s u m p t i o n ( M a r c u s e , 1 9 6 4 ) H i s t o r y , L i b e r a l i s m , and P l u r a l i s m The a b o v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is a r e v i s i o n of a h i s t o r y t h a t is b a s e d upon the view t h a t d e v e l o p e d w i t h c o r p o r a t e l i b e r alism. W h a t the n e o - M a r x i s t s see as the i d e o l o g y of the c a p i t a l -

42 1 s t c l a s s , m a i n s t r e a m hi s t o r y a n d s o c i a l s c i e n c e s e e as b a s i c ally representative of r e a l i t y . Little space will be devoted cul-

h e r e to t h e d e t a i l s o f t h i s h i s t o r y . minates

This interpretation (Bell,

in t h e n o t i o n o f t h e " e n d o f i d e o l o g y "

1960), its polisystem of

meaning that the d e v e l o p m e n t of corporate c a p i t a l i s m and a t t e n d a n t c h a n g e s has o b v i a t e d the n e c e s s i t y of c r i t i c a l tical views w h i c h see d o m i n a t i o n and e x p l o i t a t i o n and a r g u e for its (the s y s t e m ' s ) a b o l i t i o n . in t h e

From this point meaning

v i e w , t h e s e l a t t e r p e r s p e c t i v e s a r e " i d e o l o g i c a l " -i r r a t i o n a l , o u t o f t o u c h w i t h r e a l i t y -- b e c a u s e capitalism has indeed r e s o l v e d the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s

corporate of industrial Lipset

c a p i t a l i s m and a b o l i s h e d class d o m i n a t i o n . ( 1 9 6 3 : 4 4 0 ) has argued that "the fundamental of the industrial

Seymour Martin political

problems have

revolution have been s o l v e d ; the workers and p o l i t i c a l citizenship".

achieved industrial

With the Good problems" the

S o c i e t y a t h a n d , all t h a t r e m a i n a r e m i n o r " o p e r a t i n g w h i c h c a n b e s o l v e d on a n o n - i d e o l o g i c a l s y s t e m is illegitimate. This p e r s p e c t i v e views the system of c o r p o r a t e i s m as c o n s i s t i n g o f n u m e r o u s " g r o u p s " f o c u s e d

b a s i s ; to a t t a c k

capitaldim-

around such

e n s i o n s as e c o n o m i c s , r e l i g i o n , e t h n i c i t y , g e o g r a p h i c a l tion, etc.

loca-

E a c h g r o u p h a s s o m e i n p u t in t h e f o r m a t i o n o f s o c i a l constrained major channels to

ly b i n d i n g d e c i s i o n s ; e a c h c o n s t r a i n s a n d is in t u r n t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s of mutual group a d j u s t m e n t ; and the

groups share a broad system of b e l i e f s and values w h i c h

c o n f l i c t into e s t a b l i s h e d channels and allows d i s a g r e e m e n t s be w o r k e d into c o m p r o m i s e s o l u t i o n s .

This process promotes a Be-

p l u r a l i t y of s o c i a l l y d e s i r a b l e p r i v a t e and p u b l i c e n d s .

43 c a u s e the d i m e n s i o n s of the p l u r a l i t y of g r o u p s o v e r l a p at the i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l , i n d i v i d u a l s have a c c e s s to a m u l t i p l i c i t y of groups. T h u s they g a i n a d i v e r s i t y of e x p e r i e n c e and i n t e r e s t s

w h i c h p r o v i d e the l a n g u a g e , d e l i b e r a t e p o w e r s and s e n s e of p u r p o s e to e n a b l e them to a s s e s s t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s and to a c t a u t o n o m o u s l y and e f f e c t i v e l y in t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . A pluralistic sys-

tem thus " d e v e l o p s i n d i v i d u a l c a p a c i t i e s , p r o t e c t s i n d i v i d u a l r i g h t s and f r e e d o m s , i d e n t i f i e s i m p o r t a n t s o c i a l p r o b l e m s , and p r o m o t e s a p o l i t i c s of i n c r e m e n t a l c h a n g e w h i l e m a i n t a i n i n g a l o n g - r u n s t a b i l i t y b a s e d on c o n s e n t " ( C o n n o l l y , 1 9 6 9 : 4 ) . The pluralist perspective acknowledges that economic p o w e r has b e c o m e c o n c e n t r a t e d in l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s , b u t a r g u e s t h a t this p o w e r is s u b o r d i n a t e to p o l i t i c a l and m a r k e t p o w e r . P o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s are held to be a u t o n o m o u s d o m a i n s w h e r e in the n u m e r o u s i n t e r e s t s in s o c i e t y are e x p r e s s e d and s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s o l u t i o n s are a c h i e v e d . Talcott Parsons (1957:131)

a r g u e s t h a t "in a c o m p l e x s o c i e t y the locus of p o w e r lies in the p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m " and t h a t "the m a i n f o c u s of the d e v e l o p m e n t of o u r p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m has been c o n t r o l of e c o n o m i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s and p r o c e s s e s , and c o p i n g w i t h s o m e of the s o c i a l of e c o n o m i c g r o w t h and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n " . consequences

A c c o r d i n g to s o m e

p l u r a l i s t s , the s t a t e f u n c t i o n s as the l o c a t i o n or a r e n a w h e r e m a j o r g r o u p c o n f l i c t s are d e b a t e d and r e s o l v e d . T h e r e is no

r u l i n g c l a s s or p o w e r e l i t e w h i c h is a b l e to d o m i n a t e the g o v e r n m e n t o v e r a w i d e r a n g e of i s s u e s . One or m o r e of the n u m e r o u s

b a s e s of p o w e r in s o c i e t y -- w e a l t h , p r e s t i g e , s t r a t e g i c p o s i t i o n , v o t i n g p o w e r -- w h i l e not e q u a l l y d i s t r i b u t e d are a v a i l a b l e to m o s t g r o u p s in the s y s t e m and they m a k e use of t h e i r

44 a d v a n t a g e in t h e e f f o r t to r e a l i z e t h e i r g o a l s ( s e e e s p e c i a l l y , Dahl, 1958). The second i n t e r p r e t a t i o n sees the social b a r g a i n -

ing p r o c e s s as t a k i n g p l a c e l a r g e l y o u t s i d e o f t h e s t a t e w i t h t h e s t a t e a c t i n g m o r e as an u m p i r e t h a n a p a r t i c i p a n t . This

second view takes into a c c o u n t the d e v e l o p m e n t of large c o r p o r a t i o n s in t h e e c o n o m y w h i c h a r e a b l e to i n i t i a t e u n i l a t e r a l a c t i o n s o u t s i d e t h e g o v e r n m e n t a l p r o c e s s and to l i m i t t h e c o n s t r a i n t s o f t h e m a r k e t on t h e i r a c t i o n s . H o w e v e r , it is a r g u e d

that the corporate a d m i n i s t r a t o r s are r e s p o n s i b l e c i t i z e n s . M o r e o v e r , t h e s t a t e , r e s p o n s i v e to the g e n e r a l p u b l i c , w i l l a c t on t h e m if t h e y s t r a y f r o m t h e p u b l i c g o o d . Further, "counter-

v a i l i n g " g r o u p s w i l l o r g a n i z e to r e a s s e r t l i m i t s a n d r e s t o r e balance. R e c e n t l y , a v a r i a t i o n o f t h i s s e c o n d v i e w has b e e n Large c o r p o r a t i o n s and their

p r o p o s e d by c e r t a i n r e v i s i o n i s t s .

t e c h n o l o g i c a l i m p e r a t i v e s a r e s e e n as b e i n g a b l e to i n s u l a t e t h e m s e l v e s f r o m p u b l i c i n p u t a n d / o r to c o - o p t o r n e u t r a l i z e c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r g r o u p s a t the s a m e t i m e t h a t t h e i r a c t i o n s are becoming more public. B u t t h e c o r p o r a t e e l i t e a r e s a i d to

be c o n s t r a i n e d by a n e w s y s t e m o f c h e c k s a n d b a l a n c e s a m o n g v a r i o u s " e s t a t e s " ( p o l i t i c a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , p r o f e s s i o n a l , and s c i e n t i f i c ) which curb each o t h e r s ' e x c e s s e s and fight for their own interests ( P r i c e , 1 9 6 5 ) . Galbraith's (1967) analysis points

to c o r p o r a t e d o m i n a n c e o v e r t h e p u b l i c and t h e m a r k e t b u t a r g u e s t h a t t h e s c i e n t i f i c and e d u c a t i o n a l e s t a t e s c a n g i v e e f f e c t i v e v o i c e to p u b l i c v a l u e s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h e r e is no r o o m in

these latter i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s for the a u t o n o m o u s individual acto r s so h i g h l y v a l u e d by the p l u r a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n -- and a p p a r ently little regret for their loss.

45 L i k e the p o l i t i c a l s p h e r e , the e c o n o m i c m a r k e t for g o o d s and s e r v i c e s is held to be an a u t o n o m o u s d o m a i n in the ideal w h e r e no p r o d u c e r ( s ) or c o n s u m e r ( s ) h a v e i n o r d i n a t e p o w e r . W i t h i n c r e a s i n g e c o n o m i c c o n c e n t r a t i o n and p o w e r l o d g i n g in large corporate e n t e r p r i s e s , most liberals tolerate a limited a m o u n t of s t a t e i n t e r v e n t i o n into the " f r e e " m a r k e t in o r d e r to c u r b and r e g u l a t e this p o w e r . Consumers express their needs

and w a n t s as a u t o n o m o u s i n d i v i d u a l s in the m a r k e t in t e r m s of b u y i n g p a r t i c u l a r p r o d u c t s and s e r v i c e s . T h i s d e m a n d is s u p -

p l i e d by p r o d u c e r s w h o d e s i g n t h e i r p r o d u c t s to m e e t this e x pressed demand. Competition among producers insures that pro-

d u c t i o n p r o c e s s e s are e f f i c i e n t ; it a l s o i n s u r e s t h a t the p r o d u c t s t h e m s e l v e s are e f f i c i e n t and d e s i g n e d to s a t i s f y consumer

n e e d s -- for u n s a t i s f a c t o r y p r o d u c t s will n o t sell w e l l . W h o C o n t r o l s The C o r p o r a t i o n ? T h e d e b a t e b e t w e e n r e v i s i o n i s t s and l i b e r a l s has g e n e r a t e d a g o o d deal of t h e o r e t i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t , p o l e m i c , and r e s e a r c h a b o u t the d e v e l o p m e n t of l a r g e c o r p o r a t e b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s , the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of e c o n o m i c p o w e r t h e y r e p r e s e n t , and the t h r e a t to p o l i t i c a l and m a r k e t p l u r a l i s m p o s e d by t h a t p o w e r , N u m e r o u s i s s u e s and p r o b l e m s h a v e b e e n r a i s e d b u t n o t all h a v e r e c e i v e d equal c o n s i d e r a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y at search level. the e m p i r i c a l , r e -

B e c a u s e c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h o s e w h o own and c o n -

trol t h e m are the l o c u s of e c o n o m i c p o w e r , o n e of the c e n t r a l c o n c e r n s in s o c i o l o g i c a l w o r k has f o c u s e d u p o n the relationship

b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h e i r p o l i t i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t w h i l e the m a r k e t r e l a t i o n s h i p , the f o c u s of this s t u d y , has b e e n d i s c u s s -

46 ed b u t m u c h less r e s e a r c h e d . It will be i n s t r u c t i v e to e x a m i n e

b r i e f l y this c e n t r a l c o n c e r n in o r d e r to see the k i n d s of d i f f i c u l t i e s in a n a l y s i s w h i c h a r i s e and the v i e w s of p o w e r w h i c h u n d e r l y the v a r i o u s p o s i t i o n s . T h i s c o n c e r n has r e v o l v e d around -control

the p r o b l e m of c o r p o r a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y the q u e s t i o n of w h e t h e r or n o t c o r p o r a t i o n s or t h o s e w h o t h e m are a b l e to act in w a y s w h i c h m a x i m i z e t h e i r

particular favour

i n t e r e s t s , s h a p i n g the p o l i t i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t in t h e i r and o v e r r i d i n g o t h e r i n t e r e s t s . of two r e l a t e d i s s u e s :

T h i s f o c u s has t a k e n the form

(1) the s u p p o s e d s h i f t in c o r p o r a t e

c o n t r o l f r o m o w n e r s to m a n a g e r s ; and (2) the n a t u r e of e x t e r n a l c o n t r o l o v e r the c o r p o r a t i o n . T h e s u p p o s e d s h i f t in c o r p o r a t e c o n t r o l from o w n e r s to m a n a g e r s , o f t e n r e f e r r e d to as the " d i v o r c e of o w n e r s h i p c o n t r o l " or the " m a n a g e r i a l from

r e v o l u t i o n " , r e f e r s to a p o s t u l a t e d

c o n s e q u e n c e of c o n t i n u i n g e c o n o m i c c h a n g e s in c a p i t a l i s t s o c i eties. It is a r g u e d t h a t as b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s grow they b e and t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y and t h e r e -

come more complex organizationally

f o r e m u s t rely i n c r e a s i n g l y on the e m p l o y m e n t of s p e c i a l i s t m a n agers. A l s o , they f i n a n c e t h e i r e x p a n s i o n t h r o u g h the i s s u e of shareholders developlarge

m o r e s h a r e c a p i t a l w h i c h is b o u g h t by a b o d y of

w h i c h i t s e l f is r a p i d l y g r o w i n g both b e c a u s e e c o n o m i c

m e n t e n a b l e s m o r e p e o p l e to i n v e s t in s h a r e s and b e c a u s e s h a r e h o l d i n g s are b r o k e n up by p r o g r e s s i v e t a x a t i o n . shareholding more dispersed, control

With

is d i v i d e d a m o n g n u m e r o u s ,

r e l a t i v e l y small o w n e r s w h o c o m e to t a k e l i t t l e i n t e r e s t in company activities. The p o w e r v a c u u m c r e a t e d by this situation

is f i l l e d by an i n c r e a s i n g l y e n t r e n c h e d m a n a g e m e n t w h o h a v e

47 l i t t l e or no s h a r e o w n e r s h i p . The c o n s e q u e n c e s of this change

in c o r p o r a t e control are o u t l i n e d by John C h i l d

(1969b:36):

T h u s a n x i e t y a b o u t b u s i n e s s p o w e r has b e c o m e a l l i e d w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y o v e r the l e g i t i m a c y of s e n i o r m a n a g e m e n t ' s a c c e s s to that p o w e r . If it can no l o n g e r be a s s u m e d that m a n a g e r s are e f f e c t i v e l y a c c o u n t a b l e to the legal o w n e r s of a p r i vate b u s i n e s s , then to w h o m are t h e y , and s h o u l d they be r e s p o n s i b l e ? On w h a t c r i t e r i a are t h e y , and s h o u l d they be s e l e c t e d for o f f i c e ? W h a t are t h e i r o b j e c t i v e s , and w h a t s h o u l d they b e ? In g e n e r a l , does a " m a n a g e r i a l r e v o l u t i o n " p r e s a g e a new s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e d e f i n i t i o n of b u s i n e s s p o w e r ? A l t h o u g h not the f i r s t to r e c o g n i z e this trend and its i m p l i c a t i o n s , A d o l f B e r l e and G a r d i n e r M e a n s ' ( 1 9 3 2 ) w o r k , T h e M o d e r n C o r p o r a t i o n and P r i v a t e P r o p e r t y , is r e g a r d e d as the c l a s s i c s t a t e m e n t of the t h e s i s . of the p l u r a l i s t t r a d i t i o n . It is a l s o a c l a s s i c statement

B e r l e and M e a n s w e r e a w a r e that

e c o n o m i c c o n c e n t r a t i o n was i n c r e a s i n g l y l o c a t e d in large c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s but f e l t that this p o w e r base was no longer m a l e v o l e n t b e c a u s e of the rise of the s a l a r i e d p r o f e s s i o n a l a g e r s w h o now s e p a r a t e d s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d and p r o f i t e e r i n g t a l i s t s from c o r p o r a t e c o n t r o l . man-

capi-

They a r g u e d t h a t t h e s e m a n a g e r s

acted like r e s p o n s i b l e t r u s t e e s w h o c u l t i v a t e d a " c o r p o r a t e c o n s c i e n c e " and ran t h e i r b u s i n e s s e s w i t h an e y e to the general welfare. T h e y o p e r a t e d in c o n d i t i o n s in w h i c h they did not

have to m a x i m i z e r e t u r n s to o w n e r s h i p and as such w e r e able to p u r s u e p o l i c i e s w h i c h e m p h a s i z e d a set of g o a l s w h i c h w e r e more " b a l a n c e d " in that they m e t not only e c o n o m i c r e q u i r e m e n t s a w i d e r a n g e of social i n t e r e s t s . B e r l e and M e a n s a r g u e d but that

m a n a g e m e n t was d e v e l o p e d into "a p u r e l y neutral

technocracy,

48 b a l a n c i n g a v a r i e t y of c l a i m s by v a r i o u s g r o u p s in the c o m m u n i t y and a s s i g n i n g to each a p o r t i o n of the i n c o m e s t r e a m on the b a s i s of p u b l i c p o l i c y r a t h e r than p r i v a t e c u p i d i t y " (1932:356).

In B e r l e ' s later w o r k s ( 1 9 5 4 , 1 9 5 6 , 1 9 5 7 , 1 9 5 9 a , 1 9 5 9 b , 1 9 6 4 ) he r e i t e r a t e s that this d e v e l o p m e n t has s e p a r a t e d p o w e r from p r o p e r t y and h e l p e d to c r e a t e a " p e o p l e ' s c a p i t a l i s m " . ( 1 9 5 4 : 2 1 0 ) a r g u e s that e c o n o m i c p o w e r "is a c t u a l l y He

controlled

by the o p e r a t i o n of the p u b l i c c o n s e n s u s w h i c h can e n g e n d e r p u b l i c o p i n i o n l e a d i n g to p o l i t i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n in any one of competition

a n u m b e r of f o r m s " and is a l s o l i m i t e d by e c o n o m i c and e c o n o m i c p l u r a l i s m .

T h e r e s u l t is t h a t "no s i n g l e o r g a n i z a -

tion has b e e n p e r m i t t e d to g r a s p m o r e than a l i m i t e d n u m b e r of f u n c t i o n s or e v e n , as a r u l e , to a c h i e v e m o n o p o l y in any one function. In the m a i n ( t h o u g h n o t u n i v e r s a l l y ) the r e s u l t at (1954:210; this

p r e s e n t is an e q u i p o i s e of s t r o n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s " see a l s o M e a n s , 1 9 3 1 , 1 9 6 4 ) .

Carl K a y s e n ( 1 9 5 7 ) has c a l l e d

the model of the "soulful c o r p o r a t i o n " .

T h i s b a s i c p o s i t i o n has

s e v e r a l v a r i e t i e s b u t all s h a r e the view t h a t m a n a g e m e n t m u s t accept prevailing societal values. (For the "human r e l a t i o n s "

a p p r o a c h , s e e , for e x a m p l e , M a y o , 1 9 3 3 , 1 9 4 5 ; W h i t e h e a d , 1 9 3 6 . For the f u n c t i o n a l i s t a p p r o a c h , s e e , among o t h e r s , D r u c k e r , 1 9 4 3 , 3 1946, 1951, 1959; Parsons, 1951, 1956a, 1956b, 1958). T h e p l u r a l i s t view of the d i v o r c e of c o n t r o l from o w n e r s h i p has s u p p o r t e d its c a s e by a t t e m p t i n g to show that m a n a gers do in fact c o n t r o l c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h a t m a n a g e r s are e f f e c t i v e l y c o n s t r a i n e d by f a c t o r s in the e n v i r o n m e n t of the corporations. "mechanical M a n a g e r i a l c o n t r o l has been d o c u m e n t e d using

c r i t e r i a " ( G o r d o n , 1 9 6 1 : 1 6 6 n ) , such as the r e l a t i v e l y

49 m i n u t e n u m b e r s o f s h a r e s h e l d by s e n i o r m a n a g e r s , as e v i d e n c e of t h e i r s e p a r a t i o n f r o m o w n e r s h i p , and the low c o n c e n t r a t i o n of v o t e h o l d i n g s a m o n g t h e few l a r g e s t s h a r e h o l d e r s as e v i d e n c e that managers have effective control over policy. ( S e e , for

e x a m p l e , B e r l e and M e a n s , 1 9 3 2 ; G o r d o n , 1 9 6 1 ; L a r d n e r , 1 9 6 6 ; 1970; Florence, 1961). M a n a g e r i a l c o n s t r a i n t or r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

is t a k e n to be i n d i c a t e d by the d e v e l o p m e n t of a m a n a g e r i a l b e l i e f s y s t e m or i d e o l o g y w h i c h s t r e s s e s t h e r o l e o f m a n a g e r s as r e s p o n s i b l e to g r o u p s b o t h w i t h i n and o u t s i d e o f t h e c o r porations (Bendix, 1966; Walton, 1967). T h e r i s e of t h i s

i d e o l o g y , its a d v o c a t i o n by b u s i n e s s s p o k e s m e n and its o p p o s i t i o n by o t h e r g r o u p s " s e e m s to add s o m e p l a u s i b i l i t y to the a r g u m e n t t h a t the t r e n d t o w a r d s a f o r m a l s e p a r a t i o n of o w n e r s h i p and m a n a g e m e n t has e n c o u r a g e d a r e d e f i n i t i o n of b u s i n e s s responsibilities from a purely private towards a social conception" (Child, 1969b:47). B e s i d e b e l i e f s and a t t i t u d e s ,

m a n a g e r i a l b e h a v i o u r is a l s o used to i n d i c a t e s e p a r a t i o n and responsibility. P r o p o n e n t s of t h i s p o s i t i o n a t t e m p t to d o c u (1) p r o f i t m a x i m i z i n g b e h a v i o u r w o u l d

ment two b e h a v i o u r s :

be r e d u c e d w h i l e o t h e r g o a l s w o u l d be p u r s u e d , and (2) p r o f i t w o u l d be d i s t r i b u t e d p r i m a r i l y n o t to s h a r e h o l d e r s b u t w o u l d be m a x i m a l l y p l o u g h e d b a c k i n t o the f i r m ( s e e C o p e l a n d and Towl, 1968; Dively, 1972; Gordon, 1961). T h e M a r x i s t p o s i t i o n on the m a n a g e r i a l revolution

d o e s n o t d i s p u t e t h a t m a n a g e r s h a v e t a k e n o v e r the p r a c t i c a l o p e r a t i o n of c o r p o r a t i o n s b u t a r g u e s t h a t t h e y h a v e n o t g a i n e d c o n t r o l f r o m t h e o w n e r s , t h a t w h a t has h a p p e n e d is m e r e l y a f u n c t i o n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n w h i c h has no real e f f e c t on the

50 b a s i c c l a s s s t r u c t u r e or the a b i l i t y of the p r o p e r t i e d c l a s s to p u r s u e its p r i v a t e i n t e r e s t s t h r o u g h c o r p o r a t i o n s . Managers

and c a p i t a l - o w n e r s do n o t c o n s t i t u t e d i s t i n c t g r o u p s in any sociologically i m p o r t a n t r e s p e c t ; m a n a g e r s are n e i t h e r a new ( S e e , for

elite nor a new i n d e p e n d e n t t e c h n o c r a t i c g r o u p .

example, Mills, 1956; Samuel, 1960; Aaronovitch, 1961; Villarejo, 1 9 6 1 , 1 9 6 2 ; B l a c k b u r n , 1 9 6 5 ; W e s t e r g a a r d , 1 9 6 5 ; B a r a n and 1966; Miliband, 1968; Mankoff, 1970.) Sweezy,

P r o p o n e n t s of t h i s p o s i the

t i o n h a v e , l i k e the p l u r a l i s t s , s u p p o r t e d it m a i n l y t h r o u g h a p p l i c a t i o n of m e c h a n i c a l criteria. But they have utilized

d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i a . ( E c o n o m i s t s B e e d , 1 9 6 6 , and A l l e n , 1 9 6 7 , have criticized pluralist methodology.) They have marshalled

e v i d e n c e t h a t a t t e m p t s to s h o w t h a t o w n e r s h i p is by no m e a n s highly separated from c o n t r o l : (1) o p e r a t i o n a l l y , l a r g e s h a r e -

h o l d e r s r e p r e s e n t a c o n c e n t r a t i o n of o w n e r s h i p s u f f i c i e n t to ensure control in the s e n s e of p r e v e n t i n g m a n a g e r s f r o m a d o p t to t h e i r i n t e r e s t s ; (2) shareholdings

ing p o l i c i e s d e t r i m e n t a l

are i n c r e a s i n g l y t a k e n by f i n a n c i a l

i n s t i t u t i o n s s u c h as i n s u r -

a n c e c o m p a n i e s , p e n s i o n f u n d s , e t c . , w h i c h o f t e n i n t e r v e n e in company policies ( A a r o n o v i t c h , 1 9 6 1 ; F i t c h and O p p e n h e i m e r , 1 9 7 0 ;

P e r l o , 1 9 5 7 ; P e r r u c c i and P i l i s u k , 1 9 7 0 ) ; (3) the p o w e r of l a r g e shareholders is r e i n f o r c e d by a s y s t e m of i n t e r l o c k i n g director-

s h i p s w h i c h e x t e n d s t h e i r i n f l u e n c e to o t h e r

organizations,

e s p e c i a l l y f i n a n c i a l o n e s ( B a r o n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 ; D o o l e y , 1 9 6 9 ; S w e e z y , 1 9 7 2 ; O ' C o n n o r , 1 9 7 2 ; S o n q u i s t and K o e n i g , 1 9 7 5 , 1 9 7 6 ; A l l e n , 1 9 7 4 ) ; (4) e v e n t h o u g h s e n i o r m a n a g e r s m a y not own a s i g n i f i c a n t a m o u n t of s t o c k in t h e i r own c o m p a n i e s , this can still r e p r e s e n t a c o n s i d e r a b l e i n v e s t m e n t f o r t h e m ownership personally

51 and t h u s i n f l u e n c e t h e i r p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s in t h e d i r e c t i o n of b u s i n e s s o w n e r s h i p ( B a r a n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 ; C h e i t , 1 9 6 4 ) ; (5) s e n i o r m a n a g e r s t e n d to s h a r e s i m i l a r s o c i a l i z a t i o n p a t t e r n s , b a c k g r o u n d s , v a l u e o r i e n t a t i o n s , and s o c i a l relationships

(Kolko, 1962, 1963; Domhoff, 1967, 1970, 1974; Nichols, 1970). T h e m a n a g e r i a l i d e o l o g y of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f r o m t h i s p o i n t of v i e w is n o t s i m p l y the r e s u l t of the c o n t r o l p o s i t i o n of m a n a g ers and t h e i r lack of p r o p e r t y o w n e r s h i p , n o r d o e s it n e c e s s a r ily e x p r e s s the v i e w s of p r a c t i s i n g m a n a g e r s ( C h i l d , 1 9 6 8 , 1 9 6 9 a ; Nichols, 1970). As to b e h a v i o u r s o r i e n t e d to g o a l s o t h e r than

p r o f i t - m a x i m i z a t i o n , research argues that modern managers with t h e i r s o p h i s t i c a t e d t e c h n i q u e s are m u c h b e t t e r a b l e to m a x i m i z e p r o f i t s t h a n the c l a s s i c a l e n t r e p r e n e u r ( B a r a n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 : Chapter 2 ) . M o r e o v e r , w i t h i n the l i m i t a t i o n s of k n o w l e d g e it corporations

has b e e n f o u n d t h a t at l e a s t the m o r e s u c c e s s f u l

do p u r s u e t h e h i g h e s t p r o f i t s a t t a i n a b l e ( E a r l e y , 1 9 6 7 ; B a l d w i n , 1 9 6 4 ; M i n t z and C o h e n , 1 9 7 1 ) . W i t h r e s p e c t to t h e r e i n v e s t m e n t

of p r o f i t and the p a y m e n t of low d i v i d e n d s , r e s e a r c h has f o u n d e v i d e n c e a g a i n s t t h i s p l u s o w n e r s h i p i n c e n t i v e s in f a v o u r of low d i v i d e n d s , b o t h of w h i c h w e a k e n the p l u r a l i s t p o s i t o n ( N i c h o l s , 1 9 7 0 ; B a r a n and S w e e z y , 1966). T h e a s s e s s m e n t of

T h e d e b a t e is far f r o m r e s o l v e d .

t h e a u t h o r is t h a t a v a i l a b l e e v i d e n c e s e e m s to i n d i c a t e t h a t the b e h a v i o u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n o w n e r - m a n a g e r s and n o n - p r o p e r t i e d m a n a g e r s is n o t as g r e a t as p l u r a l i s t s hypothesize.

A p p a r e n t l y t h e r e are w i d e r e c o n o m i c , s o c i a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s o p e r a t i n g on c o r p o r a t i o n s w h i c h s e t d e f i n i t e l i m i t s to t h e c o u r s e s of a c t i o n o p e n to p e r s o n s in m a n a g e r i a l positions,

52 p r o p e r t i e d or n o t . But this is not to a r g u e , as s o m e M a r x i s t s

d o , an o v e r s i m p l i f i e d view of the r a n g e of o b j e c t i v e s held by o w n e r - m a n a g e r s or the d e t e r m i n i s t i c i m p o r t a n c e of p r o p e r t y per se. T h e s e c o n d i s s u e , the n a t u r e of the e x t e r n a l control

of c o r p o r a t i o n s , is d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the d i s c u s s i o n s of c o r p o r a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ("which i m p l i e s a v o l u n t a r y and d i f f u s e w i l l i n g n e s s of t h o s e d i r e c t i n g a b u s i n e s s somewhat

enterprise approved

to a b i d e b y , and p e r h a p s a c t i v e l y e n h a n c e , s o c i a l l y practices" Child, 1969b:52).

B e r l e ( 1 9 5 4 ) has a r g u e d t h a t the

d e v e l o p m e n t of the " c o r p o r a t e c o n s c i e n c e " w a s a r e a c t i o n to the f o r c e of p u b l i c o p i n i o n and the t h r e a t of g o v e r n m e n t a l tion (see a l s o C h e i t , 1 9 6 4 ) . S i m i l a r l y , the c o n t i n u e d intervenappeal

by even n o n - p r o p e r t i e d m a n a g e r s to the s e n s i t i v i t y of p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y and m o r e g e n e r a l l y to the n o t i o n of " m a n a g e r i a l prer-

o g a t i v e s " , is c e r t a i n l y b a s e d in p a r t on the d e s i r e to m a i n t a i n t h e i r f r e e d o m from e x t e r n a l c o n t r o l s and p o l i t i c a l (Gordon, 1961:34; Mason, 1959:11). interference

B u t , in s p i t e of t h e s e i d e o corporate

l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s , c o n s i d e r a b l e e f f o r t s at c o n t r o l l i n g b e h a v i o u r are m o u n t e d in m o d e r n s o c i e t i e s .

M a n y of t h e s e e f f o r t s

are g e n e r a t e d s p o n t a n e o u s l y , as it w e r e , in r e s p o n s e to the g r o w ing p o w e r of c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s in o r d e r to c o m p e n s a t e for such g r o w t h . R e i s m a n ( 1 9 5 0 ) c a l l s t h e s e e f f o r t s at c o m p e n s a t o r y G a l b r a i t h , in his e a r l y w o r k , c a l l s them

p o w e r "veto g r o u p s " .

" c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r s " w h i c h act to p r e v e n t the a b u s e of p o w e r . T h e s e c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r s a r i s e a u t o m a t i c a l l y to r e s t r a i n c o r p o r a t e a c t i v i t i e s and to p r o t e c t the p u b l i c : p o w e r is a s e l f - g e n e r a t i n g f o r c e . . . . "Countervailing

P o w e r on one s i d e of a

53 m a r k e t c r e a t e s both t h e n e e d f o r , and the p r o s p e c t of r e w a r d t o , the e x e r c i s e of c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r f r o m the o t h e r s i d e . m e a n s t h a t , as a c o m m o n r u l e , we can r e l y on countervailing This

p o w e r to a p p e a r as a c u r b on e c o n o m i c p o w e r " ( G a l b r a i t h , 1 9 5 2 : 113). A m o n g t h e c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r s n o t e d by G a l b r a i t h are

big g o v e r n m e n t , big l a b o u r , big a g r i c u l t u r e , and big d i s t r i b u tion. T h e g o v e r n m e n t , r e p r e s e n t i n g the p e o p l e , m u s t s u p p o r t the interests supported respect account-

e f f o r t s of e m e r g i n g i n t e r e s t g r o u p s a g a i n s t t h e v e s t e d of b i g b u s i n e s s . T h u s , s a y s G a l b r a i t h , the g o v e r n m e n t In t h i s

the r i s i n g t r a d e - u n i o n m o v e m e n t in the 1 9 3 0 s .

too the g o v e r n m e n t has r e n d e r e d the b u s i n e s s c o r p o r a t i o n s a b l e f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s t h r o u g h the c r e a t i o n of n u m e r o u s w h i c h r e g u l a t e the c o n d u c t and l i m i t the p o w e r of

agencies

corporations Board, Internal

and t h e i r l e a d e r s s u c h as t h e N a t i o n a l L a b o u r R e l a t i o n s the A n t i - T r u s t D i v i s i o n o f the J u s t i c e D e p a r t m e n t , the Revenue Service. Powerful

l a b o u r u n i o n s l i m i t the p o w e r of b u s -

i n e s s to a r b i t r a r i l y d e t e r m i n e w a g e s , w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s , e t c . T h e g r o w t h of l a r g e r e t a i l e r s and s u p p l i e r s w i t h d i f f e r i n g t e r e s t s l i m i t s the p o w e r and i n f l u e n c e of c o r p o r a t i o n s . in-

And,

of c o u r s e , " t h e r e is t h e u b i q u i t o u s p u b l i c t h a t m u s t be s a t i s f i e d at all s t a g e s l e s t b a n k r u p t c y be the c o n s e q u e n c e " (Hacker,

1 9 6 4 c : 1 3 6 ) , t h a t i s , t h e c o r p o r a t i o n s are d e p e n d e n t upon the p u b l i c and its n e e d s . T h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h e corporations

" m u s t a l w a y s s t e e r its c o u r s e w i t h an e y e to how its a c t i o n s will l o o k , n o t o n l y to its e m p l o y e e s , its s h a r e h o l d e r s , and the g o v e r n m e n t , b u t a l s o to the g e n e r a l p u b l i c " ( A l l e n , 1 9 5 2 : 1 8 7 ) . C o r p o r a t e a d m i n i s t r a t o r s m u s t a c t in s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e w a y s , they m u s t be g u i d e d by c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of p u b l i c p r a c t i c e and

54 public welfare. To act a g a i n s t the p u b l i c c o n s e n s u s invites

such c o n s e q u e n c e s as "loss of p r e s t i g e , p u b l i c s t a n d i n g , and p o p u l a r e s t e e m " , and "if loss of p r e s t i g e d o e s n o t p r o d u c e r e s u l t s more a c c e p t a b l e to the c o m m u n i t y , o t h e r m o r e m e a n s of i m p o s i n g the ideas e m b o d i e d in the p u b l i c . . . commonly appear" (Berle, 1959:90. forceful

consensus

See also Dahl , 1 9 5 8 ,

1961, 1967; Bell, 1960; U p s e t , 1963; Lilienthal, 1952). T h u s , p l u r a l i s t s see a w i d e range of a c t i o n w h i c h c o u n ter the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of b u s i n e s s power and p r e v e n t or c o r r e c t its a b u s e . But the q u e s t i o n is raised as to how e f f e c t i v e these

e f f o r t s are in p r a c t i c e .

Special a t t e n t i o n has been given to N u m e r o u s s t u d i e s show that effective

the p r o b l e m of g o v e r n m e n t c o n t r o l .

g o v e r n m e n t r e g u l a t o r y c o m m i s s i o n s have not been very

-- in fact it is often found that they tend to o p e r a t e more in the i n t e r e s t s of the r e g u l a t e d b u s i n e s s e s than of the general public. C o r p o r a t i o n s have been able to i n s u l a t e themselves integration,

from o u t s i d e control by such s t r a t e g i e s as vertical m e r g e r s , collusive price setting, etc. will be p r e s e n t e d s h o r t l y . )

(More on t h e s e a c t i o n s

G o v e r n m e n t s have tended to rely on

b u s i n e s s a d v i c e in the f o r m u l a t i o n of p o l i c y and of l e g i s l a t i o n -- thus i n s u r i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of b u s i n e s s i n t e r e s t s . Anti-

t r u s t l e g i s l a t i o n s e l d o m has been applied to many g i a n t i n d u s tries. Many M a r x i s t s a r g u e that the r e a s o n for the ineffect-

i v e n e s s of c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r and of g o v e r n m e n t

regulatory

e f f o r t s is that the state is the " s e r v a n t " of the c a p i t a l i s t s w h o control the p r o p e r t y and c o r p o r a t e w e a l t h of the n a t i o n . T h e r e has been a c o n c e r t e d e f f o r t to prove that the s t a t e acts in the i n t e r e s t s of and is in f a c t , run by r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of

55 a p o w e r e l i t e or e v e n a " r u l i n g c l a s s " (see M i l l s , 1956 on this distinction). G. W i l l i a m D o m h o f f ( 1 9 6 7 , 1 9 6 9 , 1 9 7 0 , 1 9 7 2 , 1 9 7 4 ) has d o n e the m o s t w o r k to p r o v e t h a t an e c o n o m i c e l i t e e x i s t s w h i c h is so p o w e r f u l and so i n t e g r a t e d t h a t it can be t e r m e d a " r u l i n g c l a s s " m a i n l y t h r o u g h the u t i l i z a t i o n of a r e p u t a t i o n a l ology. method-

O t h e r w o r k s have u t i l i z e d n e t w o r k or g r a p h t h e o r y to interlocks in.various

d e m o n s t r a t e the e x t e n t of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e c t o r s of s o c i e t y .

For e x a m p l e , S o n q u i s t and K o e n f g ( 1 9 7 5 , 1 9 7 6 )

used g r a p h t h e o r y to show the c l o s e n e s s b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s . M c L a u g h l i n ( 1 9 7 5 ) used s m a l l e s t - s p a c e a n a l y s i s to reveal o r g a n i z a t i o n s e m e r g e d as the e l i t e in P h o e n i x , A r i z o n a . Kolko (1962, 1963) shows a working partnership between which Gabriel business

and p o l i t i c a l e l i t e s l i n k e d t h r o u g h c u l t u r a l as well as e c o n o m i c and m a r i t a l t i e s . K o l k o o u t l i n e s the d e v e l o p m e n t of " p o l i t i c a l

c a p i t a l i s m " , t h a t i s , the i n c r e a s i n g l y s y s t e m a t i c use of the s t a t e for the b e n e f i t of b u s i n e s s . He a r g u e s t h a t t h o s e few

w i t h g r e a t e c o n o m i c p o w e r are a b l e to s h a r e the p o l i c i e s of the liberal state. Kolko's later analysis (1968, 1969) argue that conducted from

A m e r i c a n f o r e i g n p o l i c y from 1 9 4 4 to 1960 has b e e n

p r i m a r i l y by a r e l a t i v e l y small n u m b e r of r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

the l a r g e s t c o r p o r a t i o n s , b a n k s , i n v e s t m e n t h o u s e s , and Wall S t r e e t law f i r m s w h i c h s e r v e the c o r p o r a t e w o r l d . The imperialrelations

istic policy Kolko finds characterizing U.S. foreign

i s , he a r g u e s , c l e a r l y r e l a t e d to e c o n o m i c c l a s s i n t e r e s t s , t h a t i s , the p e r c e i v e d need for e c o n o m i c e x p a n s i o n into new f o r eign m a r k e t s . S i m i l a r l y , W e i n s t e i n ( 1 9 6 9 ) and D o m h o f f ( 1 9 6 7 , 1 9 7 0 )

56 d o c u m e n t t h e i n f l u e n c e of t h e e c o n o m i c e l i t e on t h e government and

and t h e i r i m p o r t a n c e in p o l i c y m a k i n g via t h e i r f i n a n c i n g d o m i n a t i o n of o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d f o u n d a t i o n s Civic Federation, National

( s u c h as t h e N a t i o n a l

P l a n n i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , C o m m i t t e e on

E c o n o m i c D e v e l o p m e n t , C o u n c i l on F o r e i g n R e l a t i o n s , B r o o k i n g s Institution, etc.) which train future governmental l e a d e r s and

p e r m i t c o r p o r a t e l e a d e r s to c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h e a c h o t h e r and w i t h a c a d e m i c e x p e r t s as w e l l . A l s o d o c u m e n t e d is t h e s e r v i c e of c o m m i s s i o n s and t a s k depart-

e c o n o m i c e l i t e s on p r e s i d e n t i a l l y - a p p o i n t e d

f o r c e s and s p e c i a l c o m m i t t e e s of t h e e x e c u t i v e b r a n c h m e n t s as w e l l as t h e i r f r e q u e n t a p p o i n t m e n t s to t h e

executive Sev-

b r a n c h of g o v e r n m e n t as c a b i n e t or s u b - c a b i n e t o f f i c i a l s .

eral s t u d i e s d o c u m e n t t h e i n f l u e n c e of t h e e c o n o m i c e l i t e on t h e m i l i t a r y e l i t e ( P i l e s u k and H a y d e n , 1 9 6 5 ; K o l k o , 1 9 6 9 ; Phelan, 1969). T h e s e s t u d i e s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of t h e p o w e r and i n f l u e n c e of e l i t e s and t h e c o r p o r a t e e l i t e / r u l i n g c l a s s in p a r t i c u l a r , h a v e m e t w i t h d o u b t and c r i t i c i s m on t h e p a r t of p l u r alists. Among the c r i t i c i s m s raised a r e : (1) the revisionists

e m p l o y a f a u l t y m e t h o d o l o g y in t h a t t h e y do n o t d e f i n e or d e s c r i b e t h e g o a l s of t h e " p o w e r e l i t e " n o t do t h e y a d e q u a t e l y d i s c u s s w h a t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y e n t a i l s ; (2) t h e p o w e r s t r u c t u r e n o t m o n o l i t h i c b u t d i f f u s e d -- t h e r e b e i n g m a n y s m a l l e a c h o p e r a t i n g in d i f f e r e n t s p h e r e s of l i f e , i . e . , is

elites,

"strategic

e l i t e s " ; (3) the p o p u l a t i o n is m a d e up n o t o n l y of t h e m a s s b u t of o r g a n i z e d g r o u p s and p u b l i c s as w e l l ; ( 4 ) t h e p o l i t i c a l sys-

t e m is h i g h l y a u t o n o m o u s ; ( 5 ) t h e e c o n o m i c e l i t e do n o t h a v e i n o r d i n a t e p o w e r n o r is t h e r e a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between

57 p o l i t i c a l p o w e r and p r o p e r t y o w n e r s h i p ; (6) it is not p o s s i b l e to d e m o n s t r a t e any g e n u i n e unity of p u r p o s e a m o n g the e c o n o m i c e l i t e due to internal c o n f l i c t s w i t h i n the b u s i n e s s community busi-

and the p a r o c h i a l c o n c e r n s of v a r i o u s b u s i n e s s g r o u p s --

ness is i n c a p a b l e of a r t i c u l a t i n g , m u c h less p u r s u i n g , its class i n t e r e s t s ; (7) s i m i l a r a r g u m e n t as (6) for the m i l i t a r y . (See,

for e x a m p l e , P a r s o n s , 1 9 5 7 ; Dahl , 1 9 5 8 , 1 9 6 1 ; D r u c k e r , 1 9 5 9 ; Bell, 1960; Hacker, 1975; Lipset, 1963; Keller, 1963; Rose, 1967; Merelman, 1968; Berle, 1968; Polsby, 1963, 1968, 1970; Wolfinger, 1960.) T h e s e are the m a i n o u t l i n e s of one m a j o r a s p e c t of the d e b a t e o v e r the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r in s o c i e t y . That aspect the The revolu-

is the c o n t r o v e r s y s u r r o u n d i n g those w h o own and control large c o r p o r a t e b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s in m o d e r n s o c i e t y . f i r s t issue of the c o n t r o v e r s y is w h e t h e r the m a n a g e r i a l

tion has s e p a r a t e d o w n e r s h i p from control of the c o r p o r a t i o n s and a l l o w e d m a n a g e m e n t to b e h a v e in s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e w a y s , or has been m e r e l y a f u n c t i o n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n in w h i c h m a n a g ers p u r s u e p o l i c i e s of l i m i t e d s e l f i n t e r e s t in t h e i r o w n / o r their employers' service. P l u r a l i s t s a r g u e the f o r m e r and

t h e o r i s t s of a p o w e r e l i t e or ruling class a r g u e the l a t t e r . The second issue of the c o n t r o v e r s y is w h e t h e r c o r p o r a t i o n s are or can be c o n t r o l l e d from the o u t s i d e , that is by f o r c e s in their e n v i r o n m e n t . on two a r e a s : This c o n t r o v e r s y has f o c u s e d in p a r t i c u l a r

the rise of c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r g r o u p s and of P l u r a l i s t s a r g u e that

g o v e r n m e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n and r e g u l a t i o n .

t h e s e m e c h a n i s m s are e f f e c t i v e in c o n t r o l l i n g or c o r r e c t i n g c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r when it s t r a y s from social responsibility

58 or the p u b l i c w e l f a r e . are n o t . By and l a r g e it a p p e a r s t h a t t h o s e w h o are l o o k i n g p l u r a l i s t i c b a l a n c e , c o r p o r a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and c o n t r o l s will find them "or know the r e a s o n w h y " . for E l i t e / c l a s s t h e o r i s t s a r g u e that they

effective Those seek-

ing a p o w e r e l i t e or r u l i n g c l a s s , or c o r p o r a t e p o w e r and its a b u s e s e e m to find w h a t they are l o o k i n g f o r , t o o . It is c l e a r

by now t h a t no real r e s o l u t i o n is in s i g h t w i t h i n the t e r m s of the d e b a t e . Not only is the d e b a t e -- the o b j e c t i v e assessment

of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r in m o d e r n s o c i e t y -- one of the most difficult tasks which sociologists fact (Lockwood, 1964), sig-

but the t e r m s of the d e b a t e t h e m s e l v e s are of q u e s t i o n a b l e nificance. J o h n C h i l d ( 1 9 6 9 b : 5 7 ) has a r g u e d :

T h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of b u s i n e s s p o w e r has r a r e l y m o v e d b e y o n d an a s s e s s m e n t of the p o w e r w h i c h c o u l d be i m p u t e d to g i v e n c o n f i g u r a t i o n of formal p o s i t i o n s and s t a t u s e s . C l e a r l y one n e e d s to m o v e b e y o n d this p r i m a r i l y m e c h a n i c a l a n a l y s i s , t h o u g h the p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s of r e s e a r c h in such c o m p l e x and s e n s i t i v e a r e a s are s e v e r e . . . m o r e r e s e a r c h is r e q u i r e d on actual p r o c e s s e s of p o l i c y f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n the b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e ; it is a l s o i m p o r t a n t for s o c i o l o g i s t s to i n v e s t i g a t e the f r a m e s of r e f e r e n c e and o b j e c t i v e s of b u s i n e s s m e n in enterprises with different ownership situations, a l l o w i n g for i n t e r d e p e n d e n t f a c t o r s such as s i z e and i n d u s t r i a l e n v i r o n m e n t . As a s t a r t i n g p o i n t to such f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n and o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of p o w e r as a v a r i a b l e (or set of v a r i a b l e s ) m u s t be t a k e n to a m o r e s a t i s f a c t o r y level of d e v e l o p m e n t than is c u r r e n t l y the c a s e . The s o c i o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in

the m a r k e t p l a c e is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the s a m e s p l i t in t e r m s of w h e r e the p o w e r lies but has l i t t l e e m p i r i c a l up e i t h e r s i d e . r e s e a r c h to back earlier.

The b a s i c a r g u m e n t s w e r e p r e s e n t e d

59 B r i e f l y , the p l u r a l i s t / l i b e r a l a r g u m e n t is that of c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y -- the p o w e r lies in the hands of the c o n s u m e r with the s t a t e ready to i n t e r v e n e if c o r p o r a t i o n s step too far out of l i n e . The e l i t e / c l a s s a r g u m e n t takes several forms but

b a s i c a l l y r e v o l v e s a r o u n d the n o t i o n of the m a n i p u l a t i o n of n e e d s or the c r e a t i o n of f a l s e needs by c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h e i r l e a d e r s in the name of p r o f i t . ed f u l l y in the n e x t c h a p t e r . T h e s e p o s i t i o n s will be developH o w e v e r , this i s s u e is in need

of the s a m e c o n c e p t u a l c l a r i f i c a t i o n noted a b o v e by C h i l d . T h a t task will be a d d r e s s e d immediately.

The C o n c e p t i o n of Power One of the r e a s o n s the a s s e s s m e n t of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r in m o d e r n s o c i e t y is so d i f f i c u l t is t h a t the very n o t i o n of p o w e r i t s e l f is e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y d i f f i c u l t to d e f i n e and a n a l y s e . And the b a s i c c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r w h i c h is u t i l i -

zed will c o n d i t i o n the e n t i r e a n a l y s i s w h i c h is b u i l t upon it (Dahrendorf, 1959:166; Parsons, 1957:139; Gillam, 1971:8). On

the p r o b l e m of c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g p o w e r , K a u f m a n and J o n e s ( 1 9 5 4 : 2 0 5 ) have o b s e r v e d : T h e r e is an e l u s i v e n e s s a b o u t p o w e r t h a t e n d o w s it w i t h an a l m o s t g h o s t l y q u a l i t y . . . We " k n o w " w h a t it i s , y e t we e n c o u n t e r e n d l e s s d i f f i c u l t i e s in trying to d e f i n e i t . We can " t e l l " w h e t h e r one p e r s o n or g r o u p is m o r e powerful than a n o t h e r , y e t we c a n n o t m e a s u r e p o w e r . It is as a b s t r a c t as t i m e , y e t as real as a f i r i n g s q u a d . T h i s s e c t i o n will d e l i n e a t e the d i f f e r i n g conceptions

of p o w e r w h i c h g u i d e the t h e o r e t i c a l and e m p i r i c a l w o r k d i s c u s s ed a b o v e and will a r g u e that the gap b e t w e e n them is not d i r e c t ly r e s o l v a b l e . It will then p r e s e n t the n o t i o n of the "two

60 f a c e s of p o w e r " as d e v e l o p e d by B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z and suggest

t h a t t h e i r s e c o n d f a c e of p o w e r p r o v i d e s a d i r e c t i o n for the c r e a t i o n of a m o r e a d e q u a t e c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r -- o n e w h i c h is sociological in its o r i e n t a t i o n .

It is f a i r to say t h a t the d e f i n i t i o n of p o w e r p r o v i d ed by M a x W e b e r has p r o v i d e d the b a s i c d i m e n s i o n s w i t h i n w h i c h m o s t c o n t e m p o r a r y s o c i o l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of p o w e r are f r a m e d . W e b e r (in G e r t h and M i l l s , 1 9 4 6 : 1 8 0 ) d e f i n e d p o w e r as "the c h a n c e of a man or of a n u m b e r of men to r e a l i z e t h e i r own will in a c o m m u n a l a c t i o n e v e n a g a i n s t the r e s i s t a n c e of o t h e r s w h o are p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the a c t i o n " . T h u s , in W e b e r ' s view p o w e r (1) it is two

is a s o c i a l p h e n o m e n o n w h i c h c o n t a i n s f i v e e l e m e n t s :

i n t e n t i o n a l , (2) it can a r i s e only in i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n

or m o r e p e r s o n s , (3) t h e r e m u s t be s o m e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of r e s i s t a n c e on the p a r t of the p e r s o n ( s ) a g a i n s t w h o m p o w e r is b e i n g e x e r c i s e d , (4) it is a c a p a c i t y or p o t e n t i a l , and (5) it is i m p l i c i t l y a z e r o - s u m or " s c a r c i t y " p h e n o m e n o n . Baldus (1975)

has n o t e d t h a t the e l e m e n t of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y has b e e n

interpret-

ed by m a n y at an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c level and t h i s has led to s u b jectivist reductions. B a l d u s a l s o n o t e s t h a t m o s t r e s e a r c h on

p o w e r has c o n c e n t r a t e d on the e l e m e n t s of i n t e r a c t i o n and r e s i s t a n c e g u i d e d by n u m e r o u s a t t e m p t s to o p e r a t i o n a l i z e (see the r e f e r e n c e s c i t e d in B a l d u s ) . them

While these three ele-

m e n t s h a v e b e e n w i d e l y a c c e p t e d in the l i t e r a t u r e , the l a s t two e l e m e n t s , t h e n o t i o n of p o w e r as " p o t e n t i a l " and the z e r o - s u m m o d e l , have been c o n t r o v e r s i a l . And a r o u n d t h e s e elementary of

c o n t r o v e r s i e s and d i s a g r e e m e n t s a b o u t the o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n the e l e m e n t of r e s i s t a n c e h i n g e m u c h of the d e b a t e between

61 p l u r a l i s t s and r e v i s i o n i s t s , e s p e c i a l l y those w h o t h e o r i z e the e x i s t e n c e of a power elite or a ruling c l a s s . The c o n t r o v e r s y over the z e r o - s u m model i n v o l v e s its a s s u m p t i o n that there is only a given a m o u n t of power in any social s y s t e m and an i n c r e a s e in the power of one person or group m u s t come at the e x p e n s e of a n o t h e r . It f o l l o w s from

this model that i n e q u a l i t i e s in power n e c e s s a r i l y s t i m u l a t e conf l i c t , c o e r c i o n , or d o m i n a t i o n . Some p l u r a l i s t s hold this view

seeing c o n f l i c t but little c o e r c i o n or d o m i n a t i o n b e c a u s e of the p l u r a l i t y of power bases and i n t e r e s t s in s o c i e t y w h i c h tend to b a l a n c e each o t h e r . But it is with p r o p o n e n t s of class or

power elite t h e o r i e s that this view is m o s t often a c c e p t e d , e x p l i c i t l y or i m p l i c i t l y . On the other h a n d , p l u r a l i s t s of a

s t r u c t u r a l - f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s u a s i o n argue that such a model e m p h a s i z e s the d i s t r i b u t i v e f u n c t i o n s of power at the p r i v a t e level at the e x p e n s e of the c o l l e c t i v e p u r p o s e s for which power is used. In d i s c u s s i n g the z e r o - s u m c o n c e p t i o n of C. W r i g h t (1957:139)

Mills in his book The Power E l i t e , T a l c o t t P a r s o n s

s a y s , "The essential point at p r e s e n t is t h a t , to M i l l s , power is not a f a c i l i t y for the p e r f o r m a n c e of f u n c t i o n in and on b e half of the s o c i e t y as a s y s t e m , but is i n t e r p r e t e d e x c l u s i v e l y as a f a c i l i t y for getting w h a t one g r o u p , the h o l d e r s of p o w e r , w a n t s by p r e v e n t i n g a n o t h e r g r o u p , the ' o u t s ' , from getting w h a t it w a n t s . " The p r o b l e m with this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a c c o r d i n g

to Parsons ( 1 9 5 7 : 1 3 9 ) is that it e l e v a t e s "a s e c o n d a r y and derived a s p e c t of a total p h e n o m e n o n into the central p l a c e . " The p r i m a r y and original a s p e c t of the total p h e n o m e n o n of p o w e r , t h e n , is "the c a p a c i t y to m o b i l i z e the r e s o u r c e s of the

62 s o c i e t y for the a t t a i n m e n t of g o a l s for w h i c h a g e n e r a l commitment has been m a d e , or m a y be m a d e . 'public'

It is m o b i l i z a t i o n ,

a b o v e a l l , of the a c t i o n of g r o u p s , w h i c h is b i n d i n g on t h e m by v i r t u e of t h e i r p o s i t i o n in the s o c i e t y " ( P a r s o n s , 1 9 5 7 : 1 4 0 ) . T h i s is a p o w e r as " r e s o u r c e " model w h i c h s t r e s s e s the necessity

of social c o n s e n s u s and the p o s i t i v e b e n e v o l e n t r o l e p o w e r plays in the a c h i e v e m e n t of c o m m o n social g o a l s . In this m o d e l , the

e x e r c i s e of p o w e r is q u i t e l i m i t e d -- it c a n n o t be used to a c h i e v e l i m i t e d s e l f - i n t e r e s t s , b u t m u s t be "in the b e s t i n t e r e s t s " of all of s o c i e t y ' s m e m b e r s and "in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the

s t a n d a r d s of the c o m m o n v a l u e s y s t e m " ( P a r s o n s , 1 9 5 4 : 3 8 8 ) ; "the t h r e a t of c o e r c i v e m e a s u r e s , or of c o m p u l s i o n , w i t h o u t legitima-

t i o n or j u s t i f i c a t i o n , s h o u l d not p r o p e r l y be c a l l e d the use of p o w e r at a l l " ( P a r s o n s , 1 9 6 3 a : 2 3 6 ) . To P a r s o n s p o w e r is a r e s o u r c e of the total system,

t h a t i s , it is a p r o p e r t y of the social s y s t e m used by p e r s o n s in t h a t s y s t e m to a c c o m p l i s h the g o a l s of the s y s t e m . no room in this view for the c o n f l i c t u a l T h e r e is

a s p e c t of p o w e r , for

the w a y s c o m p l i a n c e is s e c u r e d f r o m p e o p l e w h e n they are in o p position. point: Two obvious f a c t s , that authoritative decis i o n s v e r y o f t e n do s e r v e s e c t i o n a l i n t e r e s t s and t h a t the m o s t r a d i c a l c o n f l i c t s in s o c i e t y s t e m from s t r u g g l e s for p o w e r , are d e f i n e d out of c o n s i d e r a t i o n -- at l e a s t as p h e n o m e n a c o n n e c t e d w i t h " p o w e r " . The c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of p o w e r w h i c h P a r s o n s o f f e r s a l l o w s him to s h i f t the e n t i r e w e i g h t of his a n a l y s i s away f r o m p o w e r as e x p r e s s i n g a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n i n d i v i d u a l s or g r o u p s , t o w a r d s e e i n g p o w e r as a "system property". That collective "goals", or e v e n the v a l u e s w h i c h lie b e h i n d t h e m , m a y G i d d e n s ( 1 9 6 8 : 2 6 5 ) n o t e s this and m a k e s an important

63 be the o u t c o m e of a " n e g o t i a t e d o r d e r " b u i l t on c o n f l i c t s b e t w e e n p a r t i e s h o l d i n g d i f f e r ential p o w e r is i g n o r e d , since for P a r s o n s " p o w e r " a s s u m e s the p r i o r e x i s t e n c e of c o l 1ecti ve goals . T h e p o i n t that social s t r u c t u r e and values are s o c i a l l y construct-

ed and may r e f l e c t d i f f e r e n t i a l o u t c o m e s of s t r u g g l e s for p o w e r is an i m p o r t a n t o n e . It shall be e n c o u n t e r e d again shortly.

The view that p o w e r is a p o t e n t i a l as e x p r e s s e d in W e b e r ' s d e f i n i t i o n of p o w e r as "the c h a n c e of a man . . ." has been r e i t e r a t e d by many a n a l y s t s . D ' A n t o n i o and Ehrlich (1961:

1 3 2 ) d e f i n e p o w e r as "a c a p a c i t y or a b i l i t y to control and . . .to control the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s " .

others

They argue

that p o w e r as a p o t e n t i a l for control and as the e x e r c i s e of control i t s e l f are not m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e : "persons who exer-

cise p o w e r m u s t , by d e f i n i t i o n , have had a p o w e r p o t e n t i a l , but not all p e r s o n s w h o hold p o t e n t i a l p o w e r do in f a c t e x e r c i s e power" (1961:132). B e c a u s e p o w e r as p o t e n t i a l may d i f f e r

s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the b e h a v i o u r w h i c h is the e x e r c i s e of p o w e r , the m e a s u r e m e n t of p o w e r as p o t e n t i a l m u s t be based on i n d i c i e s w h i c h do not i n c l u d e b e h a v i o u r a l e v i d e n c e . I n d i c i e s that have

been used i n c l u d e r e p u t a t i o n and the c o m p o s i t i o n of power g r o u p s as m e a s u r e d by social b a c k g r o u n d , c a r e e r l i n e s , m e m b e r s h i p in social c l u b s , c o n c e n t r a t i o n of w e a l t h , and the i n t e r l o c k s b e tween c o r p o r a t i o n s and b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and g o v e r n m e n t . This is the type of p o w e r and m e t h o d o l o g y that many class or power elite theorists employ. method(1963:

The p o w e r as p o t e n t i a l view and its r e p u t a t i o n a l o l o g y have been c r i t i c i z e d on a n u m b e r of c o u n t s . Polsby

6 0 ) has a r g u e d that the n o t i o n of power as p o t e n t i a l

is vague

64 and "not e a s y to d i s c u s s in a s c i e n t i f i c m a n n e r " . In p a r t i c u l -

ar the p r o b l e m s r a i s e d by c r i t i c s have been m o s t l y r e l a t e d to the d i f f i c u l t i e s in m e a s u r i n g p o w e r of this t y p e . t h o s e noted in the last s e c t i o n a b o v e . ) Research (But see attempting

to d o c u m e n t the e x i s t e n c e of a p o w e r f u l e c o n o m i c e l i t e or a c a p i t a l i s t r u l i n g class is said to be m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y for the f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s . (1) unsound

The s a m p l e s are d i v e r s e and (2) The indicies

the c r i t e r i a for i n c l u s i o n are o f t e n v a g u e .

p r o v i d e a m e a s u r e of a s t a t i s t i c a l a g g r e g a t e ; b u t a s t a t i s t i c a l a g g r e g a t e is not n e c e s s a r i l y a g r o u p w i t h a u n i f o r m s e t of g o a l s , p u r p o s e s , or i d e o l o g y . (3) T h e r e is an a s s u m p t i o n that m e m b e r -

s h i p in a p r e d e t e r m i n e d e l i t e is s u f f i c i e n t for the e x e r c i s e of c o n t r o l o v e r the e c o n o m y . (4) The p r o b l e m of i n f i n i t e (1958:463): regress

in m e a s u r i n g e l i t e c o n t r o l as r a i s e d by Dahl

If the o v e r t l e a d e r s of a c o m m u n i t y do n o t a p p e a r to c o n s t i t u t e a r u l i n g e l i t e , then the t h e o r y can be saved by a r g u i n g t h a t b e h i n d the o v e r t l e a d e r s is a s e t of c o v e r t l e a d e r s w h o d o . If s u b s e q u e n t e v i d e n c e shows t h a t this c o v e r t g r o u p does n o t m a k e a r u l i n g e l i t e , then the t h e o r y can be saved by a r g u i n g that b e h i n d the f i r s t c o v e r t g r o u p t h e r e is a n o t h e r , and o n . M o s t of the c r i t i c s and the e l i t e / c l a s s t h e o r i s t s accept

that in o r d e r to d e m o n s t r a t e that an e c o n o m i c e l i t e is the m o s t p o w e r f u l of all e l i t e s or t h a t a r u l i n g c l a s s e x i s t s , o r , i n d e e d , that any i n d i v i d u a l / g r o u p is m o r e p o w e r f u l than a n o t h e r , it m u s t be s h o w n t h a t this i n d i v i d u a l / g r o u p does in f a c t get its w a y at the e x p e n s e of o t h e r s . This m e a n s that it m u s t be s h o w n how the

i n d i v i d u a l / g r o u p in q u e s t i o n gets o t h e r s to act in p a r t i c u l a r w a y s even t h o u g h t h e s e o t h e r s r e s i s t such d i r e c t i o n . M a n y of

the c r i t i c s have a r g u e d that such a d e m o n s t r a t i o n can only be

65 m a d e by f o c u s i n g on the a c t u a l e x e r c i s e of p o w e r , t h a t i s , on its b e h a v i o u r a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n . T h e y p r o p o s e t h a t p o w e r n o t be behaviour, (1957:

c o n c e i v e d in t e r m s of p o t e n t i a l b u t in t e r m s of a c t u a l For e x a m p l e , in an i n f l u e n t i a l a r t i c l e , R o b e r t A. Dahl 2 0 2 - 2 0 3 ) has d e f i n e d p o w e r in this m a n n e r :

"A has p o w e r o v e r

B to the e x t e n t t h a t he can get B to do s o m e t h i n g t h a t B w o u l d not otherwise do." T h i s n a r r o w e r d e f i n i t i o n e n a b l e s the a n a l y s t questions

to f o c u s on the p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s and to ask e m p i r i c a l about specific decisions. Those who accept this

orientation Polsby

e m p h a s i z e the s t u d y o f c o n c r e t e , o b s e r v a b l e b e h a v i o u r .

( 1 9 6 3 : 1 2 1 ) a r g u e s t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r " s h o u l d s t u d y a c t u a l b e h a v i o u r , e i t h e r at f i r s t hand or by r e c o n s t r u c t i n g f r o m d o c u m e n t s , i n f o r m a n t s , n e w s p a p e r s , and o t h e r sources". This behavioural behaviour appropriate as Thus,

f o c u s has b e e n o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d in v a r i o u s s o c i a l s e t t i n g s .

the s t u d y of d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g

for Dahl ( 1 9 5 8 : 4 6 6 ) p o w e r can be a n a l y z e d o n l y a f t e r

"careful

e x a m i n a t i o n of a s e r i e s of c o n c r e t e d e c i s i o n s " , and for P o l s b y ( 1 9 6 3 : 4 ) the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of "who p r e v a i l s in d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g " s e e m s " t h e b e s t w a y to d e t e r m i n e w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s and g r o u p s h a v e ' m o r e ' p o w e r in s o c i a l l i f e , b e c a u s e d i r e c t c o n f l i c t b e tween actors presents a situation most closely an e x p e r i m e n t a l approximating

t e s t of t h e i r c a p a c i t i e s to a f f e c t o u t c o m e s " . is a s s u m e d

As i n d i c a t e d by this l a s t q u o t a t i o n d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g

to i n v o l v e the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of c o n f l i c t w h i c h can be o b s e r v e d , and a n a l y t i c a t t e n t i o n is to be g i v e n to t h o s e a r e a s w h e r e d e c i s i o n s are b e i n g m a d e a b o u t i s s u e s w h i c h a r e and g e n e r a t e a c t u a l c o n f l i c t . controversial

S u c h " k e y " i s s u e s m u s t be s e l e c t though

ed f o r , a c c o r d i n g to Dahl ( 1 9 5 8 : 4 6 7 ) , it is "a n e c e s s a r y

66 p o s s i b l y n o t a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n t h a t the key i s s u e s h o u l d i n v o l v e a c t u a l d i s a g r e e m e n t s in p r e f e r e n c e s a m o n g two or m o r e groups". T h u s , the o p e r a t i o n a l c r i t e r i o n in an e x p e r i m e n t a l

t e s t of p o w e r a t t r i b u t i o n is the e x i s t e n c e , e x p r e s s i o n , and o b s e r v a t i o n of c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n the p r e f e r e n c e s o f the p a r t i e s to the d e c i s i o n . T h e s e p r e f e r e n c e s are a s s u m e d to be c o n s c i o u s and

ly held by the p a r t i c i p a n t s and r e v e a l e d in t h e i r a c t i o n s -are t h e r e b y o b s e r v a b l e . A f u r t h e r a s s u m p t i o n , p o i n t e d out by

L u k e s ( 1 9 7 4 : 1 4 ) , is " t h a t i n t e r e s t s are to be u n d e r s t o o d as p o l i c y p r e f e r e n c e s -- so t h a t a c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t s is e q u i v a l e n t to a c o n f l i c t of p r e f e r e n c e s " . Lukes (1974:15) summarizes

this view as i n v o l v i n g "a f o c u s on b e h a v i o u r in the m a k i n g o f deci si ons on i s s u e s o v e r w h i c h t h e r e is an o b s e r v a b l e conf1i ct of ( s u b j e c t i v e ) i n t e r e s t s , s e e n as e x p r e s s p o l i c y p r e f e r e n c e s , r e v e a l e d by p o l i t i c a l participation".

T h i s b e h a v i o u r a l v i e w of p o w e r is held by m o s t p l u r a l ists. It has b e e n a p p l i e d by them m o s t l y to " k e y " p o l i t i c a l

i s s u e s , e s p e c i a l l y at the c o m m u n i t y level b u t a l s o at the n a t i o n al level w h e r e they tend to find a p l u r a l i t y of i n t e r e s t s e x p r e s s e d and a m o r e or less b a l a n c e d d e c i s i o n a l o u t c o m e . The

p l u r a l i s t m e t h o d o l o g y has b e e n c r i t i z e d for b e i n g , a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s , p a r o c h i a l , a h i s t o r i c a l , and u n a b l e to deal w i t h i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s of p o w e r and its e x e r c i s e as a r e s u l t of its s e l f imposed limitations. One a s p e c t of p o w e r w h i c h the p l u r a l i s t m e t h o d o l o g y w i t h its e m p h a s i s on d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g e x c l u d e s is w h a t P e t e r B a c h r a c h and M o r t o n B a r a t z in two very i m p o r t a n t a r t i c l e s t e r m e d the o t h e r " f a c e " of p o w e r , n a m e l y , " n o n d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g " .

67 Bachrach and Baratz ( 1 9 6 2 , 1 9 6 3 , 1970) argue that power has two faces. The first face is power in the behavioural sense as direct

m e a s u r e d in key issues settled by concrete d e c i s i o n s with and o b s e r v a b l e c o n f l i c t .

The second face of power is composed process

of key issues which do not result in a d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g

in the political arena but rather are prevented from reaching that arena by a process Bachrach and Baratz call making". Whereas a decision is "a choice among "nondecisionalternative

modes of a c t i o n " (Bachrach and B a r a t z , 1 9 7 0 : 3 9 ) , they define a n o n d e c i s i o n as "a decision that results in s u p p r e s s i o n or thwarting of a latent or m a n i f e s t challenge to the values or interests of the d e c i s i o n - m a k e r s " ( 1 9 7 0 : 4 4 ) . decision-making And the process of non-

is "a means by which demands for change in the

existing allocation of benefits and privileges in the community can be suffocated before they are even v o i c e d ; or kept c o v e r t ; or killed before they gain access to the r e l e v a n t decision-making

a r e a ; o r , failing all these t h i n g s , maimed or destroyed in the decision-implementing stage of the policy p r o c e s s " ( 1 9 7 0 : 4 4 ) . face of power is built

This second n o n d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g on S c h a t t s c h n e i d e r ' s

(1960) c o n c e p t of the " m o b i l i z a t i o n of Bachrach and Baratz

b i a s " i n h e r e n t in any form of o r g a n i z a t i o n .

( 1 9 7 0 : 4 3 - 4 4 ) incorporate this concept into their d i s c u s s i o n of power by describing it a s : a set of p r e d o m i n a n t v a l u e s , b e l i e f s , r i t u a l s , and institutional procedures ("rules of the g a m e " ) that operate s y s t e m a t i c a l l y and consistently to the benefit of certain persons and groups at the expense of o t h e r s . Those who benefit are placed in a preferred position to defend and promote their vested int e r e s t s . More often than n o t , the "status

68 q u o d e f e n d e r s " a r e a m i n o r i t y or e l i t e g r o u p w i t h i n t h e p o p u l a t i o n in q u e s t i o n . E l i t i s m , h o w e v e r , is n e i t h e r f o r e - o r d a i n e d nor o m n i p r e s e n t : as o p p o n e n t s of the w a r in V i e t Nam can r e a d i l y a t t e s t , the m o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s can and f r e q u e n t l y d o e s benefit a clear majority. T h u s , t h e r e are two s i t u a t i o n s in w h i c h p o w e r m a y be e x p r e s s e d w h i c h m u s t be i n c l u d e d in a c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r : . . . p o w e r m a y be e x e r c i s e d w h e n A p a r t i c i p a t e s in the m a k i n g of d e c i s i o n s t h a t a f f e c t B. P o w e r is a l s o e x e r c i s e d w h e n A d e v o t e s his e n e r g i e s to c r e a t i n g or r e i n f o r c i n g social and p o l i t i c a l v a l u e s and i n s t i t u t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s t h a t l i m i t the s c o p e of the p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s to p u b l i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of o n l y t h o s e i s s u e s w h i c h a r e c o m p a r a t i v e l y i n n o c u o u s to A. To the e x t e n t t h a t A s u c c e e d s in d o i n g t h i s , B is p r e v e n t e d , for all p r a c t i c a l p u r p o s e s , from b r i n g i n g to the f o r e any i s s u e s t h a t m i g h t in t h e i r r e s o l u t i o n be s e r i o u s l y d e t r i m e n t a l to A's set of p r e f e r e n c e s ( B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z , 1 9 7 0 : 7 ) . A n d to the e x t e n t t h a t A s u c c e e d s in d o i n g t h i s , A has p o w e r . W h i l e B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z add a s e c o n d d i m e n s i o n to the c o n c e p t of p o w e r as b e h a v i o u r , they s h a r e w i t h t h a t e a r l i e r view the o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the e l e m e n t of r e s i s t a n c e as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a c t u a l , o b s e r v a b l e c o n f l i c t . T h i s c o n f l i c t may be

d i r e c t l y and o v e r t l y e x p r e s s e d in the p o l i t i c a l a r e n a as in the c a s e of d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g . B u t in the c a s e of nondecision-making conflict

the c r i t e r i a of r e s i s t a n c e a r e b r o a d e n e d :

observable

is still r e q u i r e d b u t its e x p r e s s i o n m a y be c o v e r t or i n d i r e c t . T h a t i s , its e x p r e s s i o n m a y be o u t s i d e of the p o l i t i c a l arena

in the f o r m of g r i e v a n c e s w h i c h h a v e "not b e e n r e c o g n i z e d as ' w o r t h y ' of p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n and c o n t r o v e r s y " , b u t are a b l e in t h e i r a b o r t e d f o r m to the i n v e s t i g a t o r " "observ-

(1970:49).

A n u m b e r of a n a l y s t s , e s p e c i a l l y of the e l i t e / c l a s s

69 o r i e n t a t i o n , have argued that the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g v i e w , w h i l e g r e a t l y e x p a n d e d by t h e a d d i t i o n o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l t i o n o f b i a s in its n o n d e c i s i o n a l f o r m , is s t i l l mobiliza-

problematic.

T h e m a j o r i n s u f f i c i e n c y a c c o r d i n g to t h e s e p e o p l e is t h e r e q u i r e m e n t f o r o b s e r v a b l e i s s u e - o r i e n t e d c o n f l i c t e v e n at a c o vert level. T h e r e a r e s i g n i f i c a n t s i t u a t i o n s o f p o w e r w h e r e no reigns

r e s i s t a n c e is o b s e r v a b l e , s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e c o n s e n s u s w h i c h c a n n o t be c o m p r e h e n d e d by t h e s e v i e w s .

Many of these an-

a l y s t s a r g u e t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r p e r s o n or g r o u p m a y be u n a b l e to a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r i n t e r e s t s , o r t h e y m a y be m i s t a k e n a b o u t or even u n a w a r e of them. them,

Some argue the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of M a r x ' s

n o t i o n o f f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s a n d / o r t h e c r e a t i o n and m a n i p u l a t i o n o f f a l s e n e e d s (as in t h e c r i t i c a l t h e o r y o f of M a r c u s e , 1 9 6 4 ) . consumerism

In t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e r e is s a i d to e x i s t

c e r t a i n " r e a l " or " t r u e " or " o b j e c t i v e " i n t e r e s t s w h i c h a r e b e ing s u p p r e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f a p r e v a i l i n g ideology ruling of posi-

t h a t is m a n i p u l a t e d , c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y , by t h e g r o u p w h o s t a n d to g a i n by t h a t i d e o l o g y . The acceptance

this ideological belief system m y s t i f i e s the actual social t i o n o f t h o s e w h o a r e s u b o r d i n a t e to t h e p o w e r f u l a n d them from rationally assessing it. T h u s , they remain

prevents unaware

o f t h e i r real i n t e r e s t s , or u n a b l e to a r t i c u l a t e t h e m o r e v e n m i s t a k e n a b o u t t h e m -- a n d as s u c h a r e u n a b l e to r e s i s t w h e n d i r e c t e d to a c t a g a i n s t t h e i r real interests. theor-

P l u r a l i s t s , as w e l l as a n u m b e r o f e l i t e / c l a s s

i s t s , a r e o p p o s e d to s u c h a p o s i t i o n p r i m a r i l y on t h e b a s i s t h a t it c a n n o t b e e m p i r i c a l l y f a l s i f i e d . Nelson Polsby argues situ-

t h a t t h e n o t i o n o f real or o b j e c t i v e i n t e r e s t s u n d e r l y i n g

70 a t i o n s w i t h no o b s e r v a b l e , m e a s u r a b l e c o n f l i c t m u s t be rejected because: If i n f o r m a t i o n about the actual b e h a v i o u r of groups in the c o m m u n i t y is not c o n s i d ered r e l e v a n t when it is d i f f e r e n t from the r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s , then it is i m p o s s i b l e ever to d i s p r o v e the e m p i r i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s of the s t r a t i f i c a t i o n theory (that i s , the M a r x i s t theory of c l a s s ) , and they will then have to be r e g a r d e d as m e t a - p h y s i c a l rather than e m p i r i c a l s t a t e m e n t s . The p r e s u m p t i o n that the " r e a l " i n t e r e s t s of a class can be a s s i g n e d to them by an a n a l y s t allows the a n a l y s t to c h a r g e "false class c o n s c i o u s n e s s " w h e n the class in q u e s t i o n d i s a g r e e s w i t h the analyst (Polsby, 1963:22-23). B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z even though they are c o n c e r n e d a b o u t nond e c i s i o n and m o b i l i z a t i o n of bias also take this view. They

argue that w i t h o u t the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of c o n f l i c t , o v e r t or cov e r t , "the p r e s u m p t i o n m u s t be that there is c o n s e n s u s on the p r e v a i l i n g a l l o c a t i o n of v a l u e s , in which case n o n d e c i s i o n m a k i n g is i m p o s s i b l e " . W i t h o u t o b s e r v a b l e c o n f l i c t "there is

no way to a c c u r a t e l y j u d g e w h e t h e r the t h r u s t of a d e c i s i o n really is to t h w a r t or p r e v e n t s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a demand for c h a n g e that is p o t e n t i a l l y t h r e a t e n i n g to the d e c i s i o n - m a k e r (Bachrach and B a r a t z , 1 9 7 0 : 4 9 - 5 0 ) . T h e r e the d e b a t e has stood for a long t i m e . There

a p p e a r s to be no r e s o l u t i o n a v a i l a b l e w i t h i n the terms of the debate. R e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of P o w e r If no r e s o l u t i o n to the d e b a t e b e t w e e n p l u r a l i s t s and e l i t e / c l a s s t h e o r i s t s a p p e a r s p o s s i b l e as it is p r e s e n t l y cons t i t u t e d , then changing the terms of the d e b a t e may p r o v i d e such a m e c h a n i s m (hopefully w i t h o u t the need for an a c c o m p a n y i n g

71 "leap of faith" or "conversion e x p e r i e n c e " ) . One important term

which has been suggested recently for resolving the debate is the problem of levels of a n a l y s i s . A n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t term informs

which bears scrutiny is the conception of power which and underlies the d e b a t e . Levels of A n a l y s i s : Power As S t r u c t u r e

The c o n t r o v e r s y as to the e x i s t e n c e of a so-called power e l i t e / r u l i n g c l a s s , its n a t u r e , m e m b e r s h i p , and m e a s u r e ment has raged for a long t i m e . Some studies d e m o n s t r a t e that In

there is an e l i t e , others show that pluralism is the r u l e .

c o n t r a s t to the work of D o m h o f f and others to show the existence of a cohesive and integrated ruling e l i t e / c l a s s , recent reconc e p t u a l i z a t i o n s and studies have shown t h a t : (1) there are a

variety of e l i t e s , (2) non-elites also figure in d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , (3) there is often c o m p e t i t i o n among e l i t e s , and (4) the state has a degree of autonomy. Several studies have undermined the

notion of a c o h e s i v e , integrated e l i t e .

Koenig (1977) employed

graph theory to link c o r p o r a t i o n s t h r o u g h o u t the U . S . and found the e x i s t e n c e of regional networks that are not part of a larger elite. M a r g o l i n (1976) studied m e m b e r s h i p in elite foundations

and p o l i c y - m a k i n g groups and found less elite than e x p e c t e d .

representation

Useem (1977) did an indirect test on the extent

to which the American c a p i t a l i s t class is integrated by e x a m i n ing a sample of 1307 b u s i n e s s m e n who responded to a 1968 national p r o b a b i l i t y sample of college and university trustees by d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g them along an axis of group c e n t r a l i t y . Those

w h o served as corporate executives and sat on the boards of large firms were seen as m e m b e r s of a central g r o u p , while those

72 who o v e r s a w only a single firm were seen as o u t s i d e of the inner group. When they were compared in terms of their political condiffered

s c i o u s n e s s it was not found that " e l i t e " b u s i n e s s m e n from those on the f r i n g e s . As Useem ( 1 9 7 7 : 1 ) n o t e s ,

It is suggested that the inner group may play a limited role in unifying and c o n t r o l l i n g the business c o m m u n i t y but that it does not provide a means for the i n t e g r a t i o n and promotion of general class i n t e r e s t s . T h o m a s Dye's (1976) m a s s i v e study of 5000 i n s t i t u t i o n a l elites

found that the resources of the U . S . are c o n c e n t r a t e d but also that the "resources a v a i l a b l e to i n d i v i d u a l s in A m e r i c a are infinitesimal in c o m p a r i s o n with the r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e to the He found that 4000 i n d i v i d u a l s financial

n a t i o n ' s largest i n s t i t u t i o n s " .

in 5000 p o s i t i o n s control a m a j o r i t y of the c o u n t r y ' s

r e s o u r c e s but that many of them have little to do with one another. He found r e l a t i v e l y little interlock b e t w e e n the g o v e r n He further found that this elite

m e n t and the c o r p o r a t e w o r l d .

of 5000 was r e l a t i v e l y unstable -- only 12 p e r c e n t of them inherited their p o s i t i o n s ; m o s t of them climbed through the ladders of their f i r m s , and w e n t to n o n - e l i t e s c h o o l s . R e c e n t work by a n u m b e r of a n a l y s t s s u g g e s t s a more c o m p l e x r e l a t i o n s h i p between the e c o n o m i c e l i t e and the s t a t e . Such w r i t e r s as M i l i b a n d ( 1 9 6 9 , 1 9 7 0 , 1 9 7 3 ) , P o u l a n t z a s (1973),

Offe ( 1 9 7 2 ) , O'Connor ( 1 9 7 3 ) , argue that the state is not t o t a l ly c a p t u r e d by the elite nor is it their " s e r v a n t " . Instead the

s t a t e is seen to have a degree of a u t o n o m y , its own i n t e r e s t s , and to serve a number of interests and d e m a n d s , many of which are c o n f l i c t i n g . The state is depicted as often using the cor-

p o r a t i o n s to carry out its o b j e c t i v e s , such as e c o n o m i c g r o w t h ,

73 and to h e l p t h e m w h e r e n e c e s s a r y -- b e c a u s e t h e s t a t e is not a c a p i t a l i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n it m u s t rely on the c o r p o r a t i o n s and and

the e c o n o m i c g r o w t h t h e y can a c h i e v e to h e l p it a c c u m u l a t e grow. (See G o l d , et a ! . , 1 9 7 5 , for a d i s c u s s i o n of M a r x i s t state.)

t h e o r i e s of t h e

The divergent interests among e l i t e s , competition bet w e e n t h e m , t h e i r lack of u n i t y , and the r e l a t i v e a u t o n o m y o f the s t a t e h a v e c a u s e d f u r t h e r r e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n . Several au-

t h o r s (for e x a m p l e , E s p i n g - A n d e r s o n , et a l . , 1 9 7 6 ; A l f o r d , 1 9 7 5 ; W h i t t , 1 9 7 9 ) h a v e e x p a n d e d the p l u r a l i s t -- e l i t e d e b a t e by a d d ing a new t e r m to it -- " c l a s s " -- and d e v e l o p e d a s t r u c t u r a l v i e w of c l a s s p o w e r w h i c h can c o n t a i n s u c h f a c t o r s as t h o s e a b o v e whvich w e a k e n the e l i t e h y p o t h e s i s . T h e y a r g u e t h a t , at

r o o t , t h e p l u r a l i s t v e r s u s e l i t e d e b a t e c a n n o t be r e s o l v e d b e c a u s e e a c h " p e r s p e c t i v e " ( E s p i n g - A n d e r s o n , et a l . ) or "paradigm" of

( A l f o r d ) or " m o d e l " ( W h i t t ) f o c u s e s on a d i f f e r e n t level s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n for a n a l y s i s . spective/paradigm/model

T h e a d d i t i o n of a c l a s s p e r account

h e l p s to d i s t i n g u i s h t h e m and

f o r t h e i r d i s p a r a t e f i n d i n g s by p r o v i d i n g a l a r g e r u n i t of a n a l y s i s w i t h i n w h i c h t h e two a r e s u b s u m e d . The pluralist perspecand

t i v e f o c u s e s , it is s u g g e s t e d , u p o n s i t u a t i o n a l

contexts

the p r o c e s s e s by w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s and g r o u p s m o b i l i z e and t a k e p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n w i t h i n a f r a m e w o r k of c u l t u r a l c o n s e n s u s . The

" i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t " p e r s p e c t i v e ( c a l l e d t h e " e l i t e " p a r a d i g m by A l f o r d and t h e " e l i t i s t " m o d e l by W h i t t ) f o c u s e s on the s t r u c t u r e of l a r g e o r g a n i z a t i o n s to e x a m i n e the b a r g a i n i n g and e x c h a n g e p r o c e s s w i t h i n and b e t w e e n t h e m and t h e i r i m p a c t on the g e n e r a l p o l i c i e s t h a t s e t the p a r a m e t e r s f o r p a r t i c u l a r decisions

74 T h e c l a s s p a r a d i g m ( c a l l e d t h e c l a s s - d i a l e c t i c m o d e l by W h i t t and t r e a t e d as two p e r s p e c t i v e s by E s p i n g - A n d e r s o n , et a l . , the s t r u c t u r a l i s t and p o l i t i c a l c l a s s ) f o c u s e s on t h e c l a s s s t r u c parameters levels each 'slip-

t u r e and the m a n n e r in w h i c h c l a s s r e l a t i o n s s e t t h e f o r t h e b a s i c f o r m s o r g a n i z a t i o n s can t a k e .

These three

of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e n o t p e r f e c t l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h other. " T h e r e is an i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t of c o n t i n g e n c y or

p a g e ' b e t w e e n t h e s e l e v e l s , e a c h of w h i c h is c a u s a l l y and c a n n o t be r e d u c e d to the o t h e r s . This independence

important provides

e a c h p a r a d i g m w i t h its e x p l a n a t o r y p o t e n t i a l w i t h i n its own level or c o n t e x t " ( A l f o r d , 1 9 7 5 : 1 5 0 ) . T a b l e 2.1 reproduces dimen-

W h i t t ' s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the t h r e e v i e w s a l o n g v a r i o u s sions.

T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of the " c l a s s " a p p r o a c h is t h a t it t a k e s t h e h i g h e s t level of a n a l y s i s and e x a m i n e s t h e structure

o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s of s o c i e t y to d e t e r m i n e t h e i r i n f l u e n c e on the l o w e r l e v e l s of a n a l y s i s s u c h as the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l situational. and the

It t h u s t a k e s i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n n o t o n l y t h e i s s u e s ( B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z ,

p o s s i b l e s u p p r e s s i o n of p o l i t i c a l

1 9 6 2 ) by d o m i n a n t c l a s s e s , b u t a l s o the p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of s t r a t e g i c a l l y a l l o w i n g the b i a s of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s to d e t e r m i n e p o l i t i c a l o u t c o m e s w i t h n_p_ o b s e r v a b l e d e c i s i o n s or a c t i o n s , as s u c h , b e i n g r e q u i r e d of d o m i n a n t p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s . T h e c l a s s - d i a l e c t i c model argues that one must u n d e r s t a n d the l o g i c and b i a s e s of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s as w e l l as the o b s e r v a b l e p o l i t i c a l b e h a v i o u r s of s o c i a l c l a s s e s and i n d i v i d u a l a c t o r s . T h e r e is a m u t u a l l y r e i n forcing relationship between social instit u t i o n s and d o m i n a n t c l a s s e s : dominant c l a s s e s a c t to p r e s e r v e t h o s e i n s t i t u t i o n s w h i c h a r e t h e b a s i s of t h e i r o w n h e g e m o n y . I n s t i t u t i o n s s h a p e b e h a v i o u r (of b o t h d o m -

TABLE 2.1 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Models of the D i s t r i b u t i o n of Power in Society

Pluralistic Basic units Interest groups of analys i s Essential processes Interest group competition

Elite Institutional eli tes Hierarchical d o m i n a n c e by eli tes

Class Social social

Dialectic institutions; classes

Imperatives of social i n s t i t u t i o n s ; class d o m i n a t i o n and conf1 i ct Class position; degree of class consciousness and organization

Basi s of group power (resources)

Many bases: organizational, governmental, economi c, social, personal

Institutional position, common social background, convergent i nterests Concentrated i n relati vely homogenous eli tes Stable, no identifiable limits to el i te domi nati on

Distribution of power

Dispersed among competing, heterogeneous groups Unstable; 1imi ted by democratic value consensus, shi fti ng strength among organized interests and by cross-cutting allegiances State is a broker, able to reserve some autonomy by balancing competing i nterests

Held by dominant class, but potentially a v a i l a b l e t o subordinate classes Historically contingent; generally stable, but limited by class conflict and contradictions within and among social institutions

Limits and Stability of groups power

Conception of role of state

State has little, if any, autonomy captive of elite i nterests

State serves interests of dominant class, but requires a degree of autonomy from segments of dominant class in order to act to preserve basis of class hegemony

Source:

W h i 1 1 , 1979 75

16 i n a n t and s u b o r d i n a t e c l a s s e s ) and t h e d o m inant class often shapes institutions (Whitt, 1979:84). W h i t t ' s c l a s s - d i a l e c t i c m o d e l of p o w e r a r g u e s t h a t t h e r e is a d o m i n a n t c l a s s in s o c i e t y b a s e d u p o n its o w n e r s h i p o f t h e m e a n s of p r o d u c t i o n . H o w e v e r , t h i s c l a s s is n o t m o n o l i t h i c or all

p o w e r f u l -- it v a r i e s in t e r m s of t h e d e g r e e to w h i c h it is class c o n s c i o u s and p o l i t i c a l l y o r g a n i z e d . a c t e r i z e d by i n t r a c l a s s c o n f l i c t s . As s u c h it is c h a r -

Subordinate classes are able

to c h a l l e n g e t h e d o m i n a n t c l a s s , and e v e n t a k e c o n t r o l of t h e m e a n s o f p r o d u c t i o n , if s u f f i c i e n t l y c l a s s c o n s c i o u s a n d p o l i tically organized. And the s t a t e , while p r e d o m i n a t e l y serving

t h e i n t e r e s t s of t h e c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s , i s , a c c o r d i n g to s o m e a n a l y s t s , o p e n to i n p u t f r o m s u b o r d i n a t e c l a s s e s as w e l l s o m e t i m e s s e r v i n g its o w n i n t e r e s t s . Moreover, economic as devel-

o p m e n t taking place w i t h i n the class s t r u c t u r e g e n e r a t e s cont r a d i c t i o n s W h i c h of ten c o n s t r a i n t h e o p t i o n s a v a i l a b l e to t h e c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s to a c t u p o n . dialectic. dialectical This latter point provides the

W h i t t ( 1 9 7 9 : 8 4 ) s a y s of his m o d e l :

" I t is t h i s

c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r , of t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r -

ence s e p a r a t i n g the e l i t i s t and c l a s s - d i a l e c t i c m o d e l s . " C o n c e p t u a l i z i n g P o w e r As S t r u c t u r e The above structural views have been developed with m u c h a t t e n t i o n to t h e b a s i c d e f i n i t i o n of p o w e r w h i c h their applications. underlies provid-

S o m e c o n c e p t u a l g r o u n d i n g has b e e n

ed by S t e v e n L u k e s ( 1 9 7 4 ) in a r e c e n t d i s c u s s i o n w h e r e i n he d e v e l o p s a t h e o r e t i c a l c o n c e p t of p o w e r as a s t r u c t u r a l on -- a c o n c e p t he t e r m s a " r a d i c a l v i e w " of p o w e r . phenomenLukes preview

s e n t s an a n a l y s i s of t w o v i e w s of p o w e r and t h e n a t h i r d

77 w h i c h he b e l i e v e s c o r r e c t s t h e d e f i c i e n c i e s of t h e f i r s t t w o . He t r e a t s t h e s e v i e w s as f o c u s i n g on p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s or " d i m e n s i o n s " in a f a s h i o n s i m i l a r to t h e l e v e l s of views presented above. , [Ffee o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l analysis

v i e w -- t h a t of s t u d y of political political its

the p l u r a l i s t s -- f o c u s e s on t h e " b e h a v i o u r a l

a c t o r s , b u t it i n e v i t a b l y t a k e s o v e r the b i a s o f the

s y s t e m u n d e r o b s e r v a t i o n and is b l i n d to t h e w a y s in w h i c h a g e n d a is c o n t r o l l e d " (Lukes, 1974:55). The two

dimensional

v i e w t r i e s to e x a m i n e t h i s b i a s and c o n t r o l . al v i e w a p p l i e s S c h a t t s c h n e i d e r ' s

T h e two d i m e n s i o n "mobiliza-

( 1 9 6 0 ) n o t i o n o f the

t i o n o f b i a s " i n h e r e n t in o r g a n i z a t i o n to t h e a n a l y s i s of p o w e r by l o o k i n g at b o t h d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g and s o - c a l l e d making. nondecisioncontent

T h e l a t t e r r e f e r s to the p o w e r to c o n t r o l the

o f t h e p o l i t i c a l a g e n d a by e x c l u d i n g " p o t e n t i a l In B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z ' s f o r m u l a t i o n of t h i s two view, a behavioural

i s s u e s " from it. dimensional that

c r i t e r i o n is u t i l i z e d w h i c h e m p h a s i z e d

a c t u a l , o b s e r v a b l e c o n f l i c t , o v e r t or c o v e r t , m u s t be f o r m e d in o r d e r f o r t h e r e to be p o w e r b e i n g e x e r c i s e d . This means that

the i n t e r e s t s of t h o s e e x c l u d e d f r o m the a g e n d a m u s t w i t h t h o s e of the n o n d e c i s i o n - m a k e r s and t h a t t h e s e

conflict grievances

w i l l be m a n i f e s t e d o v e r t l y or c o v e r t l y , t h a t i s , w i t h i n or o u t side the political system. ive b e c a u s e its b e h a v i o u r a l L u k e s f i n d s t h i s v i e w too r e s t r i c t f o c u s on a c t u a l decison-making observable In particular

p r o c e s s e s in si tuations^oif o b s e r v a b l e c o n f l i c t o v e r i s s u e s of g r i e v a n c e s is n o t s o c i o l o g i c a l enough.

it i g n o r e s the e f f e c t s of c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n and o f the m o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s i n h e r e n t in o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h m a k e the d e c i s 4 o n m a k i n g p r o c e s s m o v e in d i r e c t i o n s n o t c o n s c i o u s l y c h o s e n or i n -

78 t e n d e d by the i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d in it. argues, three-dimensional power focuses. It is h e r e , Lukes In this v i e w , " p o w e r

can be e x e r c i s e d w i t h o u t the e x e r c i s e r being a w a r e of w h a t he (it) is d o i n g " ( L u k e s , 1 9 7 4 : 5 1 ) . It can be e x e r c i s e d through

a c t i o n as well as by i n a c t i o n , and it is a c o l l e c t i v e p h e n o m enon w h i c h r e s u l t s from the s y s t e m i c e f f e c t s of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l or i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s r a t h e r than from i n d i v i d u a l d e c i sion or b e h a v i o u r . This is n o t , a r g u e s Lukes ( 1 9 7 4 : 5 5 ) , to determinism:

a s s e r t a form of s t r u c t u r a l

... to i d e n t i f y a given p r o c e s s as an " e x e r c i s e in p o w e r " , r a t h e r than as a c a s e of s t r u c t u r a l d e t e r m i n i s m , is to a s s u m e t h a t it is in the e x e r c i s e r ' s or e x e r c i s e r s ' p o w e r to act d i f f e r e n t l y . In the case of a c o l l e c t i v e e x e r c i s e of p o w e r , on the p a r t of a g r o u p , or i n s t i t u t i o n , e t c . , this is to imply that the m e m b e r s of the g r o u p or ins t i t u t i o n could have c o m b i n e d or o r g a n i z e d to act d i f f e r e n t l y . A l s o as a r e s u l t of this s t r u c t u r a l f o c u s , the t h r e e d i m e n s i o n a l view of p o w e r can deal with c a s e s w h e r e no b e h a v i o u r al m a n i f e s t a t i o n of g r i e v a n c e observable conflict. is a p p a r e n t and thus t h e r e is no

The s u c c e s s f u l a v e r s i o n of an i s s u e from

the p o l i t i c a l a g e n d a does not r e q u i r e actual c o n f l i c t to be c o n s i d e r e d an i n s t a n c e of p o w e r , L u k e s a r g u e s . Such c a s e s of p o -

t e n t i a l c o n f l i c t may n e v e r be " a c t u a l i z e d " , b u t r e m a i n as "lat e n t " c o n f l i c t s , that i s , "a c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n the i n t e r ests of t h o s e e x e r c i s i n g p o w e r and the real i n t e r e s t s of t h o s e they e x c l u d e . T h e s e l a t t e r may not e x p r e s s or even be c o n -

s c i o u s of t h e i r i n t e r e s t s " , but Lukes ( 1 9 7 4 : 2 4 - 2 5 ) a r g u e s that i n d i r e c t or c o u n t e r f a c t u a l e v i d e n c e can e m p i r i c a l l y t h e s e real i n t e r e s t s . establish

T h e r e is no need here to d i s c u s s how he (See the d i s c u s s i o n s

w o u l d go a b o u t e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e s e n e e d s .

79 by B i l g r a m i , 1 9 7 6 ; B r a d s h a w , 1 9 7 6 ; L u k e s , 1 9 7 6 ) . Table 2.2

i l l u s t r a t e s the basic foci, of the three views of power as d e veloped by L u k e s . A n o t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n to the c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r in terms of a s t r u c t u r a l - h i s t o r i c a l by B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . ( 1 9 7 5 , 1 9 7 6 ) . model has been made

They d e v e l o p the c o n c e p t

of m e t a - p o w e r w h i c h refers to e f f o r t s to c r e a t e and shape social r e l a t i o n s h i p s and social s t r u c t u r e s by m a n i p u l a t i n g c o m p o n e n t s of w h a t they call the " i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m " whvrcfo d e t e r m i n e s the b e h a v i o u r of the i n t e r a c t a n t s . are: These components the

(1) "The i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n -- the c o m p l e x of p o s s i b l e

a c t i o n s a v a i l a b l e to the a c t o r s in a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n , both those i m p l i c i t in a given s t r u c t u r e as well as a v a i l a b l e a l t e r natives. P o s s i b l e a c t i o n s are c o n s t r a i n e d by the physical and

social e n v i r o n m e n t , the a v a i l a b i l i t y of r e s o u r c e s , and the a c t o r s ' p e r c e p t i o n s of a v a i l a b l e a c t i o n s . " (2) "The interaction

p a y o f f s -- or o u t c o m e s t r u c t u r e -- is the a g g r e g a t e of o u t c o m e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n s or c o m b i n a t i o n s of a c t i o n s . The s t r u c t u r e of gains and losses may p r o m o t e c e r t a i n and d i s c o u r a g e o t h e r s . " actions

(3) "The a c t o r s ' a t t i t u d e s and o r i e n -

t a t i o n s toward one a n o t h e r -- i.e., their p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to to act in p a r t i c u l a r w a y s toward p a r t i c u l a r (classes o f ) a c t ors based on a c u l t u r e of n o r m a t i v e l y defined as well as e m e r gent values and o r i e n t a t i o n s among the a c t o r s " ( B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , 1 9 7 6 : 2 2 0 - 2 2 1 ) . When persons or groups e x e r c i s e m e t a - p o w e r they gain control over social r e l a t i o n s h i p s and social s t r u c t u r e s this is called relational control by B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . -Re-

TABLE 2.2 THREE DIMENSIONS OF POWER

One-Dimensional View of Power Focus on (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) behaviour decision-making (key) issues observable (overt) conflict (subjective) i n t e r e s t s , seen as policy preferences revealed by political participation

Two-Dimensional View of Power (Qualified) critique of behavioural Focus on (a) (b) (c) (d) focus

decision-making and nondecision-making issues and potential issues observable (overt and covert) conflict (subjective) i n t e r e s t s , seen as policy preferences or grievances

Three-Dimensional View of Power Critique of behavioural Focus on (a) (b) (c) (d) focus

decision-making and control over political agenda (not necessarily through decisions) issues and potential issues observable (overt and covert) and latent conf1i ct subjective and real interests

Source:

L u k e s , 1974:25

80

81 lational control as the e x e r c i s e of m e t a - p o w e r is d i s t i n g u i s h from social p o w e r . P e r s o n s having social p o w e r in an i n t e r -

a c t i o n s y s t e m have " g r e a t e r a b i l i t y than o t h e r s to s e l e c t a p r e f e r r e d o u t c o m e or to r e a l i z e ( t h e i r ) will over the o p p o s i tion of o t h e r s w i t h i n that social s t r u c t u r a l context"(1976:225)

But this does not mean that they n e c e s s a r i l y have m e t a - p o w e r or r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l . B a u m g a r t n e r , et a ! . , ( 1 9 7 6 : 2 2 5 ) d e l i n e -

ate r e l a t i o n a l control of the three i n t e r a c t i v e s y s t e m c o m p o n ents and some w a y s it may be a c c o m p l i s h e d : R e l a t i o n a l control of the i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a tion c o n s i s t s of e x e r c i s i n g p o w e r to shape the a g g r e g a t e a c t i o n and i n t e r a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s of t h e s e i n v o l v e d in the s i t u a t i o n , i.e., to r e m o v e c e r t a i n a c t i o n s from t h o s e r e p e r t o i r e s and to c r e a t e or f a c i l i t a t e o t h e r s . This may be d o n e , for e x a m p l e , by l i m i t i n g t h e i r a b i l i t y to c o m m u n i c a t e or to a s s o c i a t e w i t h one a n o t h e r . . . S t r u c t u r ing the g a i n s and losses a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n s and i n t e r a c t i o n s so as to p r o m o t e or to d i s c o u r a g e c e r t a i n i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s r e p r e s e n t s r e l a t i o n a l control w i t h r e s p e c t to i n t e r a c t i o n p a y o f f s ; for e x a m p l e , the c r e a t i o n of p a y o f f s t r u c t u r e s such as " z e r o - s u m " or " p r i s o n e r ' s d i l e m m a " to p r o m o t e c o n f l i c t i v e or c o m p e t i t i v e i n t e r e s t s . R e l a t i o n a l control c a r r i e d out w i t h r e s p e c t to o r i e n t a t i o n m i g h t entail p r o m o t i n g d i s t r u s t or an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c s e l f - i n t e r e s t i d e o l o g y or t r u s t and a social c o - o p e r a t i o n ideology. B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , also note that a c t o r s o t h e r than the d o m i n a n t a c t o r w i t h r e l a t i o n a l control may also be able to e x e r c i s e r e l a t i o n a l control in the i n t e r a c t i o n system to some e x t e n t -- even over the d o m i n a n t a c t o r . As s u c h , though an

e l i t e may be the d o m i n a n t p o w e r it may not have c o m p l e t e or d i r e c t control over social r e l a t i o n s h i p s and s t r u c t u r e s . eral f a c t o r s may c o n t r i b u t e to t h i s , the m o s t i m p o r t a n t of Sev-

82 w h i c h f o r t h e p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n is t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f s e c o n d a r y o r u n i n t e n d e d c o n s e q u e n c e s as a r e s u l t o f t h e e x e r c i s e o f relational control.

S t e v e n L u k e s ' c o n c e p t i o n of power e m p h a s i z e s the o r g a n izational and institutional levels of a n a l y s i s and the decisioneffects.

nondecision-making process which create structural B u t he d o e s n o t e l a b o r a t e on t h e p r o c e s s o f

organizational to

d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g n o r on s t r a t e g i e s w h i c h m i g h t be e m p l o y e d c r e a t e and m a n i p u l a t e s t r u c t u r a l a d v a n t a g e s .

B a u m g a r t n e r , et

a l . , fill in t h i s g a p to s o m e e x t e n t by f o c u s i n g on s t r a t e g i e s . O n e f u r t h e r c o n t r i b u t i o n to t h e s t r u c t u r a l - h i s t o r i c a l tion comes from Bernd B a l d u s . organizational concepwith

A l t h o u g h he d o e s n o t d e a l

d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g e i t h e r , he f i l l s o u t L u k e s '

a n a l y s i s , r a i s e s i s s u e s n o t c o n s i d e r e d by e i t h e r L u k e s or B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , and provides f u r t h e r i n s i g h t into the m a n n e r in w h i c h s t r u c t u r e s o f p o w e r b e h a v e . Like Lukes, Baldus

( 1 9 7 5 ) a r g u e s t h a t c o n f l i c t f r e e s i t u a t i o n s , w h e r e t h e r e is no o b s e r v a b l e b e h a v i o u r i n d i c a t i n g a g r i e v a n c e , c a n a n d m u s t be i n c l u d e d in t h e a n a l y s i s o f p o w e r -- a n d t h a t o n l y a s t r u c t u r al v i e w c a n p r o v i d e t h i s . H o w e v e r , like B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , interests"

B a l d u s does not c o n s i d e r the p r o b l e m of the "real of s u b o r d i n a t e s or their d e t e r m i n a t i o n .

Whereas Lukes conconsiders power

siders power only within the political a r e n a , Baldus p o w e r in a m o r e g e n e r a l m a n n e r .

He ( 1 9 7 5 : 1 8 0 ) d e f i n e s

as " t h e a b i l i t y of a c e n t e r u n i t to m a i n t a i n , r e p r o d u c e , or r e i n f o r c e o v e r t i m e its p o s i t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t to a p e r i p h e r y u n i t in a s t r u c t u r e o f i n e q u a l i t y of w h i c h b o t h a r e a p a r t " . He s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e e m p i r i c a l a n a l y s i s o f p o w e r m u s t ( 1 ) u t i l -

83 ize s t r u c t u r a l , n o t s u b j e c t i v e i n d i c a t o r s and ( 2 ) be d i r e c t e d to the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the c a u s a l p r o c e s s e s w h i c h determine social

t h e m a i n t e n a n c e or the c h a n g e of a p a t t e r n of s t r u c t u r a l inequality.

M o r e p a r t i c u l a r l y , it m u s t i n v e s t i g a t e the b e -

h a v i o u r of t h e u n i t s in the s t r u c t u r e of r e f e r e n c e w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e to its c o n t i n u i t y o r c h a n g e . the m a i n t e n a n c e o f a referent S u c h an a n a l y s i s treats

s t r u c t u r e as a d e p e n d e n t v a r i a b l e , The

a n d its b e h a v i o u r a l d e t e r m i n a n t s as i n d e p e n d e n t v a r i a b l e s .

l a t t e r i n c l u d e s all b e h a v i o u r w h i c h can be e m p i r i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d as c a u s a l f a c t o r s in t h e c o n t i n u i t y o f t h e s t r u c t u r e o f reference. T h i s c o m p r i s e s , a m o n g o t h e r f o r m s of b e h a v i o u r ,

b e h a v i o u r w h i c h is n o t c o n f l i c t - o r i e n t e d and b e h a v i o u r w h i c h is n o t p a r t o f a d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n c o n n e c t i n g t h e u n i t s o b served. T h e l a s t p o i n t , t h a t b e h a v i o u r w h i c h is n o t p a r t of a d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n c o n n e c t i n g t h e u n i t s o b s e r v e d s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d an i n d e p e n d e n t v a r i a b l e in m a i n t a i n i n g p o w e r s t r u c t u r e , is w h e r e B a l d u s r e a l l y g o e s b e y o n d L u k e s . As B a l d u s correctly

n o t e s , m o s t d i s c u s s i o n s of p o w e r , e x p l i c i t l y or i m p l i c i t l y a c c e p t the b a s i c d e f i n i t i o n of p o w e r as d e f i n e d by M a x W e b e r ( 1 9 6 4 ) and e l a b o r a t e d b y , a m o n g o t h e r s , Dahl ( 1 9 5 7 ) . These

d e f i n i t i o n s a r e b a s e d on s o m e f o r m of r e s i s t a n c e as p a r t of the c r i t e r i o n f o r a p o w e r r e l a t i o n s h i p to e x i s t . has a l r e a d y b e e n d i s p o s e d o f . This criterion

These definitions also consider

t h a t a p o w e r r e l a t i o n s h i p m u s t be an i n t e r a c t i v e o n e in a d i r ect sense. B u t , as B a l d u s s h o w s , d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n is n o t the

o n l y w a y u n i t s a r e c o n n e c t e d or l i n k e d in c o m p l e x s o c i a l s y s t e m s . In f a c t t h e r e a r e m a n y t y p e s of n o n - i n t e r a c t i v e r e l a t i o n s w h i c h

84 link the various parts of a social system -- and w h i c h a r e : essential to the system's f u n c t i o n i n g . In the most general sense they include cases in which a b e h a v i o u r of one unit b e c o m e s a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n for the g o a l - r e a l i z a t i o n of another even though the two do not int e r a c t . The i g n o r a n c e of the general p u b l i c , and the very a b s e n c e of any r e a c t i o n for this r e a s o n , is an essential c o n d i t i o n for the success of political c o r r u p t i o n . Such n o n i n t e r a c t i v e links are of prime i m p o r t a n c e in m a i n t a i n i n g and r e p r o d u c i n g system s t r u c t u r e s , including structured forms of social inequality. . . . (Baldus, 1975:181) T h e s e d i v e r s e , n o n - i n t e r a c t i v e r e l a t i o n s which prove to be useful to a power s t r u c t u r e in some w a y , B a l d u s terms complementary behaviour patterns. They are not caused or plan^

ned by the power s t r u c t u r e , but are " a u t o n o m o u s l y " g e n e r a t e d by p e r s o n s and groups in the peripheral e n v i r o n m e n t of the power s t r u c t u r e . U s u a l l y these b e h a v i o u r s are o r i e n t e d to a

goal of d i r e c t r e l e v a n c e to these peripheral a c t o r s but the power s t r u c t u r e finds them of use for its own p u r p o s e s . Thus

they can c o n t r i b u t e to m a i n t a i n i n g the p o s i t i o n of the power structure. The original i n t e n t i o n s of the peripheral actors

and the m e a n i n g of the b e h a v i o u r to them is of no real concern to the power s t r u c t u r e . It is only i n t e r e s t e d in the " i n s t r u -

mental utility" of the b e h a v i o u r in f a c i l i t a t i n g its own g o a l real i zati on -- whi ch goals are of quite a d i f f e r e n t nature than the a c t o r s ' g o a l s . Often the actors will not even be aware Nor does the power

that this b e h a v i o u r is c o m p l e m e n t a r y .

s t r u c t u r e n e c e s s a r i l y have to be c o n s c i o u s that it is using it. This c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r c o n t r i b u t e s to the m a i n t e n a n c e of the power s t r u c t u r e w h i l e it appears to the p e r i p h e r y that it is p u r s u i n g goals of its own c h o i c e w i t h o u t i n t e r f e r e n c e from outside.

85 C o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r is of crucial i m p o r t ance to the m a i n t e n a n c e of any c o m p l e x social s y s t e m . S i n c e it is j u d g e d only by its i d e n t i t y , it m a k e s it p o s s i b l e to o r g a n i z e b e h a v i o u r w h i c h serves the d i v e r s e p e r s o n a l goals of i n d i v i d u a l units into d i r e c t e d s c h e m e s of c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n w h o s e o b j e c t i v e need not be known to the c o n t r i b u t i n g u n i t s . In a d d i t i o n , c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r a c c r u e s to its u l t i m a t e b e n e f i c i a r y f r e q u e n t l y w i t h out any c o s t s . U n l i k e p e r i p h e r y b e h a v i o u r w h i c h r e s u l t s from p e r s u a s i v e or c o e r c i v e control, complementary behaviour represents an u n s o l i c i t e d c o n t r i b u t i o n to the c e n t e r ' s position (Baldus, 1975:191). A n o t h e r form of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r is the r e s u l t of an a d j u s t m e n t in the b e h a v i o u r of p e r i p h e r a l a c t o r s to limita t i o n s i m p o s e d upon their b e h a v i o u r . Adjustive behaviour

o c c u r s in s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e the b e h a v i o u r a n d / o r m o t i v e s of p e r i p h e r a l a c t o r s are not c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the r e q u i r e m e n t s of a p o w e r s t r u c t u r e , i.e., w i t h its m o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s . These

r e q u i r e m e n t s p l a c e limits on the b e h a v i o u r o p t i o n s a v a i l a b l e to p e r i p h e r a l a c t o r s w h o often e x p e r i e n c e them as s t r e s s f u l , depriving, frustrating. This strain is r e d u c e d by a d j u s t i n g

t h e i r b e h a v i o u r to a p a t t e r n w h i c h r e d u c e s the s t r a i n in some way and e s t a b l i s h e s c o m p a t i b i l i t y . Once c o m p a t i b i l i t y is

e s t a b l i s h e d , a d j u s t i v e b e h a v i o u r f u n c t i o n s in the same m a n n e r as c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r for the power s t r u c t u r e . From B a l d u s ' p e r s p e c t i v e , a p o w e r s t r u c t u r e , that i s , a s e c t o r in some l a r g e r social s y s t e m , is v i e w e d as a group of p e o p l e w i t h v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t s w h o o r g a n i z e in a p a r t i c u l a r way to a c h i e v e t h e m . This o r g a n i z a t i o n i t s e l f I n f l u e n c e s the The p e o p l e in the s t r u c t u r e

goals and t h e i r a c h i e v e m e n t .

m u s t m o n i t o r and make sense of their e n v i r o n m e n t in o r d e r to s e c u r e the n e c e s s a r y i n p u t s they r e q u i r e from a c t o r s in the

86 periphery. reduction. B a l d u s sees this p r o b l e m as one of c o m p l e x i t y V a r i o u s s t r a t e g i e s are a v a i l a b l e to p o w e r s t r u c -

t u r e s to be used in g a i n i n g t h e i r r e q u i r e d i n p u t s from the e n vironment. B a l d u s talks of two forms of s t r a t e g y : (1) i n t e r -

v e n t i v e control and (2) the use of c o n d i t i o n s a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g in the p e r i p h e r y w h i c h are c o m p l e m e n t a r y to the i n t e r e s t s of the p o w e r s t r u c t u r e . I n t e r v e n t i v e control s t r a t e g i e s are

t h o s e w h i c h o r i g i n a t e in the p o w e r s t r u c t u r e u s u a l l y aimed at (1) c o e r c i o n -- to p r e v e n t , r e s t r i c t , e l i m i n a t e , or c o r r e c t c o n d i t i o n s and b e h a v i o u r in the p e r i p h e r y w h i c h is p e r c e i v e d as t h r e a t e n i n g or d a n g e r o u s , or (2) s o c i a l i z a t i o n -- to c r e a t e s u p p o r t i v e b e h a v i o u r and m o t i v e s in the p e r i p h e r y and d e l e g i t i mate alternatives. The i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v -

i o u r , w h i c h o r i g i n a t e s in the p e r i p h e r y , into the c o n c e r n s of the p o w e r s t r u c t u r e is a much less " c o s t l y " c o n t r o l than i n t e r v e n t i o n for o b v i o u s r e a s o n s . strategy

B a l d u s a r g u e s that in

s y s t e m s w h i c h b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y l a r g e and c o m p l e x , p e r i p h e r y b e h a v i o u r b e c o m e s m o r e a u t o n o m o u s from s t r u c t u r e s of p o w e r , and the c o s t s of i n t e r v e n t i o n control e f f o r t s i n c r e a s e s . p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s u n d e r such c o n d i t i o n s to be s u c c e s s f u l rely m o r e upon the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y patterns. The s t r a t e g y of c o e r c i o n fits into B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . ' s r e l a t i o n a l control s c h e m e as an i n t e r a c t i o n p a y o f f or o u t c o m e , as a m e a n s of s t r u c t u r i n g the g a i n s and l o s s e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n s or i n t e r a c t i o n s . S o c i a l i z a t i o n is Thus must

behaviour

o b v i o u s l y a r e l a t i o n a l control s t r a t e g y a i m e d at s t r u c t u r i n g orientation. But the s t r a t e g y of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e -

87 mentary behaviour appears to cut across all three of B a u m g a r t n e r , et al.'s interaction system c o m p o n e n t s . It would appear to be

able to create or facilitate certain a c t i o n s , to create payoff s t r u c t u r e s , and to create o r i e n t a t i o n s . The work of L u k e s , B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , and Baldus is a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to a s t r u c t u r a l - h i s t o r i c a l c o n c e p tion of power. They each argue for an organizational or insti-

tutional level of analysis which focuses on the biasing effects of organizational structural strategies on action p o s s i b i l i t i e s , o u t c o m e s , and o r i e n t a t i o n s in situations w h e r e there may be no r e s i s t a n c e and/or direct interaction between the power structure and other actors in the system. Such a focus requires a

historical m e t h o d o l o g y which considers the process of the creat i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t , m a i n t e n a n c e , and change of power structures (which B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , term a m p l i f i c a t i o n , m o r p h o s t a s i s , and m o r p h o g e n e s i s ) . And it can utilize indicies which are both This view proposes an image

behavioural and n o n b e h a v i o u r a l .

of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l / i n s t i t u t i o n a l power structures as active on their own l e v e l . Numerous power strategies are d e l i n e a t e d .

An e s p e c i a l l y interesting strategy is the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y behaviour by power s t r u c t u r e s . Both B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , and Baldus have applied their conceptions in a brief and rudimentary manner at the institutional l e v e l . B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , examine the emergence and

rise of early c a p i t a l i s m , the d e v e l o p m e n t of e m p i r e s , the formation of the s t a t e , and processes of d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and d i s integration. Baldus (1977) utilizes his conception to analyze His analysis raises several

the rise of capitalism as w e l l .

88 a s p e c t s w h i c h will prove useful to this d i s c u s s i o n . His

a n a l y s i s a r g u e s that the t r a n s i t i o n from f e u d a l i s m to c a p i t a l ism w a s c a u s e d , in p a r t , by the i n c r e a s i n g growth and c o m p l e x ity of the social e n v i r o n m e n t during the feudal p e r i o d , e x a c e r bated by the d e v e l o p m e n t of c a p i t a l i s m as the m a j o r form of production. The feudal class was unable to cope w i t h and con-

trol this i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m p l e x and d i v e r s e e n v i r o n m e n t b e c a u s e it tended to rely on the m a i n form of social control it had u t i l i z e d -- i n t e r v e n t i v e control s t r a t e g i e s . The s u c c e s s of

the c a p i t a l i s t class in a c h i e v i n g and m a i n t a i n i n g relational control was t h a t it r e a l i z e d it was not l o n g e r n e c e s s a r y to dire c t l y i n t e r v e n e in the e n v i r o n m e n t . A u t o c r a t i c d o m i n a n t c l a s s e s had seen p e r i p h e r y d i v e r s i t y as a t h r e a t to their i n t e r e s t s and had tried to s u p p r e s s i t . The new d o m i n a n t b o u r g e o i s i e r e a l i z e d not only that this was not p o s s i b l e , but that it was not n e c e s s a r y . It was the h i s t o r i c d i s c o v e r y of the i n d i v i dual c a p i t a l i s t that he could s o l v e the a p p a r ent c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n his own i n t e r e s t s and those of an i n c r e a s i n g l y d i v e r s e p e r i phery by letting o t h e r s w o r k for him w h i l e a l l o w i n g them to p u r s u e their own personal g o a l s . It was the h i s t o r i c d i s c o v e r y of c a p i t a l i s t s as a class that this could be d o n e on a large scale and that t h e i r m e a n s and needs could be s a t i s f i e d to a large e x tent by the many s u p p o r t i v e and c o m p l e m e n t ary f e a t u r e s of d i v e r s e and a u t o n o m o u s p e r i p h e r y b e h a v i o u r , w i t h the added a d v a n t age that they m a i n t a i n e d a s e m b l a n c e of p e r i p h e r y i n d e p e n d e n c e . Seen from this p e r s p e c t i v e , the liberal " f r e e d o m s " the b o u r g e o i s i e p r o c l a i m e d as its p r o u d e s t a c h i e v e m e n t s w e r e n o t h i n g but a rational change to a m o r e e f f i c i e n t form of r u l e , or m o r e p r e c i s e l y , the c o r r e c t o r g a n i z a t i o n al r e s p o n s e to g r o w i n g system c o m p l e x i t y (Baldus, 1977:254-255). As s u c h , the use of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r in the p e r i p h e r y w a s i n c r e a s i n g l y u t i l i z e d as a control s t r a t e g y in the d e v e l o p -

89 ment of capitalism. As Baldus formulates this d e v e l o p m e n t it

is a dual opportunity structure in which both the dominant class and the members of the periphery come to "see each other i n c r e a s i n g l y as opportunity s t r u c t u r e s " . The dominant class scans the periphery for w h a t e v e r conditions are complementary to its own objectives and intervenes g e n e r a l ly only where these conditions are insufficient to meet its requirements or w h e r e pheriphery behaviour interferes with its interests. S i m i l a r l y , members of the periphery come to see the existing structure of inequality and its symbolic and ideological representations as a structure of o p p o r t u n i t i e s for the realization of their personal interests ( B a l d u s , 1 9 7 7 : 2 5 8 ) . Baldus argues that this dual opportunity structure is the foundation of liberal d e m o c r a c y , and gives the appearance of personal freedom -- that i s , a high degree of periphery independence for its members -- while obscuring the relational control of the dominant c l a s s . The notion of the dual o p p o r t u n i t y structure

is important and will be raised in the discussion of consumption One other point Baldus makes is that as corporate capitalism concentrates ownership and production in large corporate e n t e r p r i s e s , the demands of these enterprises become less diversified as when there were more c o m p e t i t o r s . The structur-

al and technological imperatives of these large enterprises require more s t a n d a r d i z e d , homogenized i n p u t s . But in the

face of an environment or periphery increasing in its d i v e r s i t y , it seems that the o p p o r t u n i t i e s for finding c o m p l e m e n t a r y patterns which will satisfy corporate goals d e c r e a s e s . "The

larger the capitalist e n t e r p r i s e , the more it tends to lose the organizational flexibility of the small c a p i t a l i s t to adapt

90 q u i c k l y to c h a n g i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s in his e n v i r o n m e n t and to t a k e a d v a n t a g e of c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o n d i t i o n s -- if n e c e s s a r y , by m o d i f y i n g his own o p e r a t i o n s . As a c o n s e q u e n c e , t h e r e is an in o r d e r At

i n c r e a s i n g t e n d e n c y to r e t u r n to i n t e r v e n t i v e c o n t r o l

to m o b i l i z e n e e d e d p e r i p h e r y b e h a v i o u r " ( B a l d u s , 1 9 7 7 : 2 6 1 ) . the general level t h i s is a p l a u s i b l e h y p o t h e s i s and it is

c l e a r l y r e l a t e d to t h e n o t i o n of B a u m g a r t n e r , et a l . , a b o u t the s e c o n d a r y o u t c o m e s or u n i n t e n d e d c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e e x e r c i s e of m e t a - p o w e r . T h i s is an i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t w h i c h w i l l be r e c o n d i t i o n s o f the a u t o m o b i l e

l a t e d to t h e c h a n g e d e n v i r o n m e n t a l

i n d u s t r y in t h e l a t e 1 9 6 0 s and 1 9 7 0 s . T h i s s e c t i o n has o u t l i n e d the b a s i c c o n c e p t i o n s s e v e r a l a u t h o r s of p o w e r as a s o c i o l o g i c a l be a n a l y z e d at t h a t l e v e l . of must

variable which

P o w e r c o n c e i v e d o f as m e t a - p o w e r

o r r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l e m p h a s i z e s the c o n s t r u c t i o n and m a n i p u l a t i o n of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and s t r u c t u r e s and t h e e f f e c t s of such a c t i o n . It is o b v i o u s t h a t s u c h f o r m u l a t i o n s are still refined

in t h e i r e a r l y s t a g e s of d e v e l o p m e n t and a r e n o t h i g h l y or c o n c e p t u a l l y e l a b o r a t e .

On the b a s i s o f t h e a b o v e d i s c u s phenomenon, that

s i o n , a d e f i n i t i o n of p o w e r as a s o c i o l o g i c a l i s , as m e t a - p o w e r , w i l l now be p r o p o s e d .

Groups, organizations,

i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l h a v e p o w e r to the e x t e n t t h a t t h e y a r e a b l e to (1) m a i n t a i n t h e i r own s t r u c t u r e s of a c t i o n , r e w a r d and o r i e n t a t i o n in a s t a b l e s t a t e in the f a c e of u n c e r t a i n changing environmental c o n d i t i o n s , or (2) a l t e r t h e i r and structure

in s u c h a w a y t h a t t h e i r f u n d a m e n t a l

i n t e r e s t s and r e l a t i o n T h i s is a c c o m -

ships are m a i n t a i n e d (functional e q u i v a l e n c e ) .

p l i s h e d by c o l l e c t i v e l y d e c i d i n g upon p a r t i c u l a r c o u r s e s of

91 a c t i o n c h o s e n from a n u m b e r of p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s w h i c h e x e r c i s e r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l w i t h r e s p e c t to (1) t h o s e p e r s o n s , g r o u p s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s , i n s t i t u t i o n s i m p o r t a n t to t h e m in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t , w h e t h e r in d i r e c t c o n t a c t or n o t , a n d / o r (2) a s p e c t s of t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h are of less r e l e v a n c e to their functioning. T h i s i s a. rel ationall c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r w h i c h is p o s e d at a level w h i c h i n c l u d e s n u m e r o u s d e n s e and c o m p l e x interac-

t i o n s , i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i n t e r d e p e n d e n c i e s , t h a t i s , social r e l a t i o n s h i p s and s t r u c t u r e s . R e l a t i o n a l c o n c e p t s are a l w a y s

d i f f i c u l t to f o r m u l a t e w i t h c l a r i t y and s p e c i f i c i t y , and are t h u s v a g u e by d e f i n i t i o n , so to s p e a k . t i o n s are p r e f e r a b l e H o w e v e r , such c o n c e p -

to the m o r e s i m p l i s t i c o n e s w h i c h w e r e

d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r w i t h t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , s u b j e c t i v e , and t h e r e b y " m e a s u r a b l e " , n o t i o n s of c a u s a l i t y . P o w e r as an e x p l a n models

a t o r y v a r i a b l e has been d e f i n e d to f i t i n t o p r e v a i l i n g of s c i e n c e w h i c h e m p h a s i z e m o n o l i n e a r c a u s a l i t y .

These defini-

t i o n s p r e s e n t a view in w h i c h p o w e r is an i n t e n t i o n of an individual (or an o r g a n i z a t i o n or i n s t i t u t i o n c o n s i d e r e d as an

i n d i v i d u a l ) w h i c h is e f f e c t e d t h r o u g h its e x e r c i s e upon o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l s (or o r g a n i z a t i o n s / i n s t i t u t i o n s ) in a d i r e c t , i m m e d i a t e m a n n e r w i t h an o b s e r v a b l e o u t c o m e s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r . If

the i n d i v i d u a l has p o w e r , the o u t c o m e is s y m m e t r i c a l w i t h the intentional input. J a m e s O g i l v y , in his c o g e n t philosophical Dimensional

a n a l y s i s of the s t r u c t u r e of m o d e r n s o c i e t y , M a n y

M a n , has d e s c r i b e d t h i s m o d e l of p o w e r in t e r m s of the m e t a p h o r of an i n d i v i d u a l p l a y i n g an o r g a n w i t h t r a c k e r a c t i o n . a p p l i e s t h i s m e t a p h o r of the K a p p e l m e i s t e r to the use of He

92 entrepreneurial power:

R e a d i n g f r o m the n o t e s on the s c o r e of his i n t e n t i o n s he p u s h e s the a p p r o p r i a t e keys t h e r e b y s e t t i n g in m o t i o n a s e r i e s of d i r e c t m e c h a n i c a l p u s h e s and p u l l s w h o s e final e f f e c t is to r e l e a s e the f o r c e of p r o l e t a r i a n b i l l o w s in p r e c i s e l y the r i g h t p i p e s at p r e c i s e l y the r i g h t i n s t a n t s . A s s u m i n g t h o s e p i p e s h a v e been t u n e d c o r r e c t l y and t h a t all is in o r d e r in the e l a b o r a t e m e c h a n i c s of the k e y e s , p e d a l s , l e v e r s and p u l l e y s that m a k e up the b u r e a u c r a c y of the S t a t e , the i n t e n t i o n s of the s i n g l e v o i c e d K a p e l l m e i s t e r will i s s u e in a rich p o l y p h o n y s u f f i c i e n t to d e l i g h t all t h o s e h u m b l e folk w h o h a v e t a k e n p a r t in the c e r e m o n y ( O g i l v e y , 1 9 7 7 : 3 0 ) . W h a t b o t h the p r e d o m i n a n t c o n c e p t i o n s of p o w e r and the m e t a p h o r of the K a p p e l m e i s t e r h a v e in c o m m o n is the a s s u m p t i o n that

s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and s t r u c t u r e s are l i t t l e m o r e than d i r e c t , mechanical i n p u t - o u t p u t p r o c e s s e s w h i c h g i v e d i r e c t , l i n e a r outinputs.

p u t s to i n t e n t i o n a l

Such s i m p l i s t i c a s s u m p t i o n s of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and a c t i o n and the s i m p l i s t i c n o t i o n s of c a u s a l i t y w h i c h they try to s a t i s f y a r e s i m p l y i n a d e q u a t e to u n d e r s t a n d i n g p o w e r and its e x e r c i s e in s o c i e t y . S t r u c t u r e s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s in m o d e r n patterns Inter-

s o c i e t y a r e \/ery i n t r i c a t e n e t w o r k s of i n t e r l o c k i n g w h i c h f o r m in O g i l v y ' s t e r m s an " e c o l o g i c a l s y s t e m " . r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i n t e r d e p e n d e n c i e s c e s s e s in w h i c h i n t e n t i o n a l

in such s y s t e m s c r e a t e p r o limited, Power

inputs are c o n s t r a i n e d ,

e v e n t r a n s f o r m e d in t h e i r m o v e m e n t s t h r o u g h the s y s t e m .

in s u c h s y s t e m s i:s less the c a p a c i t y or a b i l i t y to r e a l i z e s p e c i f i c i n t e n t i o n s than it is to l i m i t c h o i c e s to s u i t a b l e and/or render some possibilities virtually inconceivable. ranges

In w r i t i n g on the t o p i c of g e n e r a l c o n c e r n in this s t u d y -- c o r p o r a t i o n s and the m a r k e t -- O g i l v y f o r m u l a t e s the

93 p r o b l e m in a m a n n e r w h i c h r e l a t e s to the i s s u e of l e v e l s of a n a l y s i s r a i s e d by A l f o r d , E s p i n g - A n d e r s o n , et a ! . , and W h i t t e a r l i e r in this s e c t i o n , and to the d i s c u s s i o n of c o n s u m e r i s m by c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s . Ogilvy (1977:31) argues that

M a i n t a i n i n g c o n s u m e r i s m is n o t the w o r k of some s i n g l e p o w e r c o n c e i v e d on the model Consumerism of m e c h a n i c a l p u s h e s and p u l l s . is i n s t e a d the air w e b r e a t h e , the very a t m o s p h e r e m a i n t a i n e d by and m a i n t a i n i n g our e c o n o m y . An e c o l o g i c a l m e t a p h o r is far m o r e a d e q u a t e than the m a g i s t e r i a l . But in t h a t c a s e the l a n g u a g e of p o w e r is i n a p p r o p r i a t e , the logic of c y b e r n e t i c s m o r e g e r m a n e . At this l e v e l , w h i c h is the i n s t i t u t i o n a l or c l a s s l e v e l , the p r o b l e m is i n c r e d i b l y c o m p l e x and o c e a n i c in its a b i l i t y to s w a l l o w up the a n a l y s e s t h a t try to sail i t . D i s c u s s i o n s at --

this level -- w h i c h is w h e r e m o s t in this area h a v e been tend to deal w i t h the i s s u e s at a general l e v e l .

T h e y also only

t r e a t w h a t is c a l l e d in this d i s c u s s i o n r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l

in b r o a d o u t l i n e w i t h l i t t l e detail or s y s t e m a t i c a n a l y s i s at l o w e r l e v e l s of a n a l y s i s of how actual d e c i s i o n s are m a d e , w h a t a s p e c t s are c h o s e n for d e v e l o p m e n t (or n o n - d e v e l o p m e n t ) , and t h e i r e f f e c t s . level of a n a l y s i s . T h i s s t u d y will focus on the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l It will e x a m i n e actual o p e r a t i o n s of c o r c o n t e x t in o r d e r to s p e c i f y

p o r a t i o n s w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l

how d i r e c t i o n s are c h o s e n for d e v e l o p m e n t , the c o n t e n t s of t h o s e d e c i s i o n s , and t h e i r e f f e c t s by a n a l y z i n g the interaction

b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and e l e m e n t s of t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h they are a b l e to u t i l i z e in s o m e w a y . research problem follows. A s t a t e m e n t of the

94 The Research The sociological Problem

f o c u s of this d i s s e r t a t i o n is the

n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s , s p e c i f i c a l l y b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and p a t t e r n s of c u l t u r a l b e h a v i o u r in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s , the w a y corporations

r e s p o n d to or use t h e s e p a t t e r n s , and the e f f e c t s on t h e i r e n vironments. The analytical f o c u s is the r e l a t i o n s h i p between within

t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and the m a r k e t for a u t o m o b i l e s the c o n t e x t of the l a r g e r c u l t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t .

The issue se"extra

l e c t e d for a n a l y s i s is t h a t of the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n m o t i v e s " in the a u t o m o b i l e - h i g h w a y industry.

s y s t e m and the a u t o m o b i l e in t e r m s of t h e m e s associated

E x t r a m o t i v e s are o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d

of p e r f o r m a n c e , p o w e r , s p e e d , m a c h i s m o , y o u t h and

a u t o m o t i v e d e s i g n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as m a n i f e s t e d in the p e r f o r m ance subculture. The p e r f o r m a n c e s u b c u l t u r e is operationalized

as the h o t rod s u b c u l t u r e .

T h u s the r e s e a r c h p r o b l e m is the

r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and h o t r o d d i n g and its e f f e c t s on the d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e and on hot roddi n g . In e x a m i n i n g t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p the b a s i c u n i t s of a n a l y s i s will be the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s as a c o l l e c t i v e u n i t and t h e h o t rod s u b c u l t u r e as a c o l l e c t i v e u n i t . u n i t of a n a l y s i s will s h i f t to the level of i n d i v i d u a l The manu-

f a c t u r e r s in o r d e r to e x a m i n e the s p e c i f i c p a t t e r n s and a c t i o n s w h i c h c o m b i n e d to p r o d u c e the c o l l e c t i v e r e s u l t s . T h e c o n t r a s t i n g w a y s of c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the r e l a t i o n

of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y to the m a r k e t p o s e s e v e r a l w a y s of c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the i n d u s t r y and

95 hot r o d d i n g . The p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t view would suggest

that the industry would become interested in hot rodding only around the time it b e c a m e legitimized and large enough to comprise a viable m a r k e t . The nature of this r e l a t i o n s h i p would

be expected to be the reaction of a group of b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a tions to "give the public w h a t it w a n t s " , that i s , catering to a m a r k e t and in the process thereby helping to a c c e l e r a t e the growth of hot rodding. The view suggested by c o n s i d e r i n g the

a u t o m o b i l e industry as a power structure w o u l d argue that the r e l a t i o n s h i p is more complicated than this. It would suggest

that the r e l a t i o n s h i p should o r i g i n a t e at an e a r l i e r period of time when hot rodding was still a deviant b e h a v i o u r pattern in the public e y e . And it would s u g g e s t that hot rodding may be

a c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r pattern for the i n d u s t r y . Baldus ( 1 9 7 5 : 1 9 1 ) notes that " c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the m a i n t e n a n c e of inequality which o r i g i n a t e from the periphery have received virtually no a t t e n t i o n " . This study will attempt

to assess the hypothesis that hot rodding is a c o m p l e m e n t a r y cultural b e h a v i o u r pattern which the industry sometime not long after World War II. incorporated

The m a t t e r of incorpora-

tion is h y p o t h e s i z e d to be d e t e r m i n e d in its form by the structural c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n d u s t r y , while the specifics of that i n c o r p o r a t i o n are h y p o t h e s i z e d to be a r e s u l t of individual and group decision and n o n d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g w i t h i n the industry. The results of this i n c o r p o r a t i o n reflect the ability direct/develop

of the industry to s t r u c t u r e and s y s t e m a t i c a l l y

certain aspects of the physical and symbolic c o m p o n e n t s of the a u t o m o b i l e and to ignore (or develop to a lesser d e g r e e ) other

96 a s p e c t s by not b u i l d i n g them or not p r o m o t i n g them. These

h y p o t h e s e s will be e x a m i n e d a g a i n s t the h y p o t h e s i s of the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p o s i t i o n which holds that the d e v e l o p m e n t and s h a p e of the a u t o m o b i l e is a result of the free choice of a u t o n o m o u s i n d i v i d u a l s who e x p r e s s their i n t e r e s t s in the m a r k e t and to w h i c h the industry responds with a p r o d u c t w h o s e a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s is d e t e r m i n e d by the c o n s u m e r s . In o r d e r to add the needed s p e c i f i c i t y to these h y p o theses and to fill out the nature of the power s t r u c t u r e under c o n s i d e r a t i o n here it will be n e c e s s a r y to e x p l i c a t e a t h e o r e t ical f r a m e w o r k of c o r p o r a t i o n s as power s t r u c t u r e s and their r e l a t i o n s h i p to their e n v i r o n m e n t s . This will be done in the

next c h a p t e r by drawing upon the work of T a l c o t t Parsons and the l i t e r a t u r e of o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o r y , to p r e s e n t a p l u r a l i s t / functionalist model. This model will be c o n t r a s t e d w i t h an

a l t e r n a t i v e structural model which will be d e v e l o p e d in C h a p t e r Ebur. And in C h a p t e r Five,: the e n v i r o n m e n t will be c o n c e p t -

ualized in terms of the n a t u r e of the m a r k e t , the meaning of consumption.

FOOTNOTES 1 For r e p r e s e n t a t i v e w o r k s in the r e v i s i o n i s t t r a d i t i o n of the e c o n o m i c h i s t o r y of the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l to c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m , s e e , a m o n g o t h e r s , R e c e n t E c o n o m i c C h a n g e s , 1 9 2 9 ; B a r a n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 ; C h a n d l e r , 1 9 6 2 , 1 9 6 9 ; Porter, 1973; Thorp, 1924; Kirkland, 1961; Soule, 1947; (Faulkner, 1 9 6 1 ; K o l k o , 1 9 6 3 ; W i l l i a m s , 1 9 6 1 ; N o b l e , 1 9 7 7 ; Weinstein, 1968. 2 On c o r p o r a t e l i b e r a l i s m see S k l a r , 1 9 6 0 ; W e i n s t e i n , 1 9 6 8 ; W i l l i a m s , 1 9 6 1 ; G i l b e r t , 1 9 7 2 ; R a d o s h and R o t h b a r d , 1 9 7 2 ; E a k i n s , 1 9 6 6 ; I s r a e l , 1 9 7 2 ; N o b l e , 1 9 7 7 . For a c r i t i q u e of the r e v i s i o n i s t s * i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of c o r p o r a t e l i b e r a l i s m and its s i g n i f i c a n c e , see M c Q u a i d , 1 9 7 5 . 3 T h e r e is a n o t h e r g r o u p of a n a l y s t s , p r i m a r i l y e c o n o m i s t s , w h o see the s e p a r a t i o n of c o n t r o l f r o m o w n e r s h i p to m a n a g e r s b u t w h o do n o t see the r e s t r i c t i o n s on the e x e r c i s e of m a n a g e r i a l p o w e r or t h e i r a c c e p t a n c e of s o c i e t a l v a l u e s . T h e y a r g u e i n s t e a d t h a t the " m a n a g e r i a l r e v o l u t i o n " (the t i t l e of B u r n h a m ' s 1941 b o o k ) w a s the e m e r g e n c e of a new r u l i n g c l a s s w i t h i n the c o r p o r a t e s t a t e w h o w o u l d i n e v i t a b l y e x e r c i s e p o w e r in t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . T h a t i s , they a s s u m e d t h a t m a n a g e r s w o u l d act r a t i o n a l l y so as to s e r v e t h e i r own b e s t i n t e r e s t s . A m o n g t h o s e of this view t h e r e is d i s a g r e e m e n t as to how this s e l f - i n t e r e s t will be e x p r e s s e d . S o m e b e l i e v e t h a t p r o f i t - m a x i m i z a t i o n will r e m a i n a p r i m e a s p e c t ( E a r l e y , 1 9 5 7 ; B a l d w i n , 1 9 6 4 ) . O t h e r s a r g u e t h a t m a n a g e r s will act to m a x i m i z e o t h e r v a r i a b l e s w h i c h can f u l f i l l i m p o r t a n t f u n c t i o n s for t h e m b e s i d e the need for p r o f i t -- such as s a l e s r e v e n u e ( B a u m o l , 1 9 6 7 ) , g r o w t h of a s s e t s ( M a r r i s , 1 9 6 4 ) , or l o n g - r u n p r o f i t s and g r o w t h ( P e n r o s e , 1 9 5 9 ) . W i l l i a m s o n ( 1 9 6 4 ) , G o r d o n ( 1 9 6 1 ) and G a l b r a i t h ( 1 9 6 7 ) take the p o s i t i o n t h a t the a c t i o n s of m a n a g e r s w o u l d be the e x p r e s s i o n of a u t i l i t y f u n c t i o n b a s e d on s o m e c o m b i n a t i o n of f i n a n c i a l and n o n - p e c u n i a r y r e w a r d s . G a l b r a i t h in p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e v e s t h a t the r e l a t i v e i m p o r t a n c e of p e c u n i a r y r e w a r d s d e c r e a s e s as one m o v e s up m a n a g e r i a l h i e r a r c h i e s . C y e r t and M a r c h ( 1 9 6 3 ) a r g u e t h a t b e c a u s e m a n a g e r s m u s t o p e r a t e w i t h i m p e r f e c t k n o w l e d g e and u n c e r t a i n t y w i t h r e s p e c t to the o u t c o m e of t h e i r a c t i o n s , they will in p r a c t i c e seek to a c h i e v e a " s a t i s f a c t o r y " r a t h e r than t h e o r e t i c a l l y m a x i m u m level of r e t u r n . H o w e v e r , t h e s e e c o n o m i s t s s h o w l i t t l e c o n c e r n a b o u t the p o s s i b l e social c o n s e q u e n c e s of s e l f - i n t e r e s t ed m a n a g e r i a l c o n t r o l in c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s and thus will n o t be c o n s i d e r e d in the m a i n d i s c u s s i o n . T h e e x c e p t i o n s h e r e are G o r d o n and G a l b r a i t h . G a l b r a i t h ' s v i e w s will be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r in the t e x t . 97

CHAPTER 3 P L U R A L I S T / F U N C T I O N A L I S T V I E W S OF C O R P O R A T E B E H A V I O U R A N D T H E ENVIRONMENT To p r o c e e d w i t h t h i s a n a l y s i s it w i l l be n e c e s s a r y have a theoretical to

f r a m e w o r k of the nature of the o r g a n i z a t i o n -

e n v i r o n m e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p in w h i c h t h e a n a l y s i s m a y be p l a c e d . T h e d i s c u s s i o n in t h e l a s t c h a p t e r on t h e c o r p o r a t i o n a n d i t s p o w e r w a s p h r a s e d at a general level and d e a l t w i t h the p o l i t i It p r o v i d e d l i t t l e i n The discussion

cal e n v i r o n m e n t a n d e x t e r n a l c o n t r o l s .

s i g h t into the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r . t h e r e o f p o w e r as a s t r u c t u r a l

v a r i a b l e p o i n t s up t h e n e e d to entities the

h a v e a v i e w o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h s e e s t h e m as a c t i v e engaging their environments. This chapter will present

t r a d i t i o n a l p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t view of t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n e n v i r o n m e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to t h e m a r k e t . T h e l i t e r a t u r e on o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o r y w i l l be r e v i e w e d w i t h r e s p e c t to t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t s in t h e o r e t i cal v i e w s o f o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r w h i c h p r e s e n t s t h e m as be

m o r e a c t i v e in t h e i r r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s w i l l

d e s c r i b e d , in p a r t i c u l a r t h r o u g h t h e w o r k o f J a m e s D. T h o m p s o n . T h i s v i e w is c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e b a s i c a s s u m p t i o n s o f t h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t m o d e l ; b u t it a l s o s e t s t h e s t a g e f o r t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e v i e w o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s as p o w e r to b e d e v e l o p e d in C h a p t e r F o u r . structures

L a s t , a r e v i e w w i l l be p r e is

s e n t e d o f r e s e a r c h in t h e " i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s t " t r a d i t i o n w h i c h more sociological in o r i e n t a t i o n a n d e x a m i n e s t h e

relationship

b e t w e e n v a r i o u s c u l t u r a l e l e m e n t s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h 98

99 organizational variables. The P l u r a l i s t / F u n c t i o n a l i s t View of O r g a n i z a t i o n - E n v i r o n m e n t Interacti on The two basic c o n c e p t i o n s of p o w e r w h i c h have o c c u p i e d the s o c i o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e d e s c r i b e d above have had t h e i r m a j o r a p p l i c a t i o n s in the realm of p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n s at the c o m m u n i t y and national l e v e l s . For p l u r a l i s t s and f u n c t i o n a l -

ists the p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n is an a u t o n o m o u s realm to w h i c h v a r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s a n d / o r g r o u p s come to e x p r e s s their c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s and to r e c e i v e s a t i s f a c t i o n through the

a l l o c a t i o n of r e w a r d s and r e s o u r c e s in the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process. In this view the e c o n o m i c power r e p r e s e n t e d by the

c o r p o r a t e e l i t e is b a l a n c e d by the n u m e r o u s c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r s in the w i d e r s o c i e t y and the power of the s t a t e . i n s t i t u t i o n of the m a r k e t is c o n c e i v e d a n a l o g o u s l y . The

The m a r k e t

is also an a u t o n o m o u s s p h e r e in w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s e x p r e s s their needs and i n t e r e s t s w h i c h are m e t by v a r i o u s p r o d u c e r s w h o compete to p r o v i d e goods and s e r v i c e s to s a t i s f y t h o s e w a n t s . The

d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s of the m a r k e t is much the same as p o l i t i c s , w i t h the s t a t e in the same role as e i t h e r u m p i r e or arena of c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n . Here the e c o n o m i c p o w e r of the

c o r p o r a t e e l i t e is b a l a n c e d by c o n s u m e r a u t o n o m y , v a r i o u s c o u n t e r v a i l i n g g r o u p s , the s t a t e , a n d , of c o u r s e , c o m p e t i t i o n . It is also c o n s t r a i n e d by the social value s y s t e m . At the general level of theory c o n s t r u c t i o n there have been few a t t e m p t s to build m o d e l s of i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n o r g a n i z a t i o n s and the e n v i r o n m e n t . Many t h e o r i s t s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s

have until r e c e n t l y u t i l i z e d closed system m o d e l s w h i c h do not

100 i n c l u d e the e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n t e x t of o r g a n i z a t i o n s (McNeil, 1967).

1977; Perrow, 1970, 1972; Terreberry, 1968; Thompson,

T h e m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t e f f o r t in c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p is the w o r k o f T a l c o t t P a r s o n s ( 1 9 5 6 a , 1 9 5 6 b ; P a r s o n s and

S m e l s e r , 1 9 5 6 ) w h o d e v e l o p s an o p e n s y s t e m s f u n c t i o n a l i s t m o d e l . In P a r s o n s ' m o d e l of the o r g a n i z a t i o n - e n v i r o n m e n t interaction,

e c o n o m i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e s e e n as p r o v i d i n g a p r i m a r i l y a d a p t i v e f u n c t i o n for s o c i e t y , w i t h t h e i r g o a l s b e i n g established require-

e x c l u s i v e l y by the e n v i r o n m e n t in t e r m s of f u n c t i o n a l m e n t s o f s o c i e t y as a w h o l e .

T h e r a t i o n a l e and c o n t i n u e d i n -

t e g r a t i o n o f a b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e is a s s u m e d to c e n t e r on c o m m o n l y a c c e p t e d g o a l s w h i c h a r e o r i e n t e d to the of general social n e e d s . fulfillment

T h e b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n is v i e w e d roles,

as an o r g a n i z e d s y s t e m of i n t e r d e p e n d e n t and i n t e r r e l a t e d

and b e h a v i o u r in t h e s e r o l e s is c o n s t r a i n e d by v a l u e s and n o r m s . M o r e o v e r , the b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n and t h e b u s i n e s s s y s t e m of w h i c h it is a p a r t a r e r e l a t e d to t h e e c o n o m i c , s o c i a l , and c u l t u r a l s y s t e m s and are d e p e n d e n t upon t h e m f o r legitimacy.

As s u c h , t h e i n t e r e s t s and a c t i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l b u s i n e s s p e r s o n s and b u s i n e s s f i r m s , and o f e n t i r e i n d u s t r i e s , a r e a l w a y s p a t t e r n e d and c o n s t r a i n e d by the n o r m a t i v e p a t t e r n via the sanction system. T h i s m e a n s t h a t the a b i l i t y of b u s i n e s s p e r -

s o n s (at any l e v e l ) to c o n t r o l , r e d u c e , or n e u t r a l i z e the u n c e r t a i n t i e s , c o m p e t i t i o n , and c r i t i c i s m any b u s i n e s s system

f a c e s f r o m d i v e r s e p e r i p h e r a l s e c t o r s in its e n v i r o n m e n t is r e s t r i c t e d and t h e i r a u t o n o m y is k e p t to a m i n i m u m ; t h e y can m e r e ly r e a c t to c h a n g e s in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h l i t t l e a b i l i t y to i n f l u e n c e , c o n t r o l or i n i t i a t e t h e m ( s e e P a r s o n s , 1 9 5 8 ) .

101 S i m i l a r r e s t r i c t i o n s apply to the e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l role often

played by business persons and the c o r p o r a t e e l i t e ; e n t r e p r e n eurs take risks and i n n o v a t e in order to i n t r o d u c e t e c h n o l o g i c a l , m a n a g e r i a l or d i s t r i b u t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s w h i c h r e d u c e their c o s t s , and thus make the e c o n o m i c system more e f f i c i e n t . Their

a b i l i t i e s are limited by the public c o n s e n s u s not only in terms of w h a t they can i n t r o d u c e and when and how they i n t r o d u c e i t , but also in their efforts to c o n t r o l , reduce or n e u t r a l i z e the risks involved in such i n n o v a t i o n . There is a vast l i t e r a t u r e and even a journal devoted

to the study of e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l b e h a v i o u r d o m i n a t e d by the f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e -- a t e s t i m o n y to the s i g n i f i c a n c e a t t a c h e d to the e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l role in e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t . The e x a c t nature of this role varies from one t h e o r i s t to . a n o t h e r as H o s e l i t z neatly sums up: A study of e c o n o m i s t s ' opinion on e n t r e p r e neurship leads to s t r a n g e and s o m e t i m e s c o n t r a d i c t o r y r e s u l t s . Some w r i t e r s have i d e n t i f i e d e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p with the f u n c tion of u n c e r t a i n t y - b e a r i n g , o t h e r s with the c o - o r d i n a t i o n of p r o d u c t i v e r e s o u r c e s , others with the i n t r o d u c t i o n of i n n o v a t i o n s , and still others with the p r o v i s i o n of capital ( H o z e l i t z , 1 9 5 2 : 9 8 ) . The dilemma of varying e m p h a s e s in the d e f i n i t i o n of the e n t r e p r e n e u r has led to the d e f i n i t i o n of e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p in terms of e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l role b e h a v i o u r . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of

e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l role b e h a v i o u r are s u m m a r i z e d by M c C l e l l a n d (1961) as (1) r i s k - t a k i n g ; (2) e n e r g e t i c a n d / o r novel instru-

mental a c t i v i t y ; (3) individual r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; (4) k n o w l e d g e of results of actions (money as the m e a s u r e of r e s u l t s ) ; (5) a n t i c i p a t i o n of future p o s s i b i l i t i e s ; and (6) o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

102 skills. For e x a m p l e , J e n k s ( 1 9 4 9 , 1 9 5 0 ) bases his a n a l y s i s on r e q u i r e m e n t s of the b u s i n e s s unit r e g a r d e d performances,

the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

as a s y s t e m of e x c h a n g e s , a s y s t e m of p r o d u c t i v e and as an o r g a n i z a t i o n . preneurial

Thus the r e q u i r e m e n t s of the e n t r e -

role are d e t e r m i n e d w i t h i n limits by the very

n a t u r e of the b u s i n e s s on the one h a n d , and by the c o m m o n l y s h a r e d e x p e c t a t i o n s of w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s p r o p e r and b e h a v i o u r in p a r t i c u l a r r o l e s on the o t h e r . improper

He sees the b u s i -

ness firm as an o r g a n i z e d s y s t e m of i n t e r d e p e n d e n t and i n t e r r e l a t e d r o l e s , and b e h a v i o u r in t h e s e roles is c o n s t r a i n e d by v a l u e s and n o r m s . In e f f e c t , J e n k s a p p l i e s P a r s o n s ' s y s t e m

model and his a n a l y s i s of p e r s o n a l i t y to b u s i n e s s and the entrepreneurial personality.

T h o m a s C. C o c h r a n ( 1 9 4 9 ) d e v e l o p s this line of t h o u g h t f u r t h e r by v i e w i n g the c h a n g e s w r o u g h t by e n t r e p r e n e u r s as the c o n s e q u e n c e s of d e v i a n c e from e x p e c t e d r o l e s . He e x a m i n e s the

s a n c t i o n s w h i c h i m p i n g e on the role of the b u s i n e s s person and their r e l a t i v e e f f e c t i v e n e s s . In a later a n a l y s i s Cochran behaviour. values

( 1 9 6 0 ) s h i f t s his focus to an a n a l y s i s of c u l t u r a l

He p o s i t s t h a t cultural d e f i n i t i o n s are i n t e r n a l i z e d

and p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s and in " t r a d i t i o n a l " s o c i e t i e s , such as Latin A m e r i c a , act to h i n d e r e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p and hence e c o n o mic g r o w t h . S i m i l a r a n a l y s e s are given by C o c h r a n (1965), (1951),

B e l s h a w ( 1 9 5 5 ) , Landes ( 1 9 5 1 ) , Pelzel R o s t o w ( 1 9 6 6 ) , Cole ( 1 9 5 4 ) , M u r p h y

(1954), Johnson

(1966). (Passer,

E n t r e p r e n e u r s may be a n a l y z e d as i n d i v i d u a l s

1 9 4 9 ; C h a p m a n , 1 9 3 2 ; F l i n n , 1 9 5 3 ; M c L a u g h l i n , 1 9 5 4 ) or as o r ganizations (Strauss, 1944; Harbison, 1956). In e i t h e r case

103 m o s t s t u d i e s w h i c h are s e n s i t i v e to the m i l i e u in w h i c h e n t r e p r e n e u r s act u t i l i z e a f r a m e w o r k based on P a r s o n s or M c C l e l l a n d or H a g e n . E n t r e p r e n e u r s are seen as a d v e n t u r o u s , e n t e r p r i s i n g

and i n n o v a t i n g " d e v i a n t s " w h o take r i s k s , etc., in o r d e r to int r o d u c e t e c h n o l o g i c a l , m a n a g e r i a l or d i s t r i b u t i v e innovations

to r e d u c e t h e i r costs and thus m a k e the e c o n o m i c s y s t e m m o r e e f f i c i e n t and t h e r e b y help to s t i m u l a t e e c o n o m i c g r o w t h . How-

e v e r , t h e i r i n t e r e s t s are a l w a y s p a t t e r n e d and c o n s t r a i n e d by the n o r m a t i v e p a t t e r n via the s a n c t i o n s y s t e m . Their contribucontext

t i o n s to c h a n g e are u s u a l l y a n a l y z e d from an e c o n o m i c

w i t h l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to the social i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r b e haviour. (See S w e n s o n , 1 9 4 8 ; M a t h i a s , 1 9 5 7 ; R o s o v s k y , 1 9 5 4 ;

Parker, 1954; Harbison, 1956; Kahn,1955; Meyer, 1958; Cole, 1954; Cochran, 1965). The p u r i s t e x t r e m e s t a t e m e n t on the role

and i n f l u e n c e of the c o r p o r a t i o n on social life by a f u n c t i o n a l i s t is g i v e n by W a l l i c h ( 1 9 6 7 : 2 5 7 - 2 5 8 ) : The b e l i e f that the c o r p o r a t i o n has s i g n i f i c a n t l y s h a p e d our living h a b i t s is an i l l u s i o n , a n a l o g o u s to the E u r o p e a n i l l u s i o n that E u r o p e is being " A m e r i c a n i z e d " . All t h a t the U n i t e d S t a t e s has e x p e r i e n c e d , and E u r o p e a f t e r i t , are m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of r i s ing per c a p i t a i n c o m e . . . .the c o r p o r a t i o n has not g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d . . .the p r i n c i p l e a s p e c t s of A m e r i c a n living h a b i t s . In this view of e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l and c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r , t h e i r p r o d u c t i v e and m a r k e t i n g a c t i v i t i e s are g u i d e d by a c h i e v e m e n t and e f f i c i e n c y v a l u e s s u b j e c t to control and s a n c t i o n ult i m a t e l y by c o n s u m e r s w h o e x p r e s s t h e i r p o w e r t h r o u g h the m a r ket. On t h o s e few o c c a s i o n s w h e n the m a r k e t p r o c e s s is s u b v e r t -

ed or not able to w o r k e f f e c t i v e l y b e c a u s e of the n a t u r e of the p r o d u c t or some o t h e r f a c t o r then s u p p l e m e n t a r y a c t i o n may be

104 taken e i t h e r in the m a r k e t by c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r g r o u p s or by g o v e r n m e n t a l intervention. H o w e v e r the ideal w h i c h guides

p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s and m a r k e t e v a l u a t i o n s is 1ai s s e z - f a i re -the m a r k e t s h o u l d be free from " o u t s i d e " i n t e r f e r e n c e . For if

the m a r k e t m e c h a n i s m is left a l o n e the e x p r e s s i o n of d e m a n d by c o n s u m e r s on the one h a n d , and its s u p p l y t h r o u g h the comp e t i t i v e e f f o r t s of b u s i n e s s p e r s o n s on the o t h e r } w i l l set p r i c e s and u t i l i z e r e s o u r c e s in the m o s t e f f i c i e n t as well as p r o v i d i n g the g r e a t e s t a m o u n t of c o n s u m e r tion. act to manner

satisfac-

T h i s is the c o n v e n t i o n a l w i s d o m of e c o n o m i c s a n d , as

noted e a r l i e r , is the b a s i c model of p o l i t i c s as w e l l . The e x p r e s s i o n and s a t i s f a c t i o n of h u m a n needs in and t h r o u g h the m a r k e t and its c o m p e t i t i v e p r i c i n g m e c h a n i s m means

t h a t only s o c i a l l y l e g i t i m a t e n e e d s will be s a t i s f i e d and t h e s e s a t i s f a c t i o n s d i s t r i b u t e d on a w i d e and e f f i c i e n t b a s i s -of

c o u r s e , as d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e rises and s u b s i s t a n c e or p r i m a r y n e e d s are s a t i s f i e d , t h e s e n e e d s will b e c o m e m o r e w i t h " s e c o n d a r y " n e e d s and d e s i r e s . From the concerned

economists*point

of v i e w (and t h a t of the p r o d u c e r , as w e l l ) as long as the d e m a n d s e x p r e s s e d in the m a r k e t p l a c e are s o c i a l l y legitimate

t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n is l e g i t i m a t e , for the c o n s u m e r s and the m a r k e t a r e , in the s e n s e o u t l i n e d a b o v e , a l w a y s r i g h t and it is the "duty" of the p r o d u c e r to "give the p u b l i c w h a t it wants". divorced e c o n o m i c s from any j u d g m e n t on the g o o d s w i t h w h i c h it was c o n c e r n e d . Any n o t i o n of n e c e s s a r y v e r s u s u n n e c e s s a r y or i m p o r t ant as a g a i n s t u n i m p o r t a n t g o o d s w a s vigGalbraith (1958:147) comments that economists have

105 o r o u s l y e x c l u d e d from the s u b j e c t . . . N o t h i n g in e c o n o m i c s so q u i c k l y m a r k s an i n d i v i d u a l as i n c o m p e t e n t l y t r a i n e d as a d i s p o s i t i o n to r e m a r k on the l e g i t i m a c y of the d e s i r e for m o r e food and the f r i v o l i t y of the d e s i r e for a m o r e elaborate automobile. U n d e r l y i n g all of this is the i n d i v i d u a l , the c o r n e r s t o n e , so to s p e a k , of liberal d e m o c r a c y . The individual in this view

is an a u t o n o m o u s , r a t i o n a l , d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p e r s o n w h o is a b l e to o r g a n i z e , c o n t r o l and lead a p r o d u c t i v e and s a t i s f y i n g if g i v e n the p r o p e r c o n d i t i o n s . life

T h o s e a n a l y s t s w h o see o r g a n becoming

i z a t i o n s as e c l i p s i n g i n d i v i d u a l s and i n c r e a s i n g l y

the a c t o r s in s o c i e t y tend a l s o to see the c h a n g e m e r e l y as one of d e g r e e : now o r g a n i z a t i o n s are a u t o n o m o u s and rationally

p r e s e n t and p u r s u e the i n t e r e s t s of t h e i r m e m b e r s (as in c o u n t e r v a i l i n g p o w e r g r o u p s and n u m e r o u s v a r i e t i e s of e l i t e g r o u p ings). In t e r m s of e x p r e s s i n g n e e d s in the m a r k e t , i n d i v i d u a l

c o n s u m e r s and c o n s u m e r s as a c o l l e c t i v i t y are the b e s t j u d g e s of t h e i r n e e d s . T h e l a i s s e z - f a i r e m a r k e t e n s u r e s the p r o p e r which

s a t i s f a c t i o n of t h e s e n e e d s by i n s t i t u t i n g c o n d i t i o n s

m i n i m i z e the p o w e r of p r o d u c e r s and m a x i m i z e s the p o w e r of c o n sumers. T h e b a s i c a s s u m p t i o n s of this " c o n s u m e r (1976:64-65): an a c c u r a t e r e f l e c t i o n of sovereignty"

v i e w a r e o u t l i n e d by S c i t o v s k y (1)

w h a t c o n s u m e r s c h o o s e to do is

t h e i r t a s t e s , t h a t i s , t h e i r b e h a v i o u r is r e v e a l e d by t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s and v i c e v e r s a ; (2) c o n s u m e r s d e v e l o p t h e i r own t a s t e s and p r e f e r e n c e s i n d e p e n d e n t l y of t h o s e of o t h e r c o n s u m e r s ; and (3) w i t h o u t s u f f i c i e n t m e a n s to s a t i s f y all their

d e s i r e s , c o n s u m e r s m u s t " k e e p u n s a t i s f i e d m a r g i n s on all [their] n e e d s and d e s i r e s " in o r d e r to i n s u r e t h a t "any e x t r a dollar

106 [they] spend on one thing y i e l d s {them] as that extra d o l l a r w o u l d if they spent it on any other t h i n g . " The p r e d o m i n a n c e of p l u r a l i s t and s t r u c t u r a l f u n c t i o n a l i s t views in the s o c i o l o g y of o r g a n i z a t i o n s has m e a n t little a t t e n t i o n has been given to o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p o w e r . Much e f f o r t

has gone into the q u a n t i f i c a t i o n of such v a r i a b l e s as "task s t r u c t u r e " and " f o r m a l i z a t i o n " and conceptual m o d e l s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s e m p h a s i z e how o r g a n i z a t i o n s a d a p t e f f i c i e n t l y to their e n v i r o n m e n t s -- p o r t r a y i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s , as noted a b o v e , as p a s s i v e s y s t e m s "adapting to external forces and internal s t r u c t u r a l ' n e e d s ' , w i t h little i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of o r g a n i z a t i o n al d o m i n a t i o n " ( M c N e i l , 1 9 7 7 : 2 3 ) . Even the w o r k of many people

like Peter Blau and his c o l l e a g u e s who focus on s t r u c t u r e and structural variables utilizes a basically adaptive model. Thus

they focus on how systems of control flow " l o g i c a l l y " from the task s t r u c t u r e -- that is the d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r , h i e r a r c h y of o f f i c e s , official rules and r e g u l a t i o n s , control and s a n c t i o n ing m e c h a n i s m s , personnel p o l i c i e s ( B l a u , 1 9 5 7 : 5 6 ) . In this

s c h e m e there is little room for a d m i n i s t r a t i v e elites to choose among s t r a t e g i e s of c o n t r o l . T h e i r e f f o r t s w e r e d i r e c t e d to

d e v e l o p i n g a p e r s p e c t i v e of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as f u n c t i o n i n g s y s tems. In so doing they tended to study o r g a n i z a t i o n s as the

unit of a n a l y s i s but d i v o r c e d from the c o n t e x t of the w i d e r economic system. Blau h y p o t h e s i z e d that c e r t a i n structural

c o n f i g u r a t i o n s w e r e f u n c t i o n a l l y n e c e s s a r y for e f f i c i e n c y and he a t t e m p t e d to d e v e l o p " c a u s a l " a n a l y s e s which put power s t r u g g l e s w i t h i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s into a s o c i a l - p s y c h o ! o g i c a l c a t e g o r y and treated them as i n t e r v e n i n g v a r i a b l e s b e t w e e n

107 formal s t r u c t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and o u t p u t ( 1 9 5 7 : 5 6 ) . From

here it was a short step to the c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s of org a n i z a t i o n s in structural terms -- c o m p a r i n g s t r u c t u r e w i t h v a r i a b l e s like s i z e , a g e , e n v i r o n m e n t a l r e s o u r c e s , e t c . -- in abstracted

the s e a r c h for g e n e r a l i z a b l e laws of o r g a n i z a t i o n from any s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g . that o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

This is not to say

power was not a c o n c e r n of these r e s e a r c h -

e r s , but that their m e t h o d o l o g i e s p r e v e n t e d them from d e v e l o p ing r e s e a r c h s t r a t e g i e s w h i c h w o u l d e n a b l e them to e x a m i n e it. For there was an i m p l i c i t a s s u m p t i o n that s t r u c t u r e efficiency (and that e f f i c i e n c y in a d e m o c r a t i c promotes

society

benefits everyone). social-psychological

H o w e v e r , with power c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a intervening variable between structure

and e f f i c i e n c y the issue of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l blem of the s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f .

power b e c o m e s a pro-

Blau ( 1 9 7 4 : 6 3 4 ) in his p r e s i d e n just

tial a d d r e s s to the A m e r i c a n S o c i o l o g i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n

after W a t e r g a t e , said that the " c h a l l e n g e of the c e n t u r y " is to find w a y s to curb the power of o r g a n i z a t i o n s . But if the

" i n s i d i o u s " power of o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h led to the abuses of W a t e r g a t e (and to other a b u s e s by other o r g a n i z a t i o n s ) is an a t t r i b u t e of the s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f , then the p r o b l e m of d e m o new/better

c r a t i c control is a t e c h n o c r a t i c one of finding

s t r u c t u r a l a r r a n g e m e n t s w h i c h p r o m o t e s e n s i t i v i t y or spread decision-making. (For o t h e r c o m p a r a t i v e s t u d i e s using somewhat

d i f f e r e n t theoretical a p p r o a c h e s but with s i m i l a r views of the task s t r u c t u r e , see among o t h e r s , Hage and A i k e n , 1 9 6 7 ; P u g h , et a!., 1 9 6 9 ; U d y , 1 9 5 9 ; H a l l , 1 9 6 3 ) . If s t r u c t u r e is a s s u m e d to p r o m o t e e f f i c i e n c y but ir-

108 r a t i o n a l i t i e s s o m e t i m e s r e s u l t , then a c c o r d i n g to this v i e w , the " i m p r o p e r " s t r u c t u r e s w e r e i n s t i t u t e d . H o w e v e r ^ i t takes

the e x e r c i s e of p o w e r to build the s t r u c t u r e s t h a t are e f f i c i ent as well as those w h i c h are society. i n e f f i c i e n t or are a b u s i v e to

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e e l i t e s , t h i n k i n g they are being e f f i -

c i e n t may c r e a t e a v a r i e t y of " i r r a t i o n a l " c o n s e q u e n c e s through the a c t i o n s of the task s t r u c t u r e s they c r e a t e . The e x t e n t of

these i r r a t i o n a l i t i e s and the p r o b l e m s they pose for s o c i e t y will o b v i o u s l y vary w i t h o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s i z e , a g e , e t c . The

focus on the s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s of the task s t r u c t u r e can p r o v i d e c e r t a i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a b o u t the s t r u c t u r a l forms of internal e f f i c i e n c y . But it c a n n o t e x p l a i n the d i f f e r e n c e s

in p o w e r b e t w e e n , for e x a m p l e , the a c t i o n s of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and the toy i n d u s t r y . This focus on internal e f f i c -

iency and the task s t r u c t u r e i s o l a t e s the o r g a n i z a t i o n from its e n v i r o n m e n t , or at b e s t sees it as a p a s s i v e r e s p o n d e r to the e n v i r o n m e n t at its task b o u n d a r y . Of c o u r s e , o r g a n i z a t i o n s

are not p a s s i v e in many of their a t t i t u d e s and a c t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t to t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s (or parts of t h e m ) . They are

often a c t i v e and seek o u t s i d e s u p p o r t from o t h e r s o u r c e s of p o w e r in t h e i r q u e s t for e f f i c i e n c y , such as g o v e r n m e n t s u b s i d i e s , or f a v o u r a b l e legal c o d e s . T h e s e a c t i o n s help it re-

d u c e the c o m p l e x i t y and u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of its e n v i r o n m e n t . Yet by t h e o r e t i c a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l fiat such a c t i o n - o r i e n t a tion on the part of o r g a n i z a t i o n s is e x c l u d e d from c o n s i d e r a tion. M o r e o v e r , the f u n c t i o n a l i s t a s s u m p t i o n that the goals of the b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n are d e t e r m i n e d by c o n s e n s u a l

109 s o c i a l v a l u e s l e a d s to the v i e w of O r g a n i z a t i o n s as f u n c t i o n a l ly i n t e g r a t e d social u n i t s . This view stresses co-operation

and i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h i n a " w o r k i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n " d i r e c t e d to a common task. And b e c a u s e of this o r i e n t a t i o n it t r e a t s m e m b e r s

of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as p a r t s of the s y s t e m w i t h no a u t o n o m y or r a t i o n a l e of t h e i r o w n . ( P a r t l y t h i s is due a l s o to the o r g a n T h u s , it i g n o r e s

ic m e t a p h o r w h i c h i n f o r m s t h i s s y s t e m m o d e l . )

the m e m b e r s ' n e e d s and e x p e c t a t i o n s s h a p e d by the r o l e s they o c c u p y in the e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h t h e y b r i n g i n t o t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n and e x p r e s s p o l i t i c a l l y t h e r e i n ( C h i l d , 1 9 6 9 b ; H a a s and Drabek, 1973; Perrow, 1972). T h i s is n o t to say t h a t the m o d e l

c a n n o t be m o d i f i e d to i n c l u d e m o r e m e m b e r a u t o n o m y and an a c t i o n o r i e n t a t i o n w i t h i n its f r a m e . In f a c t , t h a t is w h a t has h a p -

p e n e d in a s e n s e in r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t s in o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o r y . W h i l e n o t s t r i c t l y f u n c t i o n a l i s t , the " o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n " approach shares enough assumptions with functionalism that

they a r e o f t e n t r e a t e d as t h e s a m e (for e x a m p l e , see C h a m p i o n , 1975). T h i s a p p r o a c h w i l l be d i s c u s s e d in t h e n e x t two s e c t i o n s . O r g a n i z a t i o n T h e o r y and the E n v i r o n m e n t T h e f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e has b e e n \/ery i n f l u e n t i a l n o t o n l y in s o c i o l o g i c a l c i r c l e s b u t in o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s c o n c e r n e d w i t h o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r such as p o l i t i c a l administrative science, economics, etc. science,

This multi-disciplin-

a r y i n t e r e s t in o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r has g i v e n r i s e to a b o d y of k n o w l e d g e c o m m o n l y k n o w n as o r g a n i z a t i o n a l t h e o r y w h i c h comprises the inputs from these various d i s c i p l i n e s . Combined

w i t h t h e m a n a g e m e n t i n t e r e s t in e f f i c i e n c y and c o n t r o l on the p a r t of m a n y a n a l y s t s , the f u n c t i o n a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n has h e l p e d

no
limit the focus to the internal structure and b e h a v i o u r of o r g a n i z a t i o n s by suggesting that o r g a n i z a t i o n s are systems (or s u b s y s t e m s of the larger social s y s t e m ) which are c o n s c i o u s l y designed sets of a r r a n g e m e n t s to m a i n t a i n the survival and

p r o s p e r i t y of these e n t e r p r i s e s -- which a r r a n g e m e n t s are a c c e p t a b l e and a g r e e a b l e to m e m b e r s , for in order to prosper o r g a n i z a t i o n s must be h a r m o n i o u s and i n t e g r a t e d . great concern about the q u a l i t y of the internal Thus the environment (Mayo,

of o r g a n i z a t i o n s , for e x a m p l e the human r e l a t i o n s school 1 9 3 3 , 1 9 4 5 ; Roethl isberger and D i c k s o n , 1 9 4 7 ) , m a n a g e m e n t theory ( B a r n a r d , 1 9 3 3 , 1 9 4 9 ) , e t c .

This is among the reasons

why the category of the external e n v i r o n m e n t remained u n d e v e l oped and o v e r s i m p l i f i e d for a long t i m e . Recently, organiza-

tion t h e o r i s t s have turned more attention to the external env i r o n m e n t and begun to c o n c e p t u a l i z e it and how it interacts with o r g a n i z a t i o n s . H o w e v e r , these recent efforts are still

r u d i m e n t a r y and not well developed ( D u n c a n , 1 9 7 2 ; B e n s o n , 1974) This d i s c u s s i o n will now briefly present some basic concepts of o r g a n i z a t i o n s , a few of the ways the e n v i r o n m e n t has been c o n c e p t u a l i z e d , and some views of the i n t e r a c t i o n between the two. In this l i t e r a t u r e a model has developed which replaces

the passive functional view of the r e l a t i o n s h i p with a more active o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r o l e . H o w e v e r , it still tends to focus

upon the o r g a n i z a t i o n and the effects of the e n v i r o n m e n t upon it. T a l c o t t Parsons (1956a) defines a formal organization

as a system primarily oriented to the a t t a i n m e n t of a specific g o a l , w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s an o u t p u t of the system and which is

Ill an input f o r some o t h e r s y s t e m . This view is w i d e l y a c c e p t e d

(except f o r t h e problem of o n e s p e c i f i c g o a l ) and t h e basic c o n c e p t of o r g a n i z a t i o n s is d e f i n e d in terms of i n p u t - o u t p u t production processes. Figure 3.1 s c h e m a t i c a l l y illustrates The en-

the skeletal s t r u c t u r e of an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s y s t e m .

v i r o n m e n t is thus known to o r g a n i z a t i o n s at their input and output boundaries. A r r o w s coming into a s y s t e m r e p r e s e n t i n This

put a n d a r r o w s going o u t o f a s y s t e m r e p r e s e n t o u t p u t .

s c h e m a t i z a t i o n s shows only o n e - w a y d i r e c t i o n a l i t y and d e p i c t s e n e r g i c inputs (for e x a m p l e , personnel a n d m a t e r i a l s ) and output (for e x a m p l e , p r o d u c t ) . I n f o r m a t i o n a l inputs a r e n o t so T h e r e a r e many

easy to c o n c e p t u a l i z e ( T e r r e b e r r y , 1 9 6 8 ) .

types o f inputs and o u t p u t s -- w h i c h a r e of no c o n c e r n h e r e .

FIGURE 3.1 S T R U C T U R E OF O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L SYSTEM

ystem Boundary

.1
Input

L
I

Internal
Transformation " Output i

F u n d a m e n t a l to o r g a n i z a t i o n s as s y s t e m s a r e their b o u n d a r i e s . The w a y in w h i c h o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b o u n d a r i e s have been d e s c r i b e d has shown a d e g r e e of u n c e r t a i n t y . The empirical determination

of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b o u n d a r i e s has p r e s e n t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e d i f f i -

112 culty. It is very misleading to conceive of them in any s i m p l e , More r e a l i s t i c a l l y , they are a compoThere are

sharp and single line.

site " s e m i - p e r m e a b l e m e m b r a n e " (Goffman, 1 9 6 1 ) .

varying degrees of mutual permeation between o r g a n i z a t i o n s and their environments along several fronts and at several o r g a n i zational l e v e l s . The empirical clarity with which boundaries

can be established will differ with the various components entering into interchange with the e n v i r o n m e n t . For e x a m p l e ,

outputs such as materials and products enter and leave o r g a n i zations at d i s c r e t e , recognizable points both physically and in terms of o w n e r s h i p . In c o n t r a s t , the m u l t i p l e roles and

overlapping commitments held by the various members of organizations renders the empirical distinction of an o r g a n i z a t i o n al boundary extremely tenuous in their case ( S c h e i n , 1 9 6 5 : 8 9 ) . Haas and Drabek (1973:18) define organizational boundaries in terms of frequency and content of i n t e r a c t i o n , but note that "depending upon the analysts's i n t e r e s t , boundaries may be drawn at different places for different a n a l y s e s . The organ-

ization may be viewed as a dependent and/or independent variable in different types of a n a l y s i s . " They distinguish such

analytical boundaries from "normative b o u n d a r i e s " which are based upon the normative definitions of m e m b e r s . As n o t e d , the e n v i r o n m e n t has not been well conceptualized in organization theory. Few intensive analyses of

organizational environments have been made to date (but see S t i n c h c o m b e , 1 9 6 5 ; T h o m p s o n , 1 9 6 7 ; Lawrence and L o r s h , 1 9 6 9 ) . The e n v i r o n m e n t has often been treated as a residual c a t e g o r y , that i s , as everything not contained within o r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

113 and d e f i n i t i o n s are s u b s e q u e n t l y p l a t i t u d i n o u s , c o m p a r a b l e to the c o n c e p t i o n s used in the general v e r n a c u l a r . For e x a m p l e ,

Litterer ( 1 9 6 5 : 4 2 2 ) says that "by e n v i r o n m e n t we mean that portion of the world external to the o r g a n i z a t i o n with which it comes in c o n t a c t " . S i m i l a r l y , Hawley (1950:12) states that

" e n v i r o n m e n t is a generic concept under which are subsumed all external forces and factors to which an o r g a n i z a t i o n or a g g r e gate of o r g a n i z a t i o n s is actually or p o t e n t i a l l y responsible".

T h o m p s o n (1967:27) likewise views the term e n v i r o n m e n t as referring "to everything e l s e " . Recent efforts to come to terms definitions

with the e n v i r o n m e n t have recognized that these

are too a b s t r a c t and a m b i g u o u s , and thus i m p o s s i b l e to m e a s u r e . F i r s t , it is obvious that the e n v i r o n m e n t cannot be c o n c e p t u a l ized e x c e p t with respect to some focal o r g a n i z a t i o n ( s ) or organizational c o m p o n e n t s ) . This means that the e n v i r o n m e n t

must be treated as a q u a s i - i n d e p e n d e n t domain because of the i n t e r a c t i o n or transactional i n t e r d e p e n d e n c i e s between organS e c o n d , the conception of

izations and their e n v i r o n m e n t s .

e n v i r o n m e n t at a high level of abstraction as "everything e l s e " poses it as u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d and a l 1 - e n c o m p a s s i n g with no way of a s c e r t a i n i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s between the elements that compose it. T h i r d , such a conception assumes that everything

outside o r g a n i z a t i o n s is in concert and uniformly exerting influence upon them and thus provides no way to specify linkages

and r e l a t i o n s h i p s between elements or to begin to analyze s o u r c e s , d i r e c t i o n s , m a g n i t u d e s , and shapes of e f f e c t s . Gil-

lespie and Kim (1974) have proposed a definition of o r g a n i z a tional e n v i r o n m e n t which meets the above criteria and is

114 a c c e p t a b l e to this d i s c u s s i o n . They d e f i n e the environment

as "a set of m a t e r i a l and social c o n d i t i o n s c o m p r i s e d of nume r o u s , d i s c o n t i n u o u s l y , n o n r a n d o m v a r y i n g e l e m e n t s w h i c h may be o b s e r v e d to p r o d u c e or r e c e i v e an e f f e c t f r o m the e x i s t e n c e of an o r g a n i z a t i o n " ( G i l l e s p i e and K i m , 1 9 7 4 : 1 0 - 1 1 ) . H o w e v e r , as Gi 11 espi e .and Kim r.i ghtly n o t e ,. def ini tions are only useful w i t h r e s p e c t to some f r a m e w o r k w h i c h how the d e f i n i t i o n a l c o n t e n t is to be l o o k e d a t . organizes

In the l i t e r -

a t u r e , w o r k s w h i c h i n c o r p o r a t e some or a n o t h e r a s p e c t of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l e n v i r o n m e n t s have been a p p e a r i n g for o v e r two d e c a d e s ; they c o n t i n u e to be p r o d u c e d s y s t e m a t i c a l l y by a d i v e r s e of a n a l y s t s using a v a r i e t y of p e r s p e c t i v e s (Rubenstein group and

Haberstroh, 1960:2; Stinchcombe, 1965:143; Hall, 1972:49-50). As a c o n s e q u e n c e , t h e r e is a lack of c o n s e n s u s r e g a r d i n g a f r a m e w o r k for i n t e r p r e t i n g the i n t e r p l a y b e t w e e n and t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s . organizations

T h e v a r i a b l e s c h o s e n and t h e i r t h e o r -

etical s t a t u s have v a r i e d c o n s i d e r a b l y a c c o r d i n g to i n d i v i d u a l t a s t e s and b e c o m e a m a t t e r of s u b j e c t i v e d e b a t e ( G r o s s , 1 9 7 0 : 506). H o w e v e r , t h e r e is one area w h e r e t h e r e has been consid-

e r a b l e t h e o r e t i c a l a g r e e m e n t and a g r e a t deal of r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d on v a r i o u s a s p e c t s . ment. T h a t area is the c u l t u r a l environthat

From a f u n c t i o n a l i s t p o i n t of view it is a s s u m e d

c u l t u r a l e l e m e n t s " s u p e r c e d e and o r d e r the r e l a t i o n s among the other environmental f a c t o r s " and m e d i a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e organization

tween the n u m e r o u s v a r i a b l e s in both e n v i r o n m e n t and

C r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s and o r t h o d o x M a r x i s t s w o u l d a g r e e that c u l t u r al e l e m e n t s m e d i a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s but a r g u e t h a t t h e s e elements

m u s t be e x a m i n e d in t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l m o m e n t s and in r e l a t i o n

115 to the m a t e r i a l / p r o d u c t i v e base upon which they ultimately depend. In any e v e n t , there has been a great deal of research struc-

on the impact of cultural elements upon organizational

ture and behaviour -- especially by the so-called institutional school (Perrow, 1 9 7 2 ) . The sociological concern of this

study is with the relationship between particular cultural behaviour patterns and organizational behaviour. But instead of

the impact of culture on o r g a n i z a t i o n , the interest is with the manner in which values and experience are used by organizations and the effects on the e n v i r o n m e n t . Only a few of the recent efforts at conceptualizing the environment will be dealt with here based on relevancy for the topic under analysis. Many variables at many levels of William

the environment have been singled out as important.

Dill has proposed a view of the environment which limits the variables considered to those in the immediate or "task" environment. The task environment denotes those parts of the envir-

onment which are "relevant or potentially relevant to goal setting and goal attainment" (Dill, 1 9 5 8 : 4 0 9 ) . His study of two

Norwegian firms found their task environments to be composed of four major sectors: (1) customers (both distributors and

u s e r s ) ; (2) suppliers of m a t e r i a l s , l a b o u r , c a p i t a l , e q u i p m e n t , and work space; (3) competitors for both markets and resourc-

e s ; and (4) regulatory g r o u p s , including governmental a g e n c i e s , u n i o n s , and interfirm a s s o c i a t i o n s . The components of the When

task environment may be persons or other o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

the focus is on other organizations in the environment which make a difference to the focal o r g a n i z a t i o n , the other o r g -

116 a n i z a t i o n s m a y be c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as an o r g a n i zati on set ( E v a n , 1966). T a s k e n v i r o n m e n t s a r e e x t r e m e l y v a r i a b l e in t e r m s of

the c o m p o s i t i o n of the m a j o r s e c t o r s w i t h r e s p e c t to any o r g a n i z a t i o n -- no two a r e i d e n t i c a l . O t h e r u s e f u l e f f o r t s h a v e a t t e m p t e d to c l a s s i f y the e n v i r o n m e n t in t e r m s of v a r i a t i o n s in d e g r e e o f i n t e r d e p e n d e n c i e s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t i t s e l f . Dill d i s t i n g u i s h e d s e v e r a l dimen-

s i o n s of e n v i r o n m e n t a l v a r i a n c e :

homogeneous-heterogeneous, Emery

s t a b l e or r a p i d l y s h i f t i n g , and u n i f i e d or s e g m e n t e d .

and T r i s t ( 1 9 6 5 ) h a v e p o s t u l a t e d f o u r "ideal t y p e s " of e n v i r o n m e n t b a s e d on the d e g r e e of " s y s t e m c o n n e c t e d n e s s " t h a t e x i s t s a m o n g the c o m p o n e n t s of the e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e f i r s t t y p e of

e n v i r o n m e n t is a " p l a c i d , r a n d o m i z e d " e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the r e l a t i v e s t a b i l i t y of s o - c a l l e d g o o d s and b a d s f o r t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n and w h i c h a r e r a n d o m l y d i s t r i b u t e d . T h e s e c o n d t y p e is a " p l a c i d , c l u s t e r e d " e n v i r o n m e n t w h e r e i n the g o o d s and b a d s a r e r e l a t i v e l y u n c h a n g i n g in t h e m s e l v e s but clustered. E m e r y and T r i s t a r g u e t h a t t h i s t y p e of e n v i r -

o n m e n t c h a r a c t e r i z e d the e a r l i e s t f o r m a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s to a p p e a r in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s (in a g r i c u l t u r e , r e t a i l constructive, mining). trade,

I m p o r t a n t i n p u t s , s u c h as n a t u r a l r e -

s o u r c e s and l a b o u r , as w e l l as c o n s u m e r s , c o m p r i s e d an e n v i r o n m e n t in w h i c h s t r a t e g i e s of o p t i m a l l o c a t i o n and d i s t i n c t i v e competence were critical organizational responses. They (1965:

2 9 ) n o t e t h a t two i m p o r t a n t a t t r i b u t e s of p l a c i d - c l u s t e r e d environments are: (1) the e n v i r o n m e n t is i t s e l f n o t f o r m a l l y

o r g a n i z e d ; and (2) t r a n s a c t i o n s a r e l a r g e l y i n i t i a t e d and c o n t r o l l e d by t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n . T h e t h i r d t y p e is the " d i s t u r b e d -

117 r e a c t i v e " e n v i r o n m e n t , a s i g n i f i c a n t q u a l i t a t i v e c h a n g e over s i m p l e r types of e n v i r o n m e n t . Htire the s i g n i f i c a n t feature

is s i m i l a r types of o r g a n i z a t i o n s in the f i e l d . T r i s t argue that d e v e l o p m e n t s in t r a n s p o r t a t i o n in c o m m u n i c a t i o n and a u t o m a t e d t e c h n o l o g i e s that

Emery and technology, increased

e c o n o m i e s of scale gave rise to this type of e n v i r o n m e n t in w h i c h o l i g o p o l i s t i c c o n d i t i o n s m e a n t that s i m i l a r formal org a n i z a t i o n s became i m p o r t a n t actors in an organi zation'-sr f i el d . T h e s e other o r g a n i z a t i o n s are r e s p o n s i v e to its a c t i o n s a n d m u s t be r e s p o n s i v e to t h e i r s . The critical organizational sequenit

r e s p o n s e now involves c o m p l e x o p e r a t i o n s , r e q u i r i n g

tial choices based on the c a l c u l a t e d actions of o t h e r s , and c o u n t e r a c t i o n s (Emery and T r i s t , 1 9 6 5 : 2 5 - 2 6 ) . The fourth and The t u r b u -

last type of e n v i r o n m e n t is the " t u r b u l e n t f i e l d " .

lence d e r i v e s from the field itself and not m e r e l y from the i n t e r a c t i o n s of c o m p o n e n t s ; the combined e f f e c t s of the actions of c o m p o n e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s and linked sets of them "are both p e r s i s t e n t and strong enough to induce a u t o c h t h o n o u s in the e n v i r o n m e n t " ( 1 9 6 5 : 2 6 ) . processes

T u r b u l e n c e is c h a r a c t e r i z e d in

by c o m p l e x i t y and rapid change of causal i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s the e n v i r o n m e n t .

The c o n d i t i o n s of such an e n v i r o n m e n t are

a m u l t i t u d e of other formal o r g a n i z a t i o n s and these become inc r e a s i n g l y the m a r k e t , the s u p p l i e r of m a t e r i a l , l a b o u r , and c a p i t a l , as well as sources of r e g u l a t i o n for an o r g a n i z a t i o n . Emery and T r i s t i l l u s t r a t e the transition from a d i s t u r b e d r e a c t i v e to a t u r b u l e n t field with the case of a company that

had m a i n t a i n e d a steady 65 p e r c e n t of its m a r k e t for its main p r o d u c t -- a canned v e g e t a b l e -- for many y e a r s . The firm

118 made an e n o r m o u s i n v e s t m e n t in a n e w , a u t o m a t e d factory that was set up e x c l u s i v e l y for the traditional p r o d u c t and technology at the end of the second World W a r . But at the same

time p o s t w a r controls on steel strip and tin w e r e r e m o v e d , so that c h e a p e r cars were a v a i l a b l e ; i m p o r t e r s w e r e able to obtain s u r p l u s crops more c h e a p l y ; the d i v e r s i t y of a v a i l a b l e p r o d u c t s i n c r e a s e d , including s u b s t i t u t e s for the s t a p l e ; the q u i c k - f r e e z e t e c h n o l o g y was d e v e l o p e d ; home buyers b e c a m e more a f f l u e n t ; s u p e r m a r k e t s emerged and placed bulk orders with small firms for retail under s u p e r m a r k e t n a m e s . These

c h a n g e s in t e c h n o l o g y , i n t e r n a t i o n a l t r a d e , and a f f l u e n c e of buyers g r a d u a l l y i n t e r a c t e d and u l t i m a t e l y had a p r o n o u n c e d e f f e c t on the company -- its m a r k e t dwindled r a p i d l y . Emery

and Trist ( 1 9 6 6 : 2 4 ) note that "the changed texture of the env i r o n m e n t was not r e c o g n i z e d by an able but traditional m a n a g e m e n t until it was too l a t e . " Emery and Trist s u g g e s t that this ideal type scheme is an e v o l u t i o n a r y model of the changing e n v i r o n m e n t s of o r g a n i zations in m o d e r n s o c i e t i e s . This h y p o t h e s i s has been more

f o r m a l l y proposed by T e r r e b e r r y who m a r s h a l l s some e v i d e n c e to show that m o d e r n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l e n v i r o n m e n t s are i n c r e a s i n g l y t u r b u l e n t and that this e v o l u t i o n a r y process "has resulted in the r e p l a c e m e n t s of i n d i v i d u a l s and informal groups by organizations as actors in the social system" ( T e r r e b e r r y , 1 9 6 8 : 6 0 1 ) . T h e s e a r g u m e n t s and c o n c e p t i o n s fill out B a l d u s 1 a n a l y s i s of the i n c r e a s i n g diversity of the p e r i p h e r y . They also s u p p o r t

the approach to c o r p o r a t i o n s as actors taken in this study. E n v i r o n m e n t s which are h e t e r o g e n e o u s , rapidly s h i f t i n g , d i s -

119 t u r b e d , t u r b u l e n t , d i v e r s e all add up to c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h d i f f i c u l t f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s to deal w i t h in s t r i c t l y t e r m s , f o r t h e r e a r e l i m i t s to o r g a n i z a t i o n a l no n e c e s s a r y r a t i o n a l i t y to e n v i r o n m e n t a l are

rational but

rationality

conditions.

This about

c r e a t e s u n c e r t a i n t y and r i s k in o r g a n i z a t i o n a l w h i c h c o u r s e of a c t i o n to f o l l o w .

decisions

These notions have been taken unknowabi1ity

up by a g r o u p of a n a l y s t s w h o use u n c e r t a i n t y a n d

as k e y s to d e f i n i n g e n v i r o n m e n t s and d e v e l o p f r o m t h e r e t h e b a s i s f o r a new m o d e l of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l behaviour.

O r g a n i z a t i o n s in A c t i o n T h e w o r k of H e r b e r t A. S i m o n ( 1 9 5 7 a ) , J a m e s M a r c h a n d S i m o n ( 1 9 5 8 ) , and R i c h a r d C y e r t and M a r c h ( 1 9 6 3 ) has b e e n t h e b a s i s f o r a n e w c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h t h e e n v i r o n m e n t . behaviour

They begin with the con-

c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as c o m p l e x , u n c e r t a i n , and o n l y p a r t i a l l y k n o w a b l e . Organizations faced

with such environments have only a limited capacity for gathering a n d p r o c e s s i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and p r e d i c t i n g the of a l t e r n a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s . In o r d e r to deal w i t h consequences environment-

al c o m p l e x i t y , o r g a n i z a t i o n s m u s t d e v e l o p w a y s and m e a n s f o r s e a r c h i n g and l e a r n i n g a b o u t t h e e n v i r o n m e n t , as w e l l as f o r m a k i n g d e c i s i o n s a b o u t w h a t a c t i o n s to t a k e . Organizations

f a c i n g e n v i r o n m e n t s so c o m p l e x t h a t t h e y w o u l d be o v e r w h e l m e d if t h e y f a c e d t h e m f u l l y , h a v e g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y in d e f i n i n g t h e i r s i t u a t i o n if t h e y try to a c h i e v e m a x i m u m e f f i c i e n c y in their actions. Simon (1957b) argues that organizations must their

s e t l i m i t s to t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n s of s i t u a t i o n s and m a k e

120 d e c i s i o n s in t e r m s of a b o u n d e d r a t i o n a l i t y ; they m u s t m a k e d e c i s i o n s on the b a s i s of s a t i s f i c i n g r a t h e r t h a n m a x i m i z i n g . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , o r g a n i z a t i o n s are v i e w e d as p r o b l e m f a c i n g and p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g p h e n o m e n a . T h e f o c u s is on o r g a n -

i z a t i o n a l p r o c e s s e s w h i c h are r e l a t e d to c h o i c e s a b o u t c o u r s e s of a c t i o n in an e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h c a n n o t be f u l l y a s s e s s e d as to the o u t c o m e s of the v a r i o u s a l t e r n a t i v e s a v a i l a b l e to t h e m . J a m e s D. T h o m p s o n n n his i m p o r t a n t b o o k , O r g a n i z a t i o n s in A c t i o n , has a p p l i e d t h e s e ideas of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as c o p i n g w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y to an o p e n s y s t e m s a p p r a o c h . He (1967:10)

d e f i n e s " c o m p l e x o r g a n i z a t i o n s as o p e n s y s t e m s , h e n c e i n d e t e r m i n a t e and f a c e d w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y , b u t at the s a m e t i m e s as s u b j e c t to c r i t e r i a of r a t i o n a l i t y and h e n c e n e e d i n g d e t e r m i n a t e n e s s and c e r t a i n t y " . T h e m a j o r p r o b l e m for o r g a n i z a t i o n s

is u n c e r t a i n t y ; the m a j o r p r o b l e m for a d m i n i s t r a t o r s is c o p i n g with uncertainty. Administrators must translate abstract gen-

eral c r i t e r i a such as p r o f i t m a x i m i z a t i o n into s p e c i f i c c r i t e r i a for u n i q u e m a n a g e m e n t s i t u a t i o n s ; t h a t i s , they m u s t develop a rational calculation which provides some measure of a s s e s s i n g t h e i r i n d e t e r m i n a n t e n v i r o n m e n t s . m u s t be a b l e to c o n d u c t t h e i r b u s i n e s s Organizations

"precisely, unambigu-

o u s l y , c o n t i n u o u s l y and w i t h as m u c h s p e e d as p o s s i b l e " and a c c o r d i n g to c a l c u l a b l e r u l e s " w i t h o u t r e g a r d for p e r s o n s " ( W e b e r in G e r t h and M i l l s , 1 9 4 6 : 2 1 5 ) . T h i s n e e d is t r a n s l a t e d

i n t o v a r i o u s s t r a t e g i e s d e s i g n e d to s t a b i l i z e the u n p r e d i c t a b l e and u n c e r t a i n e n v i r o n m e n t s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s . This trans-

l a t i o n is m a d e p o s s i b l e by the use of v a r i o u s m o d e s of c a l c u l a t i o n or a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r a t i o n a l i t i e s ( W e b e r ) or o r g a n i z a t i o n -

121 al r a t i o n a l i t i e s (Thompson).

T h e p r o c e s s of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n m a y be t h o u g h t of as p r o v i d i n g b o u n d a r i e s w i t h i n w h i c h o r ganizational rationality becomes possible. In this v i e w a d m i n i s t r a t i o n is m e r e l y the d e f e n s i v e a b s o r p t i o n or b l o c k a g e of u n c e r certainty. Administration includes a more aggressive co-alignment aspect which keeps the o r g a n i z a t i o n at a n e x u s of s e v e r a l n e c e s s a r y s t r e a m s of a c t i o n . B o u n d e d r a t i o n a l i t y i n v o l v e s n o t o n l y the r e d u c t i o n of c o m p l e x i t y by the e l i m i n a t i o n of u n c e r t a i n ty or p r o v i s i o n of c e r t a i n t y e q u i v a l e n t s , but a l s o the i n c o r p o r a t i o n w i t h i n the a r e n a f o r a c t i o n of the v a r i a b l e s n e c e s s a r y f o r purposive action (Thompson, 1 9 6 7 : 1 6 2 ) . T h i s v i e w is c e r t a i n l y c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the v i e w s p r e s e n t e d in

the l a s t c h a p t e r on the n a t u r e and a c t i o n of p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s . H o w e v e r , as will be i l l u s t r a t e d , it l a c k s a s e n s e of s t r u c t u r e , a n d as s u c h is c o m p a t i b l e w i t h a p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t tation . In k e e p i n g w i t h the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l organizational model in F i g u r e involves 3.1 orien-

r a t i o n a l i t y , a c c o r d i n g to T h o m p s o n ,

the t h r e e m a j o r c o m p o n e n t a c t i v i t i e s :

(1) i n p u t a c t i v i t i e s ;

(2) t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l , t h a t i s , t e c h n o l o g i c a l , a c t i v i t i e s ; and (3) o u t p u t a c t i v i t i e s . T h e s e c o m p o n e n t a c t i v i t i e s a r e not o n l y

i n t e r d e p e n d e n t , b u t b o t h i n p u t and o u t p u t a c t i v i t i e s are i n t e r d e p e n d e n t w i t h e l e m e n t s in the e n v i r o n m e n t . "Organizational logic

r a t i o n a l i t y , t h e r e f o r e , n e v e r c o n f o r m s to c l o s e d s y s t e m

b u t d e m a n d s t h e l o g i c of an o p e n s y s t e m " ( T h o m p s o n , 1 9 6 7 : 2 0 ) . B e c a u s e the t e c h n o l o g y of m a n u f a c t u r i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s l i k e the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y is v e r y c o s t l y and s i n g l e p u r p o s e , such o r g a n i z a t i o n s will t e n d , it is p r o p o s e d , to i n s u l a t e technological cores from environmental influences. their Thompson --

d e s c r i b e s f o u r s t r a t e g i e s to a c c o m p l i s h t h i s :

(1) b u f f e r i n g

122 the a b s o r p t i o n of e n v i r o n m e n t a l i n f l u e n c e s by stockpiling training,

m a t e r i a l s and s u p p l i e s , p r e v e n t i v e m a i n t e n a n c e , and and i n d o c t r i n a t i o n o f p e r s o n n e l

on the i n p u t s i d e ; on t h e o u t distributor involves means and and --

p u t s i d e by m a i n t a i n i n g w a r e h o u s e i n v e n t o r i e s ,

i n v e n t o r i e s , o f i t e m s in t r a n s i t ; (2) l e v e l l i n g -e f f o r t s to r e d u c e e n v i r o n m e n t a l as s p e c i a l inducements

fluctuations through such

in s l o w p e r i o d s ; ( 3 ) a n t i c i p a t i o n

a d a p t a t i o n -- a l l o w s o r g a n i z a t i o n s to p r e p a r e f o r c h a n g e i n c o r p o r a t e it i n t o t h e i r o p e r a t i o n s ; a n d ( 4 ) r a t i o n i n g e s t a b l i s h i n g a system of p r i o r i t i e s for a l l o c a t i n g under adverse conditions.

capacity

T h o m p s o n ' s w o r k is r i c h in t h e o r e t i c a l numerous strategies ( s t a t e d in p r o p o s i t i o n a l

description

of

form) organiza-

t i o n s m a y u s e to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t y and c o m p l e x i t y in o r d e r to gain a m o d i c u m of control over their e n v i r o n m e n t s . no n e e d to d i s c u s s all o f t h e m h e r e . There is only One and

For p r e s e n t purposes

t h o s e r e l e v a n t to t h e a n a l y s i s at h a n d w i l l be m e n t i o n e d . o f t h e m a j o r t h e m e s o f his w o r k is o r g a n i z a t i o n a l coping

m u c h o f his a t t e n t i o n is d i r e c t e d to t h e r e s p o n s e of o r g a n i z a t i o n s to e n v i r o n m e n t a l c h a n g e a n d its e f f e c t s on organizationfocus

al a d a p t a b i l i t y and goal s t r u c t u r e .

Within this major

Thompson notes that administrators are continually t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s , e v a l u a t i n g c h a n g e s t h e r e i n , and u p o n an a p p r o p r i a t e r e s p o n s e . that best meets organizational and s e c u r i t y .

monitoring deciding

A n a p p r o p r i a t e r e s p o n s e is o n e demands for a u t o n o m y , p r e s t i g e ,

O r g a n i z a t i o n s r e s p o n d by a c t i n g on t h e i r e n v i r As s u c h , with

o n m e n t s so as to try to e x p a n d t h e s e d i m e n s i o n s .

a d m i n i s t r a t o r s a r e c o n t i n u a l l y i n v o l v e d in n e g o t i a t i o n s

123 a s p e c t s of their e n v i r o n m e n t . Thompson (1967:29) emphasizes

t h a t they seek to e n g i n e e r new s t a t e s of c o n s e n s u s r e g a r d i n g expectation sets for both o r g a n i z a t i o n a l m e m b e r s and for

o t h e r s w i t h w h o m they i n t e r a c t , " a b o u t w h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n will and will not d o " . In this m a n n e r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l response

is an a c t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n p r o c e s s m u c h of it a i m e d at m a n i p u l a ting e x p e c t a t i o n sets held by e n v i r o n m e n t a l s e c t o r s in o r d e r to m a i n t a i n or e x p a n d e x i s t i n g l e v e l s of a u t o n o m y , p r e s t i g e , and s e c u r i t y . But the e x p e c t a t i o n s T h o m p s o n talks a b o u t are " d o m a i n c o n s e n s u s " , that i s ,

only t h o s e of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

e x p e c t a t i o n s " a b o u t w h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n will and will not d o " Haas and D r a b e k have d i a g r a m m e d the p r o c e s s of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r e s p o n s e in F i g u r e 3.2. will not be c o m m e n t e d o n . This model is s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and

T h e r a n g e of c o p i n g b e h a v i o u r , as

d i s c u s s e d by Haas and D r a b e k ( 1 9 7 3 : 2 8 6 - 2 9 1 ) will be l i s t e d , also w i t h o u t f u r t h e r c o m m e n t : (1) t o l e r a t i o n ; (2) d e l a y i n g

t a c t i c s ; (3) s m o k e s c r e e n s ; (4) d i s m i s s a l ; (5) c o n d e m n a t i o n ; (6) c o - o p t a t i o n ; (7) o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b i r t h ; (8) o r g a n i z a t i o n a l d e a t h ; and (9) s e l f - r e n e w a l . I m p o r t a n t for this d i s c u s s i o n is the n o t i o n of p o w e r held by T h o m p s o n and o t h e r s in this new o r i e n t a t i o n . Power

in this v i e w , as in the s t r u c t u r a l v i e w s , is a r e l a t i o n a l c o n cept. The p o w e r of o r g a n i z a t i o n s often d e t e r m i n e s w h a t kinds Haas

of o t h e r r e l a t i o n s they will have w i t h the e n v i r o n m e n t .

and B r a b e k ( 1 9 7 3 : 2 1 0 - 2 1 4 ) list four of t h e s e o t h e r r e l a t i o n s : (1) r e s p o n s i v e n e s s ; (2) a c t i v i s m ; (3) o p p o r t u n i s m ; and (4) s e c u r i t y and b e n e v o l e n c e . A key v a r i a b l e in the d e t e r m i n a t i o n

of p o w e r is the d e g r e e of i n d e p e n d e n c e b e t w e e n o r g a n i z a t i o n s

FIGURE 3.2 FACTORS IN RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Environmental Change

Monitored and Interpreted by Organizational Incumbance

Degree of Perceived Interdependence with Environmental Unit

Strain Pattern

Survey Options

Coping Behaviour

Source:

Haas and Drabek, 1973:287 124

125 and their task e n v i r o n m e n t s . Thompson ( 1 9 6 7 : 3 0 - 3 1 ) argues

Since the d e p e n d e n c e of an o r g a n i z a t i o n on its task e n v i r o n m e n t introduces not only constraints but also c o n t i n g e n c i e s , both of which interfere with the a t t a i n m e n t of r a t i o n a l i t y , we would expect o r g a n i z a t i o n s subject to norms of rationality to a t t e m p t to manage d e p e n d e n c e . . . d e p e n d e n c e can be seen as the obverse of p o w e r . Thus an o r g a n i z a t i o n has p o w e r , relative to an element of its task e n v i r o n m e n t , to the extent that the o r g a n i z a t i o n has capacity to satisfy needs of that e l e m e n t and to the extent that the o r g a n i z a t i o n m o n o p olizes that c a p a c i t y . Thompson notes that this c o n c e p t i o n of power has several a d v a n t a g e s . It specifies power as the result of p a r t i c u l a r

r e l a t i o n s h i p s between o r g a n i z a t i o n s and e l e m e n t s of their task environments. Thus it does not see power as a generalized

a t t r i b u t e o.f o r g a n i z a t i o n s and focuses on "net p o w e r " as m a n i fested in a set of o r g a n i z a t i o n - e n v i r o n m e n t relationships.

A n o t h e r a d v a n t a g e , a c c o r d i n g to Thompson, is that this view is not z e r o - s u m : two o r g a n i z a t i o n s can both become increasingly inter-

powerful with respect to one another and this increasing d e p e n d e n c e may increase net p o w e r . tions .

This is the basis of c o a l i -

It is clear that this view of power is limited to relations of direct i n t e r a c t i o n and has little concern for external structural e f f e c t s . The direct interaction increases the enorganization, discussion One

v i r o n m e n t ' s potential to control the focal Thompson argues.

This is illustrated by T h o m p s o n ' s

of s t r a t e g i e s w h e r e b y o r g a n i z a t i o n s may " a c q u i r e " power. strategy is c o m p e t i t i o n :

power over the e n v i r o n m e n t may be

gained by acquiring p r e s t i g e ; power of the e n v i r o n m e n t may be

126 m i n i m i z e d by m a i n t a i n i n g a l t e r n a t i v e s o u r c e s , t h a t i s , by " s c a t t e r i n g " its d e p e n d e n c e . T h e o t h e r s t r a t e g i e s are all

f o r m s of c o - o p e r a t i o n : c o n t r a c t i n g , c o - o p t i n g , and c o a l e s c i n g . Each of t h e s e i n v o l v e e x c h a n g e s in an i n c r e a s i n g o r d e r of m a g n i t u d e and t h u s the o p p o r t u n i t y for the e n v i r o n m e n t to t a k e p a r t in d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g and goal f o r m a t i o n a l s o i n c r e a s e s . T h o m p s o n ' s m o d e l of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as a c t i v e o p e n s y s t e m s is a m o s t useful d e v e l o p m e n t . As in his d e l i n e a t i o n of

n u m e r o u s s t r a t e g i e s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s may use u n d e r v a r y i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l and i n t e r n a l c o n d i t i o n s to deal w i t h H o w e v e r , his view of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p o w e r is very uncertainty. limited;

e s p e c i a l l y in its lack of s t r u c t u r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and its r e s t r i c t i o n to d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n i n v o l v i n g e x c h a n g e . More-

o v e r , he t a l k s a b o u t the a c t i v i t i e s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s in the e n v i r o n m e n t b u t does n o t e x a m i n e the n a t u r e of the e f f e c t s or c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h o s e a c t i o n s on the e n v i r o n m e n t -- he looks o n l y at the r e s u l t s for o r g a n i z a t i o n s . The Institutional School

O n e open s y s t e m s t r a d i t i o n w h i c h has c o n s i d e r e d s t r u c tural e f f e c t s is t h a t of the " i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s t s " ( P e r r o w , 1 9 7 2 ) B a s i c a l l y f u n c t i o n a l i s t in o r i e n t a t i o n this t r a d i t i o n examines

o r g a n i z a t i o n s h o l i s t i c a l l y to c h a r t the " n a t u r a l h i s t o r y " of the i n t e r c h a n g e b e t w e e n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n , g u i d e d by the o r g a n i c m e t a p h o r . T h i s m e t a p h o r p r o v i d e s such

n o t i o n s as g r o w t h , d e c l i n e , e v o l v i n g w h o l e , e t c . , and a l s o the p r o b l e m s of u n p l a n n e d a d a p t a t i o n s and c h a n g e s . These latter Given

p r o b l e m s are p r e d o m i n a n t c o n c e r n s in this t r a d i t i o n .

127 the f u n c t i o n a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n it is n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the e n v i r o n m e n t a l e l e m e n t s m o s t o f t e n s i n g l e d out are c u l t u r a l conditions. Many a n a l y s e s f o c u s on the m a n n e r by w h i c h c u l t u r -

al c o n d i t i o n s in the e n v i r o n m e n t i n f l u e n c e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r o c e s s e s in such a w a y t h a t the v a l u e s and g o a l s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s are w e a k e n e d or s u b v e r t e d and they m u s t a d a p t t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l a r r a n g e m e n t s in o r d e r to h a r m o n i z e w i t h the c h a n g e d c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s or e l s e go out of e x i s t e n c e . As o r g a n i z a -

t i o n s a d a p t to t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s , t h e i r a c t i o n s m o d i f y t h e i r b a s i c s t r u c t u r e s and " p e r s o n a l i t y " . T h i s is the s t r u c t u r a l

d i m e n s i o n in t h e s e a n a l y s e s -- t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n s have " c h a r a c t e r s " b a s e d on t h e i r v a l u e s and g o a l s and the s t r u c t u r a l p a t t e r n s d e s i g n e d to a c c o m p l i s h t h e m . T h i s c h a r a c t e r is a l s o

s h a p e d by the h i s t o r y of p a s t a d a p t i v e r e s p o n s e s to c h a l l e n g e s and d e m a n d s from the e n v i r o n m e n t . A l t h o u g h the e n v i r o n m e n t is

m u c h d i s c u s s e d in this l i t e r a t u r e , the c o n c e p t r e m a i n s u n a n a l yzed. O n l y a few r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s t u d i e s will be r e v i e w e d h e r e . P h i l l i p S e l z n i c k ' s ( 1 9 4 9 ) s t u d y of the T e n e s s e e V a l l e y A u t h o r i t y ( T V A ) is a c l a s s i c in this t r a d i t i o n . The TVA was

a federally funded, locally administered organization established f u n d a m e n t a l l y to p r o d u c e e l e c t r i c p o w e r , f e r t i l i z e r , and to c o n t r o l f l o o d i n g ; b u t a l s o to m a i n t a i n and e x t e n d f o r e s t s and help poor f a r m e r s d e v e l o p r e c r e a t i o n a r e a s . Selznick found

t h a t the v e s t e d i n t e r e s t s of the local a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , the land g r a n t c o l l e g e s , and t h e i r v a l u e c o m m i t m e n t s to c o n s e r v a t i o n g r o u p s at the local and n a t i o n a l l e v e l s w e r e o p p o s e d to m a n y TVA p o l i c i e s . A " t h r e a t " w a s c r e a t e d to w h i c h the TVA a d m i n -

i s t r a t o r s had to a d a p t in o r d e r to s u r v i v e as an o r g a n i z a t i o n .

128 One r e s p o n s e to t h i s t h r e a t w a s the c o - o p t i n g of r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the c o n s e r v a t i v e g r o u p s by i n v i t i n g t h e m to serve various decision-making positions. in

As a r e s u l t the o r g a n i z a -

t i o n a l goal of h e l p i n g p o o r f a r m e r s w a s n e g l e c t e d w h i l e the g o a l s d e v e l o p e d w e r e t h o s e f a v o u r i n g big b u s i n e s s and big f a r m ing. B u t c o n g r e s s i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n to the TVA w a s m i n i m i z e d . the

And t h o s e h u r t by the d i s p l a c e m e n t of the o r i g i n a l g o a l s --

p o o r f a r m e r s - - w e r e u n a b l e to m o u n t e f f e c t i v e c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s . M e s s i n g e r ' s ( 1 9 5 6 ) s t u d y of the T o w n s e n d M o v e m e n t , an o r g a n i z a t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d d u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n to p r o v i d e w e l f a r e a s s i s t a n c e to the a g e d t h r o u g h a r a d i c a l e c o n o m i c p l a n , f o u n d t h a t a loss of l e g i t i m a c y a f t e r the d e p r e s s i o n resulted

in the o r g a n i z a t i o n c h a n g i n g its g o a l s in o r d e r to c o n t i n u e its e x i s t e n c e . G u s f i e l d ' s ( 1 9 5 5 ) s t u d y of the W o m a n ' s Christian

T e m p e r a n c e U n i o n ( W C T U ) f o u n d , in c o n t r a s t , t h a t a loss of v a l u e l e g i t i m a c y led to a s h i f t in the g o a l - o b j e c t , r a t h e r than a c h a n g e in the o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s g o a l s p e r s e . The Townsend Move-

m e n t g a v e up the task of c a r i n g for the a g e d , and i n v e n t e d the new g o a l s of f r i e n d s h i p and the p r o d u c t i o n of p a t e n t m e d i c i n e s . T h e W C T U o n l y s h i f t e d its m o r a l r e c l a m a t i o n g o a l s f r o m " p o o r d e m o r a l i z e d d r i n k e r s " to the " d e m o r a l i z e d " u p p e r c l a s s . Many

o t h e r s t u d i e s h a v e b e e n c o n d u c t e d in t h i s v e i n ( C l a r k , 1 9 6 0 ; P e r r o w , 1 9 6 1 ; S c o t t , 1 9 6 7 ; N o n e t , 1 9 6 9 ; Zald and D e n t o n , 1 9 6 3 ; D e m e r a t h and T h i e s s e n , 1 9 6 6 ; L i p s e t , et a l . , 1 9 5 6 ) . A n o t h e r g r o u p of s t u d i e s h a v e e x a m i n e d the i m p o r t a n c e of c u l t u r a l v a l u e s for s h a p i n g the s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r of organizations. Michel Crozier's (1964) important w o r k , The

B u r e a u c r a t i c P h e n o m e n o n , s h o w s a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s , the m a n n e r

129 in w h i c h the values of i n d i v i d u a l i s m and e q u a l i t a r i a n i s m in F r e n c h c u l t u r e are r e p r o d u c e d in p u b l i c s e r v i c e bureaucracies

by the d e v e l o p m e n t of an e x t e n s i v e set of formal rules and r i t u a l s w h i c h p r o t e c t i n d i v i d u a l s from p r o b l e m s of a u t h o r i t y c o n f l i c t s and d e p e n d e n c e upon personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s . s i m i l a r vein A b e g g l e n In a

( 1 9 5 8 ) c o m p a r e d the c l o s e c o r r e s p o n d -

ence b e t w e e n the v a l u e s and b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s in the c u l t u r e s and the s t r u c t u r e s of i n d u s t r i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s in J a p a n and the U n i t e d S t a t e s . The i n f l u e n c e of p r e v a i l i n g c u l t u r a l b e -

h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s on a w o m e n ' s p r i s o n was s t u d i e d by Rose Gial l o m b a r d o ( 1 9 6 6 ) . She found t h a t there w a s a p a t t e r n of

a d a p t a t i o n by w o m e n in the p r i s o n w h i c h took the form of an i n f o r m a l social s t r u c t u r e w h i c h f u l f i l l e d m a n y p h y s i c a l e m o t i o n a l needs not m e t by the formal s t r u c t u r e . and

This s t r u c -

ture w a s a h i e r a r c h y of roles w h o s e d e f i n i t i o n s w e r e l a r g e l y d i c t a t e d by the n o r m a t i v e s t a n d a r d s in the l a r g e r s o c i e t y . H o w e v e r , h o m o s e x u a l i t y , n o r m a l l y d e f i n e d as d e v i a n t on the o u t s i d e , w a s r e d e f i n e d in this s t r u c t u r e as l e g i t i m a t e (if

it w a s p r a c t i c e d in the c o n t e x t of d e v e l o p i n g a s i g n i f i c a n t and e m o t i o n a l l y s a t i s f y i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n the two w o m e n ) b e c a u s e t h e r e w e r e no o p p o r t u n i t i e s to d e v e l o p normal h e t e r osexual relationships. W o m e n not p a r t i c i p a t i n g in h o m o s e x u a l (For o t h e r s t u d i e s

b e h a v i o u r w e r e a s c r i b e d a lower s t a t u s .

of p r i s o n s , see C r e s s e y , 1 9 5 8 ; S y k e s , 1 9 5 8 ; on r e f o r m s c h o o l s , see Z a l d , 1 9 6 0 ; S t r e e t , et a ! . , 1 9 6 6 ; on mental see P e r r o w , 1 9 6 5 ; G o f f m a n , 1 9 6 1 ) . hospitals,

T h u s , a l t h o u g h very c o n c e r n effects,

ed w i t h the e n v i r o n m e n t and m o r e a t t u n e d to s t r u c t u r a l

the p r o b l e m s w i t h this t r a d i t i o n are the same as those of the

130 functionalist approach. And the basic p r o b l e m is that they

do not c o n s i d e r the u t i l i z a t i o n of cultural v a r i a b l e s by org a n i z a t i o n s in ways to m a i n t a i n or s t r e n g t h e n their p o s i t i o n s nor the e f f e c t s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s on their e n v i r o n m e n t s . ( 1 9 7 2 : 2 0 3 ) stated the c r i t i c i s m as f o l l o w s : This s c h o o l , a l m o s t alone among those we have c o n s i d e r e d , has taken the e n v i r o n m e n t s e r i o u s ly and tried to u n d e r s t a n d the o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to it. No neat conceptual s c h e m e s have e m e r g e d ; it is a vastly m o r e c o m p l e x p r o b l e m than u n d e r s t a n d i n g the internal w o r k i n g or o r g a n i z a t i o n s . But a g a i n , I have argued that the school has led us a s t r a y . It has seen the o r g a n i z a t i o n as a d a p t i v e to and d e p e n d e n t upon the e n v i r o n m e n t . It has not c o n s i d e r e d the o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y , w h i c h , for i m p o r t a n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s in our s o c i e t y , is at least equally p o s s i b l e : that the e n v i r o n m e n t has to a d a p t to the o r g a n i z a t i o n . Summary This c h a p t e r has e x a m i n e d : (1) the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n Perrow

a l i s t model of o r g a n i z a t i o n - e n v i r o n m e n t i n t e r a c t i o n ; (2) its a p p l i c a t i o n to c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in the m a r k e t p l a c e ; (3) its c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the m a r k e t e n v i r o n m e n t ; (4) some c o n c e p tions of the e n v i r o n m e n t drawn from o r g a n i z a t i o n theory; theory; describes

(5) the p r e d o m i n a n c e of f u n c t i o n a l i s m in o r g a n i z a t i o n (6) the d e v e l o p m e n t of a model of o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h

them as m o r e a c t i v e in their r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their e n v i r o n m e n t s ; (7) the role of cultural variables on o r g a n i z a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r and s t r u c t u r e . The m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e and n o t e w o r t h y model of o r g a n i z a t i o n - e n v i r o n m e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s is the one d e v e l o p e d by Talcott Parsons. In P a r s o n s ' model o r g a n i z a t i o n s are a n a l y z e d

as s u b s y s t e m s of the larger social system that are related to

131 this e n v i r o n m e n t in terms of t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o w a r d i n s t i t u t i o n a l m a i n t e n a n c e and s u r v i v a l . When a p p l i e d to b u s i n e s s

and c o r p o r a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n s the r e l a t i o n s h i p is c o n c e p t u a l i z e d in t e r m s of the f u l f i l l m e n t of a p r i m a r i l y a d a p t i v e f u n c t i o n for s o c i e t y . C o r p o r a t e goals are e s t a b l i s h e d e x c l u s i v e l y by require-

e n v i r o n m e n t a l r e q u i r e m e n t s , t h a t i s , the f u n c t i o n a l m e n t s of s o c i e t y as a w h o l e .

C o r p o r a t e l e g i t i m a c y as well as

c o r p o r a t e r a t i o n a l e and i n t e g r a t i o n are a s s u m e d to c e n t e r on c o m m o n l y a c c e p t e d v a l u e s and goals w h i c h are o r i e n t e d to the f u l f i l l m e n t of general social n e e d s . In this model c o r p o r a t i o n s are b a s i c a l l y p a s s i v e , a d a p tive and d e p e n d e n t upon the e n v i r o n m e n t , e s p e c i a l l y the c o m m o n value system. It f o l l o w s t h a t the m a r k e t is v i e w e d as an in-

s t i t u t i o n , like the p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n , w h e r e the c o m m o n v a l u e s y s t e m r e c e i v e s e x p r e s s i o n t h r o u g h the a g g r e g a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l l y f o r m u l a t e d d e m a n d s for goods and s e r v i c e s . The

role of c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s is to r e s p o n d to t h e s e d e m a n d s by s u p p l y i n g a p p r o p r i a t e g o o d s and s e r v i c e s w h i c h s a t i s f y t h o s e demands. The m a r k e t is p o p u l a t e d by i n d i v i d u a l s w h o are a u t o -

n o m o u s and r a t i o n a l , and w h o f o r m u l a t e t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s and t a s t e s i n d e p e n d e n t l y from t h o s e of o t h e r s . The m a r k e t o p e r a t e s

as an a u t o n o m o u s i n s t i t u t i o n w h e r e i n the r a n g e of f r e e l y forme d , f r e e l y e x p r e s s e d p r e f e r e n c e s and t a s t e s of i n d i v i d u a l s b a l a n c e each o t h e r and d e t e r m i n e by w e i g h t of d e m a n d the m o s t e f f i c i e n t (for s o c i e t y ) a l l o c a t i o n of r e s o u r c e s , p r i c e l e v e l s , and a r r a y of goods and s e r v i c e s . As noted in the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , p o w e r in this model is c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a s y s t e m r e s o u r c e . C o r p o r a t e p o w e r is

132 t h e r e f o r e e x e r c i s e d to a c c o m p l i s h social values and goals as d e t e r m i n e d by the m a r k e t . C o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r is c o n t r o l l e d

by the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the common value s y s t e m in c o r p o r a t e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s and s t r u c t u r e s . State i n t e r v e n t i o n and c o u n t e r proves

v a i l i n g powers exert external control if s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n a d e q u a t e in certain a r e a s .

The i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the common

value system results in the e s t a b l i s h m e n t and m a i n t e n a n c e of a set of unified goals w i t h i n c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s w h i c h are a c c e p t e d by m e m b e r s over and above their personal objectives.

The model of c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n is s y m e t r i c a l w i t h the model of the l a r g e r social s y s t e m of w h i c h it is a subsystem. Organizational and c o r p o r a t e p o w e r ^ w h i l e not e x a c t -

ly i g n o r e d , have not been m a j o r research topics in p a r t b e c a u s e of the t h e o r e t i c a l biases of the c o n c e p t i o n of power and s t r u c ture i n this model . In this m o d e l , the e n v i r o n m e n t is not well defined b e y o n d its e m p h a s i s on cultural v a r i a b l e s . The l i t e r a t u r e on differentiations

o r g a n i z a t i o n theory was r e v i e w e d and several

p r e s e n t e d based upon the types of c o m p o n e n t s in the e n v i r o n m e n t , such as those in the task e n v i r o n m e n t , and upon the d e g r e e o f s y s t e m c o n n e c t e d n e s s among c o m p o n e n t s of the e n v i r o n m e n t , chara c t e r i z e d as p l a c i d - r a n d o m i z e d , p l a c i d - c l u s t e r e d , r e a c t i v e , and t u r b u l e n t f i e l d . disturbed-

These latter a s p e c t s have come

to be d e f i n e d in terms of d e g r e e of u n c e r t a i n t y faced by o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h must a c c o m p l i s h certain goals in p a r t i c u l a r environments. The work of S i m o n , March and C y e r t b u i l t upon this

c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the e n v i r o n m e n t to create a new model of organizational behaviour. This model e m p h a s i z e d the l i m i t a -

133 tions of organizational r a t i o n a l i t y in t h e f a c e o f e n v i r o n m e n t s Organizations

which were not fully knowable nor p r e d i c t a b l e . a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d h e r e as p r o b l e m - f a c i n g a n d

problem-solving based

entities which make decisions about courses of action upon satisficing criteria rather than m a x i m i z a t i o n James T h o m p s o n ' s work placed this new model open s y s t e m s p e r s p e c t i v e and d e v e l o p e d a view of

criteria. i n t o an

organizations their

as a c t i v e , r a t h e r t h a n p a s s i v e , in t h e i r i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h environments. In h i s v i e w , o r g a n i z a t i o n s

in t h e f a c e o f an u n -

c e r t a i n and c h a n g i n g e n v i r o n m e n t m o n i t o r and a n a l y z e their s i t u a t i o n a n d d e v i s e c e r t a i n s t r a t e g i e s to n e u t r a l i z e , d e f l e c t a n d o v e r c o m e , g a i n p o w e r o v e r e l e m e n t s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t in o r d e r to a c c o m p l i s h t h e i r g o a l s . This model is a s i g n i f i c a n t

d e v e l o p m e n t in o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o r y .

It d e v e l o p s a s e n s i t i v i t y organizations

to s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s s u c h as t e c h n o l o g y w i t h i n

a n d a v i e w o f p o w e r w i t h i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h is a l s o s e n s i t i v e to s t r u c t u r e by f o c u s i n g on t h e c o n t r o l o f d e c i s i o n p r e mises. H o w e v e r , its f u n c t i o n a l i s t a s s u m p t i o n s l i m i t its v i e w i n t e r a c t i o n with the e n v i r o n m e n t . elements

of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

The functionalist model emphasizes cultural

in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t , e s p e c i a l l y v a l u e s , as t h e p r i m e d e t e r m i n ants of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r . The model has

a very limited c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of power and social

structure.

P o w e r is v i e w e d as a s y s t e m r e s o u r c e a n d i t s e x e r c i s e is m o n o c a u s a l in t h e s e n s e t h a t s y s t e m g o a l s a r e i n t e n t i o n a l l y ized d i r e c t l y and e f f e c t i v e l y t h r o u g h social s t r u c t u r e s . realIn

this view o r g a n i z a t i o n s are the passive instruments of c u l tural i n t e n t i o n s . T h o m p s o n ' s m o r e a c t i v e i m a g e of o r g a n i z a -

134 t i o n s s t i l l t e n d s to e m p h a s i z e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a d a p t a t i o n to

e n v i r o n m e n t a l u n c e r t a i n t y in t e r m s o f t h e a l t e r a t i o n o f g o a l s , s t r u c t u r e s , and b e h a v i o u r s to a l i g n w i t h c h a n g i n g conditions.

W h i l e s e n s i t i v e to o r g a n i z a t i o n a l e f f o r t s to a l t e r the e n v i r o n m e n t , t h e s e e f f o r t s c a n n o t be d e s c r i b e d or a n a l y z e d ly b e c a u s e t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f p o w e r f o c u s e s o n l y u p o n of d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n and is r e s t r i c t e d to t y p e s o f succinctsituations interaction

b a s e d on e x c h a n g e ( c o m p e t i t i o n ) or s o m e f o r m o f c o - o p e r a t i o n -- all of w h i c h e m p h a s i z e t h e a b i l i t y of e n v i r o n m e n t a l to e x e r c i s e p o w e r or to i n f l u e n c e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l making. elements

decision-

M o r e o v e r , o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a c t i o n s and i n t e r a c t i o n s in manner

t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a r e n o t a n a l y z e d in a v e r y s o c i o l o g i c a l

b e c a u s e s t r u c t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s a r e n o t c o n s i d e r e d at t h a t l e v e l . L a s t , some of the research was reviewed which examined

t h e i n t e r a c t i o n s o f c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s in t h e e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h organizational variables. M o s t of t h i s w o r k h a s b e e n d o n e by Basically

t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l s c h o o l of o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o r y .

f u n c t i o n a l i s t in o r i e n t a t i o n , t h i s r e s e a r c h has f o c u s e d on r e l a t i v e l y trivial and i n s i g n i f i c a n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s . v a r i a b l e s a r e f o u n d to h a v e g r e a t i m p a c t u p o n l e g i t i m a c y , g o a l s , s t r u c t u r e , and b e h a v i o u r . Cultural

organizational In o r d e r to s u r -

v i v e in c h a n g i n g c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s o r g a n i z a t i o n s m u s t r e s p o n d , a d a p t , a n d r e s t r u c t u r e t h e m s e l v e s to f i t t h e n e w conditions. environmental large

S u c h a l i m i t e d f o c u s has n o t c o n s i d e r e d

scale organizations like corporate business enterprises which a r e a b l e to c o n t r o l s i g n i f i c a n t e l e m e n t s of t h e i r and to w h i c h t h o s e e l e m e n t s m u s t a d a p t . environment

The next chapter will

consider corporations from a sociological perspective which

135 b u i l d s upon the o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n m o d e l b u t is s e n s i tive to s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s and h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t at the organizational level. The pluralist/functionalist assump-

t i o n s w i l l be c o n t r a s t e d w i t h this v i e w as to s p e c i f i c c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in the m a r k e t such as a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t development.

CHAPTER 4 C O R P O R A T E P O W E R S T R U C T U R E S AND THE ENVIRONMENT as

T h i s c h a p t e r will p r e s e n t a view of c o r p o r a t i o n s p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s w h i c h e x e r c i s e v a r i o u s t y p e s of control over their environments.

relational

It will be n o t e d t h a t m a n y

analyses which argue that corporations have a significant deg r e e of p o w e r are l i m i t e d by the t r a d i t i o n a l p o w e r they u t i l i z e . conceptions of

The n e o - M a r x i s t a r g u m e n t of c a p i t a l i s t consumerism control ex-

c l a s s d o m i n a t i o n and the e x e r c i s e o f p o w e r t h r o u g h will be c o n s i d e r e d as a d e s c r i p t i o n e r c i s e d by c o r p o r a t e e l i t e s . of r e l a t i o n a l

A d i s c u s s i o n of

corporations Industrial

as p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s b a s e d upon G a l b r a i t h ' s T h e New S t a t e will be p r e s e n t e d .

G a l b r a i t h ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of c o r p o r a t e

s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r r e m a i n s one of the b e s t a v a i l a b l e in the l i t e r a t u r e . His a n a l y s i s r u n s a c o u n t e r to the He a r g u e s t h a t traditional

a p p r o a c h to c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n .

corporations processes

m u s t be c o n s i d e r e d as m o r e than s i m p l e i n p u t - o u t p u t in w h i c h i n t e n t i o n s are r e a l i z e d d i r e c t l y . structures* The

technological

and the g o a l s and p l a n s of c o r p o r a t i o n s are i m p o r t Galbraith's

a n t f a c t o r s to be c o n s i d e r e d in a n a l y z i n g the m a r k e t .

d i s c u s s i o n of the i n t e r a c t i o n of t h e s e f a c t o r s will be c o n s i d ered in s o m e d e t a i l . A l s o g i v e n c o n s i d e r a t i o n will be

G a l b r a i t h ' s a n a l y s i s of c o r p o r a t e s t r a t e g i e s to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t y and risk in the c o n s u m e r m a r k e t , e s p e c i a l l y and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t . advertising

He c o n s i d e r s t h e s e e f f o r t s so e f f e c of

t i v e t h a t c o n s u m e r d e m a n d a c t u a l l y c o m e s u n d e r the control 136

137 the c o r p o r a t i o n s . He c a l l s t h i s p r o c e s s t h e " r e v i s e d sequence"

or " d e m a n d m a n a g e m e n t " . e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l

F r o m t h e m e t a - p o w e r v i e w , t h i s is the control.

C o r p o r a t i o n s as P o w e r S t r u c t u r e s O r g a n i z a t i o n s are by d e f i n i t i o n s o c i a l l y constructed

s y s t e m i c s t r u c t u r e s o r i e n t e d to a p u r p o s e or a n u m b e r of p u r poses. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t , m a i n t e n a n c e , and c h a n g e of o r g a n i z a -

t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s is d e p e n d e n t upon b o t h the m a t e r i a l and s o c i o c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s of t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n t e x t . The envir-

o n m e n t is a " c a u s a l t e x t u r e " ( E m e r y and T r i s t , 1 9 6 5 ) w h i c h s t r u c t u r e s t h e p a t t e r n e d w a y s o r g a n i z a t i o n s m a y o r i e n t to and i n t e r a c t w i t h e l e m e n t s in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s . But organizations structured

a l s o a c t on t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s and b e c a u s e t h e y a r e

p a t t e r n s of a c t i o n t h e y p l a c e l i m i t s and c o n s t r a i n t s u p o n the a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s of e n v i r o n m e n t a l e l e m e n t s . To the e x t e n t

t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n s h a v e p o w e r ( m e t a - p o w e r ) t h e y w i l l be a b l e to (1) m a i n t a i n t h e i r o w n s t r u c t u r e s o f a c t i o n , r e w a r d and o r i e n t a t i o n in a s t a b l e s t a t e in t h e f a c e o f u n c e r t a i n and c h a n g i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s , or (2) a l t e r t h e i r s t r u c t u r e s in s u c h a w a y t h a t t h e i r f u n d a m e n t a l i n t e r e s t s and r e l a -

t i o n s h i p s a r e m a i n t a i n e d ( f u n c t i o n a l e q u i v a l e n c e ) by c o l l e c t i v e ly d e c i d i n g u p o n p a r t i c u l a r c o u r s e s of a c t i o n ( c h o s e n f r o m a n u m b e r of p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s ) w h i c h e x e r c i s e relational

c o n t r o l w i t h r e s p e c t to (1) t h o s e p e r s o n s , g r o u p s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s , i n s t i t u t i o n s i m p o r t a n t to t h e m in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t w h e t h e r in d i r e c t c o n t a c t or n o t , a n d / o r (2) a s p e c t s of t h e i r w h i c h a r e o f less r e l e v a n c e to t h e i r f u n c t i o n i n g . environment S o m e of the

138 s t r a t e g i e s o r g a n i z a t i o n s as p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s u t i l i z e w e r e d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y and will n o t be r e p e a t e d h e r e . It is c l e a r t h a t m o s t l a r g e - s c a l e c o r p o r a t i o n s h a v e b e e n a b l e to m a i n t a i n t h e i r t e c h n o l o g i c a l and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s in a s t a b l e , c o n t r o l l e d s t a t e of e x p a n s i o n World War II. since

T h e i s s u e w h i c h is p r o b l e m a t i c in d e a l i n g w i t h relational

c o r p o r a t e m e t a - p o w e r is t h e i r a b i l i t y to e x e r c i s e control.

M a n y p e o p l e , as d i s c u s s e d in the l a s t c h a p t e r , do

n o t b e l i e v e c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e a b l e to e x e r t s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r o l over their environments. M o r e o v e r , m e t a - p o w e r and r e l a t i o n a l

c o n t r o l a r e c o n c e p t s f o r e i g n to m o s t a n a l y s e s of c o r p o r a t e b e haviour. T h o s e w h o a r g u e t h a t c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e in f a c t v e r y

p o w e r f u l do so w i t h l i m i t e d c o n c e p t s w h i c h a r e v i o l a t e d in the p r o c e s s of d e s c r i p t i o n . T h e f o l l o w i n g a n a l y s e s , w h i c h are most-

ly s p e c u l a t i o n and t h e o r i z i n g , p r e s e n t s o m e of t h i s t y p e of description. T h e r e a p p e a r s to be r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e a w a r e n e s s

on t h e p a r t of the a n a l y s t s t h a t they a r e d i s c u s s i n g p o w e r in a s o c i o l o g i c a l m e t a - p o w e r s e n s e w i t h o u t an a d e q u a t e c o n c e p t u a l grounding. A n d r e w H a c k e r a r g u e s t h a t c o r p o r a t i o n s in m o d e r n

s o c i e t y h a v e l i m i t a t i o n s i m p o s e d on them o n l y in c e r t a i n a r e a s w h i l e in o t h e r a r e a s t h e i r p o w e r is u n r e s t r i c t e d . t h i s p o w e r is not s i m p l y e c o n o m i c : Moreover,

"its i n f l u e n c e r e a c h e s far

i n t o s o c i e t y and has a d e e p i m p a c t on the c h a r a c t e r and p e r s o n a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l A m e r i c a n s " ( H a c k e r , 1 9 6 4 c : 1 4 1 ) . In his

w o r k s H a c k e r ( 1 9 6 4 b , 1 9 7 0 , 1 9 7 3 , 1 9 7 5 ) has e x a m i n e d t h e s e a r e a s w h e r e c o r p o r a t i o n s h a v e a f r e e rein in m a k i n g d e c i s i o n s of s o c i a l c o n s e q u e n c e and s h o w s them to be; in a d m i n i s t e r i n g

p r i c e s ; in m a i n t a i n i n g a p r o f i t l e v e l ; in w a g e s and s a l a r i e s ;

139 in d e c i d i n g on how m a n y and w h a t kind of j o b s ; in the m e t h o d s and m a t e r i a l s used in p r o d u c t i o n ; in s e l l i n g its g o o d s ; in l o c a t i n g ; and in i n v e s t m e n t . T h e p o w e r to d e t e r m i n e w h e n and the

w h a t to i n v e s t in is the b a s i c p o w e r , o f t e n d e t e r m i n i n g other decisions mentioned.

W h i l e top e x e c u t i v e s will be a t t u n e d to the p u b l i c ' s b u y i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s , it can j u s t as well s h a p e t h o s e e x p e c t a t i o n s by a n n o u n c i n g a b o u y a n t e x p a n s i o n p r o g r a m . The good will of i n v e s t o r s need not be c o u r t e d , s i n c e l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s can use t h e i r r e t a i n e d e a r n i n g s for i n v e s t m e n t p u r p o s e s . . . . the p o w e r to m a k e i n v e s t m e n t d e c i s i o n s is c o n c e n t r a t e d in a few h a n d s , and it is the p o w e r to d e c i d e w h a t kind of n a t i o n A m e r i c a n will be ... the c o r p o r a t e e l i t e sets the o r d e r of p r i o r i t i e s on n a t i o n a l g r o w t h , t e c h n o l o g i c al i n n o v a t i o n , and u l t i m a t e l y the v a l u e s and b e h a v i o u r of h u m a n lives ( H a c k e r , 1 9 6 4 : 1 3 9 - 1 4 0 ) . K a y s e n ( 1 9 5 9 , 1 9 6 7 ) has a r g u e d t h a t c o r p o r a t i o n s a l l y s u b v e r t , c o n f u s e , and c r e a t e v a l u e s . actu-

He v i e w s the c o n corporation

t r i b u t i o n to v a l u e f o r m a t i o n on the p a r t of the under three rubies:

(1) "the d e f i n i t i o n of w o r k , and in p a r t T h i s l a s t , in t u r n , has

i c u l a r , w o r t h y a c h i e v e m e n t in w o r k .

a s i g n i f i c a n t i m p a c t on the d e f i n i t i o n of a w o r t h y or ideal p e r s o n f o r the s o c i e t y , e s p e c i a l l y its m a l e m e m b e r s " ; (2) "the s h a p i n g of the s y m b o l i c e n v i r o n m e n t , v e r b a l , v i s u a l , and p e r haps to a m u c h l e s s e r e x t e n t , a u d i t o r y " ; (3) " t h e s h a p i n g of the m a t e r i a l e n v i r o n m e n t " ( 1 9 6 7 : 2 1 1 ) . C e r t a i n l y the p o w e r of

the c o r p o r a t e e l i t e to s h a p e the n a t u r e of w o r k has m a n y d e e p c o n s e q u e n c e s , for w o r k is the c e n t r a l d e f i n i n g a g e n c y of man and society,;.and thus the n a t u r e of w o r k is m o s t important

(see M o r s e and W e i s s , 1 9 5 5 ; M a r x and E n g e l s , 1 9 5 9 ; N o s o w and F o r m , 1 9 6 2 ; S m i g e l , 1 9 6 3 ; W e i s s and R e i s m a n , 1 9 6 6 ; W i l e n s k y ,

140 1966; Matejkb, 1970). A n d , h e a r g u e s , the p o w e r o f the c o r -

p o r a t e e l i t e o v e r the m a s s m e d i a is s e l f - e v i d e n t -- t h e c o n t e n t of t h e m e d i a , b o t h v e r b a l and p i c t o r a l , is m a i n l y explicit

" s a l e s t a l k " p r o m o t i n g t h e i d e a t h a t " c o n s u m p t i o n is h a p p i n e s s " . T h e p o w e r o v e r the m a t e r i a l e n v i r o n m e n t is s h r o u d e d by the i d e a s t h a t the p r o d u c e r o n l y g i v e s t h e p u b l i c w h a t it w a n t s , and t h a t s u c c e s s is d e p e n d e n t upon the e f f e c t i v e n e s s in m e e t ing p u b l i c d e m a n d . K a y s e n s h o w s how t h e s e i d e a s b e c o m e a m b i g u initiative

ous and m i s l e a d i n g w h e n f a c e d w i t h s u c h f a c t s as the

d i s p l a y e d by p r o d u c e r s in d e s i g n i n g and o f f e r i n g g o o d s , " t h e r a p i d i t y of i n t r o d u c t i o n o f new p r o d u c t s , and t h e r o l e of a d v e r t i s i n g and c o n s u m e r f o l l o w e r s h i p in d e t e r m i n i n g w h a t is bought" (1967:212). A m o r e s o p h i s t i c a t e d v e r s i o n of the n o t i o n

t h a t the c o n s u m e r r e c e i v e s o n l y w h a t he d e m a n d s is s i m i l a r l y misleading. This version argues that while consumer preferrespect

ences are not f i x e d , consumer learning c a p a c i t i e s with

to t a s t e f o r m a t i o n a r e , i . e . , "it is e a s i e r to l e a r n to l i k e some things than other t h i n g s " . H e n c e t h e d e s i g n e r and d i s -

t r i b u t o r m u s t f i n d o u t w h a t c o n s u m e r s w i l l r e a d i l y l e a r n to like. A g a i n s t this Kaysen a r g u e s : B u t , of c o u r s e , w h a t t h e y ( t h e c o n s u m e r s ) w i l l l e a r n to l i k e will d e p e n d to s o m e e x t e n t on the p a s t h i s t o r y of w h a t t h e y h a v e l e a r n e d to l i k e ; t h u s the o r d e r of e x p e r i m e n t s , so to s p e a k , affects the o u t c o m e . But once we adm i t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e p r o c e s s , or s o m e t h i n g l i k e i t , the c a s e for b e l i e v i n g the u n d e r l y i n g p r o p o s i t i o n of the r a t i o n a l e for t h e m a r k e t , t h a t c o n s u m e r s o u g h t to g e t w h a t t h e y w a n t , b e c o m e s m u c h less c l e a r . It is o n e t h i n g to a c c e p t the r u l e of g i v e n c o n s u m er p r e f e r e n c e s ; it is q u i t e a n o t h e r to a d m i t t h a t p r e f e r e n c e s are s h a p e d w i t h i n s o m e b r o a d c o n s t r a i n t s , b u t n o t to i n q u i r e i n t o the p r o c e s s by w h i c h t h e y are s h a p e d ( K a y s e n , 1 9 6 7 : 2 1 2 ) .

141 B r a y b r o o k e (1967) extends Kaysen. and d e v e l o p s the a r g u m e n t of

He shows how these notions readily a c c e p t e d by lib-

erals o b s c u r e certain other facts such as (1) the m a n n e r in w h i c h e c o n o m i c policy d e c i s i o n s are made on i n c o n c l u s i v e and i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c d a t a ; (2) the great i n f l u e n c e of c o r p o r a t i o n s in creating consumer w a n t s ; (3) the e x t e n t to which c o r p o r a tions have operated to confuse the public about values and hence to produce consumer m i s j u d g m e n t about goods ( e . g . , linking sex with selling a u t o m o b i l e s "so that p e o p l e have their w a n t s for a u t o m o b i l e s and all sorts of other things mixed up w i t h their sexual i n t e r e s t s . seriously

The a u t o m o b i l e c o m p a n -

ies . . . have s t r e n u o u s l y assisted in mixing us up about s e x , m a k i n g it more u r g e n t , but also more d i f f u s e , and commonly mi sdi rected") (1 967 : 230) ; (4) the o p e r a t i o n of the c o r p o r a t i o n s to o b s t r u c t institutional remedies to c o n s u m e r m i s j u d g m e n t and i g n o r a n c e ; (5) c o r p o r a t e control over the i n t r o d u c t i o n of innovation and thus the variety of products offered the p u b l i c , i . e . , the power of the c o r p o r a t i o n s to not offer a l t e r n a t i v e s to their p r o d u c t ; (6) "the e x i s t e n c e , or p o s s i b l e e x i s t e n c e , of w a n t s that c o n s u m e r s may have but can satisfy only by concerted a c t i o n , not in the m a r k e t " ( 1 9 6 7 : 2 3 2 ) . The C o r p o r a t e C a p i t a l i s t Class and the M a r k e t The d i s c u s s i o n of the r e v i s i o n i s t history of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m in Chapter Two p r e s e n t e d a brief summary of the neoM a r x i s t theory that a m a j o r , if not the m a j o r , f o r m of social control in c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s is c o r p o r a t e control of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n . The d e v e l o p m e n t of t e c h n o l o g y and the

142 c a p i t a l i s t imperative of increasing production i m p e r a t i v e of c o n s u m i n g t h a t p r o d u c t i o n . c o n s u m e r i s m , as it is c a l l e d by c r i t i c a l led to the of

The development

t h e o r i s t s , is o n e of class predicted

t h e m a j o r m e c h a n i s m s u s e d to e x p l a i n w h y t h e w o r k i n g under entrepreneurial by o r t h o d o x M a r x i s m . c a p i t a l i s m did n o t r e v o l t as Consumerism

in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r

p r o c e s s e s d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r w e r e c o l l e c t i v e s t r a t e g i e s , it is a r g u e d , to m a i n t a i n a n d s t r e n g t h e n t h e d o m i n a n c e o f t h e c a p italist class. T h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h t h i s t o o k p l a c e is d e s c r i b e d t h e s e t h e o r i s t s in t e r m s o f t h e c r e a t i o n o f s o c i a l and the m a n i p u l a t i o n of cultural by

structures are

v a r i a b l e s -- t e r m s w h i c h

the basic e l e m e n t s of a m e t a - p o w e r c o n c e p t i o n , a l t h o u g h a c o n c e p t is l a c k i n g in t h e i r v o c a b u l a r y .

such

Placing their descon-

c r i p t i o n i n t o the f r a m e w o r k of m e t a - p o w e r a n d r e l a t i o n a l trol a l l o w s a s i m p l e s u m m a r i z a t i o n o f a c o m p l e x and historical process. The s t r a t e g i e s of the c a p i t a l i s t

detailed class attribute

( t h e r e is a t e n d e n c y on t h e p a r t o f t h e s e w r i t e r s to

a h i g h d e g r e e of c o l l e c t i v e a w a r e n e s s to t h i s c l a s s ) s u c h as scientific management, mass production, corporate liberalism,

and t h e s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s t h e y h e l p e d to g u i d e , s u c h as s u b u r b a n i z a t i o n , i m m i g r a t i o n , c o m b i n e d to a l t e r t h e s t r u c t u r e t h e i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n in t h e s o c i e t y . was the d e s t r u c t i o n of the traditional The overall of

result and

social structure

c u l t u r e of t h e s o c i e t y , e s p e c i a l l y t h e w o r k i n g c l a s s which were quite integrated ience they encompassed.

structures

in t e r m s o f t h e r a n g e o f e x p e r -

M u c h of w o r k i n g c l a s s l i f e , it is

143 a r g u e d , was lived within the social and cultural f o r m a t i o n s c o l l e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s and the values a s s o c i a t e d with T h e n e w s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e w h i c h b e g a n to r e p l a c e t h e them. of

tradition-

al o n e w a s m u c h l o o s e r in t e r m s o f its i n t e g r a t i o n o f s i g n i f i c a n t a r e a s o f h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e i n t o i t s s t r u c t u r e s -B e r g e r , e t a l . , ( 1 9 7 3 ) c a l l s it Peter

"under-institutionalized".

S o c i o l o g i s t s h a v e d e s c r i b e d t h i s s t r u c t u r e as t h e " m a s s s o c i e t y " , t h e " a b s t r a c t s o c i e t y " , e t c . T h e key n o t i o n s in t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n are p r i v a t i z a t i o n and the s e p a r a t i o n of p u b l i c and p r i v a t e r e a l m s , in p a r t i c u l a r , t h e s e p a r a t i o n o f w o r k a n d l e i sure. The public realm remains institutionally integrated and are

its d e m a n d s , i.e., t h o s e of w o r k , g o v e r n m e n t and e d u c a t i o n binding.

B u t a w a y f r o m t h o s e s o c i a l r e a l m s , in t h e r e a l m o f

l e i s u r e , or m o r e b r o a d l y the p r i v a t e s p h e r e of e x p e r i e n c e ind i v i d u a l s a r e s e e m i n g l y n o t r e s t r i c t e d o r l i m i t e d in t h e i r c h o i c e of c o m m i t m e n t s and a s s o c i a t i o n s . But lacking instituare

t i o n a l a r r a n g e m e n t s to f a c i l i t a t e s u c h c h o i c e i n d i v i d u a l s

l e f t t o t h e m s e l v e s a n d m u s t m a k e t h e i r o w n d e c i s i o n s as to h o w to o r g a n i z e t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s . ection from themselves. "subjectivization". T h e y m u s t get m e a n i n g and d i r this the the

Peter Berger (1973) calls

H o w e v e r , the social s t r u c t u r e limits

a v a i l a b i l i t y of r e s o u r c e s like m o n e y and time and d i r e c t s

s e a r c h f o r m e a n i n g a n d a c t i v i t y to t h e i n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e m a r k e t , the p l a c e w h e r e i n d i v i d u a l s take their w a n t s and needs be s a t i s f i e d . to

Only now i n s t e a d of s i m p l y s u b s i s t e n c e and pure expressed

e x c h a n g e n e e d s , identity and other needs also are there.

T h i s n e w s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e w a s c r e a t e d , it is a r g u e d , capitalism. As

in r e s p o n s e to t h e c r i s e s o f e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l

144 p h r a s e d by John A l t (1977:170):

It w a s i m p e r a t i v e for i n d u s t r i a l g r o w t h and class harmony that traditional cultures (communitarian values, self-determination, thrift, communal leisure associations, etc.) and i n s t i t u t i o n s ( l o d g e s , s a l o o n s ) be d o m e s t i c a t e d and t r a n s f o r m e d in f a v o r of a b o u r g e o i s c u l t u r e of p r i v a t e g r a t i f i c a t i o n . A n o t h e r s t r a t e g y of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l w a s d i r e c t e d the o r i e n t a t i o n and b e l i e f s of i n d i v i d u a l s . In p r o m o t i n g to and

a t t e m p t i n g to l e g i t i m i z e a s y s t e m of v a l u e s w h i c h extol

in-

d i v i d u a l i s m and s e l f - i n t e r e s t , d e m o c r a t i c i d e a l s , and p a r t i c u l ar j u s t i f i c a t i o n s of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r and r e s o u r c e s , the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s l i n k e d them to the m a r k e t and the c o m m o d ities produced there. T h e s a t i s f a c t i o n g a i n e d in the c o n s u m p system.

tion of t h o s e g o o d s w o u l d then l e g i t i m a t e the e n t i r e

T h e p r i m a r y social bond b e c a m e d e f i n e d in t e r m s of the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l tion of i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - i n t e r e s t s and the m a x i m a l satisfac-

n e e d s w i t h the i n t e r e s t of s o c i e t y as a The

w h o l e , w h i c h is to m a x i m i z e total p r o d u c t i v e o u t p u t . i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is b e t w e e n the well b e i n g of every and the s t e a d y r i s e of the G r o s s N a t i o n a l 1976:4). Product

individual (Leiss,

T h u s the i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n and r e w a r d s w e r e s t r u c t u r ed by t h i s c o m b i n a t i o n o f social s t r u c t u r e and o r i e n t a t i o n . In-

d i v i d u a l n e e d s are l i n k e d to c o m m o d i t i e s as the m e a n s of satisfying t h o s e n e e d s . And c o m m o d i t i e s are g i v e n s y m b o l i c d e f i n i -

t i o n s w h i c h c e l e b r a t e the v a l u e s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m , p r o g r e s s , etc. T h e r e s u l t i n g f u s i o n of m e a n i n g , n e e d , and gratification

in c o m m o d i t i e s c r e a t e s p e o p l e w h o " r e c o g n i z e t h e m s e l v e s in t h e i r c o m m o d i t i e s ; t h e y find t h e i r soul in t h e i r a u t o m o b i l e .

145 h i - f i s e t , s p l i t - l e v e l h o m e , k i t c h e n e q u i p m e n t " ( M a r c u s e , 19 6 4 : 9). As a r e w a r d s t r u c t u r e , it o p e r a t e s t h i s w a y : T h e p u b l i c s y m b o l s of m a s s c o m m o d i t i e s , as in a d v e r t i s i n g , a t t a c k e d t r a d i t i o n a l f o r m s of l e i s u r e and t a s t e , as a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the w o r k g r o u p , t h e f a m i l y , the c o m m u n i t y , and a d v a n c e d t h e p r i v a t e p e r s o n as r e a c h i n g new h e i g h t s of f u l f i l l m e n t and s a t i s f a c t i o n through commoditized sensual gratification. As the c o r p o r a t e c l a s s ' a n s w e r to t h e s o c i a l q u e s t i o n of c h a n g e t h e n , the f r u s t r a t i o n s , p a s s i v i t y , and u n r e s t of d a i l y l i f e w e r e to be r e p l a c e d w i t h the s e n s u a l e x c i t e m e n t s and f u l f i l l m e n t s of c o n s u m e r i s m ( A l t , 1 9 7 7 : 1 7 9 ) . T h e m a r k e t in t h i s s i t u a t i o n is c e l e b r a t e d as f r e e and o p e n b u t is in f a c t c o n t r o l l e d and o p e r a t e d in the i n t e r e s t s of c a p i t a l i s t s . of c o n s u m e r s . P r o d u c t i o n no l o n g e r s a t i s f i e s t h e real needs

In the e f f o r t to s t i m u l a t e c o n s u m p t i o n all s o r t s

of p r o b i n g and m a n i p u l a t i n g is d o n e to f i n d h i d d e n u r g e s and f r u s t r a t i o n s in o r d e r to t i e t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n to c o m m o d i t i e s . W a s t e and c o m m o d i t y o b s o l e s c e n c e a r e e n c o u r a g e d by m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s and a d v e r t i s i n g t e c h n i q u e s . A d v e r t i s i n g , in p a r t i -

c u l a r , is t h e s t r a t e g y s i n g l e d o u t to c o n v e y t h e s y m b o l s and m e s s a g e s of the c a p i t a l i s t i d e o l o g y . The products themselves

and t h e i r use p r o v i d e e x c i t e m e n t , s e n s u a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n , and o t h e r s a t i s f a c t i o n s ( S h a p i r o , 1 9 7 0 ; B a r a n and S w e e z y , 1 9 6 6 ; Aronowitz, 1973; Ewen, 1976, 1978). Y e t if t h i s s i t u a t i o n is

in f a c t a g a i n s t the real i n t e r e s t s of c o n s u m e r s and the w o r k ing c l a s s s o m e m e c h a n i s m ( s ) m u s t be b r o u g h t f o r w a r d to e x p l a i n the r e l a t i v e lack of r e s i s t a n c e or e x p r e s s i o n of g r i e v a n c e . M a r c u s e u t i l i z e s the t r a d i t i o n a l M a r x i s t n o t i o n of f a l s e c o n sciousness. He a r g u e s t h a t as a t o t a l i t y the p r o d u c t i o n s y s -

tem is s u r r o u n d e d by a b e l i e f s y s t e m w h i c h l e g i t i m i z e s it as a who!e:

146 The p r o d u c t i v e a p p a r a t u s and the g o o d s and s e r v i c e s w h i c h it p r o d u c e s " s e l l " or i m p o s e the social s y s t e m as a w h o l e . T h e m e a n s of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and c o m m u n i c a t i o n , the c o m m o d i t i e s of l o d g i n g , f o o d , and c l o t h i n g , the irresi s t a b l e o u t p u t of the e n t e r t a i n m e n t and i n f o r m a t i o n i n d u s t r y c a r r y w i t h t h e m p r e s c r i b e d a t t i t u d e s and h a b i t s , c e r t a i n i n t e l l e c t u a l and e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s w h i c h bind the c o n s u m e r s m o r e or less p l e a s a n t l y to the p r o d u c e r s a n d , t h r o u g h the l a t t e r , to the w h o l e . T h e p r o d u c t s i n d o c t r i n a t e and m a n i p u l a t e ; they p r o m o t e a f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h i c h is i m m u n e to its f a l s e h o o d (Marcuse, 1964:11-12). U n d e r t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s the fate of c o n s u m e r s is to be m a n i p u l ated into c o n s u m i n g g o o d s and r e c e i v i n g g r a t i f i c a t i o n s w h i c h are s o m e h o w s p u r i o u s and a r t i f i c i a l . The n e e d s w h i c h they

b r i n g to the m a r k e t are not t h e i r true or real n e e d s but t h o s e c r e a t e d by a d v e r t i s i n g , m a r k e t r e s e a r c h , e t c . -- n e e d s w h i c h are thus f a l s e n e e d s . T h e s e n o t i o n s have p r o v e n to be m o s t p r o b l e m a t i c to r e s e a r c h e r s b e c a u s e they are not e a s i l y o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d or falsified. It was p r e c i s e l y this m e c h a n i s m and its s h o r t c o m i n g s

w h i c h in l a r g e p a r t s t i m u l a t e d the d e v e l o p m e n t of p o w e r as meas u r a b l e by b e h a v i o u r or r e p u t a t i o n . S t e v e n Lukes is the only

o n e of t h o s e c o n s i d e r e d here w h o d e a l t w i t h the p r o b l e m of d e t e r m i n i n g real i n t e r e s t s in g r i e v a n c e free s i t u a t i o n s . is not an e a s y m a t t e r . But it

Even though the issue u n d e r s c r u t i n y

in this d i s s e r t a t i o n i n v o l v e s the e x p r e s s i o n of g r i e v a n c e s and t h u s i n t e r e s t s can be e s t a b l i s h e d , the idea t h a t a u t o m o b i l e s are p u r c h a s e d on the basis of f a l s e needs c a n n o t be a l l o w e d to r e m a i n in the a n a l y s i s . T h i s will be a c c o m p l i s h e d by d r a w i n g

u p o n H a b e r m a s ' ( 1 9 7 1 , 1 9 7 5 ) c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of " c o m m u n i c a t i v e c o m p e t e n c e " and r e c e n t w o r k on the c o n c e p t of h e g e m o n y

147 and on the dual s y m b o l i c - m a t e r i a l nature of c o n s u m p t i o n . will be d e v e l o p e d in the next c h a p t e r . In M a r c u s e ' s scheme the consumer is v i r t u a l l y the helpless pawn of the c o r p o r a t e c o n t r o l l e r s . It is i n t e r e s t i n g to This

note that the basic d e s c r i p t i o n of the m a r k e t control of capi t a l i s t s and the m a n i p u l a t i o n of consumers is taken as a fairly a c c u r a t e picture by a number of a n a l y s t s of c o n s e r v a t i v e and of liberal p e r s u a s i o n . Where they d i s a g r e e , of c o u r s e , is

with the notions of class d o m i n a t i o n , e x p l o i t a t i o n , false cons c i o u s n e s s s , and the i m p l i c i t or proposed need to o v e r t h r o w the c a p i t a l i s t system. For e x a m p l e , John Kenneth G a l b r a i t h

( 1 9 6 7 ) p r e s e n t s in the broad outline of his work a r e m a r k a b l y s i m i l a r a n a l y s i s of modern c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m tD M a r c u s e ' s -- but as a liberal using a theory of d e m o c r a t i c e l i t i s m . A n d r e w H a c k e r ' s views are also very s i m i l a r in the broad stroke but he w r i t e s from a c o n s e r v a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e . The issue of

the m a r k e t , c o n s u m p t i o n , and c o r p o r a t i o n s and the d e b a t e b e tween p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s and the r e v i s i o n s i s t s in general (critical t h e o r i s t s in p a r t i c u l a r ) a p p e a r way of m i d d l e g r o u n d . to have little in the

The next c h a p t e r will p r e s e n t a t h e o r e t -

ical a p p r o a c h to this m i d d l e ground which a n a l y z e s the s y m b o l i c n a t u r e of c o n s u m p t i o n and the s a t i s f a c t i o n of needs w i t h o u t r e s o r t i n g to the m a n i p u l a t e d , falsely c o n s c i o u s e x p l a n a t i o n . H o w e v e r , b e f o r e moving to that d i s c u s s i o n it is n e c e s s a r y to p r e s e n t the view of c o r p o r a t i o n s as power s t r u c t u r e s and their r e l a t i o n s h i p to the e n v i r o n m e n t , the m a r k e t in p a r t i c u l a r .

148 C o r p o r a t e P o w e r S t r u c t u r e s and the E n v i r o n m e n t T h e r e are m a n y s o u r c e s from w h i c h a p i c t u r e of the m e t a - p o w e r view of c o r p o r a t i o n s could be d r a w n but this d i s c u s s i o n will rely m a i n l y on John K e n n e t h G a l b r a i t h ' s in his b o o k , The New I n d u s t r i a l S t a t e . version

His w o r k is one of the

b e s t and m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e p r e s e n t a t i o n s ( a l t h o u g h he r e f e r s to it as a " s k e t c h " ) of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r in an " o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n " f r a m e w o r k . Not only t h a t , as an i n s t i t u t i o n a l effects. or

e c o n o m i s t his w h o l e a n a l y s i s is i n f o r m e d by s t r u c t u r a l M o r e o v e r , he is one of the few e c o n o m i s t s , i n s t i t u t i o n a l

o t h e r w i s e , to e x a m i n e the p r o b l e m of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r in s o c i e t y -- and he d o e s this by a n a l y z i n g c o r p o r a t e s t r a t e g i e s as e x e r c i s i n g w h a t , i n the terms of this d i s c u s s i o n ; i s r e l a t i o n a l c o n trol and its e f f e c t s . Add to this the f a c t that he r e l i e d

h e a v i l y on o b s e r v a t i o n s of the o p e r a t i o n s of the a u t o m o b i l e industry. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , his d e s c r i p t i v e - t h e o r e t i c a l account

of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r is b a s e d on l i t t l e actual r e s e a r c h e v i d e n c e and m o r e s p e c u l a t i o n and t h e o r i z i n g . This is u n d e r s t a n d -

a b l e for l i t t l e s o c i o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h has been p e r m i t t e d w i t h i n corporate domains. G a l b r a i t h ' s a r g u m e n t s have r e c e i v e d w i d e -

s p r e a d c r i t i c i s m on m a n y p o i n t s and i s s u e s (see the c o m p i l a t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n in H e s s i o n , 1 9 7 2 ) but it r e m a i n s as b a s i c and a u t h o r i t a t i v e a g u i d e to the s o c i o l o g i c a l l y i n a c c e s s i b l e and m y s t e r i o u s w o r l d of c o r p o r a t e m a n a g e m e n t as is a v a i l a b l e . S i n c e W o r l d W a r II G a l b r a i t h ( 1 9 6 7 : 1 3 ) c o n t e n d s that large c o r p o r a t i o n s have p r o m o t e d "the a p p l i c a t i o n of i n c r e a s ingly i n t r i c a t e and s o p h i s t i c a t e d t e c h n o l o g y to the p r o d u c t i o n of t h i n g s " . The d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e s e t e c h n o l o g i e s has g e n e r a t e d

149 the p r o b l e m of m e e t i n g their o p e r a t i o n a l r e q u i r e m e n t s in order These deThey have

to keep them p e r f o r m i n g e f f i c i e n t l y and p r o f i t a b l y . m a n d s G a l b r a i t h calls " t e c h n o l o g i c a l i m p e r a t i v e s " .

special c o n s e q u e n c e s for c o r p o r a t i o n s , w h i c h he i l l u s t r a t e s by c o m p a r i n g the p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s e s e m p l o y e d in m a n u f a c t u r i n g the f i r s t Ford a u t o m o b i l e with those used in p r o d u c i n g the 1964 Mustang (1967:23-29). Many readers have i n t e r p r e t e d Galbraith's

a n a l y s i s of t e c h n o l o g y and its i m p e r a t i v e s in c o r p o r a t i o n s as technological determinism. I n d e e d , he p r o v i d e s s u p p o r t for

this by a r g u i n g that t e c h n o l o g y is not d e p e n d e n t , as in Smith's W e a l t h of Nati o n s , on the e x t e n t of the m a r k e t . technological R a t h e r , the

d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r is c a r r i e d as far as it is b e -

c a u s e it is the only w a y o r g a n i z e d k n o w l e d g e can be b r o u g h t to bear on p e r f o r m a n c e . G a l b r a i t h r e g a r d s t e c h n o l o g y not as a "having

g i v e n , s t a t i c factor but as a p o w e r f u l , d y n a m i c force an i n i t i a t i v e of its o w n " .

He tends to treat it as if it w e r e He a p p a r e n t l y "The i m p e r -

a p r i m a r y , a u t o n o m o u s f o r c e in its own r i g h t .

a r g u e s a s t r u c t u r a l d e t e r m i n i s t view w h e n he s a y s :

a t i v e s of t e c h n o l o g y and o r g a n i z a t i o n , not the i m p a c t of i d e o l o g y , are w h a t d e t e r m i n e the s h a p e of e c o n o m i c s o c i e t y " 19). (1967:

Yet he is a c u t e l y a w a r e of the a n a l y t i c - d e s c r i p t i v e d i l and b e h a v i o u r -

emma he is in when trying to deal with s t r u c t u r a l al " c a u s a l i t y " in a d e s c r i p t i v e - t h e o r e t i c a l magnitude. For he n o t e s :

e f f o r t of this

In e x a m i n i n g the i n t r i c a t e c o m p l e x of e c o n o m i c c h a n g e , t e c h n o l o g y , having an i n i t i a t i v e of its o w n , is the logical place at w h i c h to b r e a k in. B u t the t e c h n o l o g y not only c a u s e s c h a n g e , it is a r e s p o n s e to c h a n g e . T h o u g h it forces s p e c i a l i z a t i o n it is also the r e s u l t of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . Though it r e q u i r e s e x t e n s i v e

150 o r g a n i z a t i o n it is a l s o the r e s u l t of o r ganization (Galbraith, 1967:32). T h i s is no m e a n p r o b l e m as every s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t can affirm

w h o has t r i e d to d e s c r i b e t h e h i s t o r i c a l

d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e

i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r a c r o s s e v e n a few variables. It is a p r o b l e m t h i s s t u d y w i l l a d d r e s s shortly.

T h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of t e c h n o l o g i c a l

imperatives for cor-

p o r a t i o n s a r e i n c r e a s i n g c o m m i t m e n t s of t i m e and c a p i t a l , the g r e a t e r i n f l e x i b i l i t y of t h i s c o m m i t m e n t , i n c r e a s e d n e e d f o r specialized l a b o u r and o r g a n i z a t i o n , a n d , e s p e c i a l l y , i n c r e a s T h i s e m p h a s i s on p l a n n i n g derives, development While not

ed n e e d f o r p l a n n i n g .

G a l b r a i t h a r g u e s , f r o m the f a c t t h a t t e c h n o l o g i c a l has r e d u c e d the r e l i a b i l i t y o f m a r k e t r e l a t i o n s . s o l e l y d u e to t e c h n o l o g y , it is t r u e , the m a r k e t

environment

has b e c o m e m o r e c o m p l e x and d i v e r s i f i e d and t u r b u l e n t and t h i s is n o t c o n d u c i v e to t h e d e m a n d s of t e c h n o l o g i c a l production.

T h u s c o r p o r a t i o n s , G a l b r a i t h a r g u e s , m u s t be a b l e to n o t o n l y a n t i c i p a t e b u t to c o n t r o l f a c t o r s at b o t h t h e i r i n p u t and o u t p u t b o u n d a r i e s in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t as w e l l as i n s u l a t e technological cores from disruption. Sources of supply their must

be s e c u r e d at low c o s t . at f a v o u r a b l e prices. ing d e s t r u c t i v e . are u t i l i z e d .

C o n s u m e r d e m a n d m u s t be m a i n t a i n e d C o m p e t i t i o n m u s t be p r e v e n t e d f r o m b e this

V a r i o u s s t r a t e g i e s for a c c o m p l i s h i n g

So f a r t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n is a m o r e or l e s s d e s c r i p t i o n of c o r p o r a t i o n s in a c t i o n . are

pluralist/functionalist

H o w e v e r , for G a l b r a i t h , structural

considerations

i m p o r t a n t a n d , a l t h o u g h his v o c a b u l a r y d o e s n o t c o n t a i n t e r m s m e t a - p o w e r or r e l a t i o n a l

the

c o n t r o l , his a r g u m e n t is t h a t

151 the s t r a t e g i e s employed and the way they are e m p l o y e d as d i r e c t e d by corporate planning s t r u c t u r e the m a r k e t and other a s p e c t s of the e n v i r o n m e n t in ways c o n d u c i v e to the r e a l i z a t i o n of c o r p o r a t e g o a l s . tween: He also talks about power relations be-

c o r p o r a t i o n s and the g o v e r n m e n t ; m a n a g e r s and the techsystem"

n o s t r u c t u r e w i t h i n c o r p o r a t i o n s ; and the "planning

(the c o r p o r a t e s e c t o r ) and the "market s y s t e m " (the e n t r e p r e n eurial owned and operated b u s i n e s s s e c t o r ) . These power rela-

tions will be given less e m p h a s i s in favour of the m a r k e t relat i o n , the topic of i n t e r e s t here. G a l b r a i t h argues that corHe calls this m a n a g e -

p o r a t e p l a n n i n g takes over the m a r k e t .

m e n t of demand the revised s e q u e n c e -- a r e v i s i o n of the consumer s o v e r e i g n model -- w h e r e i n p r o d u c e r s m a n a g e c o n s u m e r beh a v i o u r and shape the a t t i t u d e s of those they s e r v e . The purin

pose is to reduce e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o m p l e x i t y and d i v e r s i t y order to insure that people buy w h a t is p r o d u c e d . This is

a c c o m p l i s h e d by creating and placing w o r k a b l e limits on the e x e r c i s e of consumer d i s c r e t i o n and thus s t a b i l i z i n g it. To a t t e m p t to gain this type of relational control (a c o n c e p t not in G a l b r a i t h ' s v o c a b u l a r y but which his analysis i l l u s t r a t e s ) , c o r p o r a t i o n s utilize a wide variety of s t r a t e g ies and t e c h n i q u e s . Clearly size is i m p o r t a n t (achieved

through vertical i n t e g r a t i o n , m e r g e r , e t c . ) and limiting the number of c o m p e t i t o r s is a l s o . Both c o n t r i b u t e to the ability

to plan the volume of p r o d u c t i o n and to control prices on that p r o j e c t e d volume as does General Motors ( G a l b r a i t h , 1 9 6 7 : 41-42). mand. Most i m p o r t a n t are s t r a t e g i e s to m a n a g e c o n s u m e r d e With reliable demand c o r p o r a t i o n s can r e g u l a r i z e their

152 own d e m a n d s for s u p p l i e s , e t c . , o n the input s i d e . tegies used i n c l u d e a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e s i g n . The straThe in-

t e n t i o n of a d v e r t i s i n g and "its r e l a t e d a r t s " is to "help d e velop the kind of man the goals of the i n d u s t r i a l s y s t e m r e q u i r e -- one that r e l i a b l y s p e n d s his i n c o m e and w o r k s r e l i a b ly b e c a u s e he is always in need of m o r e " ( G a l b r a i t h , 1 9 6 7 : 2 1 9 ) . This s h a p i n g of c o n s u m e r p r e f e r e n c e s and m a k i n g the c o n s u m p t i o n of g o o d s the s o u r c e of f u l f i l l m e n t , h a p p i n e s s , e t c . , i n l i f e : is "a r e l e n t l e s s p r o p a g a n d a on b e h a l f of goods in g e n e r a l " (1967:218) and l i t e r a l l y b e c o m e s an e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h not only m a n a g e s d e m a n d but also c o n d i t i o n s and s t r u c t u r e s attitudes. appropriate

A l t h o u g h G a l b r a i t h h i m s e l f talks m o s t l y a b o u t ad-

v e r t i s i n g , he notes that the m a n a g e m e n t of s p e c i f i c demand ent a i l s much m o r e : A l t h o u g h a d v e r t i s i n g will be t h o u g h t the central f e a t u r e of this m a n a g e m e n t , and is c e r t a i n l y i m p o r t a n t , much m o r e is i n v o l v e d . Included a m o n g the m a n a g e r s are those w h o sell goods and d e s i g n the s t r a t e g i e s by w h i c h they are s o l d . And so are m a n y w h o are t h o u g h t of as e n g a g e d in the p r o d u c t i o n of g o o d s . The m a n a g e m e n t of demand c o n s i s t s in d e v i s i n g a sales s t r a t e g y for a p a r t i c u l ar p r o d u c t . It also c o n s i s t s in d e v i s i n g a p r o d u c t , or f e a t u r e s of a p r o d u c t , around w h i c h a sales s t r a t e g y can be b u i l t . P r o d u c t d e s i g n , model c h a n g e , p a c k a g i n g and even p e r f o r m a n c e r e f l e c t the need to p r o vide w h a t are called strong s e l l i n g p o i n t s . They are thus as much a part of the p r o c e s s of demand m a n a g e m e n t as an a d v e r t i s i n g campaign (Galbraith, 1967:213). T h e s e e f f o r t s at r e l a t i o n a l control of s p e c i f i c demand are s u p p l e m e n t e d and r e i n f o r c e d by m a n a g e m e n t of total or "aggregate" demand. This is e f f e c t e d by a c t i n g upon the g o v e r n -

m e n t for p u b l i c p o l i c i e s w h i c h insure the p r o v i s i o n of t r a i n e d

153 l a b o u r t h r o u g h the e d u c a t i o n a l s y s t e m , the u n d e r w r i t i n g of new c a p i t a l and t e c h n o l o g y , a n d , to s o m e d e g r e e , t h e p r o m o t i o n wage-price stability. process of

W i t h r e g a r d to t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g or p l a n n i n g

within c o r p o r a t i o n s G a l b r a i t h argues that because of s c a l e , c o m p l e x i t y , e t c . , i n d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g and p l a n n i n g e c l i p s e d by g r o u p and c o m m i t t e e p r o c e s s e s . is

T h e r e a r e two d i m -

e n s i o n s i n v o l v e d in t h i s p r o c e s s - - t h e p e o p l e i n v o l v e d in plann i n g and d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g and the g o a l s to w h i c h the p l a n s are oriented. The planners are obviously those persons who make chairpersons

up the c o l l e c t i v e e n t i t y k n o w n as " m a n a g e m e n t " --

p r e s i d e n t s , v i c e - p r e s i d e n t s , d i v i s i o n or d e p a r t m e n t h e a d s , e t c . H o w e v e r , m a n a g e m e n t g r o u p s c o n t a i n o n l y a f r a c t i o n of t h o s e u p o n w h o m t h e y m u s t d r a w f o r i n f o r m a t i o n u p o n w h i c h to b a s e their decisions. T h e s e c o n t r i b u t o r s of i n f o r m a t i o n a r e the

l a r g e n u m b e r of s p e c i a l i s t s and t e c h n i c i a n s w h o s p a n c o r p o r ate s t r u c t u r e f r o m the top e d g e of t h e b l u e and w h i t e f u n c "There

t i o n a r i e s to the l o w e r b o u n d a r y of s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s . is no n a m e f o r all w h o p a r t i c i p a t e in g r o u p

decision-making (1967:82)

or t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n s w h i c h t h e y f o r m " , so G a l b r a i t h calls them the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e .

A d d i n g a new w r i n k l e to the

d e b a t e o v e r the t r a n s i t i o n of c o n t r o l f r o m o w n e r s h i p to m a n a g e m e n t d i s c u s s e d in the l a s t c h a p t e r , G a l b r a i t h a s s e r t s that

the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e has b e c o m e t h e real l o c u s o f d e c i s i o n m a k i n g in c o r p o r a t i o n s -- it is "the g u i d i n g i n t e l l i g e n c e the b r a i n -- of t h e e n t e r p r i s e " ( 1 9 6 7 : 8 2 ) . Galbraith --

argues

t h a t the a c t i o n s o f c o r p o r a t i o n s to i n s u l a t e t h e i r c o s t l y and c o m p l e x t e c h n o l o g i e s f r o m o u t s i d e i n t e r f e r e n c e f r o m s t o c k -

154 h o l d e r s and the state has given the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e a high d e g r e e of a u t o n o m y -- and the cause of c o r p o r a t e p r o s p e r i t y and growth is the a c c o m o d a t i o n s m a d e to the needs of their technostructures. Given the a u t o n o m y and power of t e c h n o s t r u c -

tures it f o l l o w s that their p a r t i c u l a r goals will d o m i n a t e p l a n ning. G a l b r a i t h goes on to a n a l y z e the m o t i v a t i o n s of t e c h n o -

s t r u c t u r e s in relation to their location in c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e s in terms of how these p e o p l e come to i d e n t i f y w i t h and a d a p t to the i m p e r a t i v e s of t e c h n o l o g y . These i m p e r a t i v e s r e q u i r e

them to m a n u f a c t u r e goods and to m a n a g e the demand for these goods. This p r o d u c t i o n and m a n a g e m e n t m u s t be l e g i t i m a t e d by Increased p r o d u c t i o n innova-

being, d e f i n e d as of great social v a l u e .

is of even g r e a t e r social v a l u e , and thus t e c h n o l o g i c a l tion and d e v e l o p m e n t is s o c i a l l y v a l u a b l e .

Of c o u r s e this leg-

i t i m a c y m u s t be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h i n c o r p o r a t e b o u n d a r i e s and across them into s o c i e t y . way: G a l b r a i t h ( 1 9 6 7 : 1 7 1 ) argues it this

"the goals of the m a t u r e c o r p o r a t i o n will be a r e f l e c t i o n And the

of the goals of the m e m b e r s of the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e .

goals of the society will tend to be those of the c o r p o r a t i o n . " The social p u r p o s e of s o c i e t y becomes a d a p t e d to the i n t e r e s t s of the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e } t h e ideal of e c o n o m i c g r o w t h , that i s , that social p r o g r e s s is identical with a rising standard of l i v i n g , b e c o m e s an a r t i c l e of f a i t h , and social policy s u p p o r t s such g r o w t h . T e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s gain their power w h e n t e c h n o l o g y req u i r e s p l a n n i n g and thus r e q u i r e s s p e c i a l i z e d k n o w l e d g e and group d e c i s i o n . They remain in power as long as their c o r p o r a -

tions are p r o f i t a b l e enough to pay s t o c k h o l d e r s a c c e p t a b l e

155 d i v i d e n d s and to f i n a n c e capital r e i n v e s t m e n t . As such the

p r i m e g o a l s of t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s are a " s e c u r e level of e a r n i n g s and a m a x i m u m rate of g r o w t h c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the p r o v i s i o n of requisite reinvestment" (Galbraith, 1967:186). Other goals,

such as t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s and d i v i d e n d r a t e s , will be s e c o n d a r y and still o t h e r g o a l s , such as t h o s e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c o r p o r a t e social r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , will be f u r t h e r down on the list. This p r i m a r y goal is d e f i n e d not in terms of p r o f i t m a x -

i m i z a t i o n but r a t h e r g r o w t h m a x i m i z a t i o n w h i c h , in t u r n , is o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d in terms of s a l e s . The e x p a n s i o n of o u t p u t is because in-

m o s t o b v i o u s l y in the i n t e r e s t s of t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s

it m e a n s m o r e jobs and p r o m o t i o n s -- as does t e c h n o l o g i c a l novation.

T h e m a x i m i z a t i o n of p r o f i t , h o w e v e r , is not a d e s i r -

able goal b e c a u s e it " r e q u i r e s the i n d i v i d u a l m e m b e r of the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e to s u b o r d i n a t e his p e r s o n a l p e c u n i a r y interest

to that of the r e m o t e and u n k n o w n s t o c k h o l d e r " ( G a l b r a i t h , 1 9 6 7 : 181). With the v a r i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s in the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e p u r s u i n g t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and g o a l s w i t h i n the l i m i t s of t h e i r s p e c i a l t i e s , the role of m a n a g e m e n t b e c o m e s t h a t of m e d i a t o r r e c o n c i l i n g the p o s t u r e s of s u b o r d i n a t e s and t e c h n i c i a n s and thus b a l a n c i n g the d i f f e r e n t t h r u s t s of d i f f e r e n t s p e c i a l i s t s . M a n a g e r s m u s t control e v e n t s in a w a y that d e m o n s t r a t e s i m p r o v e m e n t at the end of a s p e c i f i e d p l a n n i n g p e r i o d . a m a s s e d to show c o r p o r a t e g r o w t h . Data m u s t be

U n d e r c o n d i t i o n s of b o u n d -

ed r a t i o n a l i t y m a n a g e r s m u s t a n t i c i p a t e the f u t u r e by e s t i m a t ing a r a n g e of p o s s i b l e o u t c o m e s and the p r o b a b i l i t y of each one. Thus u n d e r s t a t e m e n t and c o n s e r v a t i s m are in t h e i r i n t e r -

156 e s t s ; m a n a g e r s tend to c h o o s e a c t i o n s w h i c h m i n i m i z e r a t h e r than m a x i m i z e g a i n s ( b e c a u s e to p u r s u e m a x i m u m is to i n v i t e i n c r e a s e d r i s k of l o s s ) . S u m m a r y and C o m m e n t T h i s long and i n v o l v e d d i s c u s s i o n of G a l b r a i t h ' s model of the s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r of c o r p o r a t i o n s and the m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e y a t t e m p t to e x e r c i s e r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l o v e r e l e m e n t s in t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s is still o n l y a b r i e f o u t l i n e of the c o m p l e x and d e t a i l e d p r e s e n t a t i o n in T h e New State. Industrial losses profit

Y e t it w a s n e c e s s a r y to h a v e a b a s i c v i e w of c o r p o r a t e

a c t i o n as a p o w e r s t r u c t u r e in o r d e r to c o n t r a s t w i t h the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t m o d e l and to a p p l y t h e m to the a u t o m o bile industry. G a l b r a i t h ' s m o d e l has t h r e e b a s i c c o m p o n e n t s : ( 1 ) specialization

the i m p e r a t i v e s of t e c h n o l o g y w h i c h n e c e s s i t a t e

and o r g a n i z a t i o n -- g i v i n g r i s e to t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s -- and the need for c o r p o r a t e p l a n n i n g in o r d e r to s t a b i l i z e environmental

c o n d i t i o n s for t e c h n o l o g i c a l p r o d u c t i o n ; (2) the p l a n n i n g p r o cess as c o m m i t t e e - b a s e d and d i r e c t e d by t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s t h e i r i n t e r e s t s -- w i t h m a n a g e m e n t a c t i n g to b a l a n c e the c o n f l i c t i n g d e m a n d s of the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e and to c h a r t a c o u r s e of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n w h i c h is the l e a s t r i s k y b u t i n s u r e s growth and

(as m e a s u r e d by s a l e s ) ; (3) the s t r a t e g i e s e m p l o y e d to i n s u l a t e t e c h n o l o g i c a l c o r e s and to m a n a g e s p e c i f i c and a g g r e g a t e d e m a n d -- v e r t i c a l i n t e g r a t i o n , the s a l e s e f f o r t , a t t e m p t s to direct public policy, etc. W i t h r e s p e c t to the i m p e r a t i v e s of t e c h n o l o g y , G a l b r a i t h a r g u e s t h a t t h e y " d e t e r m i n e " o t h e r s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s such as

157 t h e d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r and o r g a n i z a t i o n . As n o t e d e a r l i e r ,

m a n y p e o p l e h a v e i n t e r p r e t e d his v i e w as s t r u c t u r a l or t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n i s m , a n d he g i v e s e v i d e n c e to s u p p o r t t h i s . It is i m p o r t a n t to c r i t i q u e s u c h a d e t e r m i n i s t p o s i t i o n f o r , a p p l i e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , it w o u l d m e a n t h a t t h e r e w a s l i t t l e c h o i c e on the p a r t of e i t h e r the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e or m a n a g e m e n t or e v e n the m a r k e t as to the s i z e , s h a p e and f o r m o f t h e i n d u s t r y or the v o l u m e , s h a p e s , and t y p e s of a u t o m o b i l e s it p r o d u c e d . T h i s is n o t a v i a b l e p o s i t i o n f o r it m u s t are

be r e c o g n i z e d t h a t s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a b l e s l i k e t e c h n o l o g y

s o c i a l c r e a t i o n s w h i c h r e s u l t f r o m d e c i s i o n s to c o m m i t r e s o u r c e s and l a b o u r in p a r t i c u l a r w a y s . These s t r u c t u r e s , once choice Of

c r e a t e d , f e e d b a c k i n t o s o c i a l a c t i o n and l i m i t s o c i a l in t h e n e x t h i s t o r i c a l m o m e n t b u t do n o t d e t e r m i n e i t .

c o u r s e , t h i s is a b a s i c t e n e t o f , the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w o f s o c i a l structure. W h e n a p p l i e d to t e c h n o l o g y it r e c o g n i z e s t h a t any

t e c h n o l o g y has a n u m b e r o f a l t e r n a t i v e w a y s in w h i c h it m a y be d e s i g n e d and c o n s t r u c t e d and a n u m b e r of a l t e r n a t i v e w a y s in w h i c h it m a y be s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d and o p e r a t e d . T h u s , any

t e c h n o l o g y m a y be v a r i a b l e in its a c t u a l f o r m a n d s t r u c t u r e , and w h i l e a g i v e n , e x i s t i n g t e c h n o l o g y s e t s l i m i t s to the t y p e of social o r g a n i z a t i o n p o s s i b l e around i t , this social organifrom those

z a t i o n is n o t d e t e r m i n e d by t h e t e c h n o l o g y b u t is c h o s e n a r a n g e of p o s s i b l e t y p e s and can be m a n i p u l a t e d w i t h i n limits. M o r e o v e r , b o t h t e c h n o l o g y and s o c i a l

organizations

are t h e m s e l v e s l i m i t e d by t h e n e e d to m a i n t a i n t h e e c o n o m i c v i a b i l i t y of c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e s . It is u l t i m a t e l y this

s o c i a l i n t e r e s t w h i c h d e t e r m i n e s w h i c h r a n g e of t e c h n o l o g i c a l

158 forms and c o r r e s p o n d i n g social o r g a n i z a t i o n s will be developed.

T h i s p o s i t i o n c a n , it is a r g u e d h e r e , be s e e n in w o r k , a l t h o u g h o n l y a s h o r t a r g u m e n t w i l l be m a d e .

Galbraith's In t h e Galbraith

q u o t a t i o n near the b e g i n n i n g of the last s e c t i o n w h e r e ( 1 9 6 7 : 3 2 ) q u a l i f i e s his d e s c r i p t i o n of t e c h n o l o g i c a l

imperacomplex

t i v e s , he n o t e s t h a t he h a s to c u t i n t o " t h e i n t r i c a t e o f e c o n o m i c c h a n g e " s o m e w h e r e a n d t e c h n o l o g y as a

structural logical

v a r i a b l e w h i c h h a s " a n i n i t i a t i v e o f i t s o w n , is t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h to b r e a k i n " . By t h i s " i n i t i a t i v e "

Galbraith reto

i s , o f c o u r s e , r e f e r r i n g to t h e p h y s i c a l quirements operate.

and s t r u c t u r a l

( o r i m p e r a t i v e s ) a n y t e c h n o l o g y h a s in o r d e r In d i s c u s s i n g c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r a t a h i g h

level minimizes the corp-

of a b s t r a c t i o n over a w i d e range of a r e a s , G a l b r a i t h the historical mutual

d i m e n s i o n of the c r e a t i o n of t e c h n o l o g y and

f e e d b a c k o f s t r u c t u r e s a n d c h o i c e f o r g o o d r e a s o n --

o r a t i o n s h a v e b e e n a b l e to i n s u l a t e t h e i r t e c h n o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e s and social o r g a n i z a t i o n from outside

designs,

influence, expansion increas-

s t a b i l i z e d t h e m , a n d h a v e a c t e d to e n c o u r a g e t h e i r

f o r t h e e c o n o m i c r e t u r n s t h e y a r e a b l e to g a i n by t h e ing p r o d u c t i o n of g o o d s .

Yet reading his d i s c u s s i o n of m a n a g e conflicting are to degree

m e n t as a p r o c e s s of b a l a n c i n g the d e m a n d s of segments of the technostructure

it is c l e a r t h a t c h o i c e s

m a d e as to p a r t i c u l a r e m p h a s e s , d i r e c t i o n s , a n d d e s i g n s d e v e l o p o r n o t to d e v e l o p , to w h a t e x t e n t , a n d w i t h w h a t and type of organization.

O v e r a l l , G a l b r a i t h ' s d i s c u s s i o n of c o r p o r a t i o n s organizations in a c t i o n a n d e v e n t h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l

as

determinist elite/class

b e n t is n o t n e c e s s a r i l y d i s a g r e e a b l e w i t h e i t h e r

159 or p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t a s s u m p t i o n s -- m a n y of b o t h o r i e n t ations use technological d e t e r m i n i s t t h e o r i e s . Nor does the inter-

a b o v e d e s c r i p t i o n of the l i m i t i n g but not d e t e r m i n i n g

a c t i o n b e t w e e n s o c i a l a c t i o n and t e c h n o l o g y n e c e s s a r i l y v i o ate them. Yet people of both o r i e n t a t i o n s have raised n u m e r As noted e a r l i e r , the

ous c r i t i c i s m s of G a l b r a i t h ' s w o r k .

b a s i c t h r u s t o f G a l b r a i t h is \/ery s i m i l a r to t h a t of M a r c u s e -- and n e o - M a r x i s t s and o t h e r r a d i c a l s do n o t c r i t i c i z e G a l b r a i t h f o r his m o d e l of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n ( e x c e p t on s o m e s m a l l d e t a i l s ) , r a t h e r t h e y a r e c r i t i c a l o f his r e f u s a l u t i l i z e a c l a s s a n a l y s i s a n d / o r to a r g u e f o r t h e s o c i a l moral b a n k r u p t c y of the c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m . to and

T h e y o b j e c t to

G a l b r a i t h ' s l i b e r a l , d e m o c r a t i c e l i t i s m and h i s o v e r r i d i n g f a i t h in t h e s y s t e m . Such criticisms are mainly philosophical

a n d v a l u e - b a s e d and a r e n o t e a s i l y d e a l t w i t h w i t h i n t h e r e a l m of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o u r s e . T h o s e of a p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t

o r i e n t a t i o n also have been critical of s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s of G a l b r a i t h ' s w o r k b u t e s p e c i a l l y his " s k e t c h " o f d e m a n d m a n a g e m e n t o r , in t h e t e r m s o f his d i s c u s s i o n , r e l a t i o n a l in t h e m a r k e t . control

As t h i s is t h e t o p i c o f i n t e r e s t in t h i s s t u d y , chapter.

t h i s c r i t i q u e w i l l be e x a m i n e d in t h e f o l l o w i n g

CHAPTER 5 C O N S U M P T I O N AND C O N T R O L : N E E D S , C U L T U R E , THE M A R K E T AND C O R P O R A T I O N S A b r i e f s u m m a r y of w h a t has been c o v e r e d in this d i s c u s s i o n of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r and the m a r k e t and how it fits t o g e t h e r is in o r d e r . C h a p t e r Two d i s c u s s e d the two predominant

v e r s i o n s of the social and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m and the d i f f e r i n g views of the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r held by them. The view of p o w e r as a s t r u c t u r a l variable

w a s i n t r o d u c e d w i t h the c o n c e p t s of m e t a - p o w e r and control.

relational

This v i e w , it was a r g u e d , a p p e a r s m o r e a d e q u a t e to

the u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the e x e r c i s e of power by c o r p o r a t i o n s . It is the c o n c e p t i o n w h i c h was i m p l i c i t in many elite/class articula-

d e s c r i p t i o n s of c o r p o r a t e and class p o w e r but lacked tion. E s p e c i a l l y s t r e s s e d w a s the c o n c e p t of the

incorporation power

of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r as a m e a n s of m a i n t a i n i n g structures. C h a p t e r T h r e e o u t l i n e d the

pluralist/functionalist

view of the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the e n v i r o n m e n t , e s p e c i a l l y with the m a r k e t . A m o r e a d e q u a t e model of

c o r p o r a t i o n s was d i s c u s s e d in terms of the one p r o v i d e d by T h o m p s o n ' s " o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n " . The e n v i r o n m e n t was d i s -

cussed and d e f i n e d in terms of c o m p l e x i t y , u n c e r t a i n t y and u n k n o w a b i 1 i t y for c o r p o r a t i o n s . The corporate-environment

i n t e r a c t i o n was d i s c u s s e d in terms of c o r p o r a t e e f f o r t s to reduce c o m p l e x i t y and risk w i t h i n the limits of their r a t i o n a l ity and p o w e r . This p o w e r was viewed as d i s t i n c t l y limited

in o p e r a t i o n and c l e a r l y b o u n d e d by and d e p e n d e n t upon c u l 160

161 tural v a l u e s . C u l t u r a l v a r i a b i l i t y w a s s e e n in t h i s p e r s p e c c h a n g e s or a d a p t a t i o n s in g o a l s , two

t i v e as c a u s i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s , and b e h a v i o u r s .

The last chapter outlined

a p p r o a c h e s w h i c h w e r e a p p l i c a t i o n s of the m e t a - p o w e r

concept.

T h e c r i t i c a l t h e o r y v i e w of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s s t r u c t u r e and its d o m i n a t i o n of the m a r k e t and s o c i e t y t h r o u g h c o n sumerism was discussed first. T h i s o v e r a l l v i e w has a s t r u c -

tural d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h is c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the m o d e l of c o r p o r a t i o n s in a c t i o n as d e v e l o p e d by G a l b r a i t h . This model was

d i s c u s s e d and the e m p h a s i s b o t h a p p r o a c h e s m a k e on d e m a n d m a n a g e m e n t or r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l of the m a r k e t t h r o u g h s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s s u c h as a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t n o t e d . a p p r o a c h e s , h o w e v e r , are p h r a s e d in g e n e r a l t e r m s and Both

present

l i t t l e in the w a y of s p e c i f i c a n a l y s e s or s y s t e m a t i c , p r o p o s i tional theory. W h a t all of t h i s g i v e s to t h i s s t u d y i s : (1) a v i e w

of c o r p o r a t i o n s as o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n ; (2) a v i e w of t h e e n v i r o n m e n t as c o m p l e x and u n c e r t a i n ; (3) two v i e w s of p o w e r and its e x e r c i s e by c o r p o r a t i o n s -- the pluralist/functionalist

v i e w and the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w ; (4) two v i e w s of t h e m a r k e t and consumption behaviour. B u t this l a s t p o i n t , t h e m a r k e t and This chapter this

c o n s u m p t i o n , is still an u n d e v e l o p e d c a t e g o r y .

will a t t e m p t to fill in t h i s c a t e g o r y and t h u s c o m p l e t e conceptual discussion.

As n o t e d e a r l i e r , t h e m a r k e t and c o n concern

sumption patterns have received little sociological or r e s e a r c h a t t e n t i o n at t h e s o c i e t a l l e v e l .

In a 1 9 7 6 a r t i c l e Nicosia

e n t i t l e d , " T o w a r d a S o c i o l o g y of C o n s u m p t i o n " , F r a n c i s c o and R o b e r t M a y e r h a v e c o m m e n t e d on t h i s l a c k .

T h e r e is a g r e a t

162 deal of r e s e a r c h on c o n s u m e r d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g at t h e level and the i n t e r a c t i o n of e c o n o m i c and s o c i a l with individual psychological attributes. individual

variables

Neither sociologists nor consumer res e a r c h e r s , h o w e v e r , have a c c e p t e d the c h a l l e n g e of s t u d y i n g a s o c i e t y ' s c o n s u m p t i o n in r e l a t i o n to o t h e r s o c i e t a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , d e s p i t e its p o t e n t i a l as a s o c i a l i n d i c a t o r . U n d e r s t a n d i n g s o m e of a s o c i e t y ' s c h a r a c t e r istics could provide a consumer researcher w i t h the c o n t e x t n e c e s s a r y to h e l p t h e s t u d y of i n d i v i d u a l c o n s u m e r c h o i c e s ( N i c o s i a a n d Mayer, 1976:65). (See also N i c o s i a and Witkowski, 1975; Foxall, 1974; Burns, 1964.) T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l c o n s i d e r t h e t w o e x t r e m e v i e w s of the m a r k e t , the p r o d u c e r s o v e r e i g n view a s s o c i a t e d with

G a l b r a i t h and n e o - M a r x i s t s ( c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s ) and t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l w i s d o m v i e w of c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y . W h i l e b o t h a r e in

b a s i c a g r e e m e n t a b o u t t h e b a s i c s o c i o l o g i c a l n a t u r e of t h e m a r k e t in c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s , t h e y o b v i o u s l y d i s a g r e e o v e r t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r in i t . t e n d to v i e w t h e r o l e M o r e o v e r , they

of c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s d i f f e r e n t l y and t h i s

h a s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e w a y in w h i c h t h e y v i e w t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s of c o r p o r a t e s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s , s u c h as a d v e r t i s i n g . This

is an i m p o r t a n t i s s u e , b e c a u s e c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s p l a y an imp o r t a n t p a r t in d e t e r m i n i n g the c o n t e n t ( m e a n i n g and m a t e r i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ) of c o m m o d i t i e s and t h e g r a t i f i c a t i o n s provide. they

In d e l i n e a t i n g t h e s e p o s i t i o n s , t h e v e r s i o n of c r i t upon

ical t h e o r y , w h i c h p o s i t s t o t a l p r o d u c e r d o m i n a t i o n b a s e d

t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n of f a l s e n e e d s , w i l l be r e p l a c e d w i t h a m o r e a d e q u a t e v e r s i o n w h i c h d o e s n o t r e l y on s u c h a p r o b l e m a t i c concept. T h i s l a t t e r p o s i t i o n a r g u e s t h a t the c o n t r o l of t h e

m a r k e t is r e l a t i o n a l , b u t t h a t w i t h i n t h e l i m i t s o f its s t r u c -

163 ture and o r i e n t a t i o n , g r a t i f i c a t i o n s w h i c h are a u t h e n t i c and s e l f - a c t u a l i z i n g are p o s s i b l e . This d e s c r i p t i o n r e l a t e s to The two o p p o s -

B a l d u s 1 n o t i o n of dual o p p o r t u n i t y s t r u c t u r e .

ing views of the m a r k e t will be c o n t r a s t e d in the last s e c t i o n . The M a r k e t : P r o d u c e r S o v e r e i g n t y versus C o n s u m e r Sovereignty interaction

In this s e c t i o n a view of the m a r k e t as an s y s t e m will be p r e s e n t e d .

The two e x t r e m e views of p r o d u c e r brief-

s o v e r e i g n t y and c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y will be d e l i n e a t e d ly and b a s i c p o i n t s of d i a g r e e m e n t noted.

In m o d e r n c a p i t a l i s t i c s o c i e t i e s the m a r k e t is a social i n s t i t u t i o n in the form of an i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m based economic exchange. upon

In this system human needs and w a n t s are

m a i n l y s a t i s f i e d t h r o u g h the e c o n o m i c p r o d u c t i o n of v a r i o u s g o o d s and s e r v i c e s ( c o m m o d i t i e s ) w h i c h are sold on the m a r k e t for this p u r p o s e in return for m o n e t a r y p r o f i t . of i n t e r a c t i o n it is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the three noted in the d i s c u s s i o n of m e t a - p o w e r : As a system components situa-

the i n t e r a c t i o n

t i o n , the o u t c o m e s t r u c t u r e , and the o r i e n t a t i o n

component. physical between

The i n t e r a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n c o m p r i s e s both the w i d e r and social e n v i r o n m e n t a l

c o n t e x t , and the r e l a t i o n s h i p

c o n s u m e r s and p r o d u c e r s who m e e t in and t h r o u g h the p r o d u c t s or c o m m o d i t i e s on the m a r k e t . This d i s c u s s i o n is c o n c e r n e d The reward or o u t c o m e

m o s t l y with the l a t t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p .

s t r u c t u r e is the d i s t r i b u t i o n of s a t i s f a c t i o n s o b t a i n e d in the e x c h a n g e p r o c e s s and the c o n s u m p t i o n of c o m m o d i t i e s . And the

o r i e n t a t i o n c o m p o n e n t is the cultural v a l u e s and norms which d e f i n e the a p p r o p r i a t e forms and range of both need s a t i s f a c -

164 tion and the m o d e of s a t i s f a c t i o n . Thus they a l s o d e f i n e the

n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n p r o d u c e r s and w o r k e r s , c o n s u m e r s , and o t h e r a s p e c t s of the e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e o p e r a t i o n of m a r k e t r e l a t i o n s h i p s o b v i o u s ly p r e s u p p o s e s the e x i s t e n c e of n o r m a t i v e a g r e e m e n t s ( u l t i m a t e l y s a n c t i o n e d by the s t a t e ) w h i c h d e f i n e the general c o n d i t i o n s g o v e r n i n g the f o r m a t i o n of c o n t r a c t u a l t i e s , e t c . ; but t h e s e n o r m s m e r e l y s p e c i f y the b o u n d a r i e s to the f r a m e w o r k . The m a r k e t is thus a s y s t e m of e c o n o m i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o u n d e d upon the r e l a t i v e b a r g a i n i n g s t r e n g t h s of d i f f e r e n t g r o u p i n g s of i n d i v i d u a l s ( G i d d e n s , 1 9 7 3 : 1 0 2 ) . T h i s m u c h is basic s o c i o l o g y . W h e r e the d i s a g r e e m e n t s start

is o v e r the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o w e r in the m a r k e t , the role of c u l t u r e , and the e f f e c t s of c o r p o r a t e sales s t r a t e g i e s . As n o t e d in the last c h a p t e r , G a l b r a i t h is c o n c e r n e d w i t h the c u l t u r a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n of human needs and the role of a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t upon this p r o c e s s . t h o u g h he m a k e s q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , he also m a k e s s t a t e m e n t s Alsuch

as the f o l l o w i n g on the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of d e m a n d m a n a g e m e n t : It is true that the c o n s u m e r may still i m a g i n e t h a t his a c t i o n s r e s p o n d to his own view of his s a t i s f a c t i o n s . But this is s u p e r f i c i a l and p r o x i m a t e , the r e s u l t of i l l u s i o n s c r e a t e d in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the m a n a g e m e n t of his w a n t s ( G a l b r a i t h , 1967:224). Such a view is \/ery s i m i l a r to t h a t of the c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s w h o are also c o n c e r n e d w i t h the w a y human n e e d s and w a n t s are c u l t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d and the role of a d v e r t i s i n g , a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s , in this p r o c e s s . of p r o d u c e r s o v e r e i g n t y However, their assumption sovereignty,

( c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t class

a c t u a l l y ) is not m a d e for the sake of a r g u m e n t .

Their totalautonomy

istic view of m a n i p u l a t i o n and the loss of c o n s u m e r

165 m u s t p o s i t s o m e m e c h a n i s m w h i c h e x p l a i n s the lack of a w a r e ness and p r o t e s t on the p a r t of c o n s u m e r s / w o r k e r s as a c l a s s . T h i s m e c h a n i s m is the c o n c e p t of f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s and the c r e a t i o n and s a t i s f a c t i o n of f a l s e n e e d s t h r o u g h e m o t i o n a l i r r a t i o n a l a p p e a l s and p r o m i s e s of s a t i s f a c t i o n . l y , t h e s e v i e w s have l i t t l e , if a n y , e m p i r i c a l support them. and

Unfortunate-

r e s e a r c h to

G i v e n G a l b r a i t h ' s t o t a l i s t i c b e n t and his a f f i n -

i t i e s w i t h c r i t i c a l t h e o r y it is not hard to see w h y m a n y r e a d ers did n o t t a k e his q u a l i f i c a t i o n s s e r i o u s l y . Gordon's (1968:640) interpretation: Thus, Scott

T h e c o n s u m e r e n t e r s the G a l b r a i t h i a n p i c t u r e of the A m e r i c a n e c o n o m y as a p u p p e t of the p r o d u c t i v e s y s t e m -- his f u n c t i o n is to p u r c h a s e w h a t e v e r the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e has d e c i d ed to p r o d u c e in the q u a n t i t i e s and the p r i c e s set by the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e ' s p l a n . (See a l s o Stigler, 1967, 1968; Demsetz, 1968; Reich, 1970; Caves, 1970.) S u c h m a n i p u l a t i o n , it is a r g u e d , is s i m p l y n o t c o n s i s t e n t w i t h reality. T h i s total d e t e r m i n i s t view sees p r o d u c e r p o w e r e x -

e r c i s e d in the d i r e c t i n p u t - o u t p u t of a p u p p e t e e r -- o r , as in an e a r l i e r m e t a p h o r , in the m a n n e r of the K a p p e l m e i s t e r . Those posi-

w h o a r g u e for c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y a l s o t a k e a d e t e r m i n i s t tion. O n l y now the o r g a n w h i c h is p l a y e d or the p u p p e t s

whose

s t r i n g s are p u l l e d are the p r o d u c e r s .

Consumers express demachinthose

m a n d s in the m a r k e t a n d > t h r o u g h the p h y s i c a l and social

e r y of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , g o o d s are p r o d u c e d w h i c h s a t i s f y

d e m a n d s d i r e c t l y and e f f i c i e n t l y w i t h l i t t l e d i s t o r t i o n of original intentions.. P r o d u c t s r e f l e c t both r e c e n t l y v o i c e d d e -

m a n d s and c u r r e n t p r i m a r y w a n t s , t a s t e s and n e e d s . T h e m a n i p u l a t i v e r o l e of a d v e r t i s i n g in d i c t a t i n g c o n -

166 s u m e r w a n t s , t a s t e s , and n e e d s has b e e n v i g o r o u s l y criticized

f r o m t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e -- e s p e c i a l l y by T a p l i n ( 1 9 6 3 ) and B r i n k and K e l l e y ( 1 9 6 3 ) . S a m u e l A. G r e y s e r ( 1 9 7 2 : 2 4 ) has summarized

the a r g u m e n t a g a i n s t m a n i p u l a t e d c o n s u m e r s : Y e t a s u b s t a n t i a l b o d y of c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r r e s e a r c h t e l l s us t h a t the c o n s u m e r is h a r d ly a h e l p l e s s p a w n m a n i p u l a t e d at will by the a d v e r t i s e r . We k n o w , for e x a m p l e , t h a t a l m o s t all c o n s u m e r s are yery s e l e c t i v e in w h a t a d v e r t i s i n g t h e y pay a t t e n t i o n t o , p e r c e i v e , e v a l u a t e , and r e m e m b e r -- let a l o n e a c t u p o n . T h i s p r o c e s s on the p a r t of the c o n s u m e r n o t o n l y v a r i e s c o n s i d e r a b l y w i t h the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n d i v i d u a l , of the p r o d u c t and b r a n d i n v o l v e d , and of the ads in b e h a l f of t h o s e p r o d u c t s and b r a n d ; b u t it a l s o o f t e n v a r i e s for the v e r y s a m e i n d i v i d u a l u n d e r d i f f e r e n t buying c i r c u m s t a n c e s , e.g.jfor inexpensive versus expensive products. In t h e n e x t s e c t i o n the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n w i l l be p r e s e n t e d . view

The following

s e c t i o n will p r e s e n t a v i e w b a s e d upon a c r i t i c a l t h e o r y w h i c h d o e s n o t r e q u i r e any n o t i o n of f a l s e n e e d s b u t w h i c h is s e n s i t i v e to c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s and r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l The P l u r a l i s t / F u n c t i o n a l i s t View strategies.

T h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t v i e w of the m a r k e t is standard T a l c o t t P a r s o n s and as such will n o t be d i s c u s s e d in any great detail. In this v i e w the m a r k e t is a s u b s y s t e m of the

l a r g e r s o c i a l s y s t e m of w h i c h it is a p a r t and for w h i c h it performs adaptive functions. T h e m a r k e t is f u n c t i o n a l l y i n t e -

g r a t e d into the l a r g e r s y s t e m and its i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m is b o u n d e d and s h a p e d by the c o m m o n v a l u e s y s t e m of the s o c i e t y . T h i s c o m m o n v a l u e s y s t e m is b u i l t u p o n a c o n s e n s u s of the i n d i v i d u a l s y s t e m m e m b e r s , w h i c h i t s e l f is the r e s u l t of the

167 b a l a n c i n g and e q u i l i b r a t i n g of i n d i v i d u a l and t e n s i o n s and g o a l s . institutional

In the m a r k e t , j u s t as e l s e w h e r e in the

s o c i a l s y s t e m , i n d i v i d u a l s a r e c o n s i d e r e d to be a u t o n o m o u s , r a t i o n a l p e r s o n s w h o m a k e d e c i s i o n s and a c t i n d e p e n d e n t l y of each other. T h e s e d e c i s i o n s and a c t i o n s , and the h u m a n needs

and w a n t s w h i c h u n d e r l i e t h e m , are g u i d e d and c h a n n e l e d in t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n by the c u l t u r a l c o d e or v a l u e s y s t e m . The expres-

s i o n of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d is t h u s an e x p r e s s i o n of t h e n e e d s of the s y s t e m and the m a r k e t is o r g a n i z e d in s u c h a w a y as to m e e t these needs efficiently. T h i s m o d e of o r g a n i z a t i o n is t h e f r e e suppliers

or 1 a i s s e z - f a i r e m a r k e t in w h i c h c o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n

i n s u r e s e f f i c i e n t p r o d u c t i o n , p r o p e r p r i c i n g , and f a i r d i s t r i b u tion. T h i s is the v i e w of c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y . A brief de-

s c r i p t i o n of the r e c e n t e f f o r t of N i c o s i a and M a y e r to d e v e l o p a s o c i o l o g y of c o n s u m p t i o n from this p e r s p e c t i v e will t r a t e its e m p h a s e s and d i f i c i e n c i e s . N i c o s i a and M a y e r ( 1 9 7 6 ) a p p l y the P a r s o n i a n framework illus-

to w h a t t h e y call " t h e c o n s u m p t i o n of a s o c i e t y " or the c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s of a s o c i e t y . They define consumption acbuying, using,

t i v i t i e s in t e r m s of t h r e e t y p e s o f a c t i v i t y : and d i s p o s i n g .

T h e y d e f i n e t h e " d o m a i n of a s o c i o l o g y of c o n -

s u m p t i o n " as c o n c e r n i n g t h e s t u d y of t h r e e c l a s s e s of v a r i a b l e s : c u l t u r a l v a l u e s , i n s t i t u t i o n s and t h e i r n o r m s , and c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s . It a l s o i n c l u d e s the s t u d y of the p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n t h e s e c l a s s e s of v a r i a b l e s -- f o r e x a m p l e , (1) f r o m c u l tural v a l u e s to i n s t i t u t i o n s and t h e n to c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , (2) f r o m c u l t u r a l v a l u e s d i r e c t l y to c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , and (3) p o s s i b l e f e e d b a c k s f r o m c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s to i n s t i t u t i o n s a n d / o r

168 cultural v a l u e s ( N i c o s i a and M a y e r , 1976:68). or buythe

T h e y p r o c e e d to d e s c r i b e t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l

arrangements

s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s by e x a m i n g i n g , u s i n g , a n d d i s p o s i n g p a t t e r n s as h a v i n g s h i f t e d f r o m l o c a t i o n in t h e f a m i l y as in t h e p a s t to c o m m e r c i a l tions and n o n - c o n s u m p t i o n ties are carried o u t ) . institutions

institu-

(where many use activiare

As a r e s u l t c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s with

i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f u s e d among both types of i n s t i t u t i o n s t h e r e s u l t t h a t t h e r e is a m u l t i p l i c i t y of consumption

norms \/ery

w h i c h are p o t e n t i a l l y c o n f l i c t i n g but n o n e of w h i c h are enforceable. N i c o s i a and M a y e r also e x a m i n e the role of values upon consumption a c t i v i t i e s . They note that

cultural identify-

ing w h i c h v a l u e s a r e r e l e v a n t to c o n s u m p t i o n a n d relationships is d i f f i c u l t .

establishing in

Then they mention the manner

w h i c h institutions may i n t e r p r e t values and m e d i a t e values and c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s . c h a n g e s in c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s

between of norms

And the "feedback" into institutions and

a n d i n t o c u l t u r a l v a l u e s is d i s c u s s e d .

In t h i s l a t t e r d i s c u s values into

sion they d e s c r i b e the " d e f l e c t i o n " of cultural

c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s w h e n , b e c a u s e o f c h a n g e s in t h o s e a c t i vities and "social c h a n g e in g e n e r a l " 4 n o n c o n s u m p t i o n activit-

i e s a r e no l o n g e r a b l e to " i n t e r p r e t a n d t r a n s l a t e a p a r t i c u l ar c u l t u r a l value into a c t i v i t y - s p e c i f i c norms" (Nicosia and

Mayer, 1976:72).

T h e y w i n d up p r e s e n t i n g a v i e w o f m o d e r n s o description. Consump-

c i e t y w h i c h is t h e s t a n d a r d s o c i o l o g i c a l

tion has become the area w h e r e values of i n d i v i d u a l m e n t , success and personal distinction

achieve-

(deflected from pro-

169 d u c t i o n ) and i n d i v i d u a l f r e e d o m o f c h o i c e ( d e f l e c t e d from

n u m e r o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s w h i c h h a v e b e c o m e c e n t r a l i z e d and t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y c o m p l e x ) can be r e a l i z e d . B u t t h e y do n o t a n a l y z e Prefunc-

the s o u r c e s of the c h a n g e s w h i c h c a u s e t h e s e d e f l e c t i o n s . s u m a b l y t h e s e s o u r c e s w o u l d be p h r a s e d in the t r a d i t i o n a l t i o n a l i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the r i s e o f c o r p o r a t e

capitalism.

T h i s view is r e i n f o r c e d by the i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t t h a t in t h i s a n a l y s i s of c o n s u m p t i o n , N i c o s i a and M a y e r do n o t e v e n m e n t i o n the s u p p l y of c o m m o d i t i e s f o r c o n s u m p t i o n -- the r o l e of c o r p o r a t i o n s and of a d v e r t i s i n g and o t h e r s a l e s is c o m p l e t e l y m i s s i n g . strategies the

T h i s is e n t i r e l y c o n s i s t e n t w i t h

p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t v i e w of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and the o p e r a t i o n of p o w e r . P r o d u c e r s a r e l i k e the K a p p e l m e i s t e r ' s t h e y s u p p l y g o o d s and organ

r e f e r r e d to in C h a p t e r T w o :

services

w h i c h a r e d i r e c t l y s a t i s f a c t o r y to c o n s u m e r d e m a n d o v e r a p e r iod of c o m p e t i t i o n . T h e r o l e of a d v e r t i s i n g in t h i s context

is to p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t p r o d u c t s and p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h is r e l e v a n t to c o n s u m e r d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g a b o u t how b e s t to a l l o c a t e t h e i r i n c o m e s to a c h i e v e t h e g r e a t e s t or s a t i s f a c t i o n . utility

T h e g o a l s of a d v e r t i s i n g are to p e r s u a d e c o n -

s u m e r s of a p r o d u c t ' s s u p e r i o r i t y and to h e l p p r o v i d e t h i s p r o d u c t to t h e m a r k e t . In the p r o c e s s , a d v e r t i s i n g can c a u s e a

h i g h e r level of total c o n s u m p t i o n for a p r o d u c t t h a n if it w e r e n o t a d v e r t i s e d at a l l . T h e c o n t e n t of a d v e r t i s i n g is d e p e n d -

e n t u p o n t h e n a t u r e o f the p r o d u c t and the n a t u r e of c o n s u m e r wants. It is a n e u t r a l tool to d i s p l a y the l i n k s b e t w e e n the It e x e r t s no i n f l u e n c e upon e i t h e r o n e . The

two c a t e g o r i e s .

n a t u r e of the p r o d u c t is a r e s u l t of the e x p r e s s i o n o f c o n s u m e r

170 d e m a n d , and the v a l u e s of c o n s u m e r s are i n d e p e n d e n t of the advertising process. T h e v a l u e s of c o n s u m e r s w h i c h s h a p e the

n a t u r e and e x p r e s s i o n of t h e i r w a n t s , t a s t e s , n e e d s are l e a r n ed from s o u r c e s o u t s i d e of the a d v e r t i s i n g p r o c e s s ; a d v e r t i s ing can only appeal to t h e s e s o u r c e s of p o t e n t i a l m o t i v a t i o n . This p o s i t i o n is s t a t e d c l e a r l y by P e t i t and Z a k o n (1962:15):

. . . a d v e r t i s i n g m u s t be c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the v a l u e s of the c o n s u m e r if it is to inf l u e n c e his b e h a v i o u r . • . • It m u s t r e late the p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and c o n s u m e r b e n e f i t s to v a l u e s the c u s t o m e r has already learned. Samuel A. G r e y s e r ( 1 9 7 2 : 1 4 3 ) s u m m a r i z e s this a p p r o a c h in an a r t i c l e in the H a r v a r d B u s i n e s s R e v i e w : C o n s u m e r s are seen as r a t h e r m o r e i n t e l l i g e n t and less s e d u c e d than in the m a n i p u l a tive m o d e l . A c r e d o of the s e r v i c e model i s : " C o n s u m e r s c a s t t h e i r b a l l o t s at the cash r e g i s t e r e v e r y day . . . and b e s i d e s , we know w h a t they w a n t via m a r k e t r e s e a r c h " . A d v e r t i s i n g is seen as h e l p i n g to f a c i l i tate c h o i c e s m a d e by c o n s u m e r s w h o g e n e r a l l y know w h a t they w a n t . In this t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h e i r s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s are m o r e or less s i m p l e i n p u t - o u t p u t m e c h a n isms w h i c h p r o c e s s c o n s u m e r d e m a n d into a p p r o p r i a t e c o m m o d i t i e s Even w h e n v i e w e d as o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s is still l i m i t e d by c u l t u r a l v a l u e s , c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s , and other environmental controls. C o n s u m e r d e m a n d is a f u n c t i o n

of the c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of n e e d s and is e x p r e s s e d according to such f a c t o r s as i n c o m e , t a s t e , e t c . T h i s view is i l l u -

s t r a t e d in the t h e o r y of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d d e v e l o p e d by Kevin Lancaster (1966a, 1966b, 1971). His t h e o r y a t t e m p t s to e x p l a i n proper-

how v a r i o u s p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (the r e a l , p h y s i c a l

171 ties of a c o m m o d i t y ) a f f e c t c o n s u m e r demands for m u l t i - d i m e n sional g o o d s . He makes two basic a s s u m p t i o n s : (1) "All goods

p o s s e s s o b j e c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e l e v a n t to the choices w h i c h p e o p l e make among d i f f e r e n t c o l l e c t i o n s of goods . . and (2) " I n d i v i d u a l s d i f f e r in their reacti ons to d i f f e r e n t characteristics ... sumers are i n t e r e s t e d . It is the c h a r a c t e r ! s t i e s in w h i c h conThey possess p r e f e r e n c e s for c o l l e c .";

tions of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and p r e f e r e n c e s for goods are i n d i r ect or derived in the sense that goods are required only in order to p r o d u c e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " ( L a n c a s t e r , 1 9 7 1 : 7 ) . From

the p r o d u c e r s ' point of v i e w , w h a t they are s e l l i n g is " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s c o l l e c t i o n s r a t h e r than g o o d s " ( L a n c a s t e r , 1 9 6 6 a : 21). I n t e r e s t i n g l y , L a n c a s t e r a p p l i e s his theory to a u t o m o b i l e There is no need to detail his a n a l y s i s h e r e .

consumption.

His basic a s s u m p t i o n is that c o n s u m e r s search for an a u t o m o b i l e that c o n t a i n s the optimal c o l l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a v a i l able at that t i m e , and that c o m p e t i n g cars can be ranked in order of d e c r e a s i n g q u a l i t y in various m e a s u r a b l e c h a r a c t e r i s tics. T h e r e are several c r i t i c i s m s which can be made of his

a p p l i c a t i o n , but the one of m o s t r e l e v a n c e here is that he does not d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n o b j e c t i v e and p e r c e i v e d r e a l i t y . Be-

tween the o b j e c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a u t o m o b i l e s and c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n of the s a t i s f a c t i o n s and b e n e f i t s they can p r o v i d e is a zone w h e r e i n cultural i n f l u e n c e s such as a d v e r t i s i n g can alter or d i r e c t e v a l u a t i o n s r e g a r d l e s s of the actual physical comparisons. H o w e v e r , such a role is not a t h e o r e t i c a l p o s -

s i b i l i t y in this o r i e n t a t i o n .

172 Critical Theory and the M a r k e t Both the f u n c t i o n a l i s t s and critical theorists agree

t h a t in c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m t h e m a r k e t h a s b e c o m e t h e m a i n locus of individual f r e e d o m and a c h i e v e m e n t , the m a j o r source

q f i d e n t i t y and g r a t i f i c a t i o n .

For those of the f o r m e r per-

s u a s i o n t h e m a r k e t is s t r u c t u r e d to a l l o w a n d r e s p o n d to i n dividual demand exercised i n d e p e n d e n t l y in t h e m a r k e t within

the liberal social context.

The critical view argues that the Corporate impera-

m a r k e t d i s t o r t s and m a n i p u l a t e s t h i s d e m a n d .

tives and sales s t r a t e g i e s are not c u l t u r a l l y n e u t r a l , but are a c t i v e in t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e a n d i n t e r p r e t h u m a n n e e d s a n d w a n t s d i r e c t i n g t h e m i n t o c o m m o d i t i e s d e s i g n e d a n d d e t e r m i n e d by p r o ducers. F o r c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s of t h e F r a n k f u r t S c h o o l , l i k e creates

M a r c u s e , t h e c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s t h r o u g h its s a l e s e f f o r t s

false needs and a false c o n s c i o u s n e s s , t h e r e b y e x e r c i s i n g a totalistic control n o t e a s y to v e r i f y . of h a n d . in s o c i e t y . Such notions are complex and out

T h e s e a r e n o t r e a s o n s to d i s m i s s t h e m

B u t t h e r e is a w a y to deal w i t h t h e i s s u e o f m a r k e t Critical theorists

d o m i n a t i o n w i t h o u t r e c o u r s e to t h e m .

W i l l i a m Leiss (1976) and John Alt (1977), among o t h e r s , have argued that the h y p o t h e s i s of false c o n s c i o u s n e s s the w h o l e cultural self-destructive. s y s t e m m u s t be f a l s e a n d t h u s implies that

inherently

B u t t h e o n l y v e r i f i c a t i o n f o r s u c h an h y A s l o n g as t h e people it,

p o t h e s i s is t h e c o l l a p s e o f t h e s y s t e m .

in it f u n c t i o n a t s o m e l e v e l e f f e c t i v e l y e n o u g h to m a i n t a i n the hypothesis remains speculation. there

M o r e o v e r , the notion of false needs implies that are t r u e , objective needs which exist.

But their location

has

173 proven most problematic. Leiss argues that a sociological

p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h g r a n t s t h a t all h u m a n n e e d s are h i s t o r i c a l and are c o n d i t i o n e d in t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n and s a t i s f a c t i o n by the m e a n s a v a i l a b l e c a n n o t m a i n t a i n a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n or a u t h e n t i c n e e d s and f a l s e n e e d s . true

From this p e r s p e c t i v e all determines T h i s is to

n e e d s are a u t h e n t i c w i t h i n a social c o n t e x t w h i c h w h a t the need is and the w a y it can be s a t i s f i e d .

say t h a t h u m a n c u l t u r e and its s y m b o l i c m e d i a t i o n s p r o v i d e the f r a m e w o r k t h r o u g h w h i c h h u m a n n e e d s are i n t e r p r e t e d and g u i d e d to the s o c i a l l y - a p p r o p r i a t e m o d e s of s a t i s f a c t i o n . this c u l t u r a l c o d e " i n c l u d e s a u t o n o m o u s Moreover,

d o m a i n s , not determinexper-

ed by the m o d e of p r o d u c t i o n , t h a t s t r u c t u r e i n d i v i d u a l i e n c e and b e h a v i o u r " ( L e i s s , 1 9 7 8 : 4 3 ) .

T h i s is c e r t a i n l y comB u t the c o m p a n y

p a t i b l e w i t h the f u n c t i o n a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n .

p a r t s w h e n it c o m e s to the i s s u e of s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s . Leiss argues that commodities are symbolically mediated

c o l l e c t i o n s of p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , b o t h of w h i c h are a s s e m b l e d by p r o d u c e r s in s p e c i f i c o r d e r s and d e s i g n s . Adver-

t i s i n g is the s y s t e m a t i c l i n k i n g of s y m b o l s to o b j e c t s and t h u s p r o v i d e s g u i d e s and d i r e c t i o n s as to a p p r o p r i a t e m o d e s of need s a t i s f a c t i o n . I n d i v i d u a l n e e d s and w a n t s are

c o m p l e x s t a t e s of f e e l i n g , e n c o m p a s s i n g b o t h p h y s i o l o g i c a l m a i n t e n a n c e and p s y c h o l o g i c a l well b e i n g ( s e l f - e s t e e m , e g o - e n c h a n c e m e n t , i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o m p a r i s o n s , and so f o r t h ) . In the m a r k e t p l a c e , g o o d s t h a t he or she e n c o u n t e r s c o m b i n e w h a t may be c a l l e d ' o b j e c t i v e ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s -- s u c h as p h y s i c a l d i m e n s i o n s and p e r f o r m a n c e c a p a b i l i t i e s -- and ' i m p u t e d ' characteristics (symbolic associations with s u c c e s s , h a p p i n e s s , e t c . ) ( K l i n e and L e i s s , 1978:14-15)

174 C o m m o d i t i e s are d e f i n e d s y m b o l i c a l l y as b e i n g a b l e to c r e a t e f e e l i n g s of h a p p i n e s s a n d s a t i s f a c t i o n t h r o u g h t h e i r c o n s u m p t i o n and t h e c o n s u m e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e m . Life style moddefinitions suggest the identity

e l s and v a l u e s a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e s y m b o l i c g i v e n to c o m m o d i t i e s . These symbolic

representations

t h e t y p e of e x p e r i e n c e c o n s u m e r s w i l l h a v e by c o n s u m i n g good. A n d t h e g o o d i t s e l f b e c o m e s a s i g n of p e r s o n a l

in its u s e by b e c o m i n g a m e s s a g e in i t s e l f . . . it i d e n t i f i e s him or h e r w i t h i n t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . T h e u s e of t h e c o m m o d i t y w i t h p a r t i c u l a r s y m b o l i c q u a l i t i e s m e r g e s w i t h t h e i d e n t i t y of the u s e r . In t h i s s e n s e , p r o d u c t i m a g e s w e r e n e v e r d e s i g n e d m e r e l y to i n c r e a s e p u r c h a s e s , b u t to t r a n s f o r m t h e p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the p r o d u c t s ' e v e r y d a y use (Kline and L e i s s , 1978:19). T h u s , a m b i g u o u s and g e n e r a l i z e d s o c i a l n e e d s and v a l u e s s y m b o l i z e d in a d v e r t i s i n g a n d p r o d u c t d e s i g n . They are

communicate communalty, available

t h e m e s s a g e t h a t s o c i a l v a l u e s s u c h as c r e a t i v i t y ,

f u n , s p o n t a n e i t y , f r e e d o m , m o b i l i t y , s t a t u s , etc., are through consumption. To be s u c c e s s f u l they must

"communicate

an e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h m a t c h e s g e n e r a l i z e d or a m b i g u o u s n e e d s to p a r t i c u l a r i z e d or d i f f e r e n t i a t e d c o n s u m e r e x p e r i e n c e s " 1977:241). (Alt,

T h e s e n e e d s , v a l u e s , and e x p e r i e n c e s , as n o t e d , or b e e n " d e f l e c t e d " i n t o it b e c a u s e

have entered the m a r k e t other, traditional

i n s t i t u t i o n s and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s s u c h as

t h e f a m i l y , w o r k , the c o m m u n i t y , are no l o n g e r a b l e to p r o v i d e them. C o m m o d i t i e s and c o n s u m p t i o n are " e v e n t s , s i t u a t i o n s ,

a n d t h i n g i f i e d a c t i v i t i e s w h e r e i n d i v i d u a l s can g a i n a s e n s e of i d e n t i t y and t r a n s c e n d t h e a n o m i e , t h e p a r t i a l i t y , and t h e r e s t r i c t i o n s of e v e r y d a y living" (Alt, 1977:241).

175 For f u n c t i o n a l i s t s t h e s e s y m b o l s and the v a l u e s and n e e d s they r e p r e s e n t are m o r e or less i n d e p e n d e n t a s p e c t s of individual psychological u t i l i t y ; combined with the material

p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h i s d u a l i t y of s y m b o l - p r o d u c t is e v a l u a t e d by i n d i v i d u a l s in t e r m s of t h e i r p e r s o n a l d e m a n d u l e s -- t h i s is the " m a r g i n a l sched-

u t i l i t y " t h e o r y of e c o n o m i c s .

And if a d v e r t i s i n g , p r o d u c t d e s i g n and p r o d u c e r s a r e s e e n as n e u t r a l , t h e n the m a r k e t is still s u b j e c t to t h e s o v e r e i g n consumer. For L e i s s and A l t t h e m a r k e t is a s y s t e m of s o c i a l trol in w h i c h social a c t i o n s , o r i e n t a t i o n s and o u t c o m e s m a n i p u l a t e d and l i m i t e d . They argue that corporate are con-

sales

e f f o r t s do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y " c r e a t e " n e e d s b u t t h a t m a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h u n c o v e r s e x i s t i n g n e e d s as well as c u l t u r a l tenden-

c i e s , i n c h o a t e or i n a r t i c u l a t e n e e d s , s o c i a l t r o u b l e s or i s s u e s . C o m m o d i t i e s a r e then d e s i g n e d to p r o v i d e a p p r o p r i a t e tions. satisfac-

As p e o p l e live t h e i r l i v e s t h r o u g h c o m m o d i t i e s the m e s they

s a g e s t h e y c o m m u n i c a t e a r e p o w e r f u l s o c i a l i z i n g a g e n t s -p r o v i d e p e o p l e w i t h w o r l d v i e w s and c u l t u r e .

Consumer expercommunity.

e n c e s b e c o m e s the b a s i s f o r s o c i a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n and

B u t the s y m b o l s and v a l u e s w h i c h are a t t a c h e d to c o m m o d i t i e s a r e c h a n g e d and a l t e r e d r e g u l a r l y . c o m p l e x m a t e r i a l l y and s y m b o l i c a l l y . Commodities become more

T h e y b e c o m e u n s t a b l e and Without instituconsumers sense

f r a g m e n t e d s e t s of s y m b o l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . t i o n a l g u i d a n c e in t r a d i t i o n a l

cultures, privatized

are n o t a b l e to u n d e r s t a n d c o m m o d i t i e s in any t e c h n i c a l

and a r e l i m i t e d to d e c i s i o n s b a s e d upon i m p u t e d c l a i m s , b u t a r e not p r o v i d e d n o r m a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s of a p p r o p r i a t e u s e .

176 As a r e s u l t , h u m a n n e e d i n g i t s e l f b e c o m e s f r a g m e n t e d ambiguous. Consumers are offered sensual g r a t i f i c a t i o n , e x c i t e m e n t , f u l f i l l m e n t , i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h the c o n s u m p t i o n of c o m m o d ities. T h e s e s a t i s f a c t i o n s are w h a t s u s t a i n and legitimize economor and

the c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m and its i d e o l o g y of p r o g r e s s and ic g r o w t h .

Y e t n e e d s a r e s a t i s f i e d o n l y to be r e s t i m u l a t e d shifting, recombination, called

r e n d e r e d o b s o l e t e by t h e c o n t i n u a l

and i n t r o d u c t i o n of r e d e s i g n e d and new c o m m o d i t i e s --

p r o g r e s s and g r o w t h b u t r e a l l y the i m p e r a t i v e s of c a p i t a l i s t production. T h e m e s s a g e s of c o m m o d i t i e s a r e a m b i g u o u s , i n d e T h e y a r e l i m i t e d to the i m m e d i a t e con-

t e r m i n e n t and f l u i d .

c e r n s and g r a t i f i c a t i o n s o f f e r e d t h r o u g h c o n s u m p t i o n

(Klein 1978)

and L e i s s , 1 9 7 8 ; W a g n e r , 1 9 7 5 ; L e y m o r e , 1 9 7 5 ; W i l l i a m s o n , As s u c h , the c u l t u r e of the m a r k e t c o n s t i t u t e s a

"restricted

l i n g u i s t i c c o d e " w h i c h p r o v i d e s no b a s i s f o r a d e e p e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the m a r k e t s i t u a t i o n and its a c t u a l n a t u r e . a d e q u a t e m e a n s a r e a v a i l a b l e for c o n s u m e r s to a r t i c u l a t e communicate their inevitable dissatisfactions. No and

These dissatresolution their good

i s f a c t i o n s a r e in f a c t s t i m u l a t e d and t h e n o f f e r e d in new and b e t t e r p r o d u c t s .

Consumers, confused about

n e e d s and u n a b l e to d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r or not a p a r t i c u l a r provides adequate satisfaction for a particular need, must l e a r n to t o l e r a t e a c o n t i n u a l s t a t e of dissatisfaction

w i t h c o n s u m p t i o n c h o i c e s or s o m e h o w b e c o m e

i n d i f f e r e n t to the satisfaction

d i s c r e p a n c i e s b e t w e e n t h e i r n e e d s and the m e a n s of

T h e r e is l i t t l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n d i v i d u a l s to a p p l y h u m a n r e a s o n in the s e n s e of r a t i o n a l l y c o r r e l a t i n g objectives

177 w i t h a p p r o p r i a t e m e a n s of s a t i s f a c t i o n . And h u m a n f r e e d o m is

l i m i t e d to the c h o i c e s m a d e a v a i l a b l e w i t h i n the r e s t r i c t e d r a n g e of m o d e s of s a t i s f a c t i o n in the m a r k e t . W h a t is c o n t r o l -

led are the d i m e n s i o n s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and the s t r u c t u r e s of e x p e r i e n c e w i t h i n the m a r k e t . control. enjoyment. But this is not a total

And it is not d e v o i d of a u t h e n t i c s a t i s f a c t i o n and For w h i l e c o r p o r a t e sales s t r a t e g i e s can m a n i p u l a t e

the s y m b o l i s m and d e s i g n of c o m m o d i t i e s , c o n s u m e r s faced w i t h a w i d e and c h a n g i n g a r r a y of c o m m o d i t i e s are a b l e to s e l e c t and e m p l o y them in t h e i r own w a y s to c o n s t r u c t t h e i r own l i f e styles. "The w h o l e m a r k e t p l a c e is d i v i d e d into s e m i - a u t o n o -

m o u s s e c t o r s w h i c h r e s p o n d to d i f f e r e n t cues or to the same cues in d i f f e r e n t w a y s " ( K l e i n and L e i s s , 1 9 7 8 : 1 3 ) . This i l l -

u s t r a t e s w h a t Klein and L e i s s call the " d o u b l e s y m b o l i c c o n s t i t u t i o n of u t i l i t y " w h e r e i n c u l t u r e is used by both c o r p o r a t i o n s and c o n s u m e r s for t h e i r own e n d s . C o n s u m e r s try out c o m m o d i -

ties and t h e i r m e a n i n g s , a c c e p t or r e j e c t or e v e n m o d i f y t h e m , use them -- and thus do a c h i e v e an e x p e r i e n c e of f r e e d o m , inn o v a t i o n , and social i d e n t i t y . B u t , of c o u r s e , they are a l And they are

r e a d y s o c i a l i z e d by the m e a n i n g s of c o m m o d i t i e s .

l i m i t e d in t h e i r p e r s o n a l m o v e m e n t and i n n o v a t i o n to the r a n g e s p e c i f i e d by the f r a m e w o r k of the c o m m o d i t y . In the p r o c e s s

they c r e a t e c u l t u r e s w h i c h are a u t h e n t i c and c o n s t i t u t e thems e l v e s as a c t i v e , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s social s u b j e c t s . They gain

a c e r t a i n a b i l i t y to a s s e r t t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s and a c t i o n s , to be f r e e and m a i n t a i n d i g n i t y n o t a v a i l a b l e e l s e w h e r e (for e x a m p l e , at w o r k or in p o l i t i c s ) . The i n s t a b i l i t i e s of c o m m o d i t e s and n e e d s in the m a r -

178 k e t c r e a t e s u n c e r t a i n t i e s and r i s k s for c o r p o r a t e p r o d u c e r s . T h e y m u s t be c o n t i n u a l l y a c t i n g to o r d e r and r e d u c e t h a t u n c e r t a i n t y w h i l e at t h e s a m e t i m e u n d e r m i n i n g it to k e e p i n creasing production. H e n c e t h e i r c o n t r o l is r e l a t i o n a l and

a p p l i e s to the long r u n .

G a l b r a i t h , in r e s p o n s e to h i s c r i management that

t i c s , has a l s o said t h a t his a n a l y s i s of d e m a n d

r e f e r s to the long r u n ; in t h e s h o r t run it m a y a p p e a r c o n s u m e r c h o i c e is d o m i n a n t . s o v e r e i g n t y is n o t a b s o l u t e . A n d he a l s o s a y s t h a t

producer

This being the c a s e , corporate

p r o d u c e r s f a c e u n c e r t a i n t y in the m a r k e t and m u s t a c t to r e d u c e it. B u t n e i t h e r the c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s n o r G a l b r a i t h provide

m u c h in the w a y of s p e c i f i c a n a l y s i s of the d e c i s i o n s and s t r a t e g i e s used in m a n a g i n g or e x e r c i s i n g r e l a t i o n a l the m a r k e t . control over

To t r e a t the m a t t e r o n l y in t e r m s of the long run

m a y a l l o w a n a l y s t s to s e e m o r e c o n t r o l t h a n the c a s e m a y w a r r a n t or m a y m i s s s i g n i f i c a n t d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h a l t e r of a c t i o n in s u b t l e w a y s at l o w e r l e v e l s b u t w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e to the o v e r a l l p i c t u r e . courses

nevertheless

As H e s s i o n ( 1 9 7 2 : 1 8 5 ) has

n o t e d , "if w e do n o t k n o w w h a t h a p p e n s in the s h o r t r u n , how c o n f i d e n t can w e be in o u r a n a l y s i s of t h e long run w h i c h , a f t e r a l l , is s i m p l y a c u l m u l a t i o n of a n u m b e r of s h o r t e r periods?" C o r p o r a t e s t r a t e g i e s of a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e s i g n a r e s i n g l e d o u t as i m p o r t a n t b u t l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n is g i v e n to w h e r e t h e c o n t e n t c o m e s f r o m b e y o n d r e f e r e n c e s to m a r k e t r e s e a r c h and c o n s u m e r d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g in the m a r k e t . With re-

s p e c t to t h i s p o i n t S t e w a r t E w e n in his c r i t i c a l h i s t o r y of

179 a d v e r t i s i n g has n o t e d how the l a n g u a g e , i m a g e r y and s t y l e of the n u m e r o u s g r o u p s w h o e x p r e s s e d o p p o s i t i o n and r e s i s t a n c e to c a p i t a l i s m or w e r e " d e v i a n t " in s o m e w a y w e r e into a d v e r t i s i n g . A p p r o p r i a t i n g the l i n g o and s t y l e s of the New L e f t , the c o u n t e r c u l t u r e , f e m i n i s m , n e o a g r a r i a n i s m , e t h n i c i t y , d r u g - v i s i o n and o t h e r p h e n o m e n a , the a d v e r t i s i n g i n d u s t r y , s e e k i n g m a r k e t s , has g e n e r a t e d a m a s s c u l t u r e w h i c h r e f l e c t s the s p i r i t but not the c u t t i n g e d g e of this r e s i s t a n c e ( E w e n , 1 9 7 6 : 218) . In the p r o c e s s of this a p p r o p r i a t i o n t h e s e c u l t u r a l behaviour "appropriated"

p a t t e r n s are t u r n e d into a p o s i t i v e s a l e s t h e m e for the p r o d u c ers w i t h l i t t l e c o n c e r n a b o u t the o r i g i n a l intentions.

W i t h i n a d v e r t i s i n g , the social r e a l m of r e s i s t a n c e is r e i n t e r p r e t e d , at t i m e s c o l o n i z e d , for c o r p o r a t e b e n e f i t . A d s m i r r o r the widespread judgement that mass-produced g o o d s a r e -junky and u n h e a l t h y . P r o d u c t s are a d v e r t i s e d as if they c o n t a i n this a n t i c o r p o r a t e d i s p o s i t i o n -- p r a i s e d for t h e i r o r g a n i c n a t u r a l n e s s and t h e i r t i m e l e s s q u a l i t y . M o d e s of a n t i c o r p o r a t e r e s i s t a n c e and s e n t i m e n t r e a p p e a r in the ads t h e m s e l v e s , m i r a c u l o u s l y e n c a s e d w i t h i n the u n i v e r s a l t e r m s of the m a r k e t ( E w e n , 1 9 7 6 : 2 1 8 - 2 1 9 ) . Of c o u r s e , w h a t Ewen has d e s c r i b e d h e r e is the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s by c o r p o r a t e a d v e r t i s i n g . C o r p o r a t i o n s not o n l y m o n i t o r t h e i r m a r k e t e n v i r o n m e n t but the l a r g e r social and c u l t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t as w e l l . T h e r e they --

find b e h a v i o u r s and v a l u e s w h i c h are useful to t h e i r g o a l s e v e n b e h a v i o u r and v a l u e s c r i t i c a l and o p p o s i t i o n a l to them a n d / o r d e v i a n t w i t h r e s p e c t to s o c i e t y can be u s e f u l . But

t h e r e has b e e n l i t t l e s y s t e m a t i c s t u d y of t h i s p r o c e s s from a s o c i o l o g i c a l p o i n t of v i e w . O n e n o t a b l e e x c e p t i o n is the w o r k

of F r e d e r i c k El kin ( 1 9 6 4 , 1 9 6 9 , 1 9 7 1 ) w h o e x a m i n e d how F r e n c h

180 C a n a d i a n a d v e r t i s i n g a g e n t s w o r k i n g in p r e d o m i n a n t l y p h o n e a d v e r t i s i n g a g e n c i e s w e r e a b l e to u t i l i z e t h e i r in the c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e to s u b v e r t the p r e d o m i n a n t Anglopositions corporate into

a d v e r t i s i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s and g e t t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r v a l u e s advertisments.

T h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n of Q u e b e c o i s t h e m e s in adRevolution of

v e r t i s i n g h e l p e d to p r o m o t e and a c c e l e r a t e the Q u i e t of Q u e b e c .

E l k i n ' s w o r k , w h i l e n o t g r o u n d e d by a c o n c e p t i o n

m e t a - p o w e r , is m o s t s u g g e s t i v e of the g r e a t r e t u r n s of e x a m i n ing r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l at the c o r p o r a t e level and t h r o u g h a s e r i e s of s h o r t r u n s . A t this level it is n e c e s s a r y to c o n s i d -

er c o r p o r a t e v a r i a b l e s s u c h as s t r u c t u r e and p l a n n i n g and the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n c o m m o d i t i e s and c o n s u m e r s o v e r p e r i o d s of t i m e in o r d e r to a s s e s s t h e a c t u a l n a t u r e o f r e l a t i o n a l e x e r c i s e d , if a n y . T h i s s e c t i o n has p r e s e n t e d the c r i t i c a l t h e o r y v i e w of c o n s u m p t i o n and c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s t c o n t r o l of the m a r k e t . T h e F r a n k f u r t S c h o o l p o s i t i o n of total c o n t r o l t h r o u g h the m a n i p u l a t i o n of f a l s e n e e d s w a s r e p l a c e d by a m o r e satisfactory control

v i e w w h i c h s e e s all h u m a n n e e d s as a u t h e n t i c w i t h i n t h e i r s o c ial and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t s . T h e f o r m u l a t i o n s of W i l l i a m T h e y v i e w the c o n t r o l of

L e i s s and J o h n A l t w e r e p r e s e n t e d .

the m a r k e t by c a p i t a l i s t p r o d u c e r s as a m a t t e r o f c u l t u r a l manipulation utilizing strategies which shape orientations, o u t c o m e s , and a c t i o n s . T h e m a r k e t has c o m e to be t h e l o c u s of

i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n , f r e e d o m , and i d e n t i t y in c o r p o r a t e capitalism. T h e s e v a l u e s and t h e v a l u e s of t h e capitalist

c l a s s a r e a t t a c h e d to the c o m m o d i t i e s p r o d u c e d for the m a r k e t . A d v e r t i s i n g p r o v i d e s t h e c u l t u r a l c o d e by w h i c h t h e s e values

181 a r e s o c i a l i z e d and d e f i n e d . W h a t it c o m m u n i c a t e s is exper-

i e n c e s , f e e l i n g s , and m e a n i n g s ; w h a t it p r o m i s e s is s a t i s f a c tion, sensual gratification, e n j o y m e n t , status. B u t the ad-

v e r t i s i n g c u l t u r e is a r e s t r i c t e d c o d e g e a r e d to p r e s e n t p l e a sure. It p r o v i d e s p r i v a t i z e d c o n s u m e r s no w a y to a r t i c u l a t e

or c o m m u n i c a t e t h e i r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s p u b l i c l y or to b u i l d a transcendental v i e w of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . Moreover, consumer

d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s are s t i m u l a t e d and n e c e s s a r y f o r c a p i t a l i s t production. S y m b o l s and p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e c h a n g e d Under such

and r e a r r a n g e d r e g u l a r l y to s t i m u l a t e c o n s u m p t i o n .

c o n d i t i o n s t h e r e is no d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e c o n s u m e r s ' n e e d s and t h e o b j e c t s s o u g h t as m e a n s o f s a t i s f y i n g needs. those

N e e d s and c o m m o d i t i e s b e c o m e f r a g m e n t e d and u n s t a b l e .

T h e r e s u l t is c o n s u m e r c o n f u s i o n and a d e s t a b i 1 i z a t i o n of h u m a n personality. B u t w h i l e t h e r e is d o m i n a t i o n and c a p i t a l i s t c o n -

t r o l , w i t h i n the l i m i t s of the m a r k e t t h e r e is r o o m for c r e a t i v e , e x p r e s s i v e a c t i o n on the p a r t of i n d i v i d u a l s . trol is r e l a t i o n a l in n a t u r e . This conthe of

W h a t K l e i n and L e i s s call

d o u b l e s y m b o l i c c o n s t i t u t i o n of u t i l i t y is a d e s c r i p t i o n w h a t B a l d u s has c a l l e d a dual o p p o r t u n i t y s t r u c t u r e .

Consum-

ers can a l s o m a n i p u l a t e and use c u l t u r e and c o m m o d i t i e s as a r e s o u r c e in c r e a t i n g m e a n i n g f u l life s t y l e s . As long as c o n control

s u m e r s s t a y w i t h i n the m a r k e t f r a m e w o r k i n t e r v e n t i v e

is n o t n e c e s s a r y -- and e v e n o p p o s i t i o n and d e v i a n c e can p r o v e to be u s e f u l w h e n i n c o r p o r a t e d as c o m p l e m e n t a r y behaviour.

N o t d i s c u s s e d h e r e are t h e v i e w s of t h e c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s on the i n h e r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n s in t h i s p r o c e s s and the p o t e n t i a l s t h e y p r o v i d e as a b a s i s f o r c h a n g i n g t h e s y s t e m to o n e

182 which restores a u t o n o m o u s , rational to s o v e r e i g n t y . T h i s t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n is a c r i t i c a l of c o n s u m p t i o n ( L e i s s , 1 9 7 7 ) . phenomenology individuals/consumers

It views c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s as in

r e s o u r c e s to be used by i n d i v i d u a l s and c o r p o r a t e p e r s o n n e l the p u r s u i t of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s .

It views a d v e r t i s agent

ing as a c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e w h i c h is both a s o c i a l i z i n g and a r e s o u r c e for c o n s u m e r s .

It does not say much a b o u t the

m a n n e r in w h i c h p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s s t r u c t u r e c o n s u m e r a c tion. T h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p o s i t i o n , on the o t h e r h a n d ,

v i e w s c u l t u r e as v i r t u a l l y d e t e r m i n i s t i c , a l t h o u g h it r e m a i n s an u n a n a l y z e d c a t e g o r y . From this p o s i t i o n , v a l u e s are the

p r i m e m o v e r s in a s o c i a l s y s t e m and tend to be t r e a t e d in a reified manner. T h i s p o i n t has b e e n n o t e d many times in s o c i o But

l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e s ; it s e e m s s i m p l i s t i c w h e n s t a t e d b a l d l y .

the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of t h i s t r e a t m e n t are i l l u s t r a t e d in the c o n v e n t i o n a l w i s d o m of the m a r k e t and its o p e r a t i o n . The c r i t i c a l

t h e o r y v i e w is p h r a s e d m o r e at the i n d i v i d u a l level of a n a l y s i s w h e r e it e x a m i n e s the c o n s u m p t i o n of c o m m o d i t i e s by c o n s u m e r s in a s t r u c t u r e d m a r k e t . It e x a m i n e s the c o n s u m p t i o n p r o c e s s in

a h o l i s t i c m a n n e r w i t h l i t t l e f o c u s on the o r i g i n s and d e v e l o p m e n t of c o m m o d i t i e s by p r o d u c e r s . It w a s s u g g e s t e d t h a t a

f o c u s u p o n the c o r p o r a t e l e v e l , the level at w h i c h m o s t s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s are i m p l e m e n t e d , c o u l d p r o v i d e i m p o r t a n t into the e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l . insights of

Galbraith's model

c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n is very u s e f u l b u t , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , is v a g u e on s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s . In the n e x t s e c t i o n , t h e s e p o i n t s will

be d e v e l o p e d m o r e f u l l y .

183 The Two Views Considered

A l t h o u g h b o t h the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s and c r i t i c al t h e o r i s t s h a v e f o c u s e d on the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n acti-

v i t i e s , t h e r e are s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e i r a n a l y s e s e v e n t h o u g h they a g r e e t h a t the m a r k e t is the m a i n area of i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n and a c t i o n . W h a t they d i f f e r on effectiveness

is t h e i r v i e w s of the n a t u r e of c u l t u r e and the of s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s .

For both o r i e n t a t i o n s c u l t u r e is an in-

t e r p r e t a t i v e c o d e w h i c h s t a n d s b e t w e e n h u m a n n e e d s and o b j e c t s of s a t i s f a c t i o n . T h e r e is no n e c e s s a r y i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y between

the f u n c t i o n a l i s t v i e w and the c r i t i c a l t h e o r y v i e w of c u l t u r e as a r e s o u r c e and the dual c h a r a c t e r ( s y m b o l i c - m a t e r i a l ) of commodities. Nor is t h e r e any n e c e s s a r y d i s a g r e e m e n t on the exper-

c r i t i c a l t h e o r y v i e w of w h a t is sold on the m a r k e t -i e n c e s , sensual g r a t i f i c a t i o n s , e n j o y m e n t , etc.

T h e r e is d i s -

a g r e e m e n t on the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s in s h a p i n g the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of n e e d s . For f u n c t i o n a l i s t s the i n t e r p r e level by a u t o n o m o u s

t a t i o n of n e e d s is m a d e at the i n d i v i d u a l

and r a t i o n a l p e r s o n s w i t h i n a b r o a d f r a m e w o r k p r o v i d e d by ins t i t u t i o n a l n o r m s and c u l t u r a l v a l u e s -- a l t h o u g h at p r e s e n t t h e r e is a t e n d e n c y to u n d e r i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n and for n o r m s g o v e r n i n g c o n s u m p t i o n to be d i s p e r s e d in both c o n s u m p t i o n nonconsumption institutions. and

Consumers formulate their wants These In f a c t ,

i n d e p e n d e n t l y of the s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s of p r o d u c e r s . s t r a t e g i e s are n o t a b l e to a f f e c t c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s .

the c o n t e n t of c o m m o d i t i e s and s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s is d e t e r m i n e d by the e x p r e s s e d w a n t s of c o n s u m e r s in the m a r k e t . Advertising demands

and p r o d u c t d e s i g n a r e thus both r e f l e c t i o n s of c o n s u m e r

184 and e x e r t no f o r m a t i v e i n f l u e n c e upon t h e m . P r o d u c e r s are

e q u a l l y d e p e n d e n t upon c o n s u m e r e x p r e s s i o n s for the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of t h e i r e f f o r t s to s u p p l y g o o d s . Even when considered

as o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n , t h e i r s t r u c t u r e s and b e h a v i o u r s a r e l i m i t e d to m o n i t o r i n g and a n t i c i p a t i n g t r e n d s and r e d u c i n g u n c e r t a i n t y by d e v e l o p i n g l e g i t i m a t e m a r k e t s . Such actions

c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d in t e r m s of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e mentary behaviour patterns. For G a l b r a i t h and the c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s , the c o n t e n t of c o m m o d i t i e s and s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s is d e t e r m i n e d less by c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s and v a l u e s and t h e i r l e g i t i m a c y than by the i n t e r e s t s of c o r p o r a t i o n s and the u s e f u l n e s s to the c o r p o r a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r v a l u e s and n e e d s . C o m m o d i t i e s as a d v e r t i s i n g

i m a g e and m a t e r i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s in t h i s v i e w are a b l e to s t r u c t u r e the m a r k e t by p r o v i d i n g o r i e n t a t i o n , g r a t i f i c a t i o n , and by l i m i t i n g a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s (by v i r t u e of the m a t e r i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s d e s i g n e d i n t o the p r o d u c t ) . to the e x e r c i s e of m e t a - p o w e r in the m a r k e t . undeveloped. T h i s is the key B u t it r e m a i n s

F u n c t i o n a l i s t s do n o t c o n s i d e r c o r p o r a t e s t r u c consequence

t u r e , b e h a v i o u r and s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s to be of m u c h

-- N i c o s i a and M a y e r do n o t e v e n m e n t i o n a d v e r t i s i n g or p r o d u c t d e s i g n in t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n of c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , e v e n t h o u g h t h e i r p r i m e c o n c e r n is w i t h i n s t i t u t i o n a l and n o r m a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s of such b e h a v i o u r . Critical theorists focus more unexamined.

at the i n d i v i d u a l level and l e a v e c o r p o r a t e a s p e c t s

G a l b r a i t h d i s c u s s e s the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e and p l a n ning b u t s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s a r e b a r e l y e x p l o r e d . T h e s e are the b a s i c p a r a m e t e r s of the two p o s i t i o n s on

185 c u l t u r e , sales s t r a t e g i e s , and c o m m o d i t y c o n t e n t . Extrapolat-

ing from t h e m , it can be asserted that in order to u n d e r s t a n d the d e v e l o p m e n t of the c o n t e n t of a c o m m o d i t y , the types of s a t i s f a c t i o n s and g r a t i f i c a t i o n s it p r o v i d e s (or could m u s t be u n d e r s t o o d . provide)

From the critical theory p o i n t of v i e w ,

it is these s a t i s f a c t i o n s m o r e than the c o m m o d i t y itself which is d e m a n d e d in the m a r k e t by c o n s u m e r s . Of c o u r s e , cultural

codes d e f i n e l e g i t i m a t e and i l l e g i t i m a t e types of s a t i s f a c t i o n and modes of s a t i s f a c t i o n . If c o r p o r a t i o n s and sales s t r a t e g decision-making

ies are unable to i n f l u e n c e c u l t u r e and c o n s u m e r

then c o n s u m e r demand is m e t on the basis of the strength of demand and c o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n d e m a n d s . But if sales s t r a t e g -

ies are a s p e c t s of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l , then all the s a t i s f a c tions d e m a n d e d in the m a r k e t may not n e c e s s a r i l y be m e t -- even if some of them are very strong a n d / o r socially significant.

For c o r p o r a t e d e c i s i o n s can s t r u c t u r e the types and range of s a t i s f a c t i o n s provided by their c o m m o d i t i e s , and they can limit w h a t they make a v a i l a b l e to those they find the m o s t p r o f i t a b l e and u s e f u l . The next c h a p t e r will s u m m a r i z e and i n t e g r a t e the

e n t i r e theoretical d i s c u s s i o n in Part II and f o r m u l a t e the two p o s i t i o n s with r e s p e c t to the problem of c o r p o r a t e r e l a t i o n ships with the m a r k e t and the d e v e l o p m e n t of the c o n t e n t of commodi ties .

CHAPTER 6 THEORETICAL SUMMARY AND FORMULATIONS automobile

To study the p r o b l e m of the p o w e r of the

i n d u s t r y , the focus c h o s e n w a s the d e v e l o p m e n t of the m e a n i n g s and s h a p e of the a u t o m o b i l e , in p a r t i c u l a r the controversial Con-

m e a n i n g s and d e s i g n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p e r f o r m a n c e m o t i v e s . c e p t u a l i z i n g this p r o b l e m in t h e o r e t i c a l

t e r m s has t a k e n this Three basic

d i s c u s s i o n down s e v e r a l long and t w i s t i n g r o a d s . conceptual f r a m e w o r k s had to be d e v e l o p e d :

(1) the n a t u r e of behaviour;

p o w e r and its e x e r c i s e ; (2) the n a t u r e of c o r p o r a t e and (3) the n a t u r e of the m a r k e t and c o n s u m p t i o n .

In r e v i e w i n g the d i s c u s s i o n s of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r and b e h a v i o u r , it is n e c e s s a r y to e x p l i c a t e the t h e o r e t i c a l t a t i o n s of the h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t and s o c i o l o g i c a l t i o n s of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m as the social and c u l t u r a l t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y is s i t u a t e d . i m p o r t a n t to u n d e r s t a n d the t h e o r e t i c a l interpreimplicaconIt is

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of this

c o n t e x t and the w a y they f o r m u l a t e its i n f l u e n c e on the i n d u s try and the m a r k e t . T h e two m a j o r t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n s both

see the rise of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m as c r e a t i n g a c o n s u m p t i o n o r i e n t e d s o c i e t y w i t h the m a r k e t b e c o m i n g the m a j o r i n s t i t u tional s p h e r e of i n d i v i d u a l f r e e d o m and s e l f e x p r e s s i o n . the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s For

this m a r k e t is b a s i c a l l y a f r e e , and theor-

c o m p e t i t i v e m a r k e t c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y e f f i c i e n t p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n . For e l i t e / c l a s s

ists the m a r k e t is a m a j o r a r e n a of social c o n t r o l by c o r p o r a t e m a n i p u l a t i o n of c o n s u m e r 186 demand.

maintained

187 A r e v i e w of the l i t e r a t u r e on c o r p o r a t e p o w e r t h a t p a r t of the r e a s o n for the s e e m i n g l y u n r e s o l v a b l e m e n t w h i c h e x i s t s b e t w e e n the two t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n s revealed disagreeis

t h a t they use a c o n c e p t of p o w e r w h i c h t e n d s to t a k e the institutional s t r u c t u r e and c u l t u r a l f r a m e w o r k for g r a n t e d . This upon

c o n c e p t i o n is i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c in o r i e n t a t i o n and f o c u s e s l i m i t e d a s p e c t s of the e x e r c i s e of p o w e r .

The elite/class the-

o r i s t s o f t e n f o c u s on s t r u c t u r a l and c u l t u r a l a s p e c t s , b u t w i t h no a d e q u a t e c o n c e p t u a l f o u n d a t i o n to g u i d e t h e i r a n a l y s e s w o r k is l i m i t e d in its d e v e l o p m e n t . An a l t e r n a t i v e their

conception

of p o w e r w a s p r o p o s e d w h i c h v i e w s p o w e r in t e r m s of t h e a b i l i t y to s t r u c t u r e social r e l a t i o n s h i p s in an i n t e r a c t i o n s y s t e m by m a n i p u l a t i n g a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s , r e w a r d s t r u c t u r e s , and o r i e n tations. T h i s view w a s b u i l t on the w o r k of T o m B a u m g a r t n e r , Adopting Baumgartner,

et a l . , S t e v e n L u k e s , and B e r n d B a l d u s .

et a l . ' s t e r m i n o l o g y of m e t a - p o w e r and r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l , this c o n c e p t i o n is a p p l i c a b l e to c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n b e c a u s e it v i e w s o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n s t i t u t i o n s as s t r u c t u r e s of a c t i o n . n u m b e r of p o w e r s t r a t e g i e s w e r e d i s c u s s e d and s p e c i a l w a s g i v e n to the s t r a t e g y of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of behaviour. B e c a u s e this s t u d y is f o c u s e d at the c o r p o r a t e it is n e c e s s a r y to h a v e a c o n c e p t i o n of c o r p o r a t e Both theoretical level, A

attention

complementary

behaviour.

p o s i t i o n s h a v e a v i e w of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n and The pluralist/functionalist

i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the e n v i r o n m e n t .

c o n c e p t i o n sees c o r p o r a t i o n s as p a s s i v e , a d a p t i v e and c o n s t r a i n ed by c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e s and e x t e r n a l c o n t r o l s -- in the m a r k e t t h e y a r e u n a b l e to g a i n e n o u g h l e v e r a g e to d o m i n a t e i t . Such a

188 v i e w o f c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n has b e e n c r i t i c i z e d by theorists. organization

T h e i r c r i t i q u e w a s r e v i e w e d and t h e i r w o r k on interaction discussed. W h e n the e n theor-

organization-environment

v i r o n m e n t w a s d i s c u s s e d in t e r m s of u n c e r t a i n t y , it w a s ized t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n a l organizational

a d m i n i s t r a t o r s w e r e n o t a b l e to a p p l y in a n y c o m p l e t e s e n s e b u t had to a c t in

rationality

as p r o b l e m - s o l v e r s .

J a m e s T h o m p s o n ' s v i e w of o r g a n i z a t i o n s

a c t i o n t o o k t h i s d e v e l o p m e n t a s t e p f u r t h e r and p r o p o s e d a m o d e l of o r g a n i z a t i o n s as a c t i v e l y e n g a g i n g t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t and i n sulating themselves from environmental influences. However, compatible

t h i s v i e w is b a s e d u p o n a l i m i t e d n o t i o n of p o w e r w i t h the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t framework.

A view of c o r p o r a -

t i o n s as p o w e r s t r u c t u r e s w a s d e s c r i b e d w h i c h is b a s e d u p o n the meta-power conception. T h i s v i e w w a s i l l u s t r a t e d by J o h n

K e n n e t h G a l b r a i t h ' s d i s c u s s i o n of c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e and b e haviour. E m p h a s i s w a s p l a c e d on the m a n n e r in w h i c h corporate

s t r u c t u r e d e t e r m i n e s the r a n g e of b e h a v i o u r and the g o a l s of corporations. A l s o e m p h a s i z e d w a s the n a t u r e o f t h e planning advertis-

p r o c e s s , and the m a n a g e m e n t of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d t h r o u g h ing and p r o d u c t design.

T h e s e two v i e w s of c o r p o r a t i o n s

in a c t i o n and t h e i r d i f -

f e r i n g p e r c e p t i o n s of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n in t h e m a r k e t f o r m the basic conceptual f r a m e w o r k s w h i c h w i l l be a p p l i e d to the a u t o There from

m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in the n e x t p a r t of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n .

t h e y w i l l be e v a l u a t e d by t e s t i n g s e v e r a l h y p o t h e s e s d r a w n them.

H o w e v e r , the two v i e w s of c o r p o r a t e a c t i o n in the m a r k e t i n p u t to m a k e s p e c i f i c infer-

do n o t p r o v i d e e n o u g h t h e o r e t i c a l

e n c e s a b o u t m a r k e t b e h a v i o u r and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t .

In o r d e r

189 to u n d e r s t a n d the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the c o n t e n t of c o m m o d i t i e s it is i m p o r t a n t to k n o w : (1) w h a t it is the c o n s u m e r s need and

w a n t ; (2) w h a t it is t h a t is sold to c o n s u m e r s ; (3) how the m a r k e t s t r u c t u r e s h a p e s the i n t e r a c t i o n ; and (4) w h a t the e f f e c t s of sales s t r a t e g i e s are upon c o n s u m e r s . To o b t a i n

this i n p u t , the two p o s i t i o n s w e r e e x a m i n e d for t h e i r v i e w s on the s t r u c t u r e of the m a r k e t and the role of c u l t u r e as a m e d i a t o r b e t w e e n h u m a n n e e d s and t h e i r social e x p r e s s i o n and s a t i s faction . T h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p o s i t i o n is b a s i c a l l y a v e r s i o n of c u l t u r a l d e t e r m i n i s m and its r e i f i e d view of c u l t u r e p r e s e n t s the m a r k e t as a c u l t u r e in w h i c h a u t o n o m o u s , r a t i o n a l i n d i v i d u a l s e x p r e s s t h e i r n e e d s in the m a r k e t to be s a t i s f i e d by c o r p o r a t e s u p p l i e r s in a m o s t l y d i r e c t and u n d i s t o r t e d w a y . S a l e s s t r a t e g i e s such as a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e s i g n are n o t i n o r d i n a t e l y i n f l u e n t i a l in the f o r m u l a t i o n of n e e d s or t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n in c o n s u m p t i o n . The pluralist/functionalist sought

view says l i t t l e a b o u t the n a t u r e of the s a t i s f a c t i o n s and p r o v i d e d in the m a r k e t . The critical theory

phenomenology

of c o n s u m p t i o n a l s o n o t e s the c u l t u r a l c o d i n g of n e e d s and their satisfaction. B u t it a r g u e s t h a t c u l t u r e can be used as

a r e s o u r c e -- both by c o r p o r a t e p r o d u c e r s and by c o n s u m e r s . The s a t i s f a c t i o n s s o u g h t and p r o v i d e d by c o n s u m p t i o n are s e n sual g r a t i f i c a t i o n , e n j o y m e n t , s t a t u s , i d e n t i t y , e t c . p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s c o u l d b a s i c a l l y a g r e e to t h i s . Most But

they do not a g r e e w i t h the c r i t i c a l t h e o r y view t h a t a d v e r t i s ing and p r o d u c t d e s i g n are c u l t u r a l and s t r u c t u r a l of control. mechanisms

A d v e r t i s i n g is a s o c i a l i z i n g i n f l u e n c e -- it p r o -

190 v i d e s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of e x p e r i e n c e and n e e d s and p r o m i s e s s a t isfaction. It thus a f f e c t s o r i e n t a t i o n and o u t c o m e structures

on t h e m a r k e t b e h a v i o u r of c o n s u m e r s o v e r t i m e .

Product char-

a c t e r i s t i c s s t r u c t u r e a c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s and o u t c o m e s t r u c tures. But these relational control s t r a t e g i e s , along with

o t h e r s used by c o r p o r a t e a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , are in the f o r m of r e s t r a i n t s and c o n s t r a i n t s . W i t h i n the l i m i t s of the m a r k e t

and c o m m o d i t i e s , t h e r e is c o n s u m e r f r e e d o m to c o n s t r u c t l i f e s t y l e s and m e a n i n g s . structure. It is n o t p o s s i b l e in a s i n g l e s t u d y to a n a l y z e at the institutional level the t h e o r e t i c a l interpretations about marinstitutionrelaconsumpT h u s the m a r k e t is a dual opportunity

ket e f f i c i e n c y v e r s u s c o n t r o l , c o r p o r a t e p o w e r and al r e l a t i o n s h i p s , c o r p o r a t e p o w e r and i n s t i t u t i o n a l

t i o n s h i p s , the m a r k e t as the l o c u s of i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h

t i o n , the e x t e n t and e f f e c t s of the f r a g m e n t a t i o n and d e s t a b i l i z a t i o n o f n e e d s and c o m m o d i t e s . As s h o u l d b e c l e a r f r o m the

t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n to t h i s p o i n t , the t h e o r i z i n g is far f r o m c o n c e p t u a l l y c l e a r and the s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s v o l v e d are n o t well u n d e r s t o o d . Moreover, ideological in-

biases To

and v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s i n t e r f e r e w i t h o b j e c t i v e a s s e s s m e n t . m a k e a m a n a g e a b l e (?) s t u d y , this d i s s e r t a t i o n has

restricted

its f o c u s to a c a s e s t u d y of a s i n g l e i n d u s t r y and the c o n s t r u c tion of the s y m b o l i c and p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of its p r o d u c t as d e t e r m i n e d by the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n the industry, Actually of

m a r k e t , and l a r g e r e n v i r o n m e n t o v e r a p e r i o d of t i m e .

the f o c u s is not on all the m e a n i n g s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s the p r o d u c t b u t o n l y one i m p o r t a n t d i m e n s i o n .

A n d o n l y the

191 s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s of a d v e r t i s i n g , p r o d u c t d e s i g n and the i n c o r p o r a t t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r w i l l be e x a m i n e d . has b e e n l i t t l e w o r k d o n e in t h i s a r e a . There

It g a i n s f u r t h e r s i g -

n i f i c a n c e w h e n it is n o t e d t h a t the i n s t i t u t i o n a l f o c u s w i t h its l o n g run e m p h a s i s o f t e n m i s s e s s i g n i f i c a n t developments

in t h e s h o r t e r run or at l o w e r l e v e l s w h i c h i n f l u e n c e o u t c o m e s in i m p o r t a n t w a y s . T h e c o r p o r a t e level o f a n a l y s i s c a n p r o -

v i d e n o t o n l y i n s i g h t i n t o t h e n a t u r e and m e a n i n g of c o n s u m p t i o n and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n c o r p o r a t i o n s and the m a r k e t , but also the basis for building towards more adequate at t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l level. analysis

N o w t h i s d i s c u s s i o n is e q u i p e d w i t h two v i e w s o f t h e c o r p o r a t e - m a r k e t - e n v i r o n m e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p and t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n of p r o d u c t c o n t e n t ( i m a g e - m a t e r i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ) as a c o n s e q u e n c e of t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Products are m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n For

al c o l l e c t i o n s of p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r s t i c s and s y m b o l s .

t h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t a p p r o a c h , c o n s u m e r s d e c i d e the c o n t e n t of t h e s e c o l l e c t i o n s by t h e i r d e m a n d c u r v e s o v e r t i m e in the m a r k e t . C o r p o r a t e p r o d u c e r s , e v e n if v i e w e d as o r g a n i z a They may

t i o n s in a c t i o n , can o n l y r e s p o n d to t h e s e d e m a n d s .

m o n i t o r t h e e n v i r o n m e n t , a n t i c i p a t e t r e n d s , and e v e n d e v e l o p m a r k e t s -- and as s u c h i n c o r p o r a t e c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t terns. B u t t h e y c a n n o t s e r v e i l l e g i t i m a t e d e m a n d s or d e v e l o p M o r e o v e r , their sales strategies are

illegitimate markets.

basically neutral devices which have little effect upon the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of w h i c h c o l l e c t i o n s of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s choose. consumers

T h e s a t i s f a c t i o n s t h e y sell -- e n j o y m e n t , u t i l i t y , cultural

g r a t i f i c a t i o n , s t a t u s , e t c . -- a r e b a s e d in c o m m o n

192 d e f i n i t i o n s and are s e l e c t e d f o r c o n s u m p t i o n by c o n s u m e r s . T h e m e t a - p o w e r a p p r o a c h a r g u e s t h a t the c o n t e n t of p r o d u c t s , w h i l e d e p e n d e n t upon c o n s u m e r r e s p o n s e , is a l s o s h a p e d by t h e s t r u c t u r e and b e h a v i o u r of c o r p o r a t e T h e y r e s p o n d to d e m a n d b u t at the s a m e t i m e s a l e s producers. strategies

s u c h as a d v e r t i s i n g , w h e n c o n s i d e r e d in total for a p r o d u c t or g r o u p of p r o d u c t s , p r o v i d e s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and p r o m i s e s s a t i s f a c t i o n and o m i t s o t h e r s . It t h u s s t r u c t u r e s of

consumer think

o r i e n t a t i o n and e x p e c t e d r e w a r d s , s h a p i n g t h e w a y t h e y a b o u t and e x p r e s s t h e i r w a n t s for a p r o d u c t .

O v e r t i m e the in t h e m a r k e t ,

selected emphases, which have proven successful

a r e r e f i n e d and d e v e l o p e d w h i l e o t h e r a s p e c t s a r e not d e v e l o p ed or a r e d r o p p e d . Similarly for physical characteristics.

By d e s i g n i n g and p r e s e n t i n g o n l y c e r t a i n r a n g e s of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or l i m i t i n g t h e r a n g e on o n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , a c t i o n is s t r u c t u r e d and the s a t i s f a c t i o n s r e c e i v e d into certain areas. consumer channeled

Of c o u r s e , t h e s e e m p h a s e s , r e s t r i c t i o n s ,

and l i m i t s m u s t be on a s p e c t s w h i c h c o n s u m e r s r e s p o n d t o , b u t the d e c i s i o n s as to w h i c h e m p h a s e s , r e s t r i c t i o n s , l i m i t s to i n s t i t u t e and p r o m o t e a r e m a d e by the p r o d u c e r s . There will

be m o n i t o r i n g and m a r k e t r e s e a r c h a c t i v i t i e s , e t c . , in o r d e r to f i n d and d e v e l o p new p r o d u c t s , find u s e f u l c u l t u r a l etc. images, and

T h e r e m a y be d e f i n i t e s o c i a l l i m i t s to the m a r k e t s

m e a n i n g s t h e y can d e v e l o p , as w e l l as to t h e i r a c t i o n s in the market. B u t they may a l s o p u r s u e m a r k e t s n o t l e g i t i m a t e and/or

utilize strategies which are not necessarily e t h i c a l , respons i b l e , or legal -- if they p e r c e i v e it in t h e i r i n t e r e s t s do s o . to

I n c o r p o r a t i n g c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s m a y be

193 one such strategy if: (1) t h e y h a v e r e l e v a n t a s p e c t s useful

to p r o d u c t i o n and s a l e s w h i c h can be u t i l i z e d on a p i c k and c h o o s e b a s i s w i t h o u t t a k i n g on the w h o l e c o m p l e x of t h e b e h a v i o u r a n d / o r (2) e f f e c t i v e c o u n t e r - a c t i o n be t a k e n if n e g a t i v e r e s p o n s e s a r e (or n o n - a c t i o n s ) can

encountered.

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , l i t t l e is k n o w n a b o u t the d e c i s i o n m a k i n g p r o c e s s in c o r p o r a t i o n s . B u t , as G a l b r a i t h has m a d e variables are important

c l e a r , t e c h n o l o g y and o t h e r s t r u c t u r a l

in d e t e r m i n i n g how a p r o d u c t is p r o d u c e d and w h a t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e f e a s i b l e and p r o f i t a b l e . Decisions are made among

c o m p e t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , d e s i g n s , and i m a g e s to p r o d u c e c e r tain c o m b i n a t i o n s , certain e m p h a s e s , etc. Within corporate

p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s e s , v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t g r o u p s in the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e s w i l l be c o m p e t i n g and s t r i v i n g f o r t h e i r particular

" f a v o r i t e s " and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s will h a v e to a s s e s s t h e a r g u m e n t s and d a t a p r e s e n t e d by all p a r t i e s to t h e p r o c e s s . The

final d e c i s i o n s will be m a d e in the i n t e r e s t s of the c o r p o r a t e e n t e r p r i s e (however these interests are d e f i n e d ) . In the n e x t p a r t of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n t h e s e two t h e o r e tical f o r m u l a t i o n s w i l l be a p p l i e d to the a u t o m o b i l e and its m a r k e t . industry be

S e v e r a l h y p o t h e s e s d e r i v e d f r o m t h e m will analyzed.

t e s t e d and the i m p l i c a t i o n s

PART III AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE, THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, AND THE CONSUMER

CHAPTER 7 T H E A U T O M O B I L E A N D ITS D E F I N I T I O N T h i s p a r t of the d i s s e r t a t i o n w i l l p r e s e n t the s u b s t a n t i v e p r o b l e m and the c r i t i c a l t e s t of the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l ist and m e t a - p o w e r t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e w o r k s . T h i s c h a p t e r will

i n t r o d u c e the s u b s t a n t i v e p r o b l e m as the d e v e l o p m e n t of the d e f i n i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e in g e n e r a l and s p e c i f i c a l l y as the d e v e l o p m e n t of d e f i n i t i o n s r e l a t i n g to t h e m e s of a u t o m o t i v e performance. T h e s e p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s h a v e b e e n the t o p i c of

a g o o d deal of p u b l i c c r i t i c i s m d i r e c t e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n dustry. T h e b a s i s for t h e s e c r i t i c i s m s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d

t h r o u g h the c o n c e p t of the " e x t r a m o t i v e s " w h i c h are s t i m u l a t e d and e x p r e s s e d b e h a v i o u r a l l y t h r o u g h the p r o m o t i o n and d e v e l o p ment of these themes. T h e s o c i a l e m b o d i m e n t of t h e s e t h e m e s

in the hot rod s u b c u l t u r e and its r i s e f r o m d e v i a n t to an amb i v a l e n t r e s p e c t a b i l i t y w i l l be e x a m i n e d . Specific attention

w i l l be p a i d to the r e l a t i o n s h i p the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s to t h i s d e v e l o p m e n t . L a s t , a r e v i e w of the c r i t i c i s m s directed

to the i n d u s t r y o v e r t h e s e d e v e l o p m e n t s w i l l be p r e s e n t e d . The Substantive Problem A c c o r d i n g to the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r , in o r d e r f o r a s i t u a t i o n to q u a l i f y as the e x e r c i s e of p o w e r t h e r e m u s t be s o m e b e h a v i o u r a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of r e s i s t ance. E v e n B a c h r a c h and B a r a t z ' s r e f o r m u l a t i o n m a i n t a i n s t h i s The m e t a - p o w e r v i e w d o e s n o t . H o w e v e r , t h i s can

requirement.

m a k e a c r i t i c a l t e s t of the two t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s d i f f i c u l t if a p r o b l e m is c h o s e n f o r a n a l y s i s in w h i c h no r e s i s t 195

196 a n c e is e x p r e s s e d . It w o u l d m e a n f i r s t of all establishing

the " o b j e c t i v e " i n t e r e s t s w h i c h a r e b e i n g v i o l a t e d by the p o w e r f u l -- a p r o b l e m in i t s e l f , as n o t e d p r e v i o u s l y . A n d it

w o u l d m e a n t h a t the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t s c o u l d c o u n t e r the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of t h e s e o b j e c t i v e i n t e r e s t s , t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e s i t u a t i o n as an e x e r c i s e of p o w e r , and t h e r e s u l t s of the test. To m i n i m i z e t h i s d i f f i c u l t y a m a r k e t p r o b l e m w a s s e l e c t -

ed w h i c h c o n t a i n s a p u b l i c i s s u e i n v o l v i n g the e x p r e s s i o n o f c o n f l i c t and r e s i s t a n c e -- a l t h o u g h t h i s r e s i s t a n c e is n o t n e c e s s a r i l y e x p r e s s e d s o l e l y in and t h r o u g h the m a r k e t and c o n s u m er d e c i s i o n s . To f u r t h e r m i n i m i z e d i f f i c u l t i e s t h e p l u r a l i s t /

f u n c t i o n a l i s t m e t h o d o l o g y w i l l be u t i l i z e d f o c u s i n g on the b e h a v i o u r and d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g of t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s in t h e m a r k e t setting. If t h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t f r a m e w o r k s h o u l d be

s u p p o r t e d by the r e s u l t s , t h e p o s s i b i l i t y is o p e n t h a t t h i s is an a r t i f a c t o f s t u d y d e s i g n . H o w e v e r , if the r e s u l t s support

the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w t h e r e can be l i t t l e d o u b t o f t h e i r b e i n g c a u s e d by t h e r e s e a r c h m e t h o d o l o g y . T h e s u b s t a n t i v e m a r k e t p r o b l e m c h o s e n f o r the c r i t i c a l t e s t is t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of the s y m b o l i c and p h y s i c a l that i s , the definition of the a u t o m o b i l e . content,

T h i s d e f i n i t i o n is

the r e s u l t o f the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n c o n s u m e r s and t h e a u t o 1 m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s in t h e m a r k e t . In t h i s p r o c e s s s y m b o l i c m e a n i n g s a r e a t t a c h e d to t h e a u t o m o b i l e and the s a t i s f a c t i o n s or u t i l i t i e s it p r o v i d e s . E a c h f r a m e w o r k has a d i f f e r e n t The first

v i e w o f t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n a n d its a u t o m o t i v e r e s u l t s .

a s p e c t o f the c r i t i c a l t e s t m u s t e x p l i c a t e t h e s e v i e w s and d e r i v e h y p o t h e s e s p r e d i c t i n g the g e n e r a l b e h a v i o u r of c o n s u m e r s

197 and p r o d u c e r s in the m a r k e t . The pluralist/functionalist

view argues that consumers d e t e r m i n e the content of the a u t o m o b i l e through their demands and the c o m p e t i t i o n among p r o d u c ers to meet them. This view is predicated on the a s s u m p t i o n interpret

that c o n s u m e r s are a u t o n o m o u s , rational actors who

their needs through common cultural codes and choose automobiles which best satisfy those n e e d s . The m e t a - p o w e r view argues

that m a n u f a c t u r e r s m a n i p u l a t e cultural m e a n i n g s and structure c o n s u m e r choices by selecting aspects of meaning and design for d e v e l o p m e n t which suit their interests and i m p e r a t i v e s . T h u s , at this l e v e l , the test involves assessing the role of p r o d u c e r s t r a t e g i e s , e s p e c i a l l y advertising and product develo p m e n t , in affecting c o n s u m e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of their needs and their perceptions of the a u t o m o b i l e . The high consumer

demand for a u t o m o b i l e s over the test period may or may not prove that consumers got w h a t they w a n t e d , that i s , that the p r o d u c e r s provided an a d e q u a t e range of products for consumers to choose from. The traditional view argues they did. The

m e t a - p o w e r view argues they may not h a v e . ( 1 9 6 7 : 2 3 1 ) has stated this latter p o s i t i o n :

David B r a y b r o o k e ,

In the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , with its high c o n c e n t r a t i o n and high barriers to e n t r y , the variety of products is e s p e c i ally s u b j e c t to arbitrary limitations on the p r o d u c e r s ' s i d e . But from the fact that given a choice between x, y and z, N expresses h i m s e l f as wanting z nothing can be inferred about his wants for u, v, w , goods that were not offered him. Many consumers might prefer very d i f f e r ent cars -- if they are never p r o d u c e d , so that c o n s u m e r s have a chance to see them or to try they o u t , how can it be shown that they are not w a n t e d ?

198 H o w e v e r , t h i s g e n e r a l level of a n a l y s i s d o e s n o t p r o v i d e i n s i g h t into the a c t u a l c o n t e n t w h i c h is c r e a t e d into the automobile. In o r d e r to g a i n i n f o r m a t i o n on t h i s p r o c e s s and

to f u r t h e r t e s t the two p e r s p e c t i v e s , one s p e c i f i c a s p e c t of the d e f i n i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e w a s s e l e c t e d for a n a l y s i s . T h i s a s p e c t is the t h e m e s r e l a t e d to the n o t i o n of a u t o m o t i v e performance. A u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e has b e e n the t o p i c of c o n -

c e r n a m o n g c e r t a i n s e g m e n t s of the p u b l i c and c o n s u m e r s f o r a long t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e the end of W o r l d W a r I I . This

i s s u e b a s i c a l l y c o n c e r n s how the a u t o m o b i l e has d e v e l o p e d d e f i n i t i o n s w h i c h are n o t r e l a t e d to the p r i m e f u n c t i o n of the autom o b i l e , n a m e l y the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n of p e o p l e f r o m one p l a c e to another. P e r f o r m a n c e has b e e n s i n g l e d o u t in p a r t i c u l a r as a

p r o b l e m , and an i n c r e a s i n g a m o u n t of p u b l i c c r i t i c i s m d i r e c t e d to the i n d u s t r y o v e r t h i s a s p e c t . Critics have argued that the

n o n t r a n s p o r t a t i o n t h e m e s of a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e h a v e b e e n o v e r e m p h a s i z e d in d e s i g n and a d v e r t i s i n g by the i n d u s t r y . is a p r o b l e m , it is a r g u e d , b e c a u s e they e n c o u r a g e d e s i g n s w h i c h are n o t " r a t i o n a l " or " e f f i c i e n t " for t r a n s p o r t a t i o n p u r p o s e s -- in f a c t , w h i c h are o v e r p o w e r e d , u n s a f e , and w a s t e f u l of g a s o l i n e . It is a l s o a p r o b l e m b e c a u s e t h e s e t h e m e s s t i m u This

l a t e and p r o v i d e c u l t u r a l m o d e l s for m o t i v a t i o n s , a t t i t u d e s , and b e h a v i o u r s w h i c h a r e d e t r i m e n t a l and d a n g e r o u s to the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s y s t e m and s o c i e t y . In o r d e r to e x p a n d u p o n the n o t i o n of a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e and its m e a n i n g s it w i l l be h e l p f u l to v i e w the a u t o m o b i l e in t e r m s of the c o n c e p t i o n of c o m m o d i t i e s as d i s c u s sed in C h a p t e r F i v e . F r o m t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e the a u t o m o b i l e is

199 a multidimensional c o l l e c t i o n o f s y m b o l i c and p h y s i c a l char-

a c t e r i s t i c s which offers n u m e r o u s p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s a t i s f a c t i o n s or u t i l i t i e s .

physical

Roy V a n T i l ^ i n a s i g n i f i c a n t

s t u d y o f a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g to be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r , h a s c o m e up w i t h a l i s t of ten b a s i c d i m e n s i o n s . He d e r i v e d t h i s 2 f r o m a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s o f a d v e r t i s i n g in Li fe m a g a z i n e . f e e l s t h a t " w i t h i n t h e s e ten b a s i c c a t e g o r i e s o f a p p e a l s be f o u n d every variation of p e r c e i v e d p r o d u c t He can list

characteristics

and c o n s u m e r b e n e f i t t h a t h a s b e e n c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e a u t o mobile" (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 1 2 4 ) . T h e ten b a s i c c a t e g o r i e s a r e :

( 1 ) s a f e t y ; (2) e x c l u s i v e n e s s ; (3) e c o n o m y ; ( 4 ) m a c h i s m o ; (5) s t y l i n g ; (6) f u n c t i o n a l i s m ; ( 7 ) e r g o n o m i c s ; (8) r e p u t a t i o n ; (9) t e c h n o l o g y ; (10) d u r a b i l i t y . 0 Within each category n u m e r o u s s u b c a t e g o r i e s of a p p e a l s and s a t i s f a c t i o n s . are His de-

t a i l e d b r e a k d o w n a n d d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s u b c a t e g o r i e s in e a c h d i m e n s i o n is m u c h t o o l o n g to be p r e s e n t e d h e r e . 4 w o u l d n o t a d d a g r e a t deal to t h e d i s c u s s i o n . M o r e o v e r , it

W h a t is of i n t e r e s t h e r e a r e t h o s e t h e m e s r e l a t e d to w h a t this d i s c u s s i o n has been calling p e r f o r m a n c e . c l a s s i f i e d u n d e r V a n T i l ' s d i m e n s i o n of " m a c h i s m o " . ( 1 9 7 5 : 1 4 9 , n 3 0 ) d e f i n e s m a c h i s m o as " t h e S p a n i s h w o r d These are Van T i l , referring

to t h e c u l t of m a s c u l i n i t y in w h i c h p o w e r and m u s c l e p l a y a great role." He f e e l s t h a t in t h i s c o n t e x t , " I t s e r v e s better

t h a n a n y E n g l i s h w o r d to d e s c r i b e a p p e a l s to p o w e r , s p e e d , r a c i n g , s e x , and y o u t h f u l v i g o r f o u n d in a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 :149 , n 3 0 ) . T h i s d i s c u s s i o n , h o w e v e r , w i l l ue to r e f e r to t h e s e a p p e a l s as p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s . contin-

As d e s c r i b -

ed by V a n T i l , t h e s e t h e m e s as m a n i f e s t e d in t h e g r a p h i c s of

200 his s a m p l e of a d v e r t i s e m e n t s a r e i l l u s t r a t e d "by p i c t u r e s im-

p l y i n g h i g h s p e e d s and o t h e r d y n a m i c i m a g e s , s p o r t s , y o u t h , and rugged m a s c u l i n i t y " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 1 3 0 ) . ads, these themes includes references to: In t h e c o p y o f t h e s e (1) p o w e r , e s p e c i a l l y displacement --

h i g h l e v e l s of h o r s e p o w e r ; ( 2 ) l a r g e e n g i n e s i z e --

in c u b i c i n c h e s ; ( 3 ) r a p i d a c c e l e r a t i o n ; ( 4 ) h i g h t o p s p e e d

m o r e t h a n m a x i m u m legal s p e e d s ; ( 5 ) h i g h t o r q u e o u t p u t of e n g i n e and t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e v i c e s d e s i g n e d f o r i n c r e a s i n g t o r q u e , h o r s e p o w e r , a c c e l e r a t i o n , and t o p s p e e d -- s u c h as h i g h l i f t c a m s h a f t s , m u l t i p l e c a r b u r e t i o n , e t c . ; ( 6 ) h i g h s p e e d h a n d l i n g in n o n - e m e r g e n c y s i t u a t i o n s , d r i v i n g as a s p o r t ; ( 7 ) t h e m a k e ' s s u c c e s s in r a c i n g ; ( 8 ) r a c i n g c a r o p t i o n s -- s p e e d a c c e s s o r i e s , r a c i n g g e a r s h i f t ; ( 9 ) total p e r f o r m a n c e ; ( 1 0 ) " t o t a l s p e e d or p o w e r in d e s i g n e d r a c i n g l o o k , n a m e or f e e l " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 1 3 5 ) . V a n Til

notes that certain s u b c a t e g o r i e s of other d i m e n s i o n s cross r e f e r e n c e w i t h m a c h i s m o a p p e a l s , a n d t h a t s t y l i n g and o f t e n a r e u s e d to r e i n f o r c e m a c h i s m o a p p e a l s . T o c r i t i c a l l y t e s t t h e t w o f r a m e w o r k s w i t h r e s p e c t to t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e s e d e f i n i t i o n a l t h e m e s w i l l r e q u i r e an e x a m i n a t i o n of c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o u r and o t h e r a u t o m o t i v e u s e r s . This e x a m i n a t i o n m u s t focus upon the uses and gratifications exclusiveness

o b t a i n e d f r o m t h e a u t o m o b i l e and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h e i n d u s t r y to t h e m . In t h e n e x t s e c t i o n t h e u s e s and g r a t i f i c a -

t i o n s of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s w i l l be e x p l o r e d t h r o u g h t h e c o n c e p t o f " e x t r a m o t i v e s " as d e v e l o p e d by N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a . T h e n e g a t i v e c o n s e q u e n c e s a t t r i b u t e d to t h e s e m o t i v e s , t h e i r s t i m u l a t i o n and d i r e c t i o n by t h e p r o m o t i o n of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d . N e x t , the social e m b o d i m e n t of these

t h e m e s in t h e s o - c a l l e d p e r f o r m a n c e s u b c u l t u r e o f h o t r o d d i n g

201 will be e x a m i n e d . T h e d e v e l o p m e n t of hot r o d d i n g and its rise and

from a d e v i a n t form of b e h a v i o u r to a q u a s i - r e s p e c t a b l e

l e g i t i m a t e s p o r t will be seen to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to v a r i o u s e c o n o m i c i n t e r e s t s - " e s p e c i a l l y the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s try w h i c h e v e n t u a l l y c a m e to t r e a t it as a full f l e d g e d w i t h s p e c i f i c d e s i g n s f o r m u l a t e d for i t . hot rods w e r e known as S u p e r C a r s . These market

factory-built

F i n a l l y , the last s e c t i o n formalized

in this c h a p t e r will p r e s e n t a s a m p l e of the m o r e

c r i t i c i s m s of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s as put f o r w a r d by v a r i o u s t r a f f i c s a f e t y e x p e r t s , c o n s u m e r c r u s a d e r s , j o u r n a l i s t s , and literary persons. It will be s u g g e s t e d t h a t the hot rod s u b -

c u l t u r e and its d e v e l o p m e n t as the e m b o d i m e n t of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s is a good f o c u s for c r i t i c a l l y t e s t i n g the two p e r s p e c t i v e s w i t h r e s p e c t to the role of c u l t u r e , the p r o d u c e r s t r a t e g i e s of a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t , and the c o n s u m p tion of the a u t o m o b i l e . Automotive Performance: "Extra Motives"

T h e t h e m e s of a u t o m o t i v e p e r f o r m a n c e have been s i n g l e d o u t by t r a f f i c s a f e t y e x p e r t s , in p a r t i c u l a r , as p r o b l e m a t i c to the s a f e and e f f i c i e n t o p e r a t i o n of the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s y s tem. T h i s is b e c a u s e they s t i m u l a t e , d i r e c t and interpret

v a r i o u s h u m a n m o t i v a t i o n s w h i c h are not r e l a t e d to the p r i m a r y p u r p o s e of the a u t o m o b i l e as t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . T h e s e so c a l l e d

" e x t r a m o t i v e s " ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 ) are not r e l a t e d to the " o f f i c i a l " g o a l s of road use and are h y p o t h e s i z e d a d v e r s l y a f f e c t the m a n n e r in w h i c h d r i v e r s o p e r a t e vehicles. their to

T h e s e e x t r a m o t i v e s , h y p o t h e s i z e d to be d e t e r m i n a n t s

202 of d r i v e r b e h a v i o u r , are b e l i e v e d to be "a m a j o r f a c t o r of d a n g e r o u s t r a f f i c b e h a v i o u r and hence greatly c o n t r i b u t e to the high a c c i d e n t t o l l . ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 2 6 ) .

It is also s u g g e s t e d that extra m o t i v e s i n f l u e n c e other a s p e c t s of the total highway t r a f f i c system such a s : (1) e m p h a s i z i n g

design c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h d i s v a l u e safety f e a t u r e s and p r o more s t y l e , speed rapid a c c e l e r a t i o n c a p a b i l i t y , e t c . ; (2) d i f f i c u l t i e s in a p p l y i n g v a r i o u s safety d e v i c e s and r e g u l a t i o n s ; (3) i n d u c i n g u n n e c e s s a r y t r a f f i c ; (4) i n c r e a s i n g the p r o p o r t i o n of e s p e c i a l l y d a n g e r o u s a u t o m o b i l e s on the r o a d ; (5) e m p h a s i z ing t r a f f i c flow over s a f e t y in the t r a f f i c e n v i r o n m e n t and r e g u l a t e d l e g i s l a t i o n ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 2 2 - 2 6 ) . S u r p r i s i n g l y , very little r e s e a r c h has been done into the n a t u r e of these extra m o t i v e s and e x a c t l y how they the a u t o m o b i l e - h i g h w a y s y s t e m . influence

N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a are among

the few w h o have a t t e m p t e d even to deal w i t h them and they m e r e l y p r o v i d e a basic c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and bring t o g e t h e r p r e vious r e s e a r c h w h i c h r e l a t e s in some way to the h y p o t h e s e s . They list six c a t e g o r i e s of extra m o t i v e s of the d r i v e r s . (1) Goals set for the trip or during it. T h i s c a t e g o r y refers to the o b j e c t i v e s of d r i v e r s with r e s p e c t to their travel e i t h e r in terms of the w h o l e trip or p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s involved in the trip. Included here are sueh goals as those " s t e m m i n g from h a s t e , a c o m p e t i tive s p i r i t , t i m e t a b l e p r e s s u r e s , e t c . , or such m o r e t r a n s i t o r y o b j e c t i v e s a s , for e x a m p l e , those a t t e n d i n g the a t t a i n m e n t of a m o r e a g r e e a b l e p o s i t i o n in the t r a f f i c f l o w " (Naatanen and S u m m a l a , 1976:66-67). Emotions . (a) Emotions stirred up in a traffic situation. For example, one driver

(2)

203 a n n o y e d by a n o t h e r . This a n n o y ance may be e x p r e s s e d in d a n g e r o u s driving maneuvers and/or anti-social b e h a v i o u r on the r o a d . (b) E m o t i o n s or e m o t i o n a i i t y o r i g i n a i 1 y e x t e r n a l to t r a f f i c . For e x a m p l e , p a r t i c u l a r f r u s t r a t i n g or a n g e r p r o v o k i n g e x p e r i e n c e may be c a r r i e d o n to the h i g h w a y w h e r e d r i v e r s "blow off e m o t i o n a l s t e a m " t h r o u g h e r r a t i c , a g g r e s s i v e , or c a r e l e s s d r i v i n g .

(3)

B e h a v i o u r a l m o d e l s . A m o n g the f a c t o r s which influence driver behaviour are: the p a r t i c u l a r norms w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e the social g r o u p s to w h i c h d r i v e r s b e l o n g : the n o t i o n w h i c h d r i v e r s have of " c o r r e c t " and a d m i r a b l e d r i v i n g b e h a v i o u r as s t i m u l a ted by a d v e r t i s i n g , m o v i e s , t e l e v i s i o n , e t c . ; the e x a m p i e of d r i v i n g b e h a v i o u r p r o v i d e d by o t h e r d r i v e r s ; e t c . S h o w i n g off and the need to p r o v e o n e s e l f . Some d r i v e r s feel that they m u s t p r o v e that they are c o m p e t e n t and s k i l l f u l b e h i n d the w h e e l . T h e m a j o r c r i t e r i a of d r i v i n g skill for such d r i v e r s are the e x h i b i t i o n of speed and the f r e q u e n t p a s s i n g of o t h e r a u t o m o b i l e s on the h i g h w a y . H e d o n i s t i c o b j e c t i v e s . T h i s r e f e r s to "the e x c i t e m e n t of d r i v i n g , to its sensual p l e a s u r e s , the p u r s u i t of w h i c h is often r e f l e c t ed by the d e c i s i o n s taken in v a r i o u s t r a f f i c s i t u a t i o n s . The a u t o m o b i l e is a d e s i r a b l e and b e l o v e d p l a y t h i n g " ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1976:68). Risk for r i s k ' s s a k e . The b e h a v i o u r of some d r i v e r s is m o t i v a t e d by the d e s i r e to e x p e r i e n c e the s e n s a t i o n and thrill of r i s k t a k i n g . N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a cite K l e i n ' s ( 1 9 7 1 ) s t u d y w h i c h a r g u e s that r i s k - t a k i n g and the s e n s a t i o n s w h i c h a c c o m p a n y such b e h a v i o u r are being r e d u c e d / e l i m i n a t e d from m a n y a c t i v i t i e s -- e s p e c i a l l y w o r k . Seen in this l i g h t , the s e e k i n g of risk on the road is e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t .

(4)

(5)

(6)

T h i s t a x o n o m y is o b v i o u s l y filled w i t h o v e r l a p s and is not h i g h l y r e f i n e d in terms of c o n c e p t u a l c l a r i t y and the estab l i s h m e n t of r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The p o i n t is to note the d i f f i c u l -

204 t i e s a n d c o m p l e x i t i e s i n v o l v e d in the e n t e r p r i s e . The con-

t r i b u t i o n of N a a t a n e n a n d S u m m a l a b r i n g s t o g e t h e r m a n y o f t h e e x p l i c i t and i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m s (as c o n t a i n e d in t h e c o n c e p t indus-

of extra m o t i v e s ) of the a u t o m o b i l e and the a u t o m o b i l e

t r y f o u n d in the l i t e r a t u r e and a t t e m p t s to s o r t o u t t h e i n d i r e c t r e s e a r c h s u p p o r t a n d d e v e l o p a t e s t a b l e m o d e l of d r i v e r b e haviour. W h i l e t h e i r m o d e l is p r o v o c a t i v e a n d u s e f u l , it is

t h e c o n c e p t of e x t r a m o t i v e s w h i c h is i m p o r t a n t to t h i s d i s c u s s i o n a n d it w i l l be u s e f u l to e l a b o r a t e u p o n t h e i r m o r e d e t a i l ed d i s c u s s i o n of t h e m . In p a r t i c u l a r , p o i n t s 3, 4 , 5 and 6 a r e

o f m o s t r e l e v a n c e as t h e y a r e t h e o n e s w h i c h h a v e m o s t o f t e n b e e n m e n t i o n e d in t h e c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e as t h e m o s t p r o b l e m a t i c f o r t r a f f i c and f o r s o c i e t y . O f p o i n t 4 , s h o w i n g o f f a n d t h e n e e d to p r o v e o n e s e l f , they talk about the s e l f - a s s e r t i v e form such driving as "a c o m p e t i t i v e , ' s p o r t y - k i n d ' of d r i v i n g " . They takes attribute cars cars in off

s u c h m o t i v e s to t h e p o p u l a r i t y a n d e s t e e m w h i c h s p o r t s

h a v e o v e r m o r e b a s i c t r a n s p o r t a t i o n -- e v e n t h o u g h s p o r t s cost much more. The sports car "surpasses a regular model It is e a s i e r to 'show

t h e v a l u e s s e t on s e l f - a s s e r t i o n .

w i t h a s p o r t s c a r and g a i n t h e a d m i r a t i o n a n d e n v y o f o t h e r s . A l s o t h e ' p l e a s u r e ' of d r i v i n g m i g h t be g r e a t e r w i t h t h e s p o r t s model." T h e y s t a t e t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n in no u n c e r t a i n terms:

"Describing flashy cars with fast acceleration

capabilities clear-

as ' s p o r t s ' m o d e l s and t a l k i n g a b o u t ' d r i v i n g f o r s p o r t 1

ly d e m o n s t r a t e s t h e u n o f f i c i a l s e c o n d a r y o b j e c t i v e s of d r i v e r s -- o b j e c t i v e s p r e s u m a b l y o f a d e t r i m e n t a l n a t u r e in t r a f f i c , o b j e c t i v e s t h a t at t h e c r u c i a l s t a g e m i g h t r e p l a c e t h e p r i -

205 mary one" ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 4 4 - 4 5 ) .

With regard to p o i n t 5, h e d o n i s t i c o b j e c t i v e s or the p u r s u i t of sensual p l e a s u r e for p l e a s u r e ' s s a k e , N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a n o t e several i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s . (1) T h e r e are the

s e n s a t i o n s , felt t h r o u g h the b o d y ' s p e r c e p t u a l s y s t e m s , of the road and of physical a s p e c t s of the car w h i c h can be p l e a s u r able. (2) T h e r e is the p l e a s u r e and also f a s c i n a t i o n with

speed and e s p e c i a l l y a c c e l e r a t i o n in terms of the

experiences

of g - f o r c e s on the b o d y ; the same b a s i c thrill that p e o p l e pay to get on r o l l e r c o a s t e r s and o t h e r such " r i d e s " at a m u s e m e n t parks. (3) The control the d r i v e r has o v e r the v e h i c l e and

the a b i l i t y to r e g u l a t e its m o v e m e n t in t r a f f i c is also a "hedonistically positive circumstance". (4) Naatanen and

S u m m a l a also a t t r i b u t e to t h e s e h e d o n i s t i c o b j e c t i v e s the c o n s t a n t e x p e r i m e n t i n g and c h a n g i n g to new car m o d e l s even though

the o l d e r car still may be p e r f e c t l y useful from a t r a n s p o r t a tion p o i n t of v i e w . They c o m p a r e this to p e o p l e w h o s w i t c h

p a r t n e r s (and hint that the s w i t c h e r s in both c a s e s m a y be the same p e o p l e ) . "The m o t i v a t i o n in both c a s e s is p r o b a b l y one

of a d e s i r e for novel e x p e r i e n c e s and p l e a s u r e s in the s a m e sphere. O t h e r s (the ' f a i t h f u l ' o n e s ) , a g a i n , p r e f e r to c o n t i n Per-

ue d r i v i n g the car to w h i c h they have b e c o m e a c c u s t o m e d .

haps they h a v e b e c o m e a t t a c h e d to a c e r t a i n e x p e r i e n c e of the kind s p e c i f i c a l l y p r o v i d e d by the car in t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n " ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 4 7 ) . It is w o r t h q u o t i n g N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , two s e r i o u s t r a f f i c s a f e t y r e s e a r c h e r s , at length on t h e i r views of speed

206 and its r e l a t i o n s h i p to p e o p l e . N o t e in p a r t i c u l a r the l a n g u a g e

t h e y c h o o s e to c a p t u r e the e x p e r i e n c e of s p e e d . S p e e d and the e x c i t e m e n t g e n e r a t e d by it e v i d e n t l y has a p o t e n t e f f e c t on u s . It is like a drug t h a t m a k e s us f o r g e t our t r o u b l e s , our b o s s 1 c r i t i c i s m at w o r k , our w i f e ' s s c o l d ing as it r a n k l e s in our m i n d , our a n x i e t i e s , and our a p p r e h e n s i o n s . T h e big p r o b l e m m o d e r n man has to cope w i t h is a too c o m p l i c a t e d life in the c r o s s c u r r e n t s of n u m e r o u s d i f f e r e n t i n f l u e n c e s . S p e e d o f f e r s one of few d i r e c t l y e f f i c a c i o u s m e a n s of e s c a p i n g the p r e s s u r e s of d a i l y e x i s t e n c e . The m a t t e r m i g h t be e x p r e s sed in t e r m s of the p s y c h o l o g y of l e a r n i n g by stating that speed signifies a direct reduction of t e n s i o n or d r i v e ( a l l e v i a t i o n of a d i s a g r e e a b l e s t a ^ of e x c i t e m e n t ) . S p e e d r e l i e v e s t e n s i o n s ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 4 6 ) . H a v i n g d e f i n e d speed as a m e c h a n i s m of t e n s i o n r e l i e f , they go on to use s p e e d as the e x p l a n a t o r y e x t r a m o t i v e for f a s t d r i v ing w h e n t h e r e is no need for h u r r y . It a l s o is the b a s i c m o but

t i v a t i o n , it s e e m s , for o w n i n g and d r i v i n g s p o r t s c a r s --

s o m e h o w it has b e c o m e b l e n d e d w i t h sexual m o t i v a t i o n s as well.. All this m a k e s m o r e u n d e r s t a n d a b l e the i m p o r t a n c e of the d r i v i n g q u a l i t i e s of a m o t o r v e h i c l e to its o w n e r and his w i l l i n g n e s s to pay i n c r e d i b l e p r i c e s for f l a s h y a c c e s s o r i e s -- i n c r e d i b l e , t h a t i s , if his p u r p o s e is s i m p l y to travel from p l a c e to p l a c e f a i r l y c o m f o r t a b l y and r e l a t i v e l y f a s t . N o t h i n g m u s t spoil the h e d o n i s t i c p l e a s u r e s to be e n j o y e d . T h e l u s t f u l d e s i r e for p o s s e s s i o n of a " s p o r t s c a r " is l i k e w i s e u n d e r s t a n d a b l e in l i g h t of the a n t i c i p a t e d d e l i g h t s of d r i v ing o n e . In " d r i v i n g for s p o r t " , t h e s e d e l i g h t s r e a c h t h e i r c u l m i n a t i o n . P l a n s to have g e n e r a l s p e e d l i m i t s i m p o s e d a r o u s e e x cited opposition expressly b e c a u s e , among o t h e r t h i n g s , the p l e a s u r e s of s p e e d i n g are t h r e a t e n e d . T h e "speed d e m o n " o f t e n does not d r i v e f a s t so m u c h to r e a c h s o m e d e s t i n a t i o n as to e n j o y the p r i m i t i v e s e n s a t i o n of s p e e d for its own s a k e . T h e s p e e d s t e r d r i v e s f a s t w h e n he is in no h u r r y ( N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a , 1976:46-47).

207 Hot R o d d i n g : Extra M o t i v e s From D e v i a n t to L e g i t i m a t e

P r e s u m a b l y all d r i v e r s tend to have some extra m o t i v e s and could be rated on a s c a l e to m e a s u r e the types and their strengths. N o w h e r e are these extra m o t i v e s m o r e c l e a r l y ex-

hibited or held more s t r o n g l y than in those s u b c u l t u r e s o r g a n ized a r o u n d various forms of a u t o m o b i l e racing and around p a r t i c u l a r types of a u t o m o b i l e s -- e s p e c i a l l y sports cars and hot 6 r o d s . N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a m e n t i o n s p o r t s cars often in their d i s c u s s i o n but not hot r o d s . This is b e c a u s e they are E u r o p e a n

and t h e i r work was p u b l i s h e d in E u r o p e w h e r e sports cars are p o p u l a r but there is v i r t u a l l y no hot r o d d i n g . (1965) As Tom W o l f e

the p e r c e p t i v e social o b s e r v e r n o t e d , hot r o d d i n g and

its a s s o c i a t e d a c t i v i t i e s are u n i q u e l y North A m e r i c a n d e v e l o p ments. And a l t h o u g h both sports cars and hot rods are p o p u l a r

t o d a y , at the end of W o r l d W a r II and well into the 1950s hot 7 r o d d e r s in p a r t i c u l a r w e r e \/ery much a d e v i a n t social form. And p a r t of the reason they w e r e viewed in such a way stemmed from the e x t r a m o t i v e s they d i s p l a y e d on the r o a d . In the early

1950s there w e r e few hot r o d d e r s and they w e r e viewed as s p e e d mad m a n i a e s , reckless destructive hoodlums driving souped-up

p o w e r w a g o n s -- m e n a c e s to o t h e r d r i v e r s and t h e m s e l v e s , a p r o b l e m to p o l i c e and f a m i l y . The typical image of the hot rod-

der p r e s e n t e d in the mass m e d i a was that of a d e l i b e r a t e and p r e m e d i a t e d law b r e a k e r : P o s s e s s i o n of the "hot rod" is p r e s u m p t i v e e v i d e n c e of an i n t e n t to s p e e d . Speed is P u b l i c Enemy N o . 1 of the h i g h w a y s . It is o b v i o u s that a d r i v e r of a "hot rod" car has an i r r e s i s t a b l e t e m p t a t i o n to "step on it" and a c c o r d i n g l y o p e r a t e the v e h i c l e in a r e c k l e s s m a n n e r e n d a n g e r i n g human l i f e . It

208 also shows a d e l i b e r a t e and p r e m e d i t a t e d idea to v i o l a t e the law. T h e s e v e h i c l e s are largely i m p r o v i s e d by home m e c h a n i c s and are c a p a b l e of high speed and d a n g e r ous m a n e u v e r a b i l i t y . They have t h e r e f o r e become a serious m e n a c e to the safe m o v e ment of t r a f f i c . The o p e r a t o r s of these cars are confused into b e l i e v i n g that driving is a c o m p e t i t i v e s p o r t . They have a feeling of s u p e r i o r i t y in r e c k l e s s l y darting in and out of traffic in their a t t e m p t to o u t s p e e d other cars on the road (Director of the New York D i v i s i o n of S a f e t y , New York T i m e s , June 1 9 , 1 9 4 9 , cited in B a l s l e y , 1 9 5 0 : 3 5 5 ) . This image was also p r o j e c t e d by a n e w s p a p e r c o m i c - s t r i p c h a r acter by the name of Hot Rod Happy w h o was the \/ery a n t i t h e s i s of the ideal image of A m e r i c a n y o u t h . Yet by the 1960s hot rodding had grown s u b s t a n t i a l l y and had achieved a d e g r e e of public a c c e p t a n c e and l e g i t i m a c y -- a l t h o u g h this was an a m b i v a l e n t a c c e p t a n c e as powerful moral e n t r e p r e n e u r s continued to speak out a g a i n s t it. Throughout

the 1960s it continued to grow and in the late 1960s it was touted as the " g r o w t h " sport of the 1 9 7 0 s . For e x a m p l e , in 1969

there w e r e over twenty m a g a z i n e s and n e w s p a p e r s that dealt exc l u s i v e l y w i t h that a s p e c t of e n t h u s i a s m known as hot r o d d i n g . In 1960 $25 m i l l i o n was s p e n t a n n u a l l y in a d v e r t i s i n g to this m a r k e t w h i c h was e s t i m a t e d to be a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4 m i l l i o n p r i m a r y r e a d e r s each month with an additional 6 to 10 m i l l i o n p a s s - a l o n g r e a d e r s each month ( Y a t e s , 1 9 6 9 : 9 3 ) . The i n d u s t r y which caters

d i r e c t l y to hot r o d d i n g , the p e r f o r m a n c e a c c e s s o r y or speed e q u i p m e n t i n d u s t r y , did over $1 billion worth of b u s i n e s s in 1969 ( Y a t e s , 1 9 7 6 : 1 0 2 ) . There are no s t a t i s t i c s a v a i l a b l e on the total number of hot r o d d e r s , however some data are a v a i l a b l e regarding drag

209 racing. D r a g r a c i n g has m o r e t h a n d o u b l e d its s i z e every five In

y e a r s s i n c e its i n t r o d u c t i o n s h o r t l y a f t e r W o r l d W a r I I .

1 9 7 0 , 6 m i l l i o n s p e c t a t o r s a t t e n d e d d r a g r a c e s at t h e 1 6 4 d r a g s t r i p s s a n c t i o n e d by t h e N a t i o n a l H o t Rod A s s o c i a t i o n in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d C a n a d a . (NHRA)

D r a g s t r i p s s a n c t i o n e d by (or

t h e A m e r i c a n H o t Rod A s s o c i a t i o n ( A H R A ) and u n s a n c t i o n e d

" o u t l a w " ) d r a g s t r i p s , w h o s e c o m b i n e d t o t a l w a s a l m o s t 1 4 0 in 1 9 7 0 , d r e w c l o s e to 5 m i l l i o n . More than $10 million was paid

o u t to d r a g r a c e r s f o r t h e i r v a r i o u s v i c t o r i e s by N H R A d r a g s t r i p s in 1 9 6 9 ; p u r s e s at s m a l l , w e e k e n d d r a g e v e n t s averaged

$ 3 , 0 0 0 to $ 4 , 0 0 0 ; p u r s e s at m a j o r e v e n t s l i k e t h e N H R A W i n t e r n a t i o n a l s or the N H R A W o r l d S e r i e s C h a m p i o n s h i p a r e as h i g h as $350,000 (Hart, 1974). A H R A and o u t l a w d r a g s t r i p s h a v e f i g u r to

es w h i c h a r e s l i g h t l y l o w e r t h a n t h e N H R A d a t a . A c c o r d i n g a m a r k e t r e s e a r c h r e p o r t c o n d u c t e d by Paul H a l u z a of A l e x a n d r i a , V i r g i n i a ,

Associates

t h e t y p i c a l s p e c t a t o r at a d r a g s t r i p and of

in 1 9 6 9 w a s 22 y e a r s o l d , had g r a d u a t e d f r o m h i g h s c h o o l e a r n e d b e t w e e n $ 5 , 0 0 0 and $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 a y e a r .

About one-third

t h e m had a t t e n d e d c o l l e g e , a n d m o r e t h a n h a l f w e r e

unmarried.

A m o r e c o m p l e t e p i c t u r e w o u l d be o b t a i n e d if i n f o r m a t i o n d e r i v e d f r o m o t h e r a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g w e r e a d d e d , s u c h as s t o c k c a r r a c i n g , c i r c l e - t r a c k r a c i n g , T r a n s - A m B o n n e v i l e S a l t F l a t s c o m p e t i t i o n , c u s t o m s h o w s and racing, customizing,

s t r e e t r a c i n g , and s t r e e t r o d d i n g ( w h i c h i n c l u d e s t h o s e h o t rodders who b u i l d , d r i v e , and show their c o u p e s , s e d a n s , roads t e r s , c u s t o m s , e t c . -- a n d a c t u a l l y f o r m t h e c o r e or b a c k b o n e of h o t r o d d i n g ) . T h e n , one m u s t c o n s i d e r the significance

of f a c t s s u c h as t h e n u m b e r of f i l m s p r o d u c e d a b o u t h o t r o d d i n g

210 -- The Wild O n e , Drag S t r i p G i r l , Hot Rod G a n g , G h o s t of Drag S t r i p Hoi 1 o w , Two Lane B l a c k t o p , to n a m e only a f e w . Many hot

rod n o v e l s have been p r o d u c e d and m a n y hot rod c o m i c books and j o k e b o o k s are on the m a r k e t . Toy m a n u f a c t u r e r s have loaded kits.

the m a r k e t w i t h hot r o d , drag r a c i n g and c u s t o m car model A n o t h e r area is p h o n o g r a p h r e c o r d s and p o p u l a r m u s i c :

Hot Rod

Race sold 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 c o p i e s in 1 9 5 0 ; T r a n s f u s i o n by N e r v o u s Norvus sold 9 5 0 , 0 0 0 c o p i e s ; in the 1960s the B e a c h b o y s m a d e s e v e r a l hits b a s e d on this t h e m e -- L i t t l e D e u c e C o u p e , " 4 0 9 " , e t c . T h e r e are even r e c o r d s f e a t u r i n g only the sound of v a r i o u s types of hot rod and drag s t r i p e n g i n e s and m a c h i n e r y . C l e a r l y , hot

r o d d i n g has p e n e t r a t e d d e e p l y into e c o n o m i c , social and c u l t u r al l i f e . T h e r e was n o t h i n g i n e v i t a b l e a b o u t the g r o w t h of hot rodding. cultural In f a c t , it was both q u i t e like y e t u n l i k e o t h e r s u b o r g a n i z a t i o n s of y o u n g m e n in the 1950s and 1 9 6 0 s .

Hot r o d d i n g in p a r t i c u l a r is n o t e w o r t h y b e c a u s e of its t r a n s i tion from d e v i a n t to l e g i t i m a t e . The social c r e a t i o n of the

hot rod s u b c u l t u r e has m a n y p a r a l l e l s w i t h the a n a l y s i s p r e s e n t ed by S t a n l e y Cohen ( 1 9 7 3 ) of the social c r e a t i o n of the Mods and R o c k e r s in E n g l a n d . C o h e n e x a m i n e d the p r o c e s s by w h i c h

the M o d s and R o c k e r s w e r e l a b e l l e d as "folk d e v i l s " t h r o u g h the g e n e r a t i o n of a moral p a n i c in the p o p u l a t i o n (or at least imp o r t a n t s e g m e n t s of it) w h i c h fed back into and a m p l i f i e d the d e v i a n t b e h a v i o u r of the M o d s and R o c k e r s . He shows how com-

m e r c i a l and i d e o l o g i c a l e x p l o i t a t i o n r e i n f o r c e d t h e i r d e v i a n c e by g i v i n g them "a g r e a t e r s t r u c t u r e and c o m m o n ethos than they o r i g i n a l l y p o s s e s s e d " and " p o l a r i z e d the d e v i a n t s further

211 a g a i n s t the c o m m u n i t y " (1973:176). L i k e the M o d s and R o c k e r s ,

h o t r o d d e r s w e r e i n d e e d d i s c o v e r e d , l a b e l l e d and s u b s e q u e n t l y t y p e d as f o l k d e v i l s . And a m o r a l p a n i c w a s g e n e r a t e d w h i c h

in turn h e l p e d to s t i m u l a t e the f u r t h e r g r o w t h of h o t r o d d i n g as a d e v i a n t s u b c u l t u r e . A similar historical-sequential a n a l y s i s of p o s t w a r

u n c o n v e n t i o n a l life s t y l e s u s i n g a n a t u r a l h i s t o r y a p p r o a c h has b e e n d e v e l o p e d by J o h n Irwin ( 1 9 7 3 ) . Irwin analyzes surfconsists

ing in the 1 9 5 0 s by a p p l y i n g a f o u r s t a g e m o d e l w h i c h of t h e s e h i s t o r i c a l m o m e n t s : (!)

a r t i c u l a t i o n , (2) e x p a n s i o n , He a r g u e s t h a t the h i s t o r y

(3) c o r r u p t i o n , and (4) d e c l i n e .

of s u r f i n g " s e e m s to be the p r o t o t y p e s of a s e r i e s of c o l l e c tive movements which have swept through American youth since

W o r l d W a r I I " a m o n g w h i c h he l i s t s the b e a t l i f e , h o t r o d d i n g and m o t o r c y c l i n g ( I r w i n , 1 9 7 3 : 1 3 2 - 1 3 4 ) . It is t r u e t h e r e a r e

m a n y s i m i l a r i t i e s in the a r t i c u l a t i o n and e x p a n s i o n p h a s e s b e t w e e n h o t r o d d i n g and s u r f i n g . L i k e the c a s e of the M o d s and

R o c k e r s and the c a s e of s u r f i n g , the m o r a l p a n i c , the d e v i a n t label w h i c h s u s t a i n e d b o t h of t h e m f a d e d a w a y f o r h o t r o d d i n g too. U n l i k e the M o d s and R o c k e r s or the s u r f e r s , it w a s o n l y Hot

the d e v i a n t label w h i c h f a d e d a w a y , n o t the m e m b e r s h i p . r o d d i n g w a s the s u b j e c t of a good deal of e x p l o i t a t i o n by

b u s i n e s s i n t e r e s t s w h i c h c a p i t a l i z e d on its d e v i a n t s t a t u s as m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r in t e r m s of m o v i e s and r e c o r d s . Such

--

e x p l o i t a t i o n s t i m u l a t e d the g r o w t h of h o t r o d d i n g , its d e v i a n t s t a t u s , and its c o r r u p t i o n j u s t as e x p l o i t a t i o n s u r f i n g and the M o d s and R o c k e r s . stimulated

B u t it a l s o s t i m u l a t e d c e r -

tain e l e m e n t s w i t h i n and a r o u n d hot r o d d i n g to t a k e a c t i o n to

212 c o u n t e r the n e g a t i v e s t e r e o t y p e s and i m a g e s of h o t r o d d i n g . T h e s e e l e m e n t s s t r i v e d to l e g i t i m i z e hot r o d d i n g by b e c o m i n g m o r e o r g a n i z e d i n t e r n a l l y and a t t e m p t i n g to e l i m i n a t e m a n y of hot r o d d i n g ' s i n c o m p a t i a b l e b e h a v i o u r s and m o t i v a t i o n s . These

e l e m e n t s , w h i c h w e r e not p r e s e n t in the M o d s and R o c k e r s ' c a s e and o n l y m i n i m a l l y p r e s e n t in the s u r f e r ' s c a s e , c o n s i s t e d of m o r a l l y c o n c e r n e d hot r o d d e r s , p a r e n t s , v a r i o u s sympathetic

c o n t r o l a g e n t s , and e s p e c i a l l y , a n u m b e r of e n t r e p r e n e u r s a s s o c i ated w i t h hot r o d d i n g . T h e s e l a t t e r e l e m e n t s , the e n t r e p r e n e u r s ^ They include

are \zery s i g n i f i c a n t in the l e g i t i m a t i o n p r o c e s s .

m a g a z i n e p u b l i s h e r s ( e s p e c i a l l y R o b e r t E. P e t e r s e n ) , s p e e d e q u i p m e n t m a n u f a c t u r e r s , drag s t r i p and s t o c k car t r a c k p r o m o t ers, etc. T h e s e e n t r e p r e n e u r s e x p l o i t e d hot r o d d i n g b u t t h e i r

r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h it w a s n o t d e p e n d e n t upon its d e v i a n t s t a t u s , but r a t h e r on its c o n t i n u e d g r o w t h and a c h i e v e m e n t of l e g i t i m a c y . Of all the b u s i n e s s i n t e r e s t s w h i c h had a v e s t e d i n t e r e s t in the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of h o t r o d d i n g to a l e g i t i m a t e p u r s u i t , the m o s t i m p o r t a n t and c o n s e q u e n t i a l w a s the a u t o m o b i l e industry.

O v e r the y e a r s , the a u t o i n d u s t r y has i n v e s t e d h e a v i l y in hot r o d d i n g , has i n c o r p o r a t e d h o t rod i n n o v a t i o n s in its p r o d u c t s and h o t rod t h e m e s in its a d v e r t i s i n g . In the e a r l y 1960s the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s b e g a n to d e s i g n and m a r k e t t h e i r own h o t - r o d s . These automobiles Over sev-

s o o n b e c a m e known as " M u s c l e C a r s " or " S u p e r C a r s " .

eral g e n e r a t i o n s of cars and t h r o u g h the model l i n e - u p s S u p e r C a r s in one form or a n o t h e r w e r e a t t r a c t i v e v e h i c l e s to s e l l . D e a l e r s p l a c e d them in the m a i n s a l e s p o s i t i o n s -- the m o s t v i s i b l e to p a s s e r s - b y (for e x a m p l e , in the m a i n w i n d o w of s h o w -

213 r o o m s ) , t h o s e w h i c h m e e t c u s t o m e r s u p o n f i r s t e n t r a n c e to s h o w rooms, etc. This treatment indicates that Super Cars function-

ed as l e a d i n g s y m b o l s of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e m o d e l l i n e s , a n d , i n Apparently, Super 8 C a r s g o t p e o p l e " e x c i t e d " and m o v e d t h e m i n t o t h e s h o w r o o m s . The Super Car concept was expanded into other models a n d m a k e s t h r o u g h o u t the l a t e 1 9 6 0 s and i n t o the 1 9 7 0 s . The d e e d , of the entire line-up of m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

S u p e r C a r and its c o u s i n s , b e i n g m o r e or less f a c t o r y b u i l t h o t r o d s w h i c h w e r e a c c o r d e d g r e a t s t a t u s and p r e s t i g e , n o t o n l y b r o u g h t about a number of changes w i t h i n hot r o d d i n g , but inv o l v e d m a n y p e o p l e i n d i r e c t l y w i t h h o t r o d d i n g by m a k i n g t h e m m o r e a w a r e o f h o t r o d d i n g and l i n k i n g t h e m to c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of hot r o d d i n g , e s p e c i a l l y street rodding with the drive-in set a n d s t r e e t r a c i n g ( e s p e c i a l l y , the s t o p - l i g h t . Along variety).

w i t h t h e S u p e r C a r s of the m i d - 1 9 6 0 s c a m e

R a l p h N a d e r and s e v e r a l g o v e r n m e n t a l i n q u i r i e s i n t o a s p e c t s of i n d u s t r y b e h a v i o u r ( s u c h as s a f e t y , e n e r g y , p o l l u t i o n , a n t i trust). F r o m t h i s p o i n t on v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t g r o u p s b e c a m e m o r e C h a n n e l s of g r i e v a n c e w e r e i n s t i t u t i o n a l -

o r g a n i z e d and v o c a l .

i z e d at t h e g o v e r n m e n t a l l e v e l , and the g o v e r n m e n t b e g a n to r e g u l a t e i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s o f a u t o m o t i v e e n g i n e e r i n g and d e s i g n . By t h e e a r l y 1 9 7 0 s t h e s e f a c t o r s a l o n g w i t h i n c r e a s i n g costs

a n d a s a t u r a t e d m a r k e t c o n t r i b u t e d to the d e a t h o f the S u p e r Car. By t h e end of t h e 1 9 7 0 s t h e s o - c a l l e d e n e r g y c r i s i s , the

i n c r e a s e d s c o p e and s t r i n g e n c y o f g o v e r n m e n t r e g u l a t i o n , t r a f f i c c o n g e s t i o n , and the i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r of m u l t i - c a r f a m i l i e s , a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s , a l t e r e d the d e m a n d s t r u c t u r e of t h e m a r k e t . T h e A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y b e g a n to e l i m i n a t e V - 8 e n g i n e s

214 and to d o w n s i z e their p r o d u c t s . came a m a j o r promotional t h e m e . not a b a n d o n e d : Economy instead of power b e Yet the p e r f o r m a n c e theme was

it may be c o n t e n d e d that as p e r f o r m a n c e was industry

dropping as a major promotional theme of the A m e r i c a n

it was picked up by foreign m a n u f a c t u r e r s (who h e r e t o f o r e had been p a r a g o n s of " r a t i o n a l i t y " ) . M o r e o v e r , the theme diffused

to other types of vehicles -- such as t r u c k s , v a n s , m o t o r c y c l e s , off-road v e h i c l e s , dune b u g g i e s , e t c . I n c i t e m e n t to P e r f o r m a n c e : The A u t o m o b i l e Industry Indicted

The p r o l i f e r a t i o n of extra driving m o t i v e s , a s c r y s t a l ized in the growth and a m b i v a l e n t l e g i t i m a t i o n of hot r o d d i n g , sports c a r s , e t c . , and the d i f f u s i o n of these m o t i v e s into the a u t o m o b i l e system has been noted and c r i t i c i z e d by many p e o p l e . Among those factors held r e s p o n s i b l e for this state of a f f a i r s , the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e cited again and again as the culprits m o s t g u i l t y . Naatanen and Summala put their emphasis

on the p r o v i s i o n of b e h a v i o u r m o d e l s (point 3 in their c l a s s i fication of extra m o t i v e s ) by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s in their advertising. They note how auto ads e m p h a s i z e s p e e d , a c c e l e r a -

t i o n , e x c i t e m e n t , and p l e a s u r e . In motor v e h i c l e a d v e r t i s m e n t s , the terms m e n tioned are aimed at appealing to the deepdown m o t i v a t i o n s of d r i v e r s , and this way sales are m a d e . As things a r e , such e x p r e s s i o n s are e f f e c t i v e sales p i t c h e s ; they appeal to other than the practical m o t i v a t i o n s of b u y e r s ; a n d , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , they also at the same time create and s t r e n g t h e n such extra m o t i v e s and thus also in this m a n n e r i n f l u e n c e b e h a v i o u r in t r a f f i c . It is p r e c i s e l y the d i f f e r e n t kinds of extra m o t i v e s of the road user that commercial a d v e r t i s i n g often plays upon by exciting s u p e r f l o u s a i m s , which from the stand-

215 point of g e t t i n g from place to p l a c e are s e c o n d a r y , e x t r a n e o u s and often d o w n r i g h t d a n g e r o u s (Naatanen and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 4 5 ) . John Keats in his i n f l u e n t i a l book The I n s o l e n t C h a r i o t s used m o r e e x t r a v a g a n t l a n g u a g e to make a s i m i l a r p o i n t : The Buick C o m p a n y , for i n s t a n c e , says that driving a Buick "makes y o u feel like the man you are" -- w h i c h is just a n o t h e r way of saying we c a n ' t d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n i l l u s ion and r e a l i t y , but that buying a Buick will create in our m i s t y m i n d s the i l l u s i o n that we really are w h a t we really a r e . Other m a n u f a c t u r e r s e n t e r t a i n an e q u a l l y thin view of us -- with r e s u l t that a u t o m o b i l e s are not m a r k e t ed as r e l i a b l e m a c h i n e s for r e a s o n a b l e men to u s e , but as i l l u s o r y symbols of s e x , s p e e d , wealth and power for day d r e a m i n g n i t w i t s to buy ( K e a t s , 1 9 5 8 : 5 3 - 5 9 ) . In 1 9 7 0 , Edward A y r e s i l l u s t r a t e d the same basic point and added a moral evaluation.

One cruel irony of a u t o m o t i v e a d v e r t i s i n g is that it a c h i e v e s its p u r p o s e s by m a k i n g p r o mises no car can f u l f i l l . B e c a u s e it teases c o n s t a n t l y it n e v e r s a t i s f i e s -- and its readers remain e t e r n a l l y h u n g r y . For the y o u n g , it paints a false p i c t u r e of y o u t h , thereby e n c o u r a g i n g m i l l i o n s of y o u n g p e o p l e to b e lieve their own e x p e r i e n c e is a b n o r m a l . An ad showing a c u r v a c e o u s M e r c u r y C y c l o n e surrounded by t e e n a g e males tells its r e a d e r s , "We made it h o t . You can make it s c r e a m . " The add does not m e r e l y e n c o u r a g e d a n g e r o u s and illegal d r i v i n g , it also r e p r e s e n t s -can anyone help r e a d i n g b e t w e e n the lines? -- a gross p e r v e r s i o n of normal s e x u a l i t y (Ayres, 1970:169). A y r e s goes on to cite other a d v e r t i s e m e n t s and to s t r e n g t h e n his c r i t i q u e : A GM ad tells the reader he will have "an a l m o s t n e u r o t i c urge to get g o i n g " . A n other ad tells its potential d r i v e r to "Drive it like y o u hate i t . " A Chevy ad claims "Nobody said a nice car c a n ' t play mean now and t h e n . " The gospel of D e t r o i t is full of such i n c i t e m e n t s to physical and moral v i o l e n c e . The Big T h r e e and their

216 a d v e r t i s e r s are among the m o s t p r o l i f i c p u r v e y o r s of o b s c e n e l i t e r a t u r e in A m e r i c a . Yet p e o p l e w h o are w o r r i e d a b o u t the e f f e c t s of P i c a s s o n u d e s or sex e d u c a t i o n d i a g r a m s on t h e i r c h i l d r e n have been b l i n d e d to the e f f e c t of a u t o mobile advertising (Ayres, 1970:169-170). J e f f r e y O ' C o n n e l l and A r t h u r M e y e r s note t h a t not only is the d r i v e r e n c o u r a g e d to think of h i m s e l f as a hot p i l o t b l a s t i n g off into the u n k n o w n -- as too often he i s . The names D e t r o i t hangs on its p r o d u c t are so much a p a r t of our f o l k l o r e that we d o n ' t even n o t i c e . A f u ture a r c h e o l o g i s t d i g g i n g in our ruins may well be b e m u s e d by s o m e of t h e s e : Thunderbird! Wildcat! Fury! Tempest! B a r r a c u d a ! M a r a u d e r (one w h o p i l l a g e s and lays w a s t e the c o u n t r y s i d e ) ! F l i g h t H a w k s ! G o l d e n H a w k , S i l v e r H a w k , Sky H a w k , P o w e r H a w k ! The a r c h e o l o g i s t m i g h t get the idea we w e r e v i o l e n t p e o p l e . . . "Sex s e l l s c a r s . " C o n s i d e r B u i c k ' s ad for its " W i l d c a t " . A lad and his lass e m e r g e m i s t ily from a c l u m p of b u s h e s , s t r o l l i n g l a n g u i d l y t o w a r d the s h a r p - f o c u s e d , f a i t h f u l l y w a i t i n g W i l d c a t . ". . . very d e f i n i t e l y for the s p o r t s - m i n d e d m a l e and his e q u a l l y a d v e n t u r e s o m e m a t e . " . . . ( O ' C o n n e l l and Meyers, 1966:142-145) J e f f r e y S c h r a n k ( 1 9 7 7 ) also f o c u s e s on a u t o m o b i l e names. (1) He c a t e g o r i z e s the names u n d e r the f o l l o w i n g e x o t i c and u s u a l l y categories

u p w a r d bound n a m e s ; (2) speed n a m e s ; (4)

upper-class

p l a c e s ; (3) (6)

p o w e r n a m e s ; (5) animal n a m e s ; He cites R o b e r t H e i l m a n entrapments

s t i c k - i t - t o - t h e - o t h e r guy n a m e s .

as s a y i n g that a u t o m o b i l e names are ". . . s u b l i m a l

of our s e c r e t s e l v e s , b e t r a y e r s of a m b i t i o n , l i m i t a c y , l i b o d y " . Shrank (1977:67) argues that "these subliminal entrapments

p r o m i s e the m a g i c , p o w e r and e x c i t e m e n t m i s s i n g from o r d i n a r y lives." R e g a r d i n g the use of a n i m a l n a m e s for cars he s a y s : A u t o a n i m i s m uses only the names of t h o s e

217 a n i m a l s the c i t y b o u n d d w e l l e r i m a g i n e s as b e i n g " w i l d " and " f r e e " . T h e r e are no cars names C h e s h i r e or B e a g l e or C a n a r y , no m a t t e r how l o v a b l e or d e s i r a b l e t h e s e c r e a tures m i g h t b e . The animal n a m e s used for cars are t h o s e t h a t c o n n o t e f r e e d o m and r a p i d m o v e m e n t . And t h e s e two q u a l i t i e s are very m u c h a p a r t of a u t o p s y c h o l o g y ( S c h r a n k , 1 9 7 7 : 69). He p o s e s a q u e s t i o n w h i c h w o u l d m a k e an i n t e r e s t i n g null r e s e a r c h hyp o t h e s i s : " W o u l d a c o m p l e t e c h a n g e in a u t o n a m e s r e s u l t in less aggressive driving?" (Schrank, 1977:60). advertising

It is not only the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y ' s

i m a g e of the a u t o m o b i l e and d r i v i n g w h i c h has b e e n s i n g l e d o u t . A l s o i m p o r t a n t is the actual p h y s i c a l f o r m of the a u t o m o b i l e as c o n s t r u c t e d by the m a n u f a c t u r e r -- t h a t i s , the e n g i n e e r i n g , d e s i g n and s t y l e of the c a r . D e s i g n and s t y l e f o r m the basis

for the a p p e a l s m a d e in the a d v e r t i s i n g , i t is s u g g e s t e d by the f o r e m o s t a u t o m o t i v e c r i t i c , Ralph N a d e r . D e s i g n e r s or s t y l i s t s express And

m u s t c o n s t r u c t cars w h i c h p h y s i c a l l y and a e s t h e t i c a l l y t h o s e e x t r a m o t i v e s w h i c h r e l a t e to p e o p l e ' s e m o t i o n s .

they m u s t redesi g n / r e s t y l e t h e i r cars e\/ery few y e a r s b e c a u s e of the p o l i c y of " d y n a m i c o b s o l e s c e n c e " . D i f f e r e n t d e s i g n s for w h a t G e n e r a l M o t o r s s t y l i n g c h i e f H a r l e y Earl c a l l e d " d y n a m i c o b s o l e s c e n c e " m u s t be c r e a t e d for m a n y e l e m e n t s of the c a r : f r o n t e n d s , r e a r e n d s , h o o d s , o r n a m e n t s , r e a r d e c k s and r e a r q u a r t e r s , p a n e l s , tail l a m p s , b u m p e r s h a d e s , r o c k e r p a n e l s , and the l a t e s t items b e i n g o f f e r e d in an o u t b u r s t of i n f i n i t e v a r i a t i o n s -- wheel c o v e r s and l u g s . T h e s e s t y l i n g f e a t u r e s f o r m the s u b s t a n c e of sales p r o m o t i o n and a d v e r t i s i n g . The car m a k e r s ' a p p e a l s are e m o t i o n a l ; they seek to i n s p i r e e x c i t e m e n t , a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e , and the a s s o c i a t i o n of the g l i s t e n i n g model in its p r o v a c a t i v e s e t t i n g w i t h the p r o s p e c t ' s m o s t far r e a c h i n g p e r s o n a l v i s i o n s and w i s h f u l f i l l m e n t . This a p p r o a c h may seem f l i g h t y

218 but the i n d u s t r y has l e a r n e d t h a t the t e c h n i q u e s e l l s cars to p e o p l e w h o h a v e no o t h e r r e a s o n to buy them w i t h such f r e quency (Nader, 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 : 1 8 2 ) . T h e b a s i c p r o b l e m w i t h e m p h a s i z i n g s t y l e and its e m o tional c o r r e l a t e s , a c c o r d i n g to N a d e r , i s t h a t s a f e t y is n e g l e c t ed. He c i t e s such s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e s as tail fins and the"sharp

as a c h o p p e r h o o d " o n the e a r l y M u s t a n g as e x a m p l e s of d a n g e r o u s s t y l i s t i c i n n o v a t i o n s w h i c h c a l l o u s s t y l i s t s f o i s t upon the public. A l t h o u g h s e v e r a l d e s i g n e r s and e x e c u t i v e s are m e n t i o n e d

and q u o t e d , none is g i v e n m o r e v i l i f i c a t i o n than W i l l i a m M i t c h e l l w h o b e c a m e head of GM S t y l i n g a f t e r H a r l e y Earl r e t i r e d in D e c ember* 1958. M i t c h e l l w a s the " p r i n c i p a l c r e a t o r " of the

c a d i l l a c tail fin (in 1 9 4 8 ) w h i c h set b a s i c p a t t e r n s for N o r t h A m e r i c a n cars for a l m o s t 20 y e a r s ( e l i m i n a t e d on C a d i l l l a c in 1966). M i t c h e l l is an u n a b a s h e d a u t o e n t h u s i a s t and has said It is to t h e s e m o t i v e s t h a t N a d e r a t -

so p u b l i c l y m a n y t i m e s .

t r i b u t e s M i t c h e l l ' s " c a l l o u s n e s s " (his f a i l u r e to " a n t i c i p a t e " the c o n s e q u e n c e s of his tail fins):

To u n d e r s t a n d how a man c o u l d d e v i s e and p r o m o t e such a p o t e n t i a l l y lethal p r o t u b e r a n c e , it is n e c e s s a r y to u n d e r s t a n d the e n t h u s i a s m of M r . M i t c h e l l , w h o f r e q u e n t l y c o n f i d e s to i n t e r v i e w e r s t h a t he has " g a s o line in his b l o o d " . His v i b r a n c y in c o n v e r s a t i o n r e v o l v e s a r o u n d the c o n c e p t s of " m o v e m e n t " , " e x c i t e m e n t " , and " f l a i r " . S a m p l e s of his r e c e n t s t a t e m e n t s are i l l u s t r a t i v e : "When y o u sat b e h i n d the w h e e l , y o u l o o k e d down t h a t long h o o d , and then t h e r e w e r e two h e a d l i g h t s h a p e s , and then two f e n d e r c u r v e s -- w h y y o u f e l t e x c i t e d j u s t s i t t i n g t h e r e . A car s h o u l d be e x c i t i n g . " O r , " C a r s will be m o r e c l e a r l y m a s c u l i n e or f e m i n i n e , " and "For now w e deal w i t h a e s t h e t i c s . . . that indefinable, intangible quality that makes al1 the d i f f e r e n c e - " M r . M i t c h e l l ' s r e p o r t e d view of s a f e t y is t h a t it is the d r i v e r ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to avoid a c c i d e n t s , and t h a t if

219 cars w e r e m a d e c r a s h w o r t h y , the "nuts b e h i n d the w h e e l " w o u l d take even g r e a t e r c h a n c e s (Nader, 1965/1972:190-191). It is w o r t h q u o t i n g a n o t h e r N a d e r q u o t e of M i t c h e l l ' s w h i c h he uses for e v i d e n c e to p r o v e the n e g l e c t of s a f e t y by a u t o m o b i l e d e s i g n e r s : It is also c l e a r that the m a n u f a c t u r e r s are i n c r e a s i n g l y r e l y i n g upon and e n c o u r a g i n g a demand for a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h has l i t t l e to do w i t h a d e m a n d for t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . General M o t o r s ' vice p r e s i d e n t , W i l l i a m M i t c h e l l , p o i n t ed this up s u c c i n c t l y : "The m o t o r car m u s t be e x c i t i n g and c r e a t e a d e s i r e and not b e c o m e m e r e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , or we will have j u s t a u t i l i t y and p e o p l e will spend t h e i r m o n e y for o t h e r t h i n g s , such as s w i m m i n g p o o l s , hi-fi s e t s , or E u r o p e a n v a c a t i o n s . " ( O r , it m i g h t have been a d d e d , e d u c a t i o n , c l o t h e s , f o o d , medical c a r e , f u r n i t u r e and h o u s i n g . ) Such an a t t i t u d e is not l i k e l y to give much a t t e n t i o n to s a f e t y b e y o n d the m i n i m u m d e m a n d s for it in the m a r k e t p l a c e ( N a d e r , 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 : 280-281). B e s i d e s s t y l e , the o t h e r p h y s i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e is its actual m e c h a n i c a l and s t r u c t u r a l components. considerations

Ralph N a d e r ( 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 : 1 5 0 ) has a lot to say a b o u t the m a n u f a c t u r e r ' s and the a u t o m o t i v e e n g i n e e r ' s lack of c o n t r i b u t i o n to m a k i n g "the m o d e r n car as s a f e as t e c h n o l o g y can m a k e i t . " He a r g u e s that a u t o m o t i v e e n g i n e e r s j b e c a u s e they are e m p l o y e e s ^ m u s t a c c e p t the goals and i n t e r e s t s of the c o r p o r a t i o n and w o r k within those limits. T h o s e limits are very l i m i t e d indeed w h e n Moreover, Nader the

it c o m e s to v e h i c l e d e s i g n for c r a s h w o r t h i n e s s .

g a r n e r s e v i d e n c e to show that General M o t o r s e n g i n e e r e d C o r v a i r w i t h a rear s u s p e n s i o n s y s t e m w h i c h was p r o b l e m a t i c and k n o w i n g l y sold it to the p u b l i c .

inherently (His t e c h n i -

cal data have s i n c e been r e f u t e d by an i n d e p e n d e n t study as noted in C h a p t e r O n e . )

220 O n e a s p e c t N a d e r did n o t deal w i t h , b u t w h i c h has b e e n a f o c u s of g r e a t p u b l i c c o n c e r n o v e r the e n t i r e p e r i o d since

W o r l d W a r I I , i s the h o r s e p o w e r of a u t o m o b i l e e n g i n e s and the m a n n e r in w h i c h the i n d u s t r y n o t o n l y k e p t i n c r e a s i n g horsepow-

er r a t i n g s y e a r l y , b u t the m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e y a s s o c i a t e d horsep o w e r w i t h s p e e d , p e r f o r m a n c e and r a c i n g in t h e i r m a r k e t i n g advertising. In f a c t , the s o - c a l l e d " h o r s e p o w e r r a c e " w h i c h and

b e g a n in t h e e a r l y 1 9 5 0 s saw the m a n u f a c t u r e r s p a r t i c i p a t e in v a r i o u s f o r m s of a u t o r a c i n g to c a p i t a l i z e on t h e r e s u l t s of these contests. M o s t of t h e c o n c e r n w a s d i r e c t e d to t h e b e images, i.e., automobiles

h a v i o u r m o d e l i n g e f f e c t s of the p r o m o t i o n a l

" c o n d i t i o n i n g m a n y d r i v e r s to a c c e p t the i d e a t h a t

w e r e m e a n t to be d r i v e n at high s p e e d s and in an i n d i v i d u a l i s t ic, competitive manner" (Eastman, 1973:120). But increasingly argued

over the period e n g i n e e r i n g criticisms were made which

t h a t h o r s e p o w e r i n c r e a s e s t e n d e d to t h r o w the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the p o w e r , w e i g h t , and b r a k i n g c a p a c i t y of the a u t o m o b i l e o u t of b a l a n c e . O f t e n t i m e s , l a r g e r , heavier engines were ins t a l l e d w h i c h c h a n g e d the w e i g h t d i s t r i b u t i o n -- p.utting m o r e of t h e v e h i c l e ' s w e i g h t on the f r o n t w h e e l s -- r e s u l t i n g in less s a t i s f a c t o r y h a n d l i n g and b r a k i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and in h a r d e r s t e e r i n g . T h e i n c r e a s e d p o w e r of t h e e n g i n e p u t a s t r a i n on all of the o t h e r v e h i c l e c o m p o n e n t s -- e s p e c i a l l y t h e b r a k e s -- u n l e s s they were also r e d e s i g n e d , which was rarely the c a s e . T h e i n c r e a s e d top s p e e d of the v e h i c l e a l m o s t i n e v i t a b l y m a d e it p o s s i b l e f o r an a u t o m o b i l e to t r a v e l at s p e e d s b e y o n d the c a p a c i t y of the r e s t of the v e h i c l e -- e s p e c i a l ly in r e g a r d to o c c u p a n t p r o t e c t i o n in c a s e of a c o l l i s i o n -- of the o p e r a t o r , and of t h e r o a d w a y . F a s t e r , m o r e p o w e r f u l c a r s had an a d v e r s e e f f e c t on t h e h i g h w a y s y s t e m as a w h o l e by a d d i n g to t h e h e t e r o g e n e i t y of v e h i c l e t y p e s , p r o d u c i n g a less and less e f f i c i e n t v e h i c l e mix (Eastman, 1973:119).

221 T h e v i e w s e x p r e s s e d h e r e w e r e s h a r e d and v o i c e d by a n u m b e r of p e r s o n s and g r o u p s in the p u b l i c r e a l m s i n c e W o r l d War II. It is i m p o s s i b l e to o b t a i n d a t a on how m a n y p e o p l e demographic

a c t u a l l y h e l d t h e s e o p i n i o n s , w h a t t h e i r social and characteristics were, etc.

W h a t is a v a i 1 a b l e a r e p u b l i s h e d

a c c o u n t s w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s u c h v i e w s in v a r i o u s p u b l i c m e d i a . T h e f a c t t h a t they w e r e p u b l i s h e d d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y indic-

a t e a w i d e a c c e p t a n c e of s u c h o p i n i o n b u t d o e s i n d i c a t e t h a t e d i t o r s t h o u g h t such m a t e r i a l i n t e r e s t i n g , s t i m u l a t i n g , useful e n o u g h to t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r r e a d e r s h i p s to i n c l u d e in t h e i r lications. pub-

T h e v o l u m e of c o n c e r n is i n d i c a t e d a g a i n by a g i t a -

tion o v e r the i s s u e s of h i g h w a y s a f e t y and the " h o r s e p o w e r r a c e " in the e a r l y 1 9 5 0 s w h i c h l e d , in 1 9 5 6 , to a c o n g r e s s i o n a l v e s t i g a t i o n of h i g h w a y s a f e t y and the c a u s e s of a c c i d e n t s . inAs

a r e s u l t of t h e s e d e v e l o p m e n t s , and for o t h e r r e a s o n s , the A u t o m o b i l e M a n u f a c t u r e r s A s s o c i a t i o n in 1 9 5 7 a g r e e d to v o l u n t a r i l y s h i f t the a d v e r t i s i n g emphasis

. . . to e n c o u r a g e o w n e r s and d r i v e r s to e v a l u a t e p a s s e n g e r c a r s in t e r m s of useful p o w e r and a b i l i t y to a f f o r d s a f e , r e l i a b l e and c o m f o r t a b l e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n in t e r m s of c a p a c i t y for s p e e d ( O ' C o n n e l l and M e y e r s , 1 9 6 6 : 1 4 9 ) . T h e y a l s o a g r e e d to put a ban on p a r t i c i p a t i o n in a u t o r a c i n g and s p e e d and a c c e l e r a t i o n t e s t s , and the use of s u c h t e s t s and r e s u l t s in a d v e r t i s i n g . By the e a r l y 1 9 6 0 s h o t r o d d i n g and d r a g r a c i n g had grown quite considerably. It w o u l d a p p e a r t h a t a m o n g the r e a -

s o n s for t h i s g r o w t h w a s the a c t i v i t y of D e t r o i t and its m o n e y in t h i s a r e a , e v e n t h o u g h the 1 9 5 7 a g r e e m e n t f o r b a d e t h i s . For

222 in 1 9 6 2 , The Wall S t r e e t Journal (March 5, 1 9 6 2 : 1 ) r e p o r t e d that "the s p i r i t , if not the letter of the a g r e e m e n t , has been well s h a t t e r e d . " The pact c o l l a p s e d b e f o r e the i n d u s t r y ' s

"urge to w o o c u s t o m e r s by b r a g g i n g a b o u t the n u m b e r of horses under h o o d . " Even m o r e than the h o r s e p o w e r r a c e , the f a c t o r ". . . r e p o r t e r s

ies w e r e s n e a k i n g back to the race t r a c k s :

at the r e c e n t 500 m i l e s t o c k c a r race at D a y t o n a , F l o r i d a , n o t iced that e n g i n e e r s and o f f i c i a l s at GM's P o n t i a c d i v i s i o n w e r e much in e v i d e n c e in the pit a r e a . Pontiac placed one-two-three

in the race." Ford D i v i s i o n C h i e f Lee M. Iacocca was q u o t e d in this a r t i c l e as saying that Ford had d e c i d e d to " i m p r o v e the b r e e d " and at the same time " i m p r o v e s a l e s , if p o s s i b l e , by entering all the races and rally c o m p e t i t i o n s that came a l o n g . The c o m p a n y made a c a l c u l a t e d d e c i s i o n last s u m m e r to put aside any sham and to race o p e n l y . - - d e s p i t e a v o l u n t a r y i n d u s t r y ban a g a i n s t racing and a d v e r t i s i n g of race r e s u l t s and h o r s e p o w e r . " The r e s u l t s w e r e felt by S e p t e m b e r , 1 9 6 3 , a s r e p o r t e d in the New York T i m e s ( S e p t e m b e r 7, 1 9 6 3 : 1 ) :

Does w i n n i n g a u t o m o b i l e races sell cars? You bet it d o e s , a c c o r d i n g to leading a u t o m o t i v e e x e c u t i v e s . The Ford M o t o r C o m p a n y is a case in p o i n t . During the last two y e a r s , Ford's over-all i n d u s t r y sales p e n e t r a t i o n s l i p p e d noticeably behind Chevrolet's. One of the r e a s o n s was that o t h e r car m a k e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the General M o t o r s C o r p o r a t i o n , w e r e c o n s i s t e n t l y w i n n i n g s t o c k c a r and drag r a c ing events and using the p r e s t i g e to r e g i s t e r sales g a i n s . . . . General M o t o r s , through its C h e v r o l e t and P o n t i a c d i v i s i o n s , led the way in r a c i n g . It f l o u t e d an i n d u s t r y - w i d e ruling a d o p t e d in 1957 by the A u t o m o b i l e M a n u f a c t u r e r ' s A s s o c i a t i o n to p r o h i b i t c o m p a n y p a r t i c i p a t i o n in racing e v e n t s . G M , i n c i d e n t a l l y , s p o n s o r e d the r u l e . Ford took r e t a l i a t o r y a c t i o n . It m a d e a p u b l i c a n n o u n c e m e n t that it w o u l d no longer abide by the ruling b e c a u s e it has b e c o m e a sham.

223 Conclusions T h i s c h a p t e r has p r e s e n t e d the p r o b l e m w h i c h will p r o v i d e the b a s i s for the c r i t i c a l t e s t of the two t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s u n d e r s c r u t i n y in this s t u d y . The general process

by w h i c h the d e f i n i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e is d e v e l o p e d and the s p e c i f i c i s s u e of the d e v e l o p m e n t of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s b e e n s e l e c t e d for this p u r p o s e . have

T h i s p r o b l e m will a l l o w the consumption

two v i e w s of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r , m a r k e t b e h a v i o u r , and to be e x a m i n e d and a s s e s s e d .

It w a s n o t e d t h a t the i s s u e of

p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s has i n v o l v e d an e l e m e n t of p u b l i c and c o n sumer resistance. T h i s b r i n g s it w i t h i n the r e a l m of the F r o m this p o i n t

p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t c o n c e p t i o n of p o w e r .

of v i e w , the p r e d o m i n a n c e of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s w o u l d m e a n t h a t c o n s u m e r s w h o d e s i r e d the s a t i s f a c t i o n s p r o v i d e d by t h e s e p a r t i c u l a r definitions w o u l d h a v e to h a v e m o r e p o w e r than t h o s e w h o w e r e c r i t i c a l of t h e m . H o w e v e r , an e x a m i n a t i o n of the a l l e g e d

n e g a t i v e b e h a v i o u r a l c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e s e t h e m e s and the e x t r a m o t i v e s b e h i n d them r e v e a l s d e f i n i t e s o c i a l i n t e r e s t s w h i c h are v i o l a t e d , n o t d e v e l o p e d or s a t i s f i e d . An e x a m i n a t i o n of the

c r y s t a l l i z e d social e x p r e s s i o n of t h e s e t h e m e s in the hot rod s u b c u l t u r e -- t h o s e w h o w o u l d be e x p e c t e d to be the m o s t i m p o r t a n t m a r k e t for t h e s e a p p e a l s -- r e v e a l s t h a t they w e r e a d e v i a n t m i n o r i t y of y o u n g men w h o w e r e the f o c u s of a m o r a l p a n i c in the e a r l y 1 9 5 0 s . Y e t by the 1 9 6 0 s this s u b c u l t u r e had g r o w n

s u b s t a n t i a l l y and r e d e f i n e d i t s e l f s o m e w h a t s u c c e s s f u l l y as a legitimate sport. I n v o l v e d s o m e h o w in this p r o c e s s w e r e the and

automobile producers who ultimately began manufacturing

a d v e r t i s i n g a u t o m o b i l e s and s y m b o l s d i r e c t l y to this m a r k e t .

224 It is s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h i s s p e c i f i c i s s u e w i t h i n t h e l a r g e r p r o b l e m of the d e f i n i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e can p r o v i d e a good t e s t f o r t h e t w o v i e w s o f c o r p o r a t e a n d c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o u r in t h e m a r k e t a n d t h e r o l e o f a d v e r t i s i n g a n d p r o d u c t d e s i g n in this interaction. A n d s p e c i f i c a l l y it w i l l p r o v i d e a t e s t o f

t h e d i f f e r e n c e s in t h e u t i l i z a t i o n o f c u l t u r a l a n d s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s by p r o d u c e r s w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e the two a p p r o a c h e s .

In t h e n e x t c h a p t e r , t h e t w o a p p r o a c h e s w i l l b e a p p l i e d to t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y a n d i t s i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h c o n s u m e r s . T h e h y p o t h e s e s w i l l b e d e r i v e d f o r t h e c r i t i c a l t e s t to f o l l o w .

FOOTNOTES 1 It is true t h a t this i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n c o n s u m e r s and the m a n u f a c t u r e r s t a k e s p l a c e w i t h i n the s o c i a l and c u l tural c o n t e x t of the l a r g e r s o c i e t y . T h i s c o n t e x t is o b v i o u s ly i m p o r t a n t in d e t e r m i n i n g the d e f i n i t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e as w e l l . H o w e v e r , as both the c o n s u m e r s and p r o d u c e r s are o p e r a t i n g w i t h i n this c o n t e x t , its i n f l u e n c e can be said to be r e a l i z e d t h r o u g h t h e i r a c t i o n s and c h o i c e s . To e x a m i n e the i n f l u e n c e of this c o n t e x t at its own level of a n a l y s i s is b e y o n d the s c o p e of this d i s c u s s i o n . 2 For o t h e r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s b a s e d upon a u t o m o b i l e adv e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t , see R e i d , 1 9 3 8 ; C a l l e n b a c h , 1 9 5 3 ; S t a r c h , 1 9 6 1 ; Z a g e r , 1 9 6 5 . Van T i l ' s list is the m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e , as he s a y s . For w o r k s t h a t c o n s i d e r a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g b u t m a k e no a t t e m p t at c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , see F r o s t i c k , 1 9 7 0 ; Einstein, 1959. 3 In terms of the s a t i s f a c t i o n s p r o v i d e d by t h e s e dime n s i o n s , Van Til ( 1 9 7 5 : 2 5 5 , n . 3 , n.4) d e f i n e s them in terms of e x t e n s i o n s of some a s p e c t of human n e e d s . (1) " S a f e t y is an e x t e n s i o n of life and h e a l t h ; " (2) " e x c l u s i v e n e s s is an e x t e n s i o n of ego and w e a l t h ; " ( 3 ) " e c o n o m y is an e x t e n s i o n of p u r c h a s i n g power 1 ;" (4) " m a c h i s m o is an e x t e n s i o n of h u m a n p o w e r and sexual p r o w e s s ; " (5) " s t y l i n g is an e x t e n s i o n of 'human looks and a e s t h e t i c s e n s e ' ; " (6) " f u n c t i o n a l i s m is an e x t e n s i o n of the d e s i r e to m o v e and a c c o m p l i s h t a s k s ; " (7) " e r o g o n o m i c s is an e x t e n s i o n of the e n v i r o n m e n t and c o m f o r t ; " (8) " r e p u t a tion is an e x t e n s i o n of the f e a r of m i s t a k e s ; " (9) " t e c h n o l ogy is an e x t e n s i o n of p h y s i c a l s k i l l s ; " (10) " d u r a b i l i t y is an e x t e n s i o n of times to e n j o y a p r o d u c t . " 4 See Van Til ( 1 9 7 5 : 1 3 0 - 1 3 2 ) for his d i s c u s s i o n of the c o m p o n e n t s of t h e s e d i m e n s i o n s in the g r a p h i c s . For the comp o n e n t s as c o n t a i n e d in the c o p y , see his T a b l e 4.2 (Van T i l , 1975:134-137). 5 N a a t a n e n and S u m m a l a ( 1 9 7 6 : 4 3 - 4 4 ) a r g u e : "From the s a f e t y p o i n t of v i e w , the road u s e r ' s d e c i s i o n in t r a f f i c s h o u l d n a t u r a l l y be based on the o b j e c t i v e f a c t s of each t r a f fic s i t u a t i o n and n o t h i n g e l s e . E x t r a m o t i v e s of the d r i v e r may s u g g e s t some o t h e r line of a c t i o n -- like o v e r t a k i n g o t h e r v e h i c l e s -- b e s i d e s the one ' d i c t a t e d ' by the i m m e d i a t e t r a f f i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d , e v i d e n t l y , the s t r o n g e r such a m o t i v e is the g r e a t e r the risk of a d r i v e r l e t t i n g it i n f l u e n c e his d e c i s i o n s . In o t h e r w o r d s , the d r i v e r is l i a b l e to d e c i d e on m o v e s he w o u l d n o t m a k e if he had no e x t r a m o t i v e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , it m i g h t be t h a t the a c c i d e n t risk r i s e s in the p r o p o r t i o n t© the f o r c e of the e x t r a m o t i v e . " 225

226 6 F o r the p u r p o s e s of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , a h o t rod is d e f i n e d h e r e as an a u t o m o b i l e m o d i f i e d f o r i n c r e a s e d p e r f o r mance over stock, and/or with body m o d i f i c a t i o n s , either funct i o n a l or n o n f u n c t i o n a l . T h e f o l l o w i n g f o u r t y p e s of a u t o m o b i l e s q u a l i f y as h o t r o d s : (1) a u t o m o b i l e s in w h i c h m i n o r a d d i t i o n s to the e x t e r i o r h a v e b e e n m a d e , s u c h as the a p p l i c a t i o n of d r e s s - u p a c c e s s o r i e s w h i c h i m p l y or i m p r o v e p e r f o r m a n c e (such as c u t - o u t m u f f l e r s , i n j e c t o r p i p e s , e t c . ) ; (2) a u t o m o b i l e s in w h i c h t h e e n g i n e is m o d i f i e d to i n c r e a s e h o r s e p o w e r and a c c e l e r a t i o n ; (3) a u t o m o b i l e w h i c h h a v e t h e i r m o t o r s m o d i f i e d and t h e i r b o d i e s f u n c t i o n a l l y a l t e r e d , e . g . , l o w e r e d or r a k e d or r a i s e d f o r b e t t e r h a n d l i n g , h o o d s c o o p a d d e d , s p o i l e r s m o u n t e d on r e a r , e t c . ; (4) a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h a r e f o r r a c i n g o n l y s u c h as d r a g s t e r s , a l t e r e d s , s t o c k c a r s , e t c . , in w h i c h e n g i n e s a r e so h i g h l y m o d i f i e d t h e y w i l l n o t run on t h e s t r e e t and w h o s e b o d i e s a r e s t r u c t u r a l l y t h e b a r e m i n i m u m , i . e . , a c i d d i p p e d or m a d e of f i b r e § l a s s , e t c . , f o r weight reduction. 7 A d e f i n i t i v e or e v e n a c o m p l e t e s o c i a l h i s t o r y of h o t r o d d i n g r e m a i n s to be w r i t t e n . On t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f v a r i o u s a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g , s e e , in a d d i t i o n to v a r i o u s b a c k i s s u e s o f h o t rod m a g a z i n e s , B a l s l e y , 1 9 5 0 ; B o r g e s o n , 1 9 6 6 ; B o y l e , 1 9 6 1 , 1 9 6 3 ; B r o c k , 1 9 7 1 ; E n g l e , 1 9 6 7 , 1 9 6 8 ; H o u g h and Frostick, 1967; Huntington, 1961, 1964a, 1964b; Parks, 1965; Russo, 1960; Wagner, 1949. 8 T h e S u p e r C a r w a s " o f f i c i a l l y " b o r n in l a t e 1 9 6 3 w h e n P o n t i a c i n t r o d u c e d the f i r s t T e m p e s t G T O . T h i s w a s f o l l o w e d by an i n t e n s e a d v e r t i s i n g c o m p a i g n via a p o p u l a r r e c o r d , GeeTOTi g e r ( w h i c h s o l d o v e r o n e m i l l i o n c o p i e s ) , and a n a t i o n - w i d e c o n t e s t . O t h e r m a n u f a c t u r e r s r e t a l i a t e d by b r i n g i n g o u t t h e i r own S u p e r C a r s . T h e b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the S u p e r C a r c o n s i s t of t h e f o l l o w i n g : (1) an e n g i n e of l a r g e d i s p l a c e m e n t ( 3 8 3 - 4 6 0 c u b i c i n c h e s ) w h i c h is m o d e r a t e l y to h i g h l y t u n e d (one or two f o u r - b a r r e l or t h r e e t w o - b a r r e l c a r b u r e t i o n , h i g h c o m p r e s s i o n , h o t c a m , e t c . ) to p r o d u c e h i g h h o r s e p o w e r ( 3 3 5 - 5 2 5 + ) a n d t o r q u e ( 4 0 0 - 5 3 0 + 1 b . / f t . ) ; ( 2 ) a m o d e r a t e - s i z e c h a s s i s ( 1 1 0 - 1 1 7 inch w h e e l b a s e ) of r e a s o n a b l y l i g h t w e i g h t ( 3 , 0 0 0 - 4 , 0 0 0 p o u n d s ) ; (3) a r e a r a x l e r a t i o w h i c h p e r m i t s the e n g i n e to o p e r a t e e f f i c i e n t l y ( 3 . 2 3 - 4 . 5 6 + ) ; (4) a t r a n s m i s s i o n w h i c h p r o v i d e s o p t i m u m engine o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n s (4-speed manual or 3-speed a u t o m a t i c ) ; (5) d r a g s t r i p t i m e s in s t a n d a r d s h o w r o o m t r i m o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 14 s e c o n d s or less and t r a p s p e e d o f 9 5 - 1 0 0 m i l e s p e r h o u r or b e t t e r ; (6) s p e c i a l e x t e r i o r and i n t e r i o r t r i m to set the car off from a v e r a g e c a r s , for e x a m p l e , special e m b l e m s , s p e c i a l i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n , dual e x h a u s t s , r a c i n g s t r i p e s , h o o d s c o o p s , m a g n e s i u m or c h r o m e w h e e l s , w i d e - o v a l t i r e s w i t h red w a l l s or r a i s e d l e t t e r i n g i n s t e a d of w h i t e w a l l s , e t c . ; (7) e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e n a m e s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c o m b i n a t i o n s of l e t t e r s a n d / o r n u m b e r s , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e P o n t a i c T e m p e s t G T O ;9 F i r e b i r d 4 0 0 H O , the P l y m o u t h S a t e l l i t e GTX and B a r r a c u d a S

227 the O l d s m o b i l e C u t l a s s 4 - 4 - 2 , the C h e v r o l e t S S 4 2 7 and C h e v e l l e , C h e v y II and C a m a r o SS 3 9 6 , the B u i c k S k y l a r k GS 4 0 0 , the D o d g e C o r o n e t and C h a r g e r R / T , the Ford F a i r l a n e and M u s t a n g GT and CJ 4 2 8 and CJ 4 2 9 , the M e r c u r y C o m e t and C o u g a r GT and CJ 4 2 8 and CJ 4 2 9 , the M e r c u r y C o u g a r X R - 7 , the A m e r i c a n Motors AMX, etc. It is c l e a r t h a t the g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s of the S u p e r Car w e r e : (1) s t a t u s , (2) a e s t h e t i c s -- b o t h m a n i f e s t e d in s p e c i a l p a i n t , trim and r a c e - c a r t y p e a d d i t i o n s , and (3) p e r f o r m a n c e , in the g u i s e of big m o t o r s and big h o r s e p o w e r , w i t h m i n o r a t t e n t i o n to the o t h e r e n g i n e e r i n g d e t a i l s s u c h as b r a k ing and h a n d l i n g .

CHAPTER 8 THE A U T O M O B I L E I N D U S T R Y , THE CONSUMER AND THE HOT RODDER T h e a u t o m o b i l e is a c o m p l e x m a c h i n e c o m p o s e d o f 1 5 , 0 0 0 p a r t s ( W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 : 1 9 ) w h o s e p r i m a r y f u n c t i o n is transportation.

T h i s t r a n s p o r t a t i o n d e v i c e has c o m e to h a v e i n v e s t e d in it a h o s t of m e a n i n g s w h i c h a r e n o t r e l a t e d to its p r i m e function. themes the has

T h e p u b l i c i s s u e c o n c e r n i n g the p r o m o t i o n of p e r f o r m a n c e

by the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y i n v o l v e s t h e p r o b l e m o f d e f i n i n g n a t u r e , s h a p e , and m e a n i n g o f t h e a u t o m o b i l e . The industry

b e e n a c c u s e d of m a n i p u l a t i n g c o n s u m e r s i n t o b u y i n g w h i c h are i r r a t i o n a l , u n s a f e , u n e c o n o m i c a l , e t c .

automobiles The industry the

has d e n i e d t h i s and it has p r o v e n m o s t d i f f i c u l t to r e s o l v e issue.

T h i s is an i n t e r e s t i n g i s s u e s o c i o l o g i c a l l y b e c a u s e it

c o n c e r n s t h e e x e r c i s e of c o r p o r a t e p o w e r , the n a t u r e of c o n s u m er d e m a n d in the m a r k e t , and the c o n s u m p t i o n o f c o m m o d i t i e s . N o w t h a t a b a s i c f o r m u l a t i o n of c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r and two v i e w s o f s u c h b e h a v i o u r in t h e m a r k e t a r e a v a i l a b l e t h e y be a p p l i e d to the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y . shall

F i r s t a v i e w o f the i n structural it

d u s t r y w i l l be p r e s e n t e d w h i c h d e l i n e a t e s r e l e v a n t and b e h a v i o u r a l

a s p e c t s and the n a t u r e o f t h e u n c e r t a i n t y

f a c e s in its e n v i r o n m e n t .

In the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n the two

v i e w s o f c o r p o r a t e b e h a v i o u r w i l l be a p p l i e d to the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the c o n t e n t o f the a u t o m o b i l e in g e n e r a l and a l s o w i t h r e s p e c t to the m a t t e r o f p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s and the s a t i s f a c tions they p r o v i d e . T h e r e s e a r c h h y p o t h e s e s w i l l be d e r i v e d Hypotheses from the pluralist/function-

from this a p p l i c a t i o n .

a l i s t p o s i t i o n will be t e s t e d a g a i n s t t h o s e d r a w n f r o m the 228

229 m e t a - p o w e r p o s i t i o n r e g a r d i n g the p r o d u c t s t r a t e g i e s of a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s , and t h e i r g e n e r a l b e h a v i o u r in the m a r ket w i t h r e s p e c t to c o n s u m e r s . H y p o t h e s e s from e a c h position

will a l s o be d e r i v e d r e g a r d i n g the t i m i n g of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h hot r o d d i n g and the n a t u r e of t h i s r e l a t i o n ship. C h a p t e r N i n e will p r e s e n t an i n i t i a l a n a l y s i s of the the

h y p o t h e s e s r e g a r d i n g g e n e r a l m a r k e t b e h a v i o u r and d i s c u s s m e t h o d o l o g y to be e m p l o y e d in a s s e s s i n g the h y p o t h e s e s hot r o d d i n g and the i n d u s t r y .

about

C h a p t e r Ten will p r e s e n t the attitudes

r e s u l t s of a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s t r a c i n g the c h a n g i n g

of the b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y and the p u b l i c t o w a r d hot r o d d i n g o v e r the 1 9 4 8 - 1 9 6 8 p e r i o d . C h a p t e r s E l e v e n and T w e l v e will relationships

p r e s e n t an h i s t o r i c a l and a n a l y t i c a c c o u n t of the b e t w e e n the i n d u s t r y and hot r o d d i n g .

T h e A u t o m o b i l e I n d u s t r y and the A u t o m o b i l e T h e A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y is h i g h l y ed. concentrat-

O v e r the 1 9 4 8 - 1 9 7 3 p e r i o d , G e n e r a l M o t o r s sold 4 6 . 5 % of T h e Ford M o t o r

the a u t o m o b i l e s p u r c h a s e d in the U n i t e d S t a t e s .

C o m p a n y s o l d 2 5 . 4 % , C h r y s l e r C o r p o r a t i o n sold 1 5 . 2 % and A m e r i c a n M o t o r s C o r p o r a t i o n sold 3 . 7 % (which i n c l u d e s from A M C ' s p r e d e c e s s o r c o r p o r a t i o n s , N a s h and H u d s o n ) . firms' sales sales The four

c o n c e n t r a t i o n r a t i o w a s 9 0 . 8 % w i t h r e s p e c t to Of the r e 1.7%

all a u t o m o b i les sold in the U . S . from 1 9 4 8 to 1 9 7 3 .

m a i n i n g 9 . 2 % the small d o m e s t i c i n d e p e n d e n t p r o d u c e r s sold w h i l e the r e m a i n i n g 7 . 4 % w e r e sold by n u m e r o u s f o r e i g n

produc-

ers from J a p a n and E u r o p e (some of them such as Capri and Opel sold t h r o u g h d o m e s t i c c o m p a n i e s ) . The f o u r firm s a l e s c o n c e n -

230 t r a t i o n r a t e s w i t h r e s p e c t to d o m e s t i c p r o d u c t i o n only w a s 9 8 . 1 % ( f i g u r e s t a b u l a t e d from A u t o m o t i v e N e w s , 1 9 7 4 A l m a n a c Issue) . The high d e g r e e of c o n c e n t r a t i o n is i n s u r e d by the e n o r m o u s b a r r i e r s to e n t r y w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e the i n d u s t r y . Joe Bain ( 1 9 5 6 : 1 2 9 ) d e s c r i b e s the d i s a d v a n t a g e s f a c i n g a p r o spective entrant: B r a n d a l l e g i a n c e s b a s e d on a d v e r t i s i n g product reputation, conspicuous consumption m o t i v e s ; a l l e g i a n c e s to e s t a b l i s h e d d e a l e r service organizations. Lower trade-in v a l u e s on used p r o d u c t s of e n t r a n t f o r a long period. L a w r e n c e W h i t e ( 1 9 7 1 : 6 1 ) a n a l y z e d the c o s t of e n t r y b a r r i e r s and c a l c u l a t e d t h a t the " t o t a l , then c o m e s to a r o u n d $1 b i l l i o n . . . B i l l i o n d o l l a r c o r p o r a t i o n s are not c o m m o n p h e n o m e n a , and f o r m i n g o n e f r o m s c r a t c h w o u l d be v i r t u a l l y impossible." S i n c e the e n t r y of the C h r y s l e r C o r p o r a t i o n in 1 9 2 4 itself

no d o m e s t i c e n t r a n t has b e e n s u c c e s s f u l in m a i n t a i n i n g in the m a r k e t .

A m e r i c a n M o t o r s , as n o t e d a b o v e , w a s n o t a new

c o r p o r a t i o n but the m e r g e r of two old and e s t a b l i s h e d m a k e r s -- Nash and H u d s o n . T h e r e are m a n y s t u d i e s by e c o n o m i s t s w h i c h a t t e m p t to m e a s u r e the e x a c t n a t u r e and d e g r e e of e c o n o m i c c o n c e n t r a t i o n 1 and the c o m p e t i t i v e b e h a v i o u r in the i n d u s t r y . A t the level of s t r u c t u r a l d e s c r i p t i o n t h e r e is c o n c e n s u s t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y has d e v e l o p e d into an o l i g a r c h y d o m i n a t e d by the Big T h r e e m a n u f a c t u r e r s (General M o t o r s , Ford and C h r y s l e r ) s i n c e the 1 9 2 0 s and e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e the end of W o r l d W a r I I . B e s i d e h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n and b a r r i e r s to e n t r y , the i n d u s t r y

231 s t r u c t u r e is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by high c o s t m e c h a n i z e d technologies gration. production inte-

and high l e v e l s of v e r t i c a l and h o r i z o n t a l

T h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are o f t e n t r e a t e d as d e t e r m i n But,

ing the p r i o r i t i e s and s t r a t e g i e s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

as d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r F o u r , s t r u c t u r e m a y s e t l i m i t s and d i r e c t i o n s b u t c o r p o r a t e d e c i s i o n s and p r i o r i t i e s a l s o a l t e r and create structure. phenomena. T h u s s t r u c t u r e and a c t i o n are i n t e r a c t i v e

W h e n the m a n u f a c t u r i n g f i r m s a r e v i e w e d as o r g a n i At their input boundar-

z a t i o n s in a c t i o n t h i s is m a d e c l e a r .

ies m a n u f a c t u r e r s h a v e m e c h a n i z e d p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g i e s , high e q u i p m e n t c o s t s and a s t a n d a r d i z e d p r o d u c t . They have

a t t e m p t e d to i n s u l a t e t h i s " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l " or t e c h n o l o g i c a l c o r e f r o m e n v i r o n m e n t a l i n f l u e n c e s by d e v e l o p i n g s u c h as t h o s e m e n t i o n e d by T h o m p s o n ( 1 9 6 7 : 2 0 - 2 4 ) : l e v e l i n g , a n t i c i p a t i o n , and r a t i o n i n g . They have strategies buffering,

u t i l i z e d a b u r e a u c r a t i c f o r m of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of i n p u t , i n t e grated themselves vertically, developed reciprocity relationships with suppliers, etc. 2 over their input boundary. It is at the i n p u t b o u n d a r y w h e r e m a n u f a c t u r e r s f a c e the m a r k e t and u n c e r t a i n t y to the g r e a t e s t e x t e n t . For c o m m e r T h e y h a v e a high d e g r e e of c o n t r o l

cial s u c c e s s , the m a s s - p r o d u c e d o u t p u t of the i n d u s t r y r e q u i r e s a l a r g e n u m b e r of s t a n d a r d i z e d s a l e s t r a n s a c t i o n s at t h i s b o u n d ary. T h e f r a n c h i z e d d e a l e r s y s t e m of d i s t r i b u t i o n w a s d e v e l o p -

ed to a l l o w a high d e g r e e of c o n t r o l o v e r the s a l e s - f o r c e . M a n u f a c t u r e r s are a b l e to s e t p r o g r a m s g o v e r n i n g v o l u m e , s i z e , style, colour, price, terms, delivery schedules, etc. However,

the f r a n c h i s e s y s t e m g i v e s no c o n t r o l o v e r the f r e e d o m of c o n -

232 sumers. T h i s is o b v i o u s l y a c o n d i t i o n of e x t r e m e uncertainty manufactassumption

and r i s k for m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

Assuming that automobile

u e r s are r i s k - a v e r s e as d i s c u s s e d by G a i b r a i t h -- an m a d e by L a w r e n c e W h i t e ( 1 9 7 1 ) in his s t u d y of the

postwar strateg-

i n d u s t r y -- they w i l l be i n c l i n e d to u t i l i z e c e r t a i n ies to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t y .

H o w e v e r , b e f o r e d i s c u s s i n g the p l a n -

n i n g p r o c e s s and the s t r a t e g i e s a v a i l a b l e to m a n u f a c t u r e r s , it w i l l be u s e f u l to e x a m i n e the n a t u r e of the r i s k s i n v o l v e d selling automobiles. As has b e e n m e n t i o n e d , a u t o m o b i l e s in

are

c o m p o s e d of n u m e r o u s c o m p o n e n t p a r t s .

T h e s e p a r t s can be o r -

g a n i z e d in the d e s i g n p r o c e s s in m a n y d i f f e r e n t w a y s to p r o d u c e a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h w i l l h a v e d i f f e r e n t c o m b i n a t i o n s of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d / o r d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h are or s i g n i f i c a n t . T h e s a m e m a y be s a i d of the s t y l i n g outstanding characterdesign, costs,

i s t i c s and s y m b o l i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .

For a n y p a r t i c u l a r

v a r i o u s s u p p l y c o s t s m u s t be c o n s i d e r e d s u c h as p r o d u c t i o n

the l e n g t h of t i m e it t a k e s f o r the d e s i g n to be d e v e l o p e d , the f l e x i b i l i t y of the d e s i g n , and the a n t i c i p a t e d p r o b a b i l i t y s p e e d of a r e s p o n s e by c o m p e t i t o r s (White, 1971:171). and

These automobile

f a c t o r s m u s t be t a k e n i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n in p l a n n i n g

d e s i g n b e c a u s e of the u n c e r t a i n t i e s w h i c h e x i s t in the e n v i r o n m e n t -- e s p e c i a l l y , (1) u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t f u t u r e c o n s u m e r p r e f e r e n c e s and i n c o m e l e v e l s , and (2) u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t d e s i g n s and a c t i o n s by c o m p e t i t o r s . P l a n n i n g is a n e c e s s i t y . In the p o s t w a r p e r i o d , a new board cirfuture

d e s i g n u s u a l l y t o o k t h r e e y e a r s to go f r o m the d r a w i n g to p r o d u c t i o n .

O v e r t h a t p e r i o d of t i m e m a n y e n v i r o n m e n t a l

c u m s t a n c e s c o u l d c h a n g e -- e s p e c i a l l y c o n s u m e r w a n t s --

which

233 r e n d e r the design u n s a l e a b l e . The longer the d e v e l o p m e n t

p r o c e s s , the more u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t r e c e p t i o n at i n t r o d u c t i o n day. S h o r t e n i n g the lead time is p o s s i b l e , but i n s t i t u t i n g M o r e o v e r , it prob-

a " c r a s h " program i n c r e a s e s costs t e m e n d o u s l y .

i n c r e a s e s the risk that the design may have f u n d a m e n t a l lems w h i c h are not easily r e s o l v e d . (1971:44):

As d e s c r i b e d by W h i t e

The risks in a u t o m o b i l e p r o d u c t i o n are h i g h . Autos have to be d e s i g n e d well in a d v a n c e of actual c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the c o n s u m e r . A three y e a r -- or even a two y e a r -- d e s i g n cycle means that a m a n u f a c t u r e r can be stuck u n c o m f o r t a b l y long with a badly d e s i g n e d car. C o n s u m e r tastes do and have c h a n g e d , and w h a t looks like a good design now could turn out to be a d i s aster two and o n e - h a l f y e a r s l a t e r . Furt h e r , as a c o n s u m e r d u r a b l e i t e m , a u t o m o b i l e s are e s p e c i a l l y s e n s i t i v e to levels of personal income . . . As national e c o n omic fortunes w a x and w a n e , a u t o m o b i l e sales expand and c o n t r a c t . C o n s u m e r c h o i c e s among types of cars (for e x a m p l e , e x p e n s i v e or i n e x p e n s i v e ) a p p e a r to be e q u a l l y s e n s i tive to i n c o m e l e v e l s . In this high risk e n v i r o n m e n t , these f l u c t u a t i o n s are largely unpredictable. When m a n u f a c t u r e r s e n t e r new m o d e l s they have

only a b a s i c notion of how they may do in the m a r k e t ; it takes the f i r s t few w e e k s of s e l l i n g to give an i n d i c a t i o n of e x p e c t e d sales -- and u n p r e d i c t a b l e factors (for e x a m p l e , w e a t h e r ) can a f f e c t sales p o s i t i v e l y or n e g a t i v e l y by as much as 50,000 units. The rewards are high for "good g u e s s e s " but are Six c o r p o r a t i o n s in the p o s t w a r

as s e v e r e for wrong g u e s s e s .

period m a d e w r o n g g u e s s e s -- C r o s l e y , W i l l y s , K a i s e r , H u d s o n , P a c k a r d , and S t u d e b a k e r . In his study of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y White d i s c u s s es three a c t i o n s m a n u f a c t u r e r s can take to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t y :

234 (1) a t t e m p t s to gain an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of c o n s u m e r n e e d s and w a n t s t h r o u g h m a r k e t s u r v e y s j ( 2 ) a t t e m p t s to gain m o r e a d e q uate e s t i m a t e s of c o s t s by s t u d y i n g p a s t and p r o j e c t e d t r e n d s ; and (3) " e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t a g r e e m e n t s w i t h cost other

f i r m s to s h a r e i n f o r m a t i o n or l i c e n c e p a t e n t s " ( W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 : 172). S u c h s t r a t e g i e s are l i m i t e d in t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s T h e s e r i s k s are n o t e v e n l y and

risks still r e m a i n . however.

distributed, earlier,

Given the v a r i o u s s u p p l y c o s t s m e n t i o n e d

s o m e p r o d u c t d e s i g n s will be m o r e c o s t l y and thus m o r e risky than o t h e r s . The p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s m u s t a s s e s s the c o s t s and But in

r i s k s in d e c i d i n g to e n t e r any d e s i g n into p r o d u c t i o n . the e n d , the risks are still t h e r e .

Journalist Brock Y a t e s ,

in an a r t i c l e on the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , q u o t e s a vice p r e s i d e n t of o n e of the a u t o m o b i l e c o m p a n i e s as s a y i n g : "Our m a r k e t

r e s e a r c h e r s can p r o d u c e f i g u r e s to j u s t i f y a n y t h i n g y o u w a n t , and y o u end up by m a r k e t i n g a car by the s e a t of y o u r p a n t s " (Yates, 1968:42). E x a c t l y w h a t are the p r o d u c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and m e a n ings t h a t can be c o m b i n e d and r e c o m b i n e d in v a r i o u s o r d e r s to s a t i s f y the d e m a n d s of c o n s u m e r s ? As d i s c u s s e d in the l a s t

c h a p t e r , Roy Van Til has c l a s s i f i e d ten b a s i c d i m e n s i o n s . T h e s e are (1) s a f e t y ; (2) e x c l u s i v e n e s s ; (3) e c o n o m y ; (4) m a c h i s m o ; (5) s t y l i n g ; (6) f u n c t i o n a l i s m ; (7) e r g o n o m i c s ; (8) r e p u t a t i o n ; (9) t e c h n o l o g y ; ( 1 0 ) d u r a b i l i t y . d i m e n s i o n s are n u m e r o u s s u b c a t e g o r i e s . W i t h i n each of t h e s e N o t e t h a t this c l a s s i f i -

c a t i o n i n c l u d e s both p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and p s y c h o l o g i c a l / s y m b o l i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s -- w h i c h may be c o n s i d e r e d as c o n s u m e r utilities. T h e s e are the b a s e s for the s a t i s f a c t i o n s w h i c h are

235 s o l d to c o n s u m e r s -- and w h i c h t h e y d e m a n d -- in v a r i o u s p r o p o r t i o n s and c o m b i n a t i o n s . t i e s or n e e d s . N o t e t h a t t h e y are all real u t i l i -

M a n u f a c t u r e r s c o m p e t e a g a i n s t e a c h o t h e r to

p r o v i d e the c o m b i n a t i o n t h a t b e s t s a t i s f i e s c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s . T h e m a j o r f o r m s this c o m p e t i t i o n h a v e t a k e n a r e s t y l i n g , m o d e l c h a n g e s , and model d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , p r o t e c t i v e i m i t a t i o n , adv e r t i s i n g and o t h e r m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s . Price competition

is n o t a f e a t u r e of the i n d u s t r y ; r a t h e r it r o u g h l y f o l l o w s a 3 p a t t e r n of p r i c e l e a d e r s h i p . T h i s b a s i c a l l y c o m p l e t e s the p i c t u r e of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y as a s e t of o r g a n i z a t i o n s in a c t i o n and of the a u t o m o b i l e as a c o l l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and s y m b o l s . The n e x t s e c -

tion w i l l c o n s i d e r the a p p l i c a t i o n of the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l ist and m e t a - p o w e r f o r m u l a t i o n s to the i n d u s t r y . T h e r e the

r e s p e c t i v e r o l e s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s and c o n s u m e r s in t h e d e s i g n and d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e w i l l be e x p l i c a t e d and the r e s e a r c h h y p o t h e s e s d e r i v e d . T h e A u t o m o b i l e I n d u s t r y and the D e v e l o p m e n t of the A u t o m o b i l e : The Two Views Considered The P l u r a l i s t / F u n c t i o n a l i s t View F r o m the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , the d e s i g n and d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e , t h a t i s , the p a r t i c u l ar e m p h a s i s on the d i m e n s i o n s of s a f e t y , p o w e r , s t y l i n g , f u n c tional ism, e t c . , w h i c h a r e c o n s c i o u s l y o r g a n i z e d and b u i l t or --

p l a c e d in the a u t o m o b i l e , is d e t e r m i n e d by o n e b a s i c f a c t o r consumer demand.

A d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t and o t h e r m a r k e t i n g s t r a -

t e g i e s are n e u t r a l t o o l s w h i c h a r e n o t s i g n i f i c a n t v a r i a b l e s in s h a p i n g c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s . T h e a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s in

236 facing consumer uncertainty and competitor uncertainty must consider the demands of their productive technologies and the costs of development in producing a u t o m o b i l e s . H o w e v e r , these

uncertainties are what keep them experimenting with new designs and new t e c h n o l o g i e s , seeking productive efficiency and sales e f f e c t i v e n e s s in the m a r k e t . Consumer needs are supplied and Even granting that

market choices dictate successful d e s i g n s .

not all product dimensions are c o m p a t i b l e , and that product design and construction involves decisions about trade-offs and compromises between dimensional strengths ( B o r d e n , 1 9 4 2 ; E a s t m a n , 1973; B l a c k , 1 9 6 6 ) , it is still the case that competition and model d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n can provide consumers an adequate range of choice and continual improvements.

This is certainly the view expounded by spokespersons for the automobile industry itself. tion states this view in 1 9 6 8 : Competition in the automobile industry is m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l . It encompasses all aspects of the p r o d u c t s , how they are sold and at what p r i c e s . Product competition -the subject of this chapter -- is the rivalry of m a n u f a c t u r e r s to serve the customers with better products made more e f f i c i e n t ly. This competition gives the industry its dynamic q u a l i t y , and results in constantly improved products with greater s a f e t y , v a r i e t y , comfort and p e r f o r m a n c e . Product competition in no way minimizes the importance of price competition (General M o t o r s , 1968:10). Other analysts saw the extensive d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of automobiles and fragmentation of lines within makes which came to characterize this period as a beneficial result of product c o m p e t i t i o n , beneficial in the sense that the comsumer was given the luxury of choice and improved p r o d u c t s : A General Motors publica-

237 S i m i l a r l y , a p u r c h a s e r w a n t s m o r e than t r a n s p o r t a t i o n from an a u t o m o b i l e ; he may also d e s i r e s t y l e , social s t a t u s , c o m f o r t , and p r e s t i g e . T h e s e a d d i t i o n s to f u n c t i o n al u s e f u l n e s s w h i c h "an a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y " can a f f o r d but w h i c h a s u b s i s t a n c e e c o n o m y cannot .... P r o d u c t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n as r e f l e c t e d in b r a n d s m a k e s it p o s s i b l e for the c o n s u m e r to i d e n t i f y the m a n u f a c t u r e r . T h u s , it b e c o m e s vital to e s t a b l i s h and to m a i n t a i n high s t a n d a r d s of q u a l i t y w h i c h the b u y e r then a s s o c i a t e s w i t h the b r a n d . In f a c t , it often is n e c e s s a r y to i m p r o v e the q u a l i t y in o r d e r to d i f f e r e n t i a t e it from c o m p e t i tive p r o d u c t s . W h i l e s o m e e c o n o m i c w a s t e may d e v e l o p as a r e s u l t of c r e a t i n g t r i v ial p r o d u c t d i f f e r e n c e s , t h e r e are also b e n e f i t s w h i c h flow from i m p r o v e d p r o d u c t s (Backman, 1967:33). From the i n d u s t r y v i e w , the annual model c h a n g e w a s also a r e s u l t of a n o t h e r f a c t o r : I n t e n s e p r o d u c t c o m p e t i t i o n from used c a r s . . . has a c c e l e r a t e d i m p r o v e m e n t in new car d e s i g n and has i n t e n s i f i e d new car c o m p e t i t i o n . New cars m u s t o f f e r a d i s t i n c t l y m o r e a p p e a l i n g p r o d u c t (General Motors, 1969:26). T h e annual model c h a n g e not only b r o u g h t new t e c h n i c a l innova-

t i o n s to the m a r k e t , but it also s t i m u l a t e d the i n v e n t i v e p r o cess in the i n d u s t r y . A l f r e d P. S l o a n , J r . , m a d e n u m e r o u s p r o -

n o u n c e m e n t s on the annual model c h a n g e d u r i n g his t e n u r e as p r e s i d e n t of General M o t o r s . In his b o o k , My Y e a r s w i t h G e n e r a l

M o t o r s , he a r g u e d that even t h o u g h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a new model e v e r y y e a r w a s a very c o s t l y p r o c e s s , it w a s a w o r t h w h i l e e n d e a v o u r "for the annual model c h a n g e is p a r t of the very t u r e of the d e v e l o p m e n t of the i n d u s t r y . d a y s , long b e f o r e the e x p r e s s i o n na-

S i n c e its e a r l i e s t

'annual m o d e l ' w a s u s e d , the

p r o c e s s of c r e a t i n g new m o d e l s has g e n e r a t e d the p r o g r e s s of the a u t o m o b i l e " ( S l o a n , 1 9 6 4 : 2 4 7 ) . In his f i r s t b o o k , A d v e n -

238 t u r e s of a W h i t e C o l l a r M a n , S l o a n s t a t e d t h a t y e a r l y m o d e l s made it possible "to m a k e a v a i l a b l e . . . as r a p i d l y as

p o s s i b l e , the m o s t a d v a n c e d k n o w l e d g e and p r a c t i c e in the b u i l d ing of m o t o r c a r s " ( S l o a n , 1 9 4 1 : 1 7 7 ) . The president of General model

M o t o r s in 1 9 5 4 , H a r l o w J. C u r t i c e , s t a t e d t h a t the a n n u a l

c h a n g e had " s p e e d e d t e c h n o l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s " ( C u r t i c e , 1 9 5 4 : 7 ) ; the c o r p o r a t i o n ' s a n n u a l r e p o r t for 1 9 5 9 s a i d : "The r e q u i r e -

m e n t s p r e s e n t e d by the y e a r l y m o d e l c h a n g e s p u r e n g i n e e r s and d e s i g n e r s to g r e a t e r a c c o m p l i s h m e n t . . . . By b r i n g i n g o u t new

and i m p r o v e d m o d e l s e a c h y e a r , G e n e r a l M o t o r s g i v e s the p u b l i c the b e n e f i t of r e s e a r c h , e n g i n e e r i n g and s t y l i n g a d v a n c e s as s o o n as t h e y h a v e b e e n d e v e l o p e d and t e s t e d " ( G e n e r a l Corporation, 1959:10-21). The other large automobile Motors companies

took m u c h the s a m e s t a n c e d u r i n g the p o s t W o r l d W a r II p e r i o d . U n d e r l y i n g it all is the s o v e r e i g n c o n s u m e r w h o " d e m a n d s " t h o s e annual c h a n g e s in s o m e s p o n t a n e o u s m a n n e r . trial o r g a n i z a t i o n e x p e r t F.M. S c h e r e r p u t it t h i s w a y : Indus"Through

s o m e p e r v e r s e q u i r k of h u m a n n a t u r e the a v e r a g e c o n s u m e r is d e c i d e d l y u n h a p p y d r i v i n g a r o u n d in last s e a s o n ' s a s s e m b l a g e of metal s t a m p i n g s " (Scherer, 1 9 7 0 : 9 8 ) . The industry, according

to this v i e w , is r e s p o n s i v e to c o n s u m e r d e m a n d and c o m p e t e s v i g o r o u s l y to m e e t t h a t d e m a n d in the m o s t e f f i c i e n t and p r o g r e s sive m a n n e r . B e c a u s e c o r p o r a t i o n s and t h e i r s a l e s s t r a t e g i e s are n o t c o n s i d e r e d to be very i n f l u e n t i a l in the m a r k e t and the d e c i pluralist/functionalist

s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s of c o n s u m e r s , the

p e r s p e c t i v e pays l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to the i n t e r n a l d y n a m i c s of c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e , p l a n n i n g , and b e h a v i o u r . Its t h e o r e t i c a l

239 c o n t e n t is c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e s e l f - a n a l y s e s o f t h e i n d u s t r y i t s e l f (at l e a s t t h o s e p r e s e n t e d p u b l i c l y ) . Some attention of

has b e e n p a i d , as d i s c u s s e d a b o v e , t o c o r p o r a t e m o n i t o r i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t and e x p a n s i o n of t h e t a s k e n v i r o n m e n t .

These

a c t i v i t i e s which involve the scanning of the e n v i r o n m e n t for i n f o r m a t i o n r e l e v a n t to p r o b l e m s o l v i n g a n d f u t u r e o p p o r t u n i t i e s a r e u n d e r t a k e n by t h e a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s . The in-

d u s t r y has c o n d u c t e d and s p o n s o r e d a g r e a t deal o f r e s e a r c h , and e c o n o m i s t s and m a r k e t r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e a l s o d o n e a g r e a t deal o f r e s e a r c h on n u m e r o u s a s p e c t s o f c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o u r in the a u t o m o b i l e m a r k e t . T h e l i t e r a t u r e is v a s t and w i l l n o t be

c i t e d h e r e ; o n l y s o m e o f t h e a r e a s s t u d i e d w i l l be m e n t i o n e d . Many researchers have investigated demand elasticity with res p e c t to i n c o m e and p r i c e -- t w o m a j o r c o n s u m e r v a r i a b l e s imp o r t a n t to d e m a n d . A n o t h e r set of studies has e x a m i n e d purS u c h a s p e c t s as c o n s u m e r p e r s o n a l i t y ,

chase behaviour itself.

consumer information-seeking, cognitive dissonance, persuasibili t y , a n d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e h a v e b e e n s t u d i e d in d e t a i l . Still Kevin

a n o t h e r g r o u p of s t u d i e s h a v e f o c u s e d on b r a n d l o y a l i t y .

L a n c a s t e r ( 1 9 6 6 a , 1 9 6 6 b , 1 9 7 1 ) and his a s s o c i a t e s h a v e c o n d u c t ed n u m e r o u s s t u d i e s t e s t i n g a t h e o r y w h i c h explains/relates

t h e p r i c e , q u a l i t y and d e m a n d for a u t o m o b i l e s by e s t a b l i s h i n g quality adjusted price indexes. T h e i r r e s e a r c h , l i k e all the

r e s e a r c h m e n t i o n e d h e r e a s s u m e s no i n t e r f e r e n c e f r o m a d v e r t i s ing o r o t h e r s a l e s t r a t e g i e s and p a i n t s ( i m p l i c i t l y ) a p i c t u r e of c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y (in t h e s h o r t r u n ) . F r o m t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t is d e t e r m i n ed by c o n s u m e r n e e d s and w a n t s . The industry uses motivational

240 and d e p t h p s y c h o l o g y r e s e a r c h to help l o c a t e (but not to " c r e a t e " ) t h e s e n e e d s and w a n t s . Such research provides in-

f o r m a t i o n on the m o t i v e s , m e a n i n g s , and i m a g e s w h i c h are i m p o r t ant to p e o p l e ( P a c k a r d , 1 9 5 7 , 1 9 6 0 ) . T h e s e are then i n c o r p o r a -

ted into both p r o d u c t d e s i g n and a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t in v a r y i n g proportions. F i g u r e 8.1 i l l u s t r a t e s this p r o c e s s . Van T i l ' s The

c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s u m m a r i z e s the m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t s y m b o l i s m .

i s s u e of p e r f o r m a n c e t h e m e s is r a i s e d here by c r i t i c s w h o c h a r g e t h a t the i n d u s t r y e x p l o i t s c o n s u m e r e m o t i o n s and i r r a t i o n a l i ties w h i c h are l o c a t e d in h u m a n i t y ' s h i d d e n p s y c h o l o g i c a l c e s s e s , its " b a s e " s i d e . re-

T h e y a r g u e t h a t they s h o u l d n o t be

e x p l o i t e d -- e s p e c i a l l y by c o m m e r c i a l i n t e r e s t s , and even m o r e e s p e c i a l l y w h e n such e x p l o i t a t i o n r e s u l t s in d a n g e r o u s traffic

b e h a v i o u r and o t h e r d e t r i m e n t a l social and e c o n o m i c c o n s e q u e n c es. As n o t e d , the i n d u s t r y r e s p o n s e is t h a t it is o n l y r e s T h i s is c o n s i s t e n t The argu-

p o n d i n g to l e g i t i m a t e c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s .

w i t h the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t t h e o r e t i c a l v i e w .

m e n t m a y be s t a t e d in p r o p o s i t i o n a l form d e r i v e d from the t h e ory: (1) T h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s , in the face of u n c e r t a i n d e m a n d

and c o m p e t i t i o n at the o u t p u t boundary, wi11 a t t e m p t to p r o v i d e as w i d e a r a n g e of p r o d u c t d e s i g n s as is e c o n o m i c a l l y to a p p e a l to the m a r k e t . (2) The m a n u f a c t u r e r s will feasible respond

to the s e l e c t i o n p r o c e s s of c o n s u m e r s w h o c h o o s e from the a r ray of d e s i g n s in the m a r k e t t h o s e p a r t i c u l a r ones w h i c h c o n tain the o p t i m a l c o l l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and s y m b o l s to s a t i s f y t h e i r n e e d s (which are i n d e p e n d e n t l y f o r m e d and e x pressed). (3) C o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n m a n u f a c t u r e r s a s s u r e s that

all l e g i t i m a t e c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s will be m e t in a m o r e or less

FIGURE 8.1 DIAGRAM OF THE PLURALIST/FUNCTIONALIST VIEW OF AUTOMOBILE SALES AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OVER TIME: CONSUMER SOVEREIGNTY. Product Development. ^Advertisi ng 'Content Needs Consumer Wants

P R E S E N T

Supply of Cars Sales Product PIanni ng

Car Purchase Deci sions

Product Development' Advertising 'Content Y Supply _ of Cars' Sales'

Needs

F U T U R E

'Car Purchase Deci sions

Product Planning

Source:

Van Til:236 241

242 satisfactory manner. (4) T h e i n d u s t r y will a t t e m p t to m o n i -

tor and a n t i c i p a t e t r e n d s and d e v e l o p m a r k e t s w h i c h m a y d e s i r e new or d i f f e r e n t p r o d u c t d e s i g n s . (5) The manufacturers' influenThe manu-

s a l e s and m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s a r e n o t s i g n i f i c a n t l y tial in s h a p i n g c o n s u m e r n e e d s and p e r c e p t i o n s . (6)

f a c t u r e r s will be l i m i t e d to t h o s e m a r k e t s and n e e d s w h i c h are socially legitimate. To be less l i m i t e d will c a u s e corrective From this

a c t i o n to be i n i t i a t e d to e l i m i n a t e this d e v i a n c e .

it m a y be h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t w i t h r e s p e c t to hot r o d d i n g the p r o d u c e r s will r e s p o n d to h o t r o d d i n g , t h a t i s , s h o w i n t e r e s t in d e v e l o p i n g the i m a g e s and d e s i g n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h hot r o d d i n g and d e v e l o p i n g it as a m a r k e t , o n l y a r o u n d the t i m e it b e c a m e m o r e or less s o c i a l l y respectable. The Meta-Power View F r o m the m e t a - p o w e r p e r s p e c t i v e the d e s i g n of a u t o m o b i l e s is a p r o d u c t of the i n t e r a c t i o n s of f o u r b a s i c f a c t o r s : (1) the n a t u r e of the p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g y ; (2) the i n t e r e s t s

and the p r i o r i t i e s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ; (3)

the c o n t e n t of the

the a d v e r t i s i n g and o t h e r m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s ; and (4) d e m a n d s of c o n s u m e r s .

T h e p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g y of the a u t o One a s p e c t is

mobile industry encompasses numerous aspects.

the h i g h - c o s t , m e c h a n i z e d t e c h n o l o g i e s w h i c h a r e e m p l o y e d in the a c t u a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a u t o m o b i l e s . T h i s t e c h n o l o g y is

o r g a n i z e d on a m a s s p r o d u c t i o n b a s i s and is g e a r e d to p r o d u c ing a s t a n d a r d i z e d a u t o m o b i l e . This structure was adopted

b e c a u s e it g i v e s a d m i n i s t r a t o r s g r e a t c o n t r o l o v e r u n c e r t a i n ties in the c o n s t r u c t i o n p r o c e s s . O t h e r a s p e c t s of p r o d u c t i o n

243 s u c h as s t y l i n g (the " c r e a t i v e " d e p a r t m e n t ) and e n g i n e e r i n g a r e m o r e d i f f i c u l t to c o n t r o l in s u c h a t i g h t f a s h i o n . But

t h e n a t u r e of t h i s s t r u c t u r a l t o t a l i t y d e t e r m i n e s the r a n g e and t y p e s of a u t o m o b i l e s t h a t can be p r o d u c e d and the c o s t s of production. As n o t e d e a r l i e r , t h e r i s k s of a n y d e s i g n d e p e n d

u p o n s e v e r a l f a c t o r s and s o m e d e s i g n s a r e m o r e r i s k y t h a n others. R i s k i n c r e a s e s as f i x e d c o s t s i n c r e a s e , as l e n g t h of

t i m e f r o m f o r m u l a t i o n to i n t r o d u c t i o n i n c r e a s e s , as f l e x i b i l ity ( t h e a b i l i t y to m o d i f y the d e s i g n a f t e r i n t r o d u c t i o n ) d e c r e a s e s , and as t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f c o u n t e r s t r a t e g i e s by c o m petitors increases. P l a n n e r s , being r i s k - a v e r s e , will favour

t h o s e d e s i g n s t h a n can be p r e d i c t e d to b r i n g a c e r t a i n m e a n financial reward over those that may carry a similar mean rew a r d b u t w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t y o f h i g h e r or l o w e r r e w a r d s . It

is i m p o r t a n t to r e m e m b e r the c a p i t a l i s t i c c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h the pi a n n e r s ^ o p e r a t e . C o r p o r a t e goals are set for increasing

g r o w t h as m e a s u r e d by i n c r e a s e d s a l e s as d e s c r i b e d by G a l b r a i t h in C h a p t e r F o u r . Advertising c o n t e n t , a variable singled out can a f f e c t c o n -

as i m p o r t a n t by c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s and o t h e r

s u m e r d e m a n d s and p e r c e p t i o n s w h e n c o n s i d e r e d in total by struct u r i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s and e x p e c t e d s a t i s f a c t i o n s . back into product d e v e l o p m e n t . shortly. dictated. It a l s o f e e d s

T h e s e p o i n t s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d

C o n s u m e r d e m a n d s and r e s p o n s e s a r e n e i t h e r f a l s e n o r A n d s i n c e c o n s u m e r r e s p o n s e s a r e w h a t a c t u a l l y , in considerations

the e n d , d e t e r m i n e s s a l e s , t h e y a r e i m p o r t a n t in t h e p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s .

C l e a r l y , the m a n u f a c t u r e r s a r e , i n t h i s u l t i m a t e s e n s e , d e p e n d e n t u p o n c o n s u m e r s and t h e i r d e m a n d s . The pluralist/

244 f u n c t i o n a l i s t t h e o r y , p r o p o s e s that m a n u f a c t u r e r s r e s p o n d as b e s t they can to the e n t i r e range of l e g i t i m a t e d e m a n d s as m a n ifested in their v a r i o u s s t r e n g t h s and d i m e n s i o n s with a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of d e s i g n s in c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h each o t h e r for c o n sumer selection. The proposal here is that such b e h a v i o u r is For while consumer preferences are

only p a r t of the s t o r y .

taken into s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n , p l a n n e r s m u s t also c o n s i d e r their technological ests. i m p e r a t i v e s and c o r p o r a t e goals and i n t e r -

The i n t e r a c t i o n of these v a r i o u s d e m a n d s p r o d u c e s t r a d e T h e s e i n v o l v e s e l e c t i n g areas of p r e f e r -

offs and c o m p r o m i s e s .

ence and s a t i s f a c t i o n w h i c h are in d e m a n d or are p e r c e i v e d to be d e v e l o p a b l e and w o r k i n g with those w h i l e o t h e r areas of s a t i s f a c t i o n will r e c e i v e less a t t e n t i o n and e m p h a s i s or none at all. N o t e that the f i r s t t h r e e of the b a s i c f a c t o r s in p r o duct d e s i g n are under the control of the p r o d u c e r . Some of the

v a r i o u s s t r a t e g i e s m a n u f a c t u r e r s have u t i l i z e d to r e d u c e unc e r t a i n t y and risk at their input and o u t p u t e n v i r o n m e n t s a l r e a d y been m e n t i o n e d . have

They have tight control o v e r the p r o -

d u c t i o n p r o c e s s t h r o u g h b u r e a u c r a t i c m a n a g e m e n t and the o r g a n i z a t i o n of mass p r o d u c t i o n . to e n s u r e s u p p l i e s . They have v e r t i c a l l y integrated

Yet a n o t h e r s t r a t e g y w h i c h can be e m p l o y (1967:36)

ed in high risk s i t u a t i o n s as p r o p o s e d by T h o m p s o n

i n v o l v e s c o n t r a c t i n g an a g r e e m e n t n e g o t i a t e d b e t w e e n o r g a n i z a t i o n s , not n e c e s s a r i l y formal a n d / o r l e g a l , for the e x c h a n g e of f u t u r e p e r f o r m a n c e s . As a s t r a t e g y of risk r e d u c t i o n , it

can i n v o l v e paying a n o t h e r firm to a b s o r b part of the risk in a p a r t i c u l a r p r o j e c t a s , for e x a m p l e , in c o n t r a c t i n g for sup-

245 plies or services from o u t s i d e firms r a t h e r than p r o d u c i n g them i n - h o u s e . later a n a l y s i s . This will prove an i m p o r t a n t s t r a t e g y in the W h i t e m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r the s t r a t e g y of im-

p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t a g r e e m e n t s between c o m p e t i t o r s to e x c h a n g e i n f o r m a t i o n or license p a t e n t s . But there is no reason to ex-

pect i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t a g r e e m e n t s as a s t r a t e g y to stop there. I n d e e d , the e l i t e / c l a s s t h e o r i s t s argue that at the

i n d u s t r y l e v e l , the big T h r e e m a n u f a c t u r e r s have acted to r e d u c e c o n s u m e r freedom by e s t a b l i s h i n g the s t r u c t u r e of the ind u s t r y as an o l i g a r c h y . This has e n a b l e d them to v i r t u a l l y

e l i m i n a t e all " o u t s i d e " c o m p e t i t i o n and to control entry into the i n d u s t r y . They h a v e , it is argued from this p e r s p e c t i v e , them,

w i l l i n g l y reduced and c o n t r o l l e d c o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n

limiting it m a i n l y to the retail m a r k e t w h i l e c o - o p e r a t i n g at the m a n u f a c t u r i n g l e v e l . T h e y have long ago s t o p p e d competing

in terms of price by acting as a c o l l e c t i v e m o n o p o l y , setting prices and o u t p u t at the p o i n t w h i c h m a x i m i z e s r e t u r n . They

do not c o m p e t e in q u a l i t a t i v e t e c h n o l o g i c a l changes but confine t h e m s e l v e s to q u a n t i t a t i v e d i m e n s i o n s . And they control the 4 rate of i n t r o d u c t i o n of these q u a n t i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s . The area w h e r e m a n u f a c t u r e r s do c o m p e t e in the retail m a r k e t is c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s t r a t e g i e s d e s i g n e d to channel p r o duct d e v e l o p m e n t into those areas deemed to be the m o s t p r o f i t a b l e to them. The main c o m p e t i t i v e s t r a t e g i e s a r e : (1) the

annual model change (until r e c e n t l y ) ; (2) e x t e n s i v e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n ; (3) p r o t e c t i v e in p r o d u c t f e a t u r e s ; and (4) a d v e r t i s i n g .

product

imitation

From the point of

view of e l i t e / c l a s s t h e o r i s t s and other a n a l y s t s , these s t r a -

246 t e g i e s r e d u c e the e f f i c i e n c y o f the m a r k e t and u n d e r m i n e c o n sumer sovereignty. S t y l i n g c h a n g e s on an a n n u a l b a s i s and processes

m o d e l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n a r e c o s t l y

(see F i s h e r , G r i l i c h e s and K a y s e n , 1 9 6 2 ; M e n g e , 1 9 6 2 ; S h e r m a n and H o f f e r , 1 9 7 1 ; S n e l l , 1 9 7 1 , 1 9 7 3 ; W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 ) . These

p o l i c i e s a r e , it is a r g u e d , too c o s t l y and a r e d e s i g n e d to i n d u c e an a r t i f i c i a l d e m a n d f o r a u t o m o b i l e s t h r o u g h the c r e a t i o n of p s y c h o l o g i c a l o b s o l e s c e n c e . N o t o n l y is t h i s w a s t e f u l of

r e s o u r c e s , b u t it i n c r e a s e s b o t h p r i c e and s a l e s at t h e s o c i a l e x p e n s e of e x c e s s p r o f i t s f o r t h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s . The money

s p e n t on t h e s e c h a n g e s d i v e r t s r e s o u r c e s f r o m r e s e a r c h and d e v e l o p m e n t on s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t s o f q u a l i t a t i v e e n g i n e e r i n g and design. O v e r the y e a r s p e o p l e h a v e c r i t i c i z e d s p e c i f i c a s Engin-

p e c t s o f a u t o m o b i l e e n g i n e e r i n g and t e c h n i c a l d e s i g n .

e e r s , m e c h a n i c s , insurance p e o p l e , p r o v i n c i a l / s t a t e highway adm i n i s t r a t o r s , traffic safety o f f i c i a l s , federal government inv e s t i g a t o r s , and m e m b e r s o f t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c -- all have

n o t e d " d e f e c t s " in s u c h a r e a s as l i g h t i n g , s e a t i n g , p r i m a r y and s e c o n d a r y c o n t r o l d e s i g n and l o c a t i o n , v i s i b i l i t y , b r a k e s , w e i g h t d i s t r i b u t i o n , s t e e r i n g , t i r e s and w h e e l s , s p r i n g s , v e n t i l a t i o n , m a i n t e n a n c e and r e p a i r , e t c . These difficulties have That

b e e n b l a m e d on the e m p h a s i s of s t y l i n g o v e r e n g i n e e r i n g .

i s , s t y l i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e m o r e i m p o r t a n t to m a n u f a c t u r e r s than e n g i n e e r i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Engineering must accomodate

i t s e l f to t h e s t y l i s t ' s e m p h a s i s on t h e l o n g e r , l o w e r , w i d e r designs. T h e o v e r a l l r e s u l t , a c c o r d i n g to t h e c r i t i c s , is an

e m p h a s i s on " t r i v i a l " c h a n g e s in a p p e a r a n c e , i n t e r i o r a p p o i n t m e n t s , e n g i n e s i z e and p o w e r , e t c . -- c h a n g e s w h i c h h a v e l i t t l e

247 to do w i t h i m p r o v i n g t h e f u n c t i o n a l q u a l i t y of t h e a u t o m o b i l e , b u t w h i c h h a v e m u c h to do w i t h i n c r e a s i n g s a l e s . Product deprime

signs which emphasize p e r f o r m a n c e motives are o b v i o u s l y c a n d i d a t e s for c r i t i c i s m .

Designs which symbolize movement, L a r g e e n g i n e s and hedonistic

s p e e d and p o w e r e x c i t e t h o s e e x t r a m o t i v e s .

increasing horsepower excite particularly those

o b j e c t i v e s d i s c u s s e d by Na"a"ta"nen and S u m m a l a in C h a p t e r S e v e n . ( S e e , in a d d i t i o n to the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e c i t e d in C h a p t e r O n e , t h e h i s t o r y of a u t o m o t i v e c r i t i c i s m by E a s t m a n , 1 9 7 3 . ) Of c o u r s e , these c r i t i c i s m s have s t i m u l a t e d responses

f r o m i n d u s t r y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and o t h e r e c o n o m i c r e s e a r c h e r s . T h e i r a r g u m e n t s a r e in the p r e c e e d i n g s e c t i o n . Costs are d i s -

puted, efficiencies argued, benefits disagreed over, degrees of c o m p e t i t i o n d e b a t e d -- e a c h s i d e a b l e to f i n d d a t a to s u p 5 p o r t its c a s e . S e v e r a l e c o n o m i s t s h a v e c o n c l u d e d , f o r e x a m p l e , that annual model c h a n g e s , although c o s t l y , basically consumer choice. reflect

F i s h e r , G r i l i c h e s and K a y s e n ( 1 9 6 2 : 4 5 0 ) s t u d -

ied t h i s i s s u e and c o n c l u d e d " t h a t t h e r e a r e t h u s g r o u n d s f o r b e l i e v i n g t h a t c a r o w n e r s (at t h e t i m e of p u r c h a s e ) t h o u g h t m o d e l c h a n g e s w o r t h m o s t of t h e c o s t . The general presumption changes

of c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y thus implies that these model w e r e w o r t h the c o s t . "

Lawrence White (1971:210), certainly

no a p o l o g i s t f o r the i n d u s t r y , c o n c l u d e d f r o m his s t u d y o f model changes: " T h i s a u t h o r b e l i e v e s t h a t the m a r k e t a l l o c a accurately

t i o n , stressing model c h a n g e s , probably reflects consumer preferences."

( S e e a l s o M e n g e , 1 9 6 2 , and R o o t , 1 9 7 2 . )

T h e i s s u e o f e x t r a m o t i v e s is e x p l a i n e d as " w h a t the p u b l i c

248 wants". H o w e v e r , it is hard to d i s a g r e e w i t h the o v e r a l l

a c c u m u l a t i o n of e v i d e n c e in Snell ( 1 9 7 5 ) and W h i t e ( 1 9 7 1 ) on c e r t a i n f a c t s and b e h a v i o u r s . W h i t e c o n c l u d e d his a s s e s s m e n t

of the p e r f o r m a n c e of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in the p o s t w a r y e a r s as f o l l o w s : The i n d u s t r y has e a r n e d e x c e s s p r o f i t s ; it has m a d e rapid t e c h n o l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s in m a n u f a c t u r i n g o p e r a t i o n s b u t has b e e n slow in d e v e l o p i n g a u t o m o t i v e t e c h n o l o g y ; it has h e s i t a t e d in r e s p o n d i n g p o s i t i v e l y to the q u e s t i o n s of s a f e t y and p o l l u t i o n ; it has been s l o w to r e s p o n d to s o m e of the c h a n g e s in c o n s u m e r t a s t e s ( W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 : 2 7 6 ) . From the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w , w h a t is at i s s u e is the e x e r c i s e of r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l in the m a r k e t . W h a t the i n d u s t r y

v i e w , the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t t h e o r y , and the e c o n o m i c r e s e a r c h do n o t c o n s i d e r is the role of a d v e r t i s i n g in the p r o cess of c o n s u m e r d e m a n d f o r m a t i o n , as well as o t h e r m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s such as the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of c o m p l e m e n t a r y patterns. behaviour

A d v e r t i s i n g is the t h i r d b a s i c f a c t o r in the d e v e l -

o p m e n t of a u t o m o b i l e d e s i g n w h i c h is c o n t r o l l e d by the m a n u facturers. From the m e t a - p o w e r p e r s p e c t i v e , a d v e r t i s i n g c o n -

t e n t -- w h e n c o n s i d e r e d in its t o t a l i t y for a u t o m o b i l e s -- is a c u l t u r a l s t r a t e g y w h i c h can s o c i a l i z e c o n s u m e r s and a l t e r t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s of p r o d u c t s and t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s . It can

do this by the s e l e c t i v e e m p h a s e s p l a c e d in its c o n t e n t , e m p h ases w h i c h h i g h l i g h t only c e r t a i n p r o d u c t f e a t u r e s , s y m b o l i z e c e r t a i n e x p e r i e n c e s , m e a n i n g s and g r a t i f i c a t i o n s , and link c e r t a i n i m a g e s to a u t o m o b i l e s . Thus alternative f e a t u r e s , ex-

p e r i e n c e s , i m a g e s are not d e a l t w i t h as s t r o n g l y or are p l a y e d down or n o t m e n t i o n e d at a l l . O v e r the long term this b i a s i n g

249 or s t r u c t u r i n g is e f f e c t i v e w h e n d o n e on a l a r g e and c o n s i s t e n t s c a l e in a c o n t e x t w h i c h p r o v i d e s few a l t e r n a t i v e p r e t a t i o n s or s o u r c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n . inter-

N a t u r a l l y the c o n t e n t

m u s t r e f l e c t c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s , but a d v e r t i s e r s s e l e c t w h i c h d e m a n d s will be p r o m o t e d m o s t and l e a s t , how they will be p r o m o t e d , and how m u c h . T h i s p r o c e s s f e e d s into c o n s u m e r p e r c e p -

t i o n s and feeds back into p r o d u c t d e s i g n , c r e a t i n g a p r o g r e s s i v e , s t r u c t u r e d bias o v e r t i m e . Product characteristics and

i m a g e s thus r e i n f o r c e e a c h o t h e r and s t r u c t u r e c o n s u m e r n e e d s . C o n s u m e r n e e d s as e x p r e s s e d in the m a r k e t r e i n f o r c e t h o s e p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and images -- w h i c h h a p p e n to be t h o s e m o s t f a v o u r a b l e to the m a n u f a c t u r e r s . F i g u r e 8.2 illustrates

t h e s e f l o w s of i n f l u e n c e as they amend the a l i s t model in F i g u r e 8.1.

pluralist/function-

T h i s a p p r o a c h e n a b l e s the c r i t i c i s m s a b o u t

advertising --

s e l l i n g on an e m o t i o n a l and p e r s u a s i v e b a s i s to be r e s o l v e d

an i s s u e t h a t h a v e b e e n d e b a t e d for a long t i m e , and o n e w h i c h has been d i r e c t e d at a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g in p a r t i c u l a r , as e v i d e n c e d in C h a p t e r S e v e n . C r i t i c s of e m o t i o n a l a p p e a l s a r g u e for " r a t i o n a l " p r e s e n t a t i o n of s t r i c t l y f a c t u a l r e c i t a t i o n in a d s . C r i t i c s of

p e r s u a s i v e t e c h n i q u e s a r g u e for the p r e s e n t a t i o n of d a t a w h i c h will i n f o r m c o n s u m e r s of r e l e v a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s upon w h i c h to m a k e a r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n . Such c o n c e r n s have g e n e r a t e d a

fair bit of r e s e a r c h w h i c h has a t t e m p t e d to c l a s s i f y a d v e r t i s ing of v a r i o u s sorts into the c a t e g o r i e s e m o t i o n a l v e r s u s r a tional and p e r s u a s i v e v e r s u s i n f o r m a t i o n a l . tors h a v e m a d e the p o i n t t h a t such e f f o r t s at Several commenta-

classification

FIGURE 8.2 DIAGRAM OF META-POWER VIEW OF AUTOMOBILE SALES AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OVER TIME REPRESENTING ADVERTISING AS A KEY VARIABLE. DEPICTED HERE ARE ONLY NEW FLOWS OF INFLUENCE NOT SHOWN IN FIGURE 8.1 .

P R E S E N T

Consumer Wants

Adverti sing Content

F U T U R E

Product Development

Consumer Wants

Advertising Content

Source:

Van Til, 1975:247 250

251 are n o t and c a n n o t be b a s e d on o b j e c t i v e c r i t e r i a , b u t d e p e n d upon the t a s t e s of the i n d i v i d u a l Sherer, 1970). (Taplin, 1963; Greyser, 1972;

M o r e o v e r , it is a l s o n o t e d t h a t to c r i t i c i z e

an a d v e r t i s i n g c a m p a i g n s o l e l y b e c a u s e it a p p e a l s to e m o t i o n or u s e s p e r s u a s i v e t e c h n i q u e s is n o t f r u i t f u l . E m o t i o n or r a -

t i o n a l i t y can be used b o t h for the " h i g h e s t " and the " l o w e s t " social g o a l s . And it has p r o v e n so d i f f i c u l t to s e p a r a t e the

i n f o r m a t i o n a l from the p e r s u a s i v e t h a t the d i s t i n c t i o n is n o t useful. In f a c t , e\/ery a d v e r t i s e m e n t is b o t h i n f o r m a t i o n and

persuasion: A m o m e n t ' s t h o u g h t w i l l s h o w t h a t in real l i f e it is \zery d i f f i c u l t , it n o t i m p o s s i b l e , to s e p a r a t e i n f o r m a t i o n f r o m p e r s u a s i o n . T h e m e r e o f f e r of i n f o r m a t i o n by p e r s o n A i m p l i e s a suggestion that some other person B, should pay a t t e n t i o n to i t , r a t h e r t h a n do s o m e t h i n g else (Taplin, 1 9 6 3 : 3 5 ) . F u r t h e r , s u c h a p p r o a c h e s d e n y the v a l i d i t y of all the p s y c h o l o g i c a l u t i l i t i e s w h i c h m a y be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h v a r i o u s products The

and w o u l d p r e v e n t t h e m f r o m b e i n g u t i l i z e d in a d v e r t i s i n g . real i s s u e is n o t w h e t h e r e m o t i o n a l a p p e a l s and persuasive

t e c h n i q u e s are b e i n g u s e d , b u t e x a c t l y w h a t c o n s u m e r s a t i s f a c t i o n s are b e i n g s o l d . In the c a s e of a u t o m o b i l e s -- m u l t i (or

d i m e n s i o n a l p r o d u c t s -- it is w h i c h p h y s i c a l and s y m b o l i c

p s y c h o l o g i c a l ) d i m e n s i o n s are b e i n g p r o m o t e d and to w h a t e x t e n t ? H o w e v e r , t h i s still d o e s n o t e x p l a i n c o m p l e t e l y w h e r e the p r o d u c t c o n t e n t c o m e s f r o m . T h e l a s t b a s i c f a c t o r in d e As n o t e d e a r l i e r ,

t e r m i n i n g p r o d u c t d e s i g n is c o n s u m e r d e m a n d .

in the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t a p p r o a c h c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s are a f u n c t i o n of i n c o m e and p r e f e r e n c e s c o m b i n e d w i t h such f a c t o r s as p e r s o n a l i t y , b r a n d l o y a l t y , p r i c e , e t c . -- b u t n o t p r o d u c e r

252 sales s t r a t e g i e s . In the m e t a - p o w e r a p p r o a c h , consumers are The relational control stra-

not a u t o n o m o u s and i n d e p e n d e n t .

tegies of producers have generated an informational

monopoly Again,

on their side and a d e p e n d e n c e on the c o n s u m e r s ' s i d e .

until recently the main source of information about a u t o m o b i l e s for m o s t consumers was a u t o m o b i l e advertising and publicity w r i t t e n or generated by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s themselves and their dealer c o u n c i l s . Leon M a n d e l l , in his book D r i v e n , has observ"informa-

ed that the American c o n s u m e r press has not provided tion about a u t o m o b i l e s :

How to tell the good from the bad; sham;

prices high or prices low; w a r r e n t y thorough or w a r r e n t y

cars that have fulfilled owner e x p e c t a t i o n s or cars that have been m o d e l - r u n d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s " ( M a n d e l l , 1 9 7 7 : 1 5 0 ) . i n u e s , noting the results of this lack: He cont-

"We only know that buyer:

the c o n s u m e r , the American c a r - 1 o v i n g , c a r - c o n s u m i n g Doesn't know how to buy a c a r . a car.

Doesn't know how to m a i n t a i n Doesn't know Ob-

Doesn't know one w a r r e n t y from a n o t h e r .

how to get his car f i x e d , or w h e r e " ( M a n d e l l , 1 9 7 7 : 1 5 7 ) .

viously this information is not provided by industry a d v e r t i s ing. M o r e o v e r , the mechanical complexity of the a u t o m o b i l e

and the d i f f i c u l t i e s in evaluating overall levels of quality tend to put consumers in a position w h e r e they depend upon (Edwards,

the " r e p u t a t i o n " of the d i f f e r e n t makes a v a i l a b l e 1965:240-241).

And it reinforces the p r o f i t a b l e emphases on

visible model changes rather than more c o s t l y , invisible m e c h anical changes (see N a d e r , 1 9 6 5 / 1 9 7 2 : 1 8 4 and E a s t m a n , 1 9 7 3 ) . H o w e v e r , creating informational d e p e n d e n c i e s does not provide an e f f e c t i v e device to reduce u n c e r t a i n t y . Consumer demands

253 must still be met and they must be known. Consumers of automobiles are n o t , on the w h o l e , organized in any formal sense. There is no central mechanism

which co-ordinates and communicates consumer wants to the manufacturers. And the industry spends a great deal of money on

market research, direct consumer s u r v e y s , e t c . , to fathom those wants. ing. There has b e e n , h o w e v e r , some informal consumer organizNumerous groups of consumers and other persons have at-

tempted, through both private and government m e a n s , to communicate dissatisfactions and problems to the industry -- with little e f f e c t . And then there has been the performance sub-

culture -- the hot rodders -- a deviant group who in the 1950s were not even c o n s u m e r s , that i s , were not purchasers of new automobi1es . All of the above mentioned strategies for risk reduction, and many more not mentioned^on the part of the manufacturers are designed to overcome resistance and/or to shape moThey are all quite costly to them in Given the high un-

tivational antecedents.

terms of r e s o u r c e s , e n e r g y , and finances.

certainty environment the industry faced in the early 1950s and the connection between the industry and hot rodders on performance m o t i v e s , it seems reasonable to hypothesze that the industry would incorporate hot rodding as a complementary behaviour pattern at that time -- if hot rodding could be seen to fit the industry's interests at the time. If it did fit

those interests in some w a y , the industry collectively or on a manufacturer basis or even on a dealer b a s i s , could be expected to reinforce hot rodding in some way or other -- fin-

254 a n c i a l l y , t e c h n i c a l l y , " l e n d i n g l e g i t i m a c y " to i t , e t c . If it

w a s p e r c e i v e d as a p o t e n t i a l m a r k e t , t h i s r e i n f o r c e m e n t c o u l d b e e x p e c t e d to i n c r e a s e . F r o m t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n it is n o w p o s s i b l e to d e r i v e s o m e h y p o t h e s e s a b o u t the r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y to the m a r k e t and the l a r g e r c u l t u r e w h i c h can be c o m p a r e d to t h o s e d e r i v e d f r o m the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s p e c tive. (1) The a u t o m o b i l e industry facing u n c e r t a i n demand will

a t t e m p t to p r o v i d e a l i m i t e d r a n g e of s u c c e s s f u l d e s i g n s as d e t e r m i n e d by c o n s u m e r p u r c h a s e s and i n d u s t r y i n t e r e s t s . (2) The

i n d u s t r y w i l l r e s p o n d to the s e l e c t i o n p r o c e s s of c o n s u m e r s b u t w i l l a t t e m p t to e x e r c i s e r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l w i t h r e s p e c t to t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s , n e e d s and s a t i s f a c t i o n s . M a n u f a c t u r e r s will

u t i l i z e s t r a t e g i e s of s e l e c t i v e p r o d u c t d e s i g n , s e l e c t i v e a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t , and n o n - p r i c e f o r m s of c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h e m p h a s i z e s t y l e and q u a n t i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n . (3) M a n u f a c t u r e r s

w i l l r e s t r i c t c o m p e t i t i o n to p r o d u c t d i m e n s i o n w h i c h a r e m o s t f a v o u r a b l e to t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . (4) M a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l monitor

the e n v i r o n m e n t , a t t e m p t to a n t i c i p a t e t r e n d s , and d e v e l o p markets. T h e y w i l l try to lead t h e m i n t o the e x i s t i n g range

of p r o d u c t d e s i g n s .

T h e y w i l l s e a r c h f o r , i n c o r p o r a t e , and them.

r e i n f o r c e c o m p l e m e n t a r y b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s w h e r e t h e y find

(5) T h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l n o t n e c e s s a r i l y be b o u n d by the c o n s t r a i n t s of the c o m m o n c u l t u r e if a p a r t i c u l a r m a r k e t or c u l tural s y m b o l is p e r c e i v e d to be u s e f u l to t h e m . From t h i s ,

c e r t a i n h y p o t h e s e s m a y be p r o p o s e d a b o u t the i n d u s t r y ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to h o t r o d d i n g . ( 1 ) T h e i n d u s t r y w i l l be f o u n d to

h a v e b e g u n to i n c o r p o r a t e h o t r o d d i n g in t h e e a r l y 1 9 5 0 s w h e n

255 it w a s still very m u c h a d e v i a n t a c t i v i t y . (2) It will be in-

c o r p o r a t e d b e c a u s e c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of it will be f o u n d to m e s h with industry interests. Such a s p e c t s m a y be p r e d i c t e d to be

in the a r e a s of p r o d u c t d e s i g n r e l a t i n g to s y m b o l i s m , s t y l i n g , and t e c h n o l o g y . T h e r e f e r e n c e h e r e is to p e r f o r m a n c e m o t i v e s

( s y m b o l i s m ) , c u s t o m h o t rods ( s t y l i n g ) , and h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d engines, drive trains, suspensions, etc. (technology). (3) It

will be i n c o r p o r a t e d b e c a u s e it is a r e l a t i v e l y low c o s t s t r a tegy w i t h l a r g e p o t e n t i a l f o r p u b l i c i t y . (4) T h e d e c i s i o n The research ex-

m a k i n g p r o c e s s r e m a i n s an u n k n o w n q u a n t i t y .

a m i n i n g this r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l h o p e f u l l y p r o v i d e s o m e i n f o r m a tion on t h i s p r o c e s s . Pi r e c t i o n s T h i s c h a p t e r has e x a m i n e d the p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t and the m e t a - p o w e r v i e w s of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y and the dev e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e . ived from t h e a p p l i c a t i o n s . A n u m b e r of h y p o t h e s e s w e r e d e r T h o s e h y p o t h e s e s r e l a t i n g to the

b a s i c o p e r a t i o n and b e h a v i o u r of the i n d u s t r y will be e x a m i n e d b r i e f l y by i n s p e c t i n g the d a t a and c o n c l u s i o n s of a s t u d y by Roy Van Til of a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t and its r o l e in structuring demand. T h i s s t u d y will p r o v i d e v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a -

tion on the r e l a t i v e e m p h a s e s the v a r i o u s m e a n i n g s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e c e i v e d o v e r the p o s t w a r p e r i o d . a r g u e s f o r the m e t a - p o w e r h y p o t h e s e s . Van T i l ' s s t u d y

To t e s t the h y p o t h e s e s

a b o u t hot r o d d i n g and the i n d u s t r y , the a t t i t u d e s and b e h a v i o u r of the i n d u s t r y and of the s o c i e t y at l a r g e m u s t be m e a s u r e d to d e t e r m i n e w h e n the i n d u s t r y b e c a m e i n t e r e s t e d in hot

256 r o d d i n g and when public a t t i t u d e s toward hot r o d d i n g changed.

The m e t h o d o l o g y is d e s c r i b e d in the next c h a p t e r as a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s of m a g a z i n e s r e p r e s e n t i n g each p o s i t i o n . that the m e t a - p o w e r h y p o t h e s i s is s u p p o r t e d . r e p o r t e d in C h a p t e r T e n . It is found

The f i n d i n g s are

In o r d e r to e x a m i n e the h y p o t h e s e s

a b o u t the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of hot r o d d i n g by the i n d u s t r y , C h a p t e r s Eleven and T w e l v e will p r e s e n t an a n a l y t i c a l - h i s t o r i c a l sion of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the two over the peri od. discus-

1948-1968

FOOTNOTES 1 S e e , for e x a m p l e , B a n n e r , 1 9 5 4 ; B r e m s , 1 9 5 8 ; G e n e r a l M o t o r s C o r p o r a t i o n , 1 9 3 9 , 1 9 6 8 ; U e n o and T s u r u m i , 1 9 6 9 ; T s u r u m i 1 9 6 8 ; B u r g e s s and G l a h e , 1 9 7 0 ; C o w l i n g and C u b b i n , 1 9 7 1 ; Edwards, 1965; White, 1971; Chandler, 1964; Crandell, 1968; R o o t and S y l v e s t e r , 1 9 7 1 ; S y l v e s t e r , 1 9 7 1 ; B a i n , 1 9 5 6 , 1 9 7 0 ; Fabris, 1966; Potney, 1963; Dhrymes, 1971; Katz, 1970; Brant!, 1963; Brooks, 1959; Mann, 1962; Ayres, 1970; Lanzillotti, 1971; S n e l l , 1 9 7 1 , 1 9 7 3 , 1 9 7 5 ; R o o t , 1 9 7 2 ; H o f f e r , et a l . , 1 9 7 6 ; B o y l e and H o g a r t y , 1 9 7 5 . 2 T h e high d e g r e e of c o n t r o l a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s h a v e d e v e l o p e d o v e r t h e i r i n p u t b o u n d a r i e s has n u m e r o u s c o n s e q u e n c e s for the p e o p l e w h o w o r k in and a r o u n d this b o u n d a r y . T h e n a t u r e and o p e r a t i o n of m a s s p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g y , its i n s u l a t i o n , and its b u r e a u c r a t i c a d m i n i s t r a t i o n r e s u l t in w o r k ing c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a p r e - d e t e r m i n e d h i e r a r c h i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h is f o r m a l i z e d , s p e c i a l i z e d , rout i n i z e d , and s t a n d a r d i z e d . T h e h u m a n c o n s e q u e n c e s of this o r g a n i z a t i o n a l w o r k - e n v i r o n m e n t are a l m o s t u n i v e r s a l l y s a i d to be high l e v e l s of w o r k e r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n , d e g r a d a t i o n , d e h u m a n i z a t i o n , and a l i e n a t i o n . A u t o m o b i l e w o r k e r s are the m o s t s t u d i e d i n d u s t r i a l g r o u p in the U n i t e d S t a t e s and m o s t s t u d i e s s u p p o r t t h e s e c o n t e n t i o n s . S e e , for e x a m p l e , W a l k e r and G u e s t , 1952; Wilensky, 1966; Sheppard, 1969, 1977; Chinoy, 1955; B r a v e r m a n , 1 9 7 4 ; B l a u n e r , 1 9 6 4 . But see the e m p i r i c a l r e b u t t a l by the c o n t r i b u t o r s to the v o l u m e e d i t e d by W i d i c k , 1976 and the p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e b u t t a l by C l a y r e , 1 9 7 4 . 3 P r i c e l e a d e r s h i p m e a n s t h a t one firm in an i n d u s t r y sets its p r i c e s w i t h the u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t the o t h e r f i r m s in the i n d u s t r y will f o l l o w the l e a d . T h e f u n c t i o n of p r i c e l e a d e r s h i p is to m i n i m i z e the d e s t r u c t i v e e f f e c t s for the f i r m s of a p r i c e w a r in w h i c h p r i c e s are cut and cut a g a i n in r e s p o n s e to the c u t t i n g a c t i o n s of c o m p e t i t o r s until s o m e f i r m s a r e d r i v e n o u t of b u s i n e s s . G e n e r a l M o t o r s is the p r i c e l e a d e r in the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y ( E d w a r d s , 1 9 6 5 ; W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 ; A y r e s , 1970). 4 A q u a n t i t a t i v e p r o d u c t i n n o v a t i o n i n v o l v e s the d e v e l o p m e n t of a p a r t i c u l a r d i m e n s i o n or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c u s u a l l y in the f o r m of a m e a s u r a b l e i n c r e a s e in the m a g n i t u d e of t h a t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . T h e s e i n c r e a s e s do not d e p e n d upon the a p p l i c a tion of new s c i e n t i f i c c o n c e p t s . For e x a m p l e , w i t h r e s p e c t to automobiles, quantitative innovations would include increases in s u c h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as n u m b e r of e n g i n e c y l i n d e r s , h o r s e p o w e r , piston d i s p l a c e m e n t , compression r a t i o , wheel b a s e , l e n g t h of b o d y , e t c . A q u a l i t a t i v e p r o d u c t i n n o v a t i o n i n v o l v e s d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h r e q u i r e the a p p l i c a t i o n to a p a r t i c u l a r dim257

258 e n s i o n or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a s c i e n t i f i c c o n c e p t w h i c h (a) had not b e e n c o n s i d e r e d b e f o r e or (b) b e c a m e a p p l i c a b l e o n l y a f t e r c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n t i a l c h a n g e s had t a k e n p l a c e (as in the c a s e of t e c h n o l o g i c a l a d v a n c e s in s t r e n g t h e n i n g s t e e l ) . W i t h r e s p e c t to the a u t o m o b i l e , q u a l i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s w o u l d i n c l u d e such d e v e l o p m e n t s as high c o m p r e s s i o n e n g i n e s , a u t o m a t i c t r a n s m i s s i o n s , a i r f l o w s t r e a m l i n i n g , f r o n t w h e e l d r i v e , s a f e t y rim w h e e l s , h a r d - t o p c o n v e r t i b l e s , fuel i n j e c t i o n , e t c . R i c h a r d F a b r i s ( 1 9 6 6 ) c o n d u c t e d a s t u d y of a u t o m o t i v e i n n o v a t i o n by A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s o v e r the p e r i o d 1919 to 1 9 6 2 . He f o u n d t h a t the r a t e of i n t r o d u c t i o n of q u a l i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s d e c l i n e d o v e r this p e r i o d and s l o w e d e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r W o r l d W a r I I . By 1 9 3 5 a p p r o x i m a t e l y s e v e n t y p e r c e n t of the total q u a l i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s had b e e n i n t r o d u c e d . For q u a n t i t a t i v e i n n o v a t i o n s the r e v e r s e p a t t e r n w a s f o u n d ; the r a t e of i n t r o d u c t i o n i n c r e a s e d o v e r the t i m e p e r i o d studied with fifty-five percent appearing after World War II. M u c h of the q u a n t i t a t i v e v a r i a t i o n f o c u s e d on e n g i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s s u c h as d i s p l a c e m e n t and h o r s e p o w e r . F a b r i s ( 1 9 6 6 : 1 6 8 ) c o n c l u d e s t h a t : "The n u m b e r of s c i e n t i f i c c o n c e p t s t h a t can be u t i l i z e d or a p p l i e d to i m p r o v e the p r o d u c t a p p a r e n t l y b e c o m e s i n c r e a s i n g l y less d u r i n g a p e r i o d of y e a r s , b u t the q u a n t i t a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p r o d u c t can be v a r i e d u n a b a t e d for the a p p l i c a t i o n of m a j o r t e c h n o l o g i c a l c h a n g e or m e r e l y for the a p p e a r a n c e of n e w n e s s . T h i s is e x a c t l y w h a t o c c u r r e d in the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y b e c a u s e the i n t r o d u c t i o n of q u a l i t a t i v e p r o d u c t i n n o v a t i o n s b e c a m e i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t and less f r e q u e n t , and the a u t o m o b i l e f i r m s s h i f t e d t h e i r e m p h a s i s t o w a r d v a r y i n g the m a g n i t u d e of the p r o d u c t ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . In this m a n n e r , c o n s u m e r s w o u l d a l w a y s be p r e s e n t e d w i t h an 'imp r o v e d ' p r o d u c t for the s t i m u l a t i o n of i n t e r e s t and p u r c h a s e . " F a b r i s a l s o f o u n d t h a t p r o d u c t i n n o v a t i o n t e n d e d to c l u s t e r a r o u n d p e r i o d s of d e c l i n i n g s a l e s , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t m a n u f a c t u r e r s c o n t r o l l e d and u t i l i z e d the i n t r o d u c t i o n of i n n o v a t i o n s as s a l e s d e v i c e s . 5 E v e n a m o n g t h o s e w h o a g r e e t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s try is too c o n c e n t r a t e d , m o n o p o l i s t i c , and i n s e n s i t i v e to c o n s u m e r d e m a n d , t h e r e is m u c h d i s a g r e e m e n t as to w h i c h s t r a t e g i e s w o u l d be m o s t e f f e c t i v e in r e s t o r i n g c o n s u m e r s o v e r e i g n t y and m a r k e t f r e e d o m . See the d i s c u s s i o n s of B o y l e , 1 9 7 5 ; S c h i e l , 1975; Wolozin, 1975.

CHAPTER 9 INITIAL ANALYSIS AND METHODOLOGY study

This chapter will discuss first a s i g n i f i c a n t w h i c h e x a m i n e s the r o l e of a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t in

structuring

c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s and d e m a n d s f o r a u t o m o b i l e s in the p o s t war period. T h i s is o n e of the few s t u d i e s of its kind and It will be used

its f i n d i n g s are i m p o r t a n t to this d i s c u s s i o n .

to a s s e s s t h e h y p o t h e s e s r e l a t e d to the g e n e r a l b e h a v i o u r of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in t h e m a r k e t . Next the m e t h o d o l o g y

for t e s t i n g the h y p o t h e s e s a b o u t h o t r o d d i n g and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y w i l l be d i s c u s s e d . A d v e r t i s i n g , P r o d u c t D e v e l o p m e n t and R e l a t i o n C o n t r o l : Roy V a n Til 's S t u d y T h e h y p o t h e s e s a b o u t t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s a r e s t r u c t u r e d , the s h a p i n g of c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s , and the l i m i t s p l a c e d u p o n c o n s u m e r c h o i c e h a v e n o t b e e n g i v e n m u c h s y s t e m a t i c r e s e a r c h a t t e n t i o n by s o c i o l o g i s t s . e a s y m a t t e r s to s t u d y . These are not

T h e y i n v o l v e d i f f i c u l t p r o b l e m s in r e A rigorous, detail-

s e a r c h d e s i g n , m e a s u r e m e n t and e v a l u a t i o n .

ed t e s t and a s s e s s m e n t of t h e c o n t r a s t i n g s e t s of h y p o t h e s e s a b o u t t h e g e n e r a l b e h a v i o u r of the a u t o m o b i l e manufacturers In

in the m a r k e t is b e y o n d the s c o p e of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n .

its s t e a d , t h e e v i d e n c e c i t e d in the l a s t c h a p t e r w i l l be s u p p l e m e n t e d by the f i n d i n g s of a s i g n i f i c a n t s t u d y by e c o n o m i s t Roy V a n Ti1 . T h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t h y p o t h e s e s w e r e as f o l l o w s . 259

260 (1) T h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in t h e f a c e o f u n c e r t a i n demand

and c o m p e t i t i o n at its o u t p u t b o u n d a r y w i l l a t t e m p t to p r o v i d e as w i d e a r a n g e of p r o d u c t d e s i g n s as is e c o n o m i c a l l y to a p p e a l to the m a r k e t . (2) The m a n u f a c t u r e r s will feasible respond

to t h e s e l e c t i o n p r o c e s s o f c o n s u m e r s w h o c h o o s e f r o m t h e a r ray o f d e s i g n s in t h e m a r k e t t h o s e p a r t i c u l a r o n e s w h i c h c o n t a i n t h e o p t i m a l c o l l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and i m a g e s to satisfy their needs. (3) C o m p e t i t i o n in t h e i n d u s t r y assumes

t h a t all l e g i t i m a t e c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s w i l l be m e t .

(4) T h e trends product strategies

m a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l a t t e m p t to m o n i t o r and a n t i c i p a t e and d e v e l o p m a r k e t s w h i c h m a y d e s i r e n e w or d i f f e r e n t designs. (5) T h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' s a l e s and m a r k e t i n g

are not s i g n i f i c a n t l y influential s u m e r n e e d s and p e r c e p t i o n s . (6)

in t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f c o n T h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l be limlegitimate. industry range

ited to t h o s e m a r k e t s and n e e d s w h i c h a r e s o c i a l l y T h e m e t a - p o w e r h y p o t h e s e s w e r e as f o l l o w s . (1) T h e

f a c i n g u n c e r t a i n d e m a n d w i l l a t t e m p t to p r o v i d e a l i m i t e d

of p r o d u c t d e s i g n s as d e t e r m i n e d by c o n s u m e r p u r c h a s e s and i n dustry interests. (2) T h e i n d u s t r y w i l l r e s p o n d to t h e s e l e c relation-

t i o n p r o c e s s of c o n s u m e r s b u t w i l l a t t e m p t to e x e r c i s e

al c o n t r o l w i t h r e s p e c t to c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s , n e e d s and s a t isfactions. M a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l u t i l i z e s t r a t e g i e s of s e l e c non-price

t i v e p r o d u c t d e s i g n , s e l e c t i v e a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t and f o r m s o f c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h e m p h a s i z e s t y l e and innovations.

quantitative to

(3) M a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l r e s t r i c t c o m p e t i t i o n

p r o d u c t d i m e n s i o n s w h i c h a r e m o s t f a v o u r a b l e to t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . (4) M a n u f a c t u r e r s w i l l m o n i t o r t h e e n v i r o n m e n t , a t t e m p t to a n t i c i p a t e t r e n d s , and d e v e l o p m a r k e t s . T h e y w i l l try to lead

261 t h e m i n t o t h e e x i s t i n g r a n g e of p r o d u c t d e s i g n s . They will behaviour not

s e a r c h f o r , i n c o r p o r a t e , and r e i n f o r c e c o m p l i m e n t a r y p a t t e r n s w h e n they find them.

(5) The m a n u f a c t u r e r s will

n e c e s s a r i l y be b o u n d by t h e c o n s t r a i n t s o f t h e c o m m o n or c o u n t e r v a i l i n g

culture

p o w e r s if a p a r t i c u l a r m a r k e t or c u l t u r a l

i m a g e is p e r c e i v e d to be u s e f u l to t h e m . T h e w o r k of Roy Van Til ( 1 9 7 5 ) p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l f o r c o m p a r i n g the two p o s i t i o n s . basis

A l t h o u g h he d o e s n o t u t i l i z e advertising

t h e c o n c e p t of m e t a - p o w e r , h i s s t u d y o f a u t o m o b i l e

c o n t e n t in Li fe m a g a z i n e o v e r t h e 1 9 4 9 - 1 9 7 3 p e r i o d w a s d e s i g n ed to t e s t t h e p l u r a l i s t / f u n c t i o n a l i s t v i e w of a d v e r t i s i n g w i t h the v i e w t h a t a d v e r t i s i n g is a c u l t u r a l v a r i a b l e w h i c h can a l t e r a n d s t r u c t u r e c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s a n d d e m a n d s to a s i g n i f icant extent. discussion. His s t u d y g e n e r a t e s i n f o r m a t i o n u s e f u l to t h i s Van T i l ' s r e s e a r c h w a s c o n d u c t e d as a P h . D . d i s long and e x t r e m e l y detailed.

s e r t a t i o n in e c o n o m i c s and is very

It c a n n o t be d i s c u s s e d a t g r e a t l e n g t h h e r e , b u t w i l l be s u m m a r i z e d in s o m e d e t a i l , t h e c o n c l u s i o n s d i s c u s s e d , and information delineated. relevant

W i t h r e s p e c t to t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f

t h e c o n t e n t o f a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g , V a n Til f o u n d t h a t t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l w i s d o m v i e w o f c o n t e n t s o l e l y d e t e r m i n e d by l e v e l s o f c o n s u m e r i n t e r e s t ( i n d e p e n d e n t l y a r r i v e d a t ) in v a r i o u s p r o d u c t d i m e n s i o n s w a s n o t s u p p o r t e d by h i s d a t a . R a t h e r , the

c o n t e n t of a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g w a s a f u n c t i o n of t h e i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n p r o d u c e r p l a n n i n g , p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t and c o n s u m e r w a n t s -- b u t " i t is a l s o a d i s t r i b u t e d l a g f u n c t i o n of p a s t c o n s u m e r w a n t s " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 2 4 6 ) . Because of this any

262 s e l e c t i v e bias in a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t can bias c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s and u n d e r c u t c o n s u m e r i n d e p e n d e n c e . Of c o u r s e , this

a n a l y s i s is at the level of the t o t a l i t y of the m e s s a g e s contained in a d v e r t i s i n g , the t o t a l i t y of a d s . T e s t i n g the two p o s i t i o n s was not an easy task for Van Til. M e a s u r i n g the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t and

the s t r u c t u r e of c o n s u m e r w a n t s and p e r c e p t i o n s is m o s t problema t i c , and his a r g u m e n t r e s t s i n the end upon "logic and c i r c u m stantial e v i d e n c e " . "Though this can be c o n s t r u e d as a w e a k -

ness of the a p p r o a c h , the e v i d e n c e c l e a r l y f a v o u r s a c c e p t a n c e of this part of the m o d e l : C o n s u m e r w a n t s are in part a d i s -

t r i b u t e d lag f u n c t i o n of p r e s e n t and p a s t a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 2 4 8 ) . The rest of his model a r g u e s that the

c o n s u m e r r e s p o n s e to the v a r i o u s d i m e n s i o n s of p r o d u c t design is taken by p r o d u c e r s who s e l e c t p a r t i c u l a r s u c c e s s f u l dimenimpera-

sions ( a c c o r d i n g to their p r i o r i t i e s and t e c h n o l o g i c a l

t i v e s ) for e m p h a s i s in the next selling period in both the physical p r o d u c t and the a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t . Over p e r i o d s of results

t i m e , the r e p e t i t i o n of this s e l e c t i v e b i a s i n g p r o c e s s

in a " d i s t o r t e d " s t r u c t u r e of c o n s u m e r w a n t s and p e r c e p t i o n s . T h u s , at any p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t in t i m e , c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s in the m a r k e t are not i n d e p e n d e n t and a u t o n o m o u s as they may appear in the short r u n , but are shaped by the i n t e r e s t s of the producers. M o r e o v e r , both the p r o d u c t i t s e l f and the a d v e r t i s -

ing c o n t e n t are also shaped in this d i r e c t i o n . The cycle is s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i n g : Past a d v e r tising c o n t e n t d e t e r m i n e s to a g r e a t e x t e n t the range and n a t u r e of p r o d u c t s a v a i l a b l e and the range and n a t u r e of c o n s u m e r wants that will be e x p r e s s e d . Then the w a n t s and

263 p r o d u c t s of t o d a y do help to c o n s t r a i n and s h a p e the a p p e a l s t h a t will be s u c c e s s f u l in the c u r r e n t y e a r , a l l o w i n g p r o d u c e r s to a t t r i b u t e n e u t r a l i t y to a d v e r t i s i n g and to a r g u e t h a t the " c o n s u m e r is k i n g " . M e a n w h i l e , c u r r e n t a d v e r t i s i n g is at w o r k making future sales figures a self-fulfilling p r o p h e c y as the s u b t l e d i m e n s i o n s of the ads s t e e r c o n s u m e r s a w a y f r o m " d e s t r u c t i v e " or d a n g e r o u s a r e a s of c o m p e t i t i o n (Van T i l , 1975:292-293) . T h e t r o u b l e in a s s e s s i n g such a f o r m u l a t i o n is the lack of c o u n t e r - f a c t u a l i t y . T h a t i s , if the h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s o u t l i n e d is

w h a t t a k e s p l a c e , then how can r e s e a r c h e r s d e t e r m i n e the " a c t u a l " c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s w h i c h w o u l d h a v e been p r e s e n t if a d v e r t i s i n g was n o t p r e s e n t or b i a s e d ? Counter-factual historians have 1 tried to d e v e l o p s o m e t e c h n i q u e s , but it is a d i f f i c u l t a r e a . T h e data Van Til used in his t e s t w e r e o b t a i n e d by a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s of a s a m p l e of 750 a u t o m o b i l e from Li fe m a g a z i n e b e t w e e n 1949 and 1 9 7 3 . advertisements

This was supplement-

ed by r e f e r r i n g to the d i s c u s s i o n s and r e s e a r c h of a u t o m o b i l e p e r f o r m a n c e -- some of w h i c h has been m e n t i o n e d h e r e e a r l i e r . His d a t a s h o w t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y r e s t r i c t e d tion in b o t h a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o d u c t d e s i g n to c e r t a i n s i o n s and a v o i d e d o t h e r s . T h e s e d i m e n s i o n s w e r e all competidimen-

consistent-

ly p r o m o t e d if they t e n d e d to be p r o f i t a b l e and to lead to c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h was n o t l i k e l y to e s c a l a t e or lead to c o s t l y development processes. It is i m p o s s i b l e to c o n v e y all the d e dimensions

tail and d e p t h of Van T i l ' s a n a l y s i s on the ten b a s i c

of a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g , p r o d u c t c o m p e t i t i o n , and the r e s u l t ing b i a s e s and l i m i t e d a v e n u e s of p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t . The

c o n n e c t i o n s and i n f e r e n c e s f r o m t h e s e to the i n t e n t i o n s of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s is not b a s e d upon any d a t a m o r e s u b s t a n t i a l than

264 t h a t a l r e a d y in t h e p u b l i c d o m a i n . H o w e v e r , t h e m a s s and c o n -

s i s t e n c y s e e m to p u t t h e w e i g h t on t h e b a s i c a c c e p t a n c e o f his m o d e l and his c o n c l u s i o n s . T h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y w a s f o u n d to be characterized

by c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h a v o i d e d s u c h p h y s i c a l f a c t o r s as h i g h s p e e d c r a s h p r o t e c t i o n , low s e l l i n g p r i c e , b r o a d w a r r a n t i e s , i n e x p e n s i v e r e p a i r s , low o p e r a t i o n a l costs, compact size, antiT h e s e all involved selling

pollution technology, verified durability.

t h e d i m e n s i o n s of s a f e t y , t e c h n o l o g y , d u r a b i l i t y and price. C o m p e t i t i o n f o c u s e d on n o n - e s c a l a t i n g and

psychological

( s y m b o l i c ) f e a t u r e s s u c h as p r e s t i g e , s n o b a p p e a l , v a l u e , t o t a l styling design, ride, vague reputation. There was also compe(in t h e 1960s) 1960s).

t i t i o n in s u c h r i s k y a r e a s as tail f i n s , c o m p a c t n e s s e a r l y 1 9 6 0 s ) s i z e (in t h e 1 9 5 0 s ) , w a r r a n t i e s (middle

and h o r s e p o w e r and a u t o m o b i l e r a c i n g ( m i d d l e 1 9 5 0 s and

T h e s e i n v o l v e d o n l y a few a r e a s of d i f f e r e n t a t i o n , m a i n l y " n o n - q u a n t i f i a b l e or v a g u e p s y c h o l o g i c a l (symbolic) apavoidance (Van

p e a l s , a r t i f i c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n o f a u t o m o b i l e s , and

of d i r e c t c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h o t h e r p r o d u c t s or a u t o m a k e r s " Til, 1975:357). Such emphasis may have prevented

competition

in m o r e c o n s t r u c t i v e a r e a s , V a n Til a r g u e s .

Moreover, adver-

tising which communicated the following tendencies also limited i n d u s t r y c o m p e t i t i o n : ( 1 ) s t r e s s on c h a n g e s o f a c o s m e t i c

n a t u r e ; (2) p a t t e r n s of c o n t i n u a l u p - g r a d i n g ; (3) " t h e u n w i l l i n g n e s s o f t h e big p r o d u c e r s to c o m p e t e on m a n y d i m e n s i o n s the a u t o m o b i l e " ; and (4) " t h e a v o i d a n c e o f s u b s t a n t i a l t i o n s " (Van Til , 1 9 7 5 : 3 5 7 ) . W i t h r e s p e c t to t h e a d v e r t i s i n g c o n t e n t i t s e l f and the of

innova-

265 p a t t e r n s of m e a n i n g Van Til f o u n d , the c o n s i s t e n t e m p h a s i s on s e l e c t e d p a t t e r n s w a s i m p o r t a n t in s t r u c t u r i n g c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s of the m e a n i n g of a u t o m o b i l e s in d i r e c t i o n s f a r d i f more

f e r e n t f r o m w h a t they m i g h t h a v e b e e n w i t h a d v e r t i s i n g b a l a n c e d in its c o n t e n t .

He f o u n d t h a t a d v e r t i s i n g f o r a u t o (1) s h o r t t i m e h o r i -

mobiles stressed,to a significant degree

zons r a t h e r than long t i m e h o r i z o n s in its a p p e a l s ( f o u r t i m e s as o f t e n f o r d o m e s t i c a u t o a d s ) ; (2) s u b j e c t i v e r a t h e r t h a n o b j e c t i v e a r g u m e n t s ( G e n e r a l M o t o r s r a t e d e i g h t e e n p e r c e n t on Van T i l ' s o b j e c t i v i t y i n d e x c o m p a r e d to n i n e t y p e r c e n t for f o r e i g n m a n u f a c t u r e r s ) ; and (3) the use of s p e c i o u s p r o x y logic

( t h a t i s , an a s s o c i a t i o n b e t w e e n two f e a t u r e s w h i c h is a n o n s e q u i t u r of the "A i m p l i e s B" t y p e -- f o r e x a m p l e , " s t y l i n g as a p r o x y f o r s p e e d and p e r f o r m a n c e " , or " r a c i n g s u c c e s s as a p r o x y f o r p r o d u c t q u a l i t y " (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 2 2 7 ) . The most sig-

n i f i c a n t p a t t e r n r e l a t e s to the m e a n i n g s of the a u t o m o b i l e p o r t r a y e d in the a d v e r t i s e m e n t s . The pattern was split between two

" b a s i c p h i l o s o p h i e s " of the a u t o m o b i l e , o n e of w h i c h the o t h e r .

dominated

Van Til t e r m s t h e m e t h i c A and e t h i c B to a v o i d He d e s c r i b e s e t h i c A as

semantic difficulties.

one e x t r e m e w a y of e n c o u r a g i n g a p a t t e r n o f c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s of w h a t a c a r s h o u l d b e . It c o n t a i n s the a p p e a l s to e x c l u s i v e n e s s , m a c h i s m o , s t y l i n g , e r g o n o m i c s , and r e p u t a t i o n . E t h i c A has l i t t l e to do w i t h p r o d u c t f e a t u r e s or c o n s u m e r b e n e f i t s w h i c h r e l a t e to the p u r e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n . It d e a l s g e n e r a l l y w i t h the m o r e a b s t r a c t d i m e n s i o n s of the a u t o m o b i l e (Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 2 0 8 ) . A p p e a l s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e t h i c A are m o r e l i k e l y to be e m o t i o n al t h a n i n f o r m a t i o n a l , and m o r e o f t e n of the type. "other-directed"

266 T h e p h i l o s o p h y of e t h i c B is m u c h m o r e p r a g m a t i c ethic A -- s o m e w o u l d t e r m it m o r e " r a t i o n a l " . Ethic B than

c o n t a i n s the a p p e a l s to s a f e t y , e c o n o m y , f u n c t i o n a l i s m , t e c h n o l o g y , and d u r a b i l i t y . E t h i c B i n c l u d e s the p r o d u c t f e a t u r e s w h i c h a n s w e r the f o l l o w i n g b a s i c q u e s t i o n s : Will the b u y e r g e t t h e r e a l i v e ? Can he a f f o r d to buy and o p e r a t e the c a r ? D o e s t h e car w o r k ? Is it e n g i n e e r e d w e l l w i t h u p - t o d a t e m e t h o d s ? Will the car l a s t ? (Van T i l , 1975:208). Each p h i l o s o p h y is a b a s i c a l l y c o m p l e t e or t o t a l w a y of r e l a t ing to and t h i n k i n g a b o u t t h e a u t o m o b i l e . Manufacturers would

be e x p e c t e d to use t h e m in t h e i r a d v e r t i s i n g b e c a u s e e a c h p h i l o s o p h y has a s s o c i a t e d w i t h it p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s m e a n i n g s w h i c h can be d e v e l o p e d in the a d s . and

T h e d a t a in Van graphics

T i l ' s s t u d y reveal t h a t e t h i c A w a s p r e d o m i n a n t in the in A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g 8 1 . 6 % to 1 8 . 4 % .

In the c o p y

of t h e ads it w a s a l s o m o r e p r e v a l e n t b u t to a l e s s e r d e g r e e , 6 3 . 1 % to 6 0 . 7 % . It is the c o m b i n a t i o n of e t h i c A , s h o r t t i m e

h o r i z o n s , s u b j e c t i v e a r g u m e n t s , and s p e c i o u s p r o x y l o g i c w h i c h are t h e s e l e c t e d e m p h a s e s of a u t o m o b i l e a d v e r t i s i n g f o r A m e r i c a n automobiles. Of c o u r s e , t h e r e w e r e v a r i a t i o n s o v e r t i m e in the

r e l a t i v e s t r e n g t h s of t h e a p p e a l s , and v a r i a t i o n s by m a n u f a c t u r e r and m o d e l , as w e l l . It is c l e a r t h a t e t h i c A c o n t a i n s the p e r f o r m a n c e m o t i v e s w h i c h a r e of i n t e r e s t to t h i s s t u d y -- p a r t i c u l a r l y foc-

used in t h e d i m e n s i o n of m a c h i s m o , a l t h o u g h s t y l i n g , Van Til n o t e s , is o f t e n used to r e i n f o r c e m a c h i s m o a p p e a l s . Moreover,

a s p e c t s of a p p e a l s to e x c l u s i v e n e s s , e r g o n o m i c s , and r e p u t a tion a l s o c a r r y or r e i n f o r c e m a c h i s m o a p p e a l s . The predomin-

267 ance of these p e r f o r m a n c e themes is d o c u m e n t e d by the c r i t i c isms d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r S e v e n . The three d i m e n s i o n s of s t y l 6 7 % of all

i n g , e x c l u s i v e n e s s and m a c h i s m o t o g e t h e r c o m p r i s e

primary graphical e m p h a s i s in the s a m p l e of a d v e r t i s e m e n t s considered. These figures are based on 1,485 appeals in 750 a d s .

M a c h i s m o c o n s t i t u t e d 1 4 . 2 % of the appeals in total g r a p h i c s and 1 9 . 3 % of the primary g r a p h i c s . Styling a c c o u n t e d for 3 9 . 1 % The

and 2 7 . 7 % r e s p e c t i v e l y ; e x c l u s i v e n e s s 1 3 . 5 % and 1 9 . 3 % .

m a c h i s m o f i g u r e of 1 4 . 2 % of total g r a p h i c appeals t r a n s l a t e s to 2 8 % of the 750 a d v e r t i s e m e n t s which made some appeal to it. The n u m b e r of appeals in the total and primary copy c a t e g o r i e s is much h i g h e r than the g r a p h i c a p p e a l s ; o f 5,187 a p p e a l s in the total c o p y , 1 4 . 8 % w e r e related to m a c h i s m o , and 1 4 . 9 % of 888 p r i m a r y copy appeals w e r e to m a c h i s m o . O v e r a l l , 5 5 . 8 % of

the ads m a d e a primary or s e c o n d a r y appeal to m a c h i s m o in the copy. H o w e v e r , total over a t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r period can be As noted in C h a p t e r S e v e n , and as c o n f i r m e d This

very m i s l e a d i n g .

by the a d s , m a c h i s m o was heavily e m p h a s i z e d in the 1 9 6 0 s . tends to raise the t o t a l s .

A l s o , focus on the totals tends to From a low of

o b s c u r e the f l u c t u a t i o n s over the time p e r i o d .

about 1 0 % in 1949 m a c h i s m o a p p e a l s in g r a p h i c s rose to around 2 0 % in 1 9 5 4 , declined to 1 0 % by the end of 1 9 5 4 and rose to 2 5 % by 1 9 5 6 . T h e r e a f t e r they declined to 1 5 % and stayed around

that f i g u r e until the early 1960s -- this was during the period of the AMA a g r e e m e n t to ban p e r f o r m a n c e a d v e r t i s i n g . Then

the p e r c e n t a g e s began to climb q u i c k l y rising to 4 0 % in 1 9 6 3 . Until 1968 they r e m a i n e d hi g h a n d t h e n began to d e c l i n e rapidly in the 1 9 7 0 s . These trends p r o v i d e the basic flavour of the

268 m a c h o e m p h a s i s o v e r the p e r i o d . Van Til t a k e s the a n a l y s i s to

the level of c o m p a n i e s , then to the level of i n d i v i d u a l m a k e s , and e v e n to the level of p r i c e c l a s s . T h e r e are i n t e r e s t i n g

v a r i a t i o n s in the f i g u r e s at t h e s e l e v e l s but he d o e s not p r o vide a l o n g i t u d i n a l b r e a k d o w n . For the p u r p o s e s of t h i s d i s -

c u s s i o n the f i g u r e s at t h o s e l e v e l s , e v e n if s p r e a d o v e r t i m e ? w o u l d p r o v i d e l i t t l e to the a n a l y s i s . Van T i l ' s s t u d y s t r o n g l y s u g g e s t s t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y e x e r c i s e s r e l a t i o n a l c o n t r o l o v e r the m a r k e t . He

a r g u e s t h a t it is a b l e to s t r u c t u r e c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s and p r e f e r e n c e s ( o r i e n t a t i o n s ) and to c h a n n e l t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n s ( o u t c o m e s ) in d i r e c t i o n s f a v o u r a b l e to i t . Of c o u r s e , o t h e r

s t r a t e g i e s b e s i d e p r o d u c t d e s i g n and a d v e r t i s i n g are i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s of this p r o c e s s . A t the i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l , d e m a n d

may be s t r u c t u r e d by the i n d u s t r y and its a l l i e s t h r o u g h p u b l i c policies, location decisions, etc. A t t h i s level it is the arrangements

d e m a n d for m o b i l i t y w h i c h is s t r u c t u r e d by social

such as the s e p a r a t i o n of w o r k and h o m e , a v a i l a b l e h i g h w a y s , e t c . , w h i c h m a k e the a u t o m o b i l e a " n e c e s s i t y " . T h i s s t u d y has

c h o s e n to f o c u s on the o p e r a t i o n of the i n d u s t r y and its m a r ket w i t h i n t h i s c o n t e x t to e x a m i n e the d e v e l o p m e n t of the m e a n ing of the a u t o m o b i l e w i t h r e s p e c t to p e r f o r m a n c e m o t i v e s . The

a p p e a l s to m a c h i s m o in a d v e r t i s i n g , the s t r e a m l i n e d , s p e e d o r i e n t e d s t y l i n g , the h o r s e p o w e r -- all t h e s e a r e o n l y one p a r t of a w i d e n u m b e r of t h e m e s and s t r a t e g i e s . cant ones. But very s i g n i f i -

As a c o n s u m e r s a t i s f a c t i o n and an i n d u s t r y s t r a t e g y In the 1970s

it a p p a r e n t l y was e f f e c t i v e for q u i t e s o m e t i m e .

m a n y e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s c h a n g e d , the p e r f o r m a n c e m a r k e t r e a c h e d

269 s a t u r a t i o n a n d the s t r a t e g y b e c a m e l e s s e f f e c t i v e . This disand

c u s s i o n , as n o t e d , w i l l n o t a t t e m p t to a n a l y z e t h e c h a n g e s l e s s e n i n g of e f f e c t i v e n e s s of t h i s strategy.

Van Til's study and the other r e s e a r c h cited

resolves, the

s u g g e s t i v e l y at l e a s t , t h e c o n t r a s t i n g h y p o t h e s e s r e g a r d i n g b e h a v i o u r of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in t h e m a r k e t in f a v o u r of t h e m e t a - p o w e r v i e w . N o w it is t i m e to t e s t t h e

hypothesis The method-

about the industry's r e l a t i o n s h i p with hot r o d d i n g .

o l o g y to be e m p l o y e d w i l l be d i s c u s s e d in t h e n e x t s e c t i o n . Methodology Because hot rodding was once considered a deviant a c t i v i t y , there arises the q u e s t i o n of when the a u t o m o b i l e industry

c o u l d i n c o r p o r a t e and u t i l i z e h o t r o d d i n g , g i v e n t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y w e r e a w a r e of h o t r o d d i n g a t t h e t i m e it w a s d e v i a n t . pluralist/functionalist h y p o t h e s i s is t h a t t h e i n d u s t r y ' s The in-

t e r e s t in a n d p r o m o t i o n o f h o t r o d d i n g w i l l be f o u n d to o r i g i n a t e at a p o i n t in t i m e w h e n it has g r o w n to c o n s i d e r a b l e size

and has b e c o m e m o r e or l e s s p u b l i c l y a c c e p t a b l e -- f o r t h e i n d u s t r y is b o u n d by t h e c o m m o n v a l u e s y s t e m a n d c a n o n l y a c t w h e n p u b l i c v a l u e s s a y it is l e g i t i m a t e to do s o . w i l l be a p p l i e d to c o r r e c t a n y d e v i a t i o n . Sanctions can

The industry

o n l y c a t e r to a n e w and g r o w i n g m a r k e t , " g i v i n g t h e p u b l i c w h a t it w a n t s " . T h e m e t a - p o w e r h y p o t h e s i s is t h a t t h e industry's

r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h o t r o d d i n g w i l l be f o u n d to o r i g i n a t e a t a t i m e w h e n h o t r o d d i n g is s t i l l very much a deviant minority,

and t h e n a t u r e of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l b e o n e o f e x p l o i t a t i o n : b e c a u s e c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e i n t e r -

270 e s t s and s t r u c t u r e of the i n d u s t r y and b e c a u s e of c e r t a i n onmental c o n t i n g i n c i e s , the i n d u s t r y will lend its envir-

legitimacy legitimacy,

to h o t r o d d i n g in o r d e r to h e l p i t g r o w a n d a c h i e v e

t h i s in s p i t e o f p u b l i c o p i n i o n a g a i n s t h o t r o d d i n g in g e n e r a l . The r e s o l u t i o n of these d i f f e r i n g p o s i t i o n s will reof

q u i r e t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e c h a n g e s in a t t i t u d e s a n d a c t i o n s the two m a j o r cultural s e g m e n t s i n v o l v e d in t h i s discussion

since hot rodding first became "visible": automobile industry.

the p u b l i c and

the

The a t t i t u d e s of the p u b l i c m u s t be f o l shift

l o w e d o v e r t h i s p e r i o d o f t i m e to f i n d i f a n d w h e n t h e y f r o m v i e w i n g h o t r o d d i n g as d e v i a n t to l e g i t i m a t e .

The attithis as

tudes and a c t i o n s of the i n d u s t r y m u s t be f o l l o w e d over time

p e r i o d to f i n d o u t ( 1 ) i f it o n c e v i e w e d h o t r o d d i n g the

d e v i a n t a n d if a c h a n g e in a t t i t u d e o c c u r r e d a t r o u g h l y

s a m e t i m e a s t h e c h a n g e in p u b l i c a t t i t u d e o r , ( 2 ) if it v i e w ed h o t r o d d i n g as d e v i a n t a n d c h a n g e d i t s a t t i t u d e a t a p o i n t in t i m e m u c h e a r l i e r t h a n t h e c h a n g e in p u b l i c a t t i t u d e ward hot rodding. T h e b e s t s o u r c e s o f d a t a on t h e c h a n g e s in attitudes to-

and a c t i o n s required for this study are the mass media o u t l e t s 2 o f e a c h o f t h e c u l t u r a l s e g m e n t s in q u e s t i o n . H o w e v e r , b e c a u s e of the e x p l o r a t o r y n a t u r e of this study and time constraints, outlets itself represcase to

it is n o t p o s s i b l e to e x a m i n e all t h e p o s s i b l e m e d i a for each s e g m e n t .

H e n c e , this discussion will restrict

to t h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e m a s s c i r c u l a t i o n p e r i o d i c a l s entative of each segment between 1948 and 1968. In t h e

of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , the a n a l y s i s will be r e s t r i c t e d one periodical which best represents it. This will be

Business

271 Week. It is a r g u e d t h a t B u s i n e s s W e e k is in s o m e w a y s m o r e

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y than a t r a d e journal s u c h as A u t o m o t i v e I n d u s t r i e s . ( 1 ) B u s i n e s s W e e k ' s a u d i e n c e is

c o m p o s e d of the m a n a g e m e n t and e x e c u t i v e level almost e x c l u s i v e ly -it is n o t s o l d on t h e n e w s s t a n d s o r m a d e g e n e r a l l y a v a i l -

a b l e to t h e p u b l i c ( s u b s c r i p t i o n is t h e o n l y w a y to o b t a i n i t ) ; f u r t h e r , s u b s c r i b e r b a c k g r o u n d d a t a is r e g u l a r l y o b t a i n e d a n d updated. ( 2 ) T h i s a u d i e n c e is s p r e a d w i d e l y in m a n y different

t y p e s of b u s i n e s s e s a n d i n d u s t r i e s .

(3) T h e r e f o r e , t h e . a r t i c l e s type of b u s i n e s s

c o n t a i n e d in t h e p e r i o d i c a l w i l l c o v e r every

a c t i v i t y -- e s p e c i a l l y t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y s i n c e so m a n y o t h e r b u s i n e s s e s d e p e n d u p o n o r a r e in s o m e w a y r e l a t e d to i t . ( 4 ) T h e a r t i c l e s w i l l t e n d to g i v e m o r e p e n e t r a t i n g analyses, for

consider more f a c t o r s , e t c . , than a trade journal intended a homogeneous audience. For the p u b l i c , a mass c i r c u l a t i o n periodical will e x a m i n e d in o r d e r to g i v e t h e b e s t p o s s i b l e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a somewhat amorphous population.

be of

T h i s w i l l be Li fe m a g a z i n e .

O f all t h e n a t i o n a l m a g a z i n e s w h i c h a t t e m p t e d to be u n i v e r s a l in t h e i r a p p e a l , to be c a r r i e r s o f t h e m a i n s t r e a m p o p u l a r c u l t u r e , Li fe w a s t h e m o s t s u c c e s s f u l o v e r t h e p e r i o d u n d e r e x a m ination. It m a i n t a i n e d t h e h i g h e s t c i r c u l a t i o n , r a n g i n g from

2 1 . 8 m i l l i o n in 1 9 5 0 to 2 8 . 6 m i l l i o n in 1 9 7 0 .

Moreover, given

t h e s i m i l a r a p p e a l o f o t h e r p e r i o d i c a l s in t h i s c a t e g o r y a n d t h e i r s i m i l a r r e a d e r s h i p p r o f i l e s , t h e r e is l i t t l e to g a i n from sampling them ( B o g a r t , 1 9 6 7 ) . in h i s s t u d y : As V a n Til ( 1 9 7 5 : 2 4 ) s a y s

"If any m a g a z i n e r e p r e s e n t e d the pulse and

central t e n d e n c i e s of the c o n s u m p t i o n - o r i e n t e d A m e r i c a of the

272 l a s t d e c a d e s it w a s Li f e . " This study will e m p l o y a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s of the above n a m e d p e r i o d i c a l s o v e r t h e 21 y e a r p e r i o d o f 1 9 4 8 - 1 9 6 8 . The

unit of analysis for the p e r i o d i c a l s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the p u b l i c a n d t h e a u t o i n d u s t r y is t h e a r t i c l e , t h e m o s t unit for the r e q u i r e m e n t s of the research q u e s t i o n . conducive Articles

w i l l be i n c l u d e d in t h e s a m p l e on t h e b a s i s o f t h e i r h o t rod 3 c o n t e n t . A n a r t i c l e w i l l b e c a t e g o r i z e d as c o n t a i n i n g h o t rod c o n t e n t if it s p e c i f i c a l l y u s e s t h e w o r d s " h o t r o d " o r variants

t h e r e o f a n d / o r if it m e n t i o n s a n d / o r s h o w s p i c t u r e s o f d r a g r a c i n g , stock car r a c i n g , the B o n n e v i l l e Salts Flats r a c e s , car c u l t s , c u s t o m i z i n g , "hot" c a r s , etc. A r t i c l e s f r o m B u s i n e s s W e e k a n d Li fe w i l l be classified

for a n a l y s i s into the c a t e g o r i e s of f a v o u r a b l e , n e u t r a l , and u n f a v o u r a b l e on t h e b a s i s o f e x p r e s s e d o r i m p l i e d a t t i t u d e s t o ward hot rodding. A f a v o u r a b l e a r t i c l e f r o m Li fe w i l l define

t h e h o t r o d a n d t h e h o t r o d d e r as c u l t u r a l l y a c c e p t a b l e , it will e m p h a s i z e the hot r o d d e r ' s i n t e g r a t i o n into s o c i e t y , his b e c o m i n g r e s p e c t a b l e , his c o - o p e r a t i o n w i t h a g e n c i e s of a u t h o r ity, good d e e d s d o n e by h o t rod c l u b s ; it w i l l d e p i c t t h e h o t

r o d d e r as a g o o d c i t i z e n , m o r a l , i n t e l l i g e n t a n d l a w f u l , a n d it w i l l s t r e s s t h e g o o d p o i n t s o f h o t r o d d i n g s u c h as c o m p e t i tion, craftsmanship, etc. A favourable articlefrom Business

W e e k w i l l d e f i n e h o t r o d d i n g a n d r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s as e c o n o m i c a l l y l u c r a t i v e as i n v e s t m e n t p r o s p e c t s a n d w i l l e i t h e r portray a cultural not

image of the hot r o d d e r or p r e s e n t a p o s i rodder cite

t i v e o n e ; it w i l l t h u s c i t e d a t a i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e h o t

as c o m i n g i n t o his o w n , g a i n i n g p o p u l a r i t y , e t c . ; it w i l l

273 the p r o f i t a b i l i t y of hot r o d d i n g , how drag strips are making m o n e y a n d w h a t it t a k e s to g e t i n v o l v e d in o n e ; it w i l l the p r o m o t i o n a l a d v a n t a g e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n in and depict

sponsorship

of hot rodding e v e n t s . A n e g a t i v e a r t i c l e f r o m Li fe a n d / o r B u s i n e s s W e e k w i l l d e f i n e h o t r o d d i n g and r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s as d e v i a n t a n d d a n g e r o u s b e h a v i o u r ; it w i l l a s s o c i a t e it w i t h h e d o n i s m , killing,

and d e l i n q u e n c y ; it w i l l d e p i c t t h e h o t r o d d e r as u n l a w f u l , b a c k w a r d , i m m o r a l , e t c . , p a r t a k i n g in s u c h a c t i v i t i e s as s t r e e t d r a g r a c i n g and " c h i c k e n " ; it w i l l o n l y s h o w p i c t u r e s of t e r r i b l e a c c i d e n t s b o t h on t h e s t r e e t a n d a t h o t rod e v e n t s , o f t e n showing sequential p h o t o g r a p h s of c a r and d r i v e r f l y i n g to d e that A

s t r u c t i o n and d e a t h or d i s m e m b e r m e n t -- t h e r e b y i m p l y i n g h o t r o d d i n g is d a n g e r o u s a n d s h o u l d be n e g a t i v e l y v a l u e d . neutral a r t i c l e f r o m these two m a g a z i n e s will simply

describe

and d e p i c t h o t r o d s a n d / o r h o t r o d d i n g e v e n t s in a n a r r a t i v e f a s h i o n or w i l l p r e s e n t b o t h t h e n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e a n d a m o r e p o s i t i v e v i e w of t h e " h o t rod problem". in

T h e r e s u l t s of t h e c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s a r e r e p o r t e d the next c h a p t e r . is s u p p o r t e d . It is f o u n d t h a t t h e m e t a - p o w e r

hypothesis

In o r d e r to d e v e l o p an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i n -

c o r p o r a t i o n of h o t r o d d i n g by t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y in t h e e a r l y 1 9 5 0 s and c o n t i n u i n g t h r o u g h o u t t h e p e r i o d of t h i s s t u d y , an a n a l y t i c h i s t o r y w i l l be p r e s e n t e d w h i c h e x a m i n e s t h e n a t u r e o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n h o t r o d d i n g and t h e i n d u s t r y . a n a l y s i s will examine the h y p o t h e s e s that the i n c o r p o r a t i o n h o t r o d d i n g w i l l be b a s e d on s t r u c t u r a l / t e c h n o ! o g i c a l This of

and p r o -

d u c t d e s i g n c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , as w e l l as t h e p r i o r i t i e s o f t h e

274 manufacturers. It will focus at two l e v e l s : the i n d u s t r y

level and also at the m a n u f a c t u r e r l e v e l .

T h e l a t t e r f o c u s will

p r o v i d e i n s i g h t into the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s of c o r p o r a tions as well as the n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n m a n u facturers . The data for this a n a l y s i s has been drawn from n u m e r ous s o u r c e s . T r a d e j o u r n a l s and b u s i n e s s p e r i o d i c a l s have

been s e a r c h e d as well as the l i t e r a t u r e on a u t o m o t i v e h i s t o r y w r i t t e n by h i s t o r i a n s and by "auto b u f f s " . N u m e r o u s hours

have been s p e n t in the D e t r o i t P u b l i c L i b r a r y A u t o m o t i v e H i s t o r y C o l l e c t i o n a n a l y z i n g n e w s p a p e r c l i p p i n g s , p e r s o n a l f i l e s , and various enthusiast magazines. The W a y n e S t a t e L i b r a r y w a s

also u t i l i z e d as w a s the General M o t o r s S t y l i n g L i b r a r y and Research Library. were examined. At the l a t t e r v a r i o u s c o r p o r a t e documents

A g r e a t deal of time was s p e n t at the Ford Many c o r p o r a t e m e m o r a n d a and o t h e r p e r U.S. Government

A r c h i v e s in D e a r b o r n .

sonal f i l e s w e r e m a d e a v a i l a b l e for s t u d y .

I n v e s t i g a t i o n C o m m i t t e e r e p o r t s w e r e also e x a m i n e d in such a r e a s as t r a f f i c s a f e t y , d e a l e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a n t i - t r u s t l a w s , economic concentration, etc. T h e s e s o u r c e s w e r e s u p p l e m e n t e d by i n t e r v i e w s with industry personnel. General M o t o r s D e s i g n was m o s t c o - o p e r a t i v e

in a l l o w i n g a c c e s s but p e r s o n n e l there w e r e of little help in p r o v i d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the d e c i s i o n s and a c t i o n s d u r i n g the p e r i o d in q u e s t i o n . h i s t o r i a n , has c o m m e n t e d : To many GM e x e c u t i v e s , h i s t o r y is that w h i c h h a p p e n e d last w e e k . GM p r i d e s itself on l o o k i n g ahead not b a c k . A l s o the As David L e w i s , a noted automotive

275 c o r p o r a t i o n is a l w a y s j i t t e r y a b o u t p o s sible anti-trust a c t i o n , over the years h a v e b e l i e v e d it p r u d e n t to d e s t r o y " s e n s i t i v e " r e c o r d s l e s t t h e y fall i n t o the wrong hands (Lewis, 1 9 7 9 : 6 2 ) . L e w i s a l s o n o t e s t h a t A l f r e d S l o a n ' s My Y e a r s w i t h General it

M o t o r s t o o k two y e a r s to be p u b l i s h e d a f t e r he had w r i t t e n because 6 M c o r p o r a t e l a w y e r s had to e d i t it s e v e r e l y . It w a s o n l y S l o a n ' s s t e r n

They

kept delaying publication.

insist-

a n c e t h a t f i n a l l y got it p u b l i s h e d at a l l . M o r e o v e r , m a n y of t h e h i s t o r i c a l i n t e r e s t s in t h i s d i s cussion are "walking history". T h a t i s , it is still in the

h e a d s of t h o s e w h o w e r e p r e s e n t at s i g n i f i c a n t e v e n t s b u t w h o n e v e r f o u n d t h e t i m e or t h e i n c l i n a t i o n to r e c o r d i t . Add to

this t h a t in the l a t e 1 9 5 0 s w h e n the A M A a g r e e m e n t on r a c i n g and a d v e r t i s i n g w a s in e f f e c t m u c h a c t i v i t y w a s "underground". about Motors

T h o s e s t i l l in the c o r p o r a t i o n s a r e n o t w i l l i n g to t a l k t h e i r n e f a r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s of e a r l i e r y e a r s . the ban w a s n e v e r l i f t e d . At General

T h a n k f u l l y , one e x - G M

engineer engineer-

w r o t e a b o u t s o m e of t h e a c t i v i t i e s g o i n g on in G M ing d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d (Van V a l k e n b u r g h , 1972).

FOOTNOTES 1 S e e , for e x a m p l e , the i n t e r e s t i n g w o r k on the s i g n i f i c a n c e of r a i l r o a d s in A m e r i c a n e c o n o m i c h i s t o r y . R o b e r t F o g e l ' s ( 1 9 6 4 ) R a i l r o a d s and A m e r i c a n E c o n o m i c G r o w t h a t t e m p t s to a s s e s s the m a g n i t u d e of the s t i m u l a t i o n the d e v e l o p m e n t of r a i l r a o d s (circa 1 8 9 0 ) had on the e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of " c o u n t e r f a c t u a l p r o p o s i t i o n s " and t h e i r e v a l u a t i o n t h r o u g h q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s . He f o c u s e s on the social s a v i n g s in the t r a n s p o r t of a g r i c u l t u r a l g o o d s and on the d e m a n d for A m e r i c a n iron ( 1 8 4 0 - 1 8 6 0 ) . A l b e r t F i s h l o w ' s ( 1 9 6 5 ) s t u d y of r a i l r o a d s and t h e i r i m p a c t on the A m e r i c a n anteb e l l u m e c o n o m y c o n s i d e r s a w i d e r r a n g e of p o s s i b l e i n f l u e n c e s than F o g e l ' s s t u d y , but has as its goal the a s s e s s m e n t of r a i l r o a d s in l i g h t of the way t h i n g s m i g h t h a v e been w i t h o u t r a i l roads . 2 A s u b s t a n t i a l l i t e r a t u r e s u p p o r t s the n o t i o n t h a t comm u n i c a t i o n r e f l e c t s the c o n d i t i o n s of s o c i e t y to a g r e a t e x t e n t , H e n c e , c h a n g e s in t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s will show up in the c o n t e n t of the m e d i a of c o m m u n i c a t i o n . S e e , for e x a m p l e , L o w e n t h a l , 1 9 4 8 , 1 9 6 1 ; J o h n s - H e i n e and G a r t h , 1 9 4 9 ; O l s o n , 1 9 7 6 ; G e r b n e r and H o l s t i , 1 9 6 8 ; H o l s t i , 1 9 6 9 ; P o o l , 1 9 5 9 . 3 N o t e : b e c a u s e of the l i m i t e d n u m b e r of a r t i c l e s r e lating to hot r o d d i n g , the s a m p l e in this s t u d y is a c t u a l l y the p o p u l a t i o n , that i s , all a r t i c l e s r e l a t i n g to hot r o d d i n g in B u s i n e s s Week and L i f e .

276

CHAPTER

10 ANALYSIS

T H E F I N D I N G S OF T H E C O N T E N T

In o r d e r to gain k n o w l e d g e of the a t t i t u d e s of the g e n eral p u b l i c and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y (and the b u s i n e s s com-

m u n i t y in g e n e r a l ) t o w a r d h o t r o d d i n g , a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s of a r t i c l e s in r e p r e s e n t a t i v e m a s s c i r c u l a t i o n p e r i o d i c a l s 1 9 4 8 and 1 9 6 8 w a s p e r f o r m e d . between are deal

T h e r e s u l t s of t h i s a n a l y s i s

s u m m a r i z e d in T a b l e 10.1 w h i c h s h o w s the n u m b e r of a r t i c l e s ing w i t h h o t r o d d i n g d u r i n g t h i s t i m e p e r i o d c l a s s i f i e d ing to the a t t i t u d e e x h i b i t e d t o w a r d h o t r o d d i n g .

accord-

From this

t a b l e it is seen t h a t Li fe m a g a z i n e m a i n t a i n s n e g a t i v e s e n t i m e n t s a b o u t hot r o d d i n g until 1 9 5 6 w h e r e u p o n t h e y s o f t e n to a n e u t r a l p o s i t i o n , s u b s e q u e n t l y s h i f t i n g to f a v o r a b l e in 1 9 6 3 . H o w e v e r , in the c a s e of B u s i n e s s W e e k it is f o u n d t h a t hot r o d d i n g a t t i t u d e s b e g i n and r e m a i n f a v o r a b l e -- e v e n d u r i n g l a t e f o r t i e s and e a r l y f i f t i e s w h e n L i f e w a s p r e s e n t i n g i m a g e s o f the h o t r o d d e r . By 1 9 6 3 w h e n Li fe b e g i n s the negative

presenting articles table by

p o s i t i v e i m a g e s of the h o t r o d d e r , 48 p e r c e n t of the had a p p e a r e d in B u s i n e s s W e e k .

A l s o a p p a r e n t f r o m this

is the r e l a t i v e l y h i g h e r d e g r e e of i n t e r e s t in hot r o d d i n g the e n t r e p r e n e u r than the p u b l i c as e v i d e n c e d m o r e than as m a n y a r t i c l e s in B u s i n e s s W e e k as in Li f e .

twice in-

The articles

c l u d e d in the s a m p l e p o p u l a t i o n are l i s t e d in A p p e n d i c e s A and B. P u b l i c A t t i t u d e s in L i f e To i l l u s t r a t e the c h a n g i n g " h o t r o d " a t t i t u d e s contain-

ed in Li fe o v e r the t w e n t y y e a r s b e t w e e n 1 9 4 8 and 1 9 6 8 , s o m e 277

TABLE 10.1 FREQUENCY AND EXHIBITED ATTITUDE TOWARD HOT RODDING OF ARTICLES AKIlLLLb IN L i Ft AND BUSlNtSS WELK. MAGAZ1NLS, Iy48-1968 LIFE
Year Favorable Neutral Unfavorable BUSINESS WEEK Favor- Neutral Unfavor-

able

able

1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968

1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2

1

1 2

1

5 3 2 2 1 1

Total

1

5

6 * 12

27

= 27

278

279 q u o t a t i o n s f r o m and d e s c r i p t i o n s of the a r t i c l e s will be p r e sented. To s u p p l e m e n t t h i s d i s c u s s i o n s e v e r a l r e f e r e n c e s will A prime

be m a d e to a r t i c l e s c o n t a i n e d in o t h e r p e r i o d i c a l s .

e x a m p l e of the u n f a v o r a b l e a t t i t u d e t o w a r d hot r o d d i n g e x h i b i t ed in Li fe is the a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "The 'Hot Rod' P r o b l e m ; T e e n a g e r s O r g a n i z e to E x p e r i m e n t w i t h M e c h a n i z e d S u i c i d e " w h i c h a p p e a r e d in the N o v e m b e r 7 , 1949 i s s u e . The article opens with

s e v e r a l p i c t u r e s of a c c i d e n t s and t h e i r a f t e r m a t h s w i t h the f o l lowing caption: " T a k e n f r o m Los A n g e l e s P o l i c e and n e w s p a p e r

f i l e s t h e s e p i c t u r e s d o c u m e n t the d e a t h and i n j u r y of a d o z e n h a r d - d r i v i n g y o u n g s t e r s in r e c e n t m o n t h s . At e x t r e m e r i g h t p o l -

i c e m a n h o l d s f i s t f u l of l i c e n s e s c o n f i s c a t e d f r o m h o t - r o d d e r s w h o , a l t h o u g h they h a v e b e e n j a i l e d , are at l e a s t s a f e . " t e x t of the a r t i c l e r u n s in p a r t : . . ."Hot r o d " c l u b s h a v e s p r u n g up e v e r y w h e r e . In the 1 8 - 2 5 age r a n g e the n u m b e r of a c c i d e n t s p e r c a p i t a is t w i c e n o r m a l . Insurance c o m p a n i e s , scanning this phenom e n o n , h a v e had to i n c r e a s e r a t e s s u b s t a n t i a l l y f o r any c a r -- i n c l u d i n g the f a m i l y s e d a n -- d r i v e n by a n y o n e in t h i s age g r o u p . In Los A n g e l e s and D a l l a s , w h e r e "hot r o d d i n g " is at its p e a k , h u n d r e d s of y o u n g s t e r s s p e n d t h e i r s p a r e t i m e in s u i c i d a l g a m e s on w h e e l s , s o m e of w h i c h are r e - e n a c t e d b e l o w and on p a g e 1 2 4 . In o t h e r l o c a l i t i e s t h e y p l a y " p e d e s t r i a n p o l o -- j u s t b r u s h 'em, d o n ' t hit 'em," or " c r i n k l e f e n d e r -- no smashes." . . . the y o u n g s t e r s h a v e o r g a n i z e d to toy w i t h s u i c i d e . T h e " s u i c i d a l g a m e s on w h e e l s " w h i c h are p i c t o r i a l l y described The

are " r o t a t i o n " , "drag r a c i n g " , and s e v e r a l v a r i e t i e s of " c h i c k e n " A l s o m e n t i o n e d in the a r t i c l e is the p r e v a l e n c e of s t r e e t r a c ing at n i g h t and the d a n g e r of such p r a c t i c e s . T h e l a s t p a r t of the a r t i c l e b e a r s the c a p t i o n , "The

280 Gents Club Re-Organizes." and c e r t a i n l y i m p l i e s t h a t t h e t y p i c -

al h o t rod c l u b is an o r g a n i z a t i o n o f d e l i n q u e n c y and d e a t h . U p o n t h e d e a t h of his 17 y e a r old s o n , W a l d o P e n d l e t o n to r e - o r g a n i z e t h e G e n t s C l u b , a h o t - r o d o u t f i t o f w h i c h s o n had b e e n a m e m b e r "helped his

T h e c l u b n o w has s t r i c t s a f e t y r u l e s , informal

a p l e d g e to p r o m o t e s a f e d r i v i n g , a n d f r i e n d l y a n d m e e t i n g s w i t h the p o l i c e .

"Since the r e - o r g a n i z a t i o n , not one received

o f t h e 26 m e m b e r s has b e e n i n j u r e d , and o n l y f o u r h a v e traffic tickets."

T h e t e c h n i q u e of p r e s e n t i n g s p e c t a c u l a r p h o t o g r a p h s p h o t o g r a p h s e q u e n c e s of h o t rod a c c i d e n t s a n d m e n t i o n i n g a b o u t o t h e r a s p e c t s of h o t r o d d i n g -- t h u s i m p l y i n g t h e

and

nothing terrible --

d a n g e r s to b o t h d r i v e r s and i n n o c e n t o n l o o k e r s of h o t r o d d i n g is w e l l u s e d in L i f e . For e x a m p l e , the a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "A

S t o c k C a r R a c e r G o e s O u t o f C o n t r o l " ( M a r c h 1 6 , 1 9 5 3 ) is m e r e l y a s e r i e s o f s i x s e q u e n t i a l p h o t o g r a p h s of a s t o c k c a r r a c e a c c i dent with the following c a p t i o n s . P i c t u r e (1) "Circling Driver's track head

at G a r d i n a , C a l i f o r n i a , c a r n o . 6 4 f l i p s o v e r . comes out of w i n d o w . " P i c t u r e (2)

"tumbling c a r , the

driver's camera," it-

h e a d s t i l l o u t , is c a u g h t by p h o t o g r a p h e r ' s s e q u e n t i a l Picture (3)

" f o r an i n s t a n t t h e c a r s e e m s to be r i g h t i n g P i c t u r e (4)

self and the driver a p p e a r s s a f e , "

"but the tumscudd-

bling c o n t i n u e s , d r i v e r remains caught and a wheel goes ing o f f t " P i c t u r e (5)

" a n d on his v e h i c l e ' s s e c o n d t i m e o v e r , Picture (6)

t h e d r i v e r ' s h e a d ( l o w e r l e f t ) is s m a s h e d i n , "

"as a n o t h e r r a c e r s h i r t s t h e w r e c k e d c a r and its l o s t w h e e l comes circling crazily by." C e n t e r e d on t h e p a g e a t t h e b o t t o m

281 in l a r g e b o l d p r i n t is the c o m m e n t : "He w a s t r y i n g to t a k e underneath:

d a n g e r o u s c h a n c e s " w i t h the f o l l o w i n g s t o r y l i n e

B e f o r e he l e f t P e n n s y l v a n i a for t h e n a tional stock car speed c h a m p i o n s h i p s , the 34 y e a r - o l d d r i v e r of Car 6 4 , H a r o l d F. M o r s e , had t o l d f r i e n d s he w a s g o i n g to p l a y it s a f e . C o n s i d e r i n g his w i f e and f i v e c h i l d r e n , he s a i d , he w o u l d try o n l y f o r t h i r d or f o u r t h p l a c e . He w a s g o i n g o n l y 8 5 m p h a f t e r f i n i s h i n g the 9 9 t h lap of the 2 0 0 - l a p r a c e w h e n the r e a r a x l e b r o k e and the fatal f l i p over began. A s i m i l a r a r t i c l e a p p e a r s in the A u g u s t 9, 1 9 4 8 i s s u e b e a r i n g the t i t l e : " T r a g e d y on t h e T r a c k ; R a c i n g A r o u n d South

T u r n on I n d i a n a S p e e d w a y , R a c i n g C a r F l i p s i n t o A i r , C u t s Leg O f f Its D r i v e r . " A s e q u e n c e of six p h o t o g r a p h s is s h o w n w i t h

the f o l l o w i n g c a p t i o n s ( n o t e the a d j e c t i v e s and m e t a p h o r s w h i c h are u s e d ) : . . . in a s q u e a l i n g , t h u m p i n g c r a s h E p p e r l y ' s r a c e r j u m p e d o f f the t r a c k as if it had b e e n catapulted. While Epperly desperately fought to g e t b a c k o n t o the t r a c k t h e car s k i d d e d r i g h t up t h e e m b a n k m e n t s i d e w a y s ( p i c t u r e 2 ) , h i t the s h o u l d e r a n d , l i k e a m o n s t r o u s g r a s s h o p p e r , f l i p p e d i n t o t h e a i r b o t t o m s i d e up ( p i c t u r e 3 ) . As t h e t w i s t i n g c a r p l u n g e d b a c k d o w n to e a r t h O r v i l l E p p e r l y w a s t h r o w n o u t of his c o c k p i t ( p i c t u r e 4 ) . B u t as the c a r fell f r o m u n d e r him t h e c o w l i n g c a u g h t him in t h e l e f t l e g , s l i c e d it o f f at t h e k n e e . T h e n the c a r , s l a m m i n g its tail i n t o the g r o u n d and f l i p p i n g end o v e r e n d , s m a c k e d its i n j u r e d d r i v e r in m i d - a i r ( p i c t u r e 5 ) , s e n d i n g him f l y ing o f f t h e t r a c k w h i l e h i s s e v e r e d leg fell a m o n g the d e b r i s ( c e n t e r p i c t u r e 6 ) . W h i l e it is the c a s e t h a t O r v i l l E p p e r l y m a n a g e d to surv i v e t h i s a c c i d e n t , t h e a r t i c l e q u i c k l y r e m o v e s any r e l i e f the r e a d e r m i g h t feel by n o t i n g : . . . but Epperly was lucky. Six weeks b e f o r e , on a n e a r b y t r a c k , a n o t h e r d r i v e r had s k i d d e d w h i l e g o i n g too f a s t on a t u r n . His c a r s m a s h ed i n t o a w i r e f e n c e and he w a s s l i c e d up so b a d i l y he w a s d e a d w i t h i n two h o u r s .

282 In "The Grim Death of Racing Driver Rex M a y s " , published in Li fe (November 2 1 , 1949) a series of nine photographs show how "20,000 Californians see him (Rex M a y s ) hurled from his car and run over before other drivers can be flagged d o w n . " S e l f - e x p l a n a t o r y is "A Doomed Driver in a Mantel of F l a m e s " which appeared on p. 29 of the February 9, 1954 i s s u e . The years 1953 through 1956 may be viewed as the transition period during which the u n f a v o u r a b l e hot rod attitudes slowly change to more neutral a t t i t u d e s . It is found that the

negative pictorial essays of the earlier period as described above exist together with several pictorial essays which d e s cribe or report in a factual manner several hot rod activities of a less dangerous and less spectacular nature than stock car racing, etc. The first of these " n e u t r a l " essays appeared in

the S e p t e m b e r 2 8 , 1953 issue in the d e p a r t m e n t known as "Speaking of P i c t u r e s " . The subheading was t i t l e d , "These Strange

Shapes Set Speed Marks on Salt F l a t s " , and the body of the text ran as f o l l o w s : The glistening salt flats of B o n n e v i l l e , Utah were overrun this month by some of the oddest shapes the motor age has produced. They were some 300 hot rods brought to the flats to take part in the fifth annual Hot Rod Time T r i a l s . The class known as " l a k e s t e r s " , because they were developed for racing on dried-up lake b e d s , were made from airplane wing and belly t a n k s . The "competition c o u p e s " and "modified roads t e r s " had cutdown bodies and grotesquely elongated engine h o o d s . There was a motorcyle that looked like a t o r p e d o . All c a r s , no matter what their s h a p e s , were \/ery f a s t . Several of them bettered 200 miles per h o u r , and before the trials were over 15 new records had been set in various c l a s s e s . Next in the July 1 9 , 1954 Li fe came "The Dessert's Dune

283 B u g s ; Hot R o d d e r s Build T h e i r Own H o m e l y , H a l f - P i n t Cars that Run on the S a n d " , w h i c h d e s c r i b e s the f o r e r u n n e r s of t o d a y ' s dune b u g g i e s : W h e r e the long belly of a stock car w o u l d catch going over peaks of s a n d , l e a v i n g its w h e e l s d a n g l i n g fore and a f t , the d e s e r t hot rod's s h o r t 6-foot w h e e l b a s e lets it roll s a f e l y o v e r . The d r i v e r sits over the rear a x l e . The tires are f l a b b y and comp l e t e l y i n n o c e n t of t r e a d . But the u n g a i n ly dune bug is a g i l e e n o u g h to s c r a m b l e up soft s l o p e s as steep as a ski j u m p a t 4 0 m p h . On w e e k e n d s the roar of dune bugs s h a t t e r s the d e s e r t s i l e n c e as they play tag over the s a n d s , c o m b i n i n g the t h r i l l s of racing with the s t o m a c h - t u r n i n g dips and turns of a r o l l e r c o a s t e r . . . . dune bugs s o m e t i m e s tip over on turns but the s o f t sand p r e v e n t s casualti e s . From 1957 to 1962 a b a s i c a l l y neutral p o s i t i o n in terms of r e p o r t i n g is m a i n t a i n e d in L i f e , that i s , the a r t i c l e s m a d e an e f f o r t to r e p o r t both sides of the hot rod " p r o b l e m " as this p r o b l e m came to c e n t e r on drag r a c i n g . of the a r t i c l e , "The Drag Racing R a g e " this c a p t i o n : The index description

(April 2 9 , 1 9 5 7 ) , h a s

"Drag r a c i n g , the t e e n - a g e s p o r t of s t r i p p e d - d o w n

cars and s o u p e d - u p e n g i n e s , s h i f t s into high gear and sets off a national controversy." T h e s u b - h e a d i n g of the a r t i c l e r e a d s , Is

"Hot R o d d e r s Grow in N u m b e r s but the Road to R e s p e c t a b i l i t y a Rough O n e . "

The text of the a r t i c l e d e s c r i b e s the growth of

drag r a c i n g , and p r e s e n t s the views of both hot r o d d e r s and s a f e t y g r o u p s on the s p o r t : Drag racing started as a p o s t w a r t e e n - a g e i n f a t u a t i o n with s o u p e d - u p cars in w h i c h speed crazy kids raced s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y at 80 or 90 m i l e s per hour over lonely r o a d s , s c a r i n g o r dinary d r i v e r s to d e a t h . Now in many p l a c e s in the U . S . it has come out into the open as a r e s p e c t a b l e -- and c o n t r o l l e d -- s p o r t . An

284 event like that shown below is no longer uncommon -- a drag meet at Santa A n a , C a l i f . , w h e r e 3,000 s p e c t a t o r s and 328 c o n t e s t a n t s turned out for races held with the b l e s s i n g of the local p o l i c e • • • But as the sport grows so does the c o n troversy over it. Safety groups and some police o f f i c i a l s feel that the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of speed on the strips infects the t e e n a g e r s with a fatal s p i r i t of d e r r i n g - d o on the highways. • • . Illegal drag r a c i n g , the bane of both police and of r e s p e c t a b l e hot rodders c o n cerned for the good name of d r a g g i n g , is p r e v a l e n t in places like New O r l e a n s which have no legal s t r i p s . But even in the Los Angeles areas w h i c h has six s t r i p s , s o m e times hot rodders race i l l e g a l l y at night when the strips are closed [several pictures of illegal s t r e e t races are presented]} . . . Until r e c e n t l y the c o n t r o v e r s y over drag racing has been at a local l e v e l . Some police d e p a r t m e n t s m a d e peace with hot rod c l u b s , found them strips and got along fine with the hot rodders and their r a c i n g . Others have had nothing to do with e i t h e r . But in S e p t ember of last y e a r the I n t e r n a t i o n a l A s s o c i a tion of Police Chiefs raised the c o n t r o v e r s y to a national l e v e l . At a c o n v e n t i o n in C h i c a g o , the chiefs c o n d e m n e d hot-rod club speed c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h , they f e l t , inspired p a r t i c i p a n t s and s p e c t a t o r s to drive r e c k l e s s ly on the h i g h w a y s . Then the National Safety Council also came out a g a i n s t drag r a c i n g . R e c e n t l y , S c o o n e y - V a c u u m and M o b i l g a s , which had supported a hot-rod safety t o u r , bowed out and left h o t - r o d d e r s to shift for t h e m s e l v e s . Drag s u p p o r t e r s like N . H . R . A . P r e s i d e n t Wally Parks argue that p o l i c e who have been in c o n t a c t with s a n c t i o n e d drag racing l o n g e s t are usually its s t r o n g e s t s u p p o r t e r s . One of these is Ralph P a r k e r , police chief at P o m o n a , C a l i f . He has stated that although Pomona has grown more than a third since it opened its drag strip in 1 9 5 0 , the a c c i d e n t rate for the under-20 group there has d e c r e a s e d six p e r c e n t . In all C a l i f o r n i a it has gone up 45 p e r c e n t . To this a u t h o r i t i e s of the C a l i f o r n i a Highway Patrol reply that C a l i f o r n i a , Holy Land of D r a g g i n g , also led the nation last y e a r in highway deaths and i n j u r i e s . In spite of the attacks hot-rod clubs continue to gain 1,500 new m e m b e r s a month and A m e r i c a n s . . . seem destined to hear a lot

285 more about dragging . . . {"a list of drag racing terms is p r e s e n t e d ^ . The controversy sparked by the growth of drag racing is reflected in other p e r i o d i c a l s and statements by public agencies at this time. A national survey was undertaken in

1956 by the National Safety Council which summarized its results thusly: Traffic o f f i c i a l s and others submitted nearly four hundred r e p l i e s . Sixty percent listed existing clubs and seventy percent contained t a b u l a t a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n . The total report indicated information on about nearly two thousand clubs in nearly two hundred c i t i e s . The m a j o r i t y of the reports (sixtyseven p e r c e n t ) indicated a personal opinion in favor of hot rod club a c t i v i t i e s except where they involve c o m p e t i t i v e speed cont e s t s . They indicated that hot-rod a c t i v i ties related to safety should be encouraged unless they are e x p e d i e n t m e a s u r e s to gain public support for the actual goal of o b t a i n ing a drag strip for speed c o m p e t i t i o n e v e n t s . On the basis of these r e s u l t s , the Council put forward these recommendati o n s : The National Safety Council opposes speed c o n t e s t s . Since speed violations are so often involved in traffic a c c i d e n t s the National Safety Council cannot condone speeding even in the name of c o m p e t i t i o n . The Council feels that public interest would be better served if the energy and enthusiasm now devoted to drag racing were channeled into more c o n s t r u c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s . Economy r u n s , driver clinics and leadership in traffic safety programs are examples of desirable outlets for interest in automobile and driver a b i l i t y . Although clubs known by the general term "hot rod" often engage in many w o r t h while activities it is apparent that the chief purpose of such o r g a n i z a t i o n s is promotion of racing e v e n t s . The National Safety Council therefore recommends that traffic a u t h o r i t i e s and safety o r g a n i z a t i o n s refrain from e n d o r s i n g ,

286 s u p p o r t i n g , or p a r t i c i p a t i n g in s p e e d events (Recreation, March, 1 9 5 7 , p . 7 2 ) . In 1 9 5 7 the A m e r i c a n S o c i e t y o f P l a n n i n g O f f i c i a l s pub-

l i s h e d a t h i r t y - o n e - p a g e r e p o r t , H o t R o d s , C a r C l u b s and D r a g S t r i p s , in w h i c h t h e y o p i n e d : "All c l a s h e s o f o p i n i o n s on t h i s under

s u b j e c t can be l e s s e n e d , h o w e v e r , if d r a g r a c e s a r e h e l d

p r o p e r s u p e r v i s i o n at a s i t e t h a t h o l d s to a m i n i m u m t h e c h a n c e s f o r acci d e n t . " Recreation, a service publication affiliated with the

N a t i o n a l R e c r e a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n and d i r e c t e d to m e m b e r s o f p u b l i c and p r i v a t e r e c r e a t i o n o r g a n i z a t i o n s , d e v o t e d a r e l a t i v e l y a m o u n t o f s p a c e to t h i s c o n t r o v e r s y a t t h i s t i m e . large

It p u b l i s h e d

an a r t i c l e on t e e n - a g e d r i v e r s c o v e r i n g s e v e r a l h o t rod c l u b s in J a n u a r y , 1 9 5 7 , p u b l i s h e d the r e s u l t s and s t a t e m e n t o f the N a t i o n a l S a f e t y C o u n c i l ' s s u r v e y in M a r c h , 1 9 5 7 , and in J u n e , 1 9 5 7 it ran an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d , " D r a g S t r i p s vs No D r a g S t r i p s ; Pro and C o n D i s c u s s i o n . " In F e b r u a r y , 1 9 5 8 , it p u b l i s h e d "Are

H o t R o d s R e a l l y ' H o t ' ? " a n d a f e a t u r e on h o w R o c k l a n d , M a i n e s o l v e d its h o t rod p r o b l e m , as t o l d by its p o l i c e c h i e f . On a m o r e n a t i o n a l l e v e l , in the S a t u r d a y E v e n i n g Post

several articles were published dealing with this

controversy.

O n e w a s in t h e S e p t e m b e r 2 2 , 1 9 5 6 i s s u e e n t i t l e d , " H o w C a n W e T a k e the H e a t O u t o f the H o t R o d s ? " and a n o t h e r in the November

1 6 , 1 9 5 7 i s s u e , " S t o p Us B e f o r e W e Kill A g a i n " , in w h i c h "a w o r l d - f a m o u s road-race driver calls for the a b o l i t i o n of this murderous sport. He t e l l s w h y it has b e c o m e too d e a d l y for

d r i v e r and s p e c t a t o r a l i k e . " By t h e a d v e n t o f the s i x t i e s the e d i t o r s of Li fe had

287 a p p a r e n t l y felt the d i l e m m a r e s o l v e d in f a v o r of hot r o d d i n g and drag r a c i n g , a l t h o u g h they could only e x p l a i n the r e s o l u tion on the basis of a fetish for s p e e d . In the June 1 3 , 1960

issue they p u b l i s h e d " B l a s t i n g Off to the R a c e s ; That Hotted Up U . S . C r a z e " , w h i c h d e s c r i b e d the e n o r m o u s growth in p o p u l a r ity of not only drag r a c i n g , but all forms of a u t o m o b i l e racing.

H e a d i n g the a r t i c l e is a t h r e e - q u a r t e r page p h o t o g r a p h of a d r a g s t e r p o p p i n g its p a r a c h u t e at 171 mph on a M i n n e a p o l i s strip. drag

R e f e r r i n g to d r a g s t e r s such as t h i s , the a r t i c l e o p e n s : The m o n s t e r s looked like i m p o r t s from M a r s . They b l a s t e d off in b u r s t s of s m o k e and d i d n ' t -- or c o u l d n ' t -- stop until a p a r a c h u t e was s n a p p e d out b e h i n d . And, g e n e r a l l y , they w e n t m a d l y around in c i r c l e s , in a new and p r o d i g i o u s s u r g e of the old U . S . craze for going fast in a n y t h i n g with four w h e e l s and an e n g i n e . And by 1 9 6 3 , the e d i t o r s of Li fe p r o c l a i m e d t h a t drag

racing had finally m a d e it to the big time with an a r t i c l e entitled "Man, What a Drag! (September 2 0 , 1963). B i z a r r e Hot Rods Go R e s p e c t a b l e " three-quarter

The a r t i c l e d e v o t e s two and

pages to ten p h o t o g r a p h s of d r a g s t e r s , a l t e r e d s , and m o d i f i e d s in v a r i o u s stages of drag racing a c t i o n . The text d e s c r i b e s

the v a r i o u s types of m a c h i n e s and p o i n t s to the s a f e t y and organizational aspects of the s p o r t : The f i e r c e - l o o k i n g c r e a t u r e above and the s h i n i n g h u m a n o i d at r i g h t are d e n i z e n s of s t r i p s of a s p h a l t w h e r e they m e e t w i t h o t h e r s of t h e i r kind to c o m p e t e in the now r e s p e c t a b l e and r a p i d l y g r o w i n g s p o r t of drag r a c i n g . . . . Its [[drag racing's]} p r a c t i c e was once limited to suicidal t e e n agers who raced s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y in f e n d e r f l a p p i n g junk p i l e s . But today d r a g g i n g is o r g a n i z e d and out in the o p e n . The h o t test hot r o d d e r s , like the d r i v e r at r i g h t ,

288 are o u t f i t t e d in safety g e a r , and they tour the c o u n t r y ' s many s u p e r v i s e d d r a g strips to race for t r o p h i e s and big prizes at m e e t s w h i c h may draw up to 7 5 , 0 0 0 spectators. H o w e v e r , this new found r e s p e c t a b i l i t y was not a c c e p t ed at face value by c e r t a i n p e o p l e . In 1962 Li fe's c o m p e t i t o r ,

the S a t u r d a y Evening Post p u b l i s h e d an a r t i c l e by O.D. S h i p l e y , the C o m m i s s i o n e r of T r a f f i c Safety for the S t a t e of P e n n s y l v a n i a , e n t i t l e d "Why Do We T o l e r a t e Drag S t r i p s ? Drive Like M a n i a c s on W h e e l s . " They Teach P e o p l e to

Mr. Shipley vigorously attacks

both hot r o d d e r s and drag racing and a t t e m p t s to b o l s t e r his a r g u m e n t by e x t e n s i v e use of hot rod a c c i d e n t s t a t i s t i c s . heart of his a r g u m e n t i s : A lot of n o n s e n s e has been p u b l i s h e d a b o u t the great v a l u e of "letting y o u n g f e l l o w s get the speed bug out of t h e i r s y s t e m s on drag s t r i p s " , and a b o u t the e d u c a t i o n a l a d v a n t a g e of p e r m i t t i n g t e e n - a g e r s to soup up a n c i e n t c l u n k e r s until they can c h a l l e n g e any car on the r o a d . . . . B e f o r e y o u fall for that p l a u s i b l e b a l o n e y , check with a few p o l i c e and t r a f f i c safety e x p e r t s . Some y e a r s a g o , w h e n hot rods and drag races on the open h i g h w a y s first b e c a m e a m e n a c e , a n u m b e r of o f f i c i a l s did go to the t r o u b l e of s e t t i n g up o f f highway drag strips in the hope that y o u n g sters could race s a f e l y and l e a r n , w i t h a d u l t s u p e r v i s i o n , s o m e t h i n g about safe d r i v i n g and the rules of the road. It was a happy t h o u g h t , but it d i d n ' t s o l v e the p r o b l e m . . . . But for the hot rod m a j o r i t y , a n i g h t or two of drag racing e\/ery w e e k , under the eyes of police o f f i c e r s and c o m m u n i t y v o l u n t e e r s , proved pretty t a m e . They kept r i g h t on racing on the h i g h w a y s , using the " a p p r o v e d " drag strip to p r a c t i c e their lethal a r t . Lawe n f o r c e m e n t o f f i c i a l s w e r e r e l u c t a n t to admit they'd been w r o n g , but the m a j o r i t y have now soured on the p l a n , and m o s t of the " a p p r o v e d " strips have been closed d o w n . But the c o m m e r c i a l drag s t r i p h a s n ' t . T h i s , to my m i n d , is a h o r r i b l e e x a m p l e of The

289 m a k i n g m o n e y out of one of m a n k i n d ' s m o s t unpleasant instincts... I am c o n vinced that drag s t r i p s teach the w o r s t p o s s i b l e type of d r i v i n g to both p a r t i c i pants and s p e c t a t o r s , and t h a t the l e s s o n s learned at the drag s t r i p s are daily -or n i g h t l y -- put into p r a c t i c e on the n a t i o n ' s s t r e e t s and h i g h w a y s . H o w e v e r , two y e a r s later the P o s t ran a c o u n t e r to M r . S h i p l e y ' s a r g u m e n t by f e a t u r i n g a spread on drag r a c i n g as leg i t i m a t e , " S e d a n s , Rails and G a s s e r s " ( J a n u a r y 4, 1 9 6 4 ) . ing the a r t i c l e in large bold p r i n t is the c o m m e n t : Head-

"Clutches

may still fly a p a r t o c c a s i o n a l l y , and s o m e of the w i l d d r i v e r s r e m a i n , but l a w , o r d e r and o r g a n i z a t i o n have f i n a l l y come to the s p o r t of hot r o d d i n g . " A c c o r d i n g to the t e x t of the a r t i c l e

it w o u l d a p p e a r that drag racing (now e q u a t e d w i t h hot r o d d i n g ) has b l o o m e d into a safe and l e g i t i m a t e s p o r t a l m o s t o v e r n i g h t : Drag r a c i n g used to be g r e a s y kid s t u f f . The g r e a s e w a s i m b e d d e d u n d e r the f i n g e r n a i l s of c o m p e t i t o r s . The kid s t u f f was i r r a t i o n a l r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t s o c i e t y and s a n i t y , w h i c h took such f o r m s as t h u n d e r o u s h o t - r o d races down p u b l i c h i g h w a y s at m i d n i g h t . But as next m o n t h ' s W i n t e r N a t i o n a l s at P a m o n a , C a l i f . , a p p r o a c h e s the t e n o r of the s p o r t has c h a n g e d . The National Hot Rod A s s o c i a t i o n , f o u n d e d and d i r e c t e d by W a l l y P a r k s , m a k e s m a j o r e f f o r t s to see that hot r o d d i n g is s a f e . . . . T h e s p o r t even has its own m a g a z i n e , Hot R o d , with 650,000 monthly sales. . . . N a t u r a l l y , such n o i s y e x c i t e m e n t still a t t r a c t s a n u m b e r of w i l d y o u n g s t e r s , b u t , the N . H . R . A . r e p o r t s , the a v e r a g e hot r o d d e r today is 26 y e a r s old and m a r r i e d . I n d u s t r y A t t i t u d e s in B u s i n e s s W e e k It has a l r e a d y been noted t h a t in the face of Li fe's p o r t r a y a l of the n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s of hot r o d d i n g in the late f o r t i e s and early f i f t i e s , B u s i n e s s Week took a f a v o r a b l e p o s i -

290 tion. This p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e can be traced d i r e c t l y to the Thus in the

growing e c o n o m i c l u c r a t i v e n e s s of hot r o d d i n g .

A u g u s t 1 2 , 1950 issue of B u s i n e s s Week is found an a r t i c l e entitled "Stock Car Racing Rides H i g h " . The s u b h e a d i n g under

the title r e a d s , " P r o m o t e r s clean up as old s p o r t takes on new life in two y e a r s . Even s t r i c t safety r e g u l a t i o n s d o n ' t keep The fin-

crowds away as boom keeps c l i m b i n g for third y e a r . " ancial i n t e r e s t in the sport is more than o b v i o u s :

Few b u s i n e s s m e n would think that they could take a Sunday a f t e r n o o n t r a f f i c jam and turn it into p r o f i t s . But in e f f e c t , that's w h a t h u n d r e d s o f U . S . s t o c k - c a r racing p r o m o t e r s , big and s m a l l , have been doing for the past two y e a r s . . . . M e a n w h i l e , a l m o s t every p r o m o t e r is m a k i n g a h a n d s o m e l i v i n g . The financial o p e r a t i o n of his track runs s o m e t h i n g like t h i s : he sees that the track m e e t s safety s p e c i f i c a t i o n s , puts up the purse for each m e e t , does the a d v e r t i s i n g (his b i g g e s t running e x p e n s e ) , and f i g u r e s on taking a b o u t 5 p e r c e n t of the gate as his p r o f i t . D r i v e r s get no salary or w a g e s ; they run only for the p u r s e , w h i c h is spread among m o s t of the cars in the finals . . . the sport looks good and s o l i d . . . . says Ed O t t o , w h o runs a c i r c u i t of 10 tracks in the E a s t . This a r t i c l e was f o l l o w e d in 1952 by two a r t i c l e s , the f i r s t linking D e t r o i t a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s to hot r o d d i n g . " D e t r o i t Can Do Its Own Hot R o d d i n g " (January 2 6 , 1 9 5 2 ) o u t l i n e s the m a n u f a c t u r e r ' s dilemma:

When it comes to b u i l d i n g hot-rod eng i n e s , D e t r o i t knows how to do i t , and the e n g i n e e r s get as much kick out of it as the backyard t i n k e r e r d o e s . If cost w e r e no c o n s i d e r a t i o n , D e t r o i t could put s o u p e d - u p e n g i n e s on the road that would make the m o s t flaming y o u t h s a y , .... "Gee w h i z " Instead of the hot r o d d e r ' s goal of more power at any c o s t , D e t r o i t looks for

291 two th i ngs (1) more power from the samesized en gi ne, and (2) more mi 1 es per galIon. The second article reveals the entrepreneur's perception of the hot rod p h e n o m e n o n . differing

"Hot Rodding Roars Into

Big B u s i n e s s " (March 2 2 , 1 9 5 2 ) presents the image that hot rodding has come of a g e , that i s , that the road to respectability has already been travelled: Next week the hot rodders hope to show New Yorkers that this has become a respectable hobby -- they will stage a hot-rod show at Grand Central Palace. During the year others will be held in H a r t f o r d , Portland, O r e . , Los A n g e l e s , and e l s e w h e r e . The main reason for this kind of display is the tremendous growth of the sport since the w a r ; best estimates are that today there are at least 500,000 hot-rod fans in the U . S . , C a n a d a , and Hawaii. Most addicts are not in their t e e n s , but in their twenti es although they range in age from 16 to 6 0 . All this has lent new respectability to an ol d sport. You see signs of that e\/eryw h e r e . For e x a m p l e : hot rodders get along with cops a lot better nowadays than they used to -- mainly because they observe traffic laws carefully and do their fancy driving in designated places. F u r t h e r m o r e , some engine developments tested out by hot rodders are being at least unofficially recognized by Detroit. Further insight into the favorableness with which business persons view the hot rod development is presented later in the article: Since the w a r , about a dozen m a n u f a c t urers of special speed parts have sprung up -- most of them in and around Los Angeles -devoted specifically to hot rodding. During 1 9 4 6 , they did a total business of about $1 million. This year it's expected to run between $45 million and $50 m i l l i o n . Hot rodding has brought about not only a new auto-parts industry; it has also created a whole new field of p u b l i c a t i o n s . Six years a g o , there were no magazines devoted to

292 the hot rod hobby. Today there are about a dozen. Most startling of all is their circulation gain. . . . Detroit Interest. The hot-rod movement has developed enough so that Detroit has begun to pay a lot more attention to it. More and more engineers from the big auto companies are showing up at hot-rod races. Oliver B i l l i n g s l e y , editor of Hop Up M a g a z i n e , says that the most obvious influence on Detroit so far is the dual exhaust systems that are now standard equipment on Cadillacs and optional on Hudson and Nash. Robert D. Smith of Advance Muffler C o . , points out that truck companies install dual exhaust systems to step up h o r s e p o w e r . Furthur than t h a t , he s a y s , the engines in the new O l d s m o b i l e s , C a d i l l a c s , Chryslers "are practically dry lakes p r o d u c t s " (hot rods built for racing on the dry l a k e s ) , refined through Detroit's blueprint dept. In other w o r d s , he s a y s , the present Cadillac is a " c o m f o r t a b l e hot r o d " . * In 1953 it was back to stock car racing with Car Racing: 'A Smash Hit 1 But Will It Last?" "Stock

(September 1 9 ,

1953) to check its development over the three years since the topic last was a focus in Business Week. It is found that

stock car racing has continued its phenomenal growth and this year "upwards of 3 million people will watch stock car r a c e s . " This amounts to a tremendous a u d i e n c e , a fact that more and more p e o p l e , quite apart from the p r o m o t e r s , are awakening to. In the last y e a r , for i n s t a n c e , Detroit's automakers have been paying a great deal more attention to stock car racing than they used to -- as a way of catching customers for their cars. The favourable attention to hot rodding on the part of Detroit increased to such an extent that in 1956 Business Week was able to report: ". . . the auto companies are coming a-

round to the idea, hitherto repugnant to most of them, of backing entries in stock car r a c e s . " And the antecedents to such a

293 statement are summarized: The Corvette was brought out in 1953 for one major p u r p o s e : to refute a growing notion that Chevrolet was gettting conservative and stodgy. Company officials think it s u c c e e d e d , but it didn't sell in its own right. In f a c t , the 1955 Chevrolet's record in stock car racing did more to create a reputation for Chevrolet as a builder of "hot" cars. Last year Chevrolet deliberately went after the stock car championships and built an advertising campaign around the r e s u l t s . Ford Motor Company has countered by hiring a racing consultant to its engineering s t a f f , and indications are that Ford will supply modification kits and give its blessing to entries in stock car r a c e s . For several y e a r s , Lincoln has unofficially given factory support to entries in the Mexican road race ("Detroit's Hot Cars Are Geared to S e l l " , January 1 4 , 1 9 5 6 ) . 2 Following this article by two months was "What's In It For the M a k e r s ? " (March 1 0 , 1 9 5 6 ) . This article explicitly pre-

sents Detroit's attitude toward stock car racing (and thus hot roddi n g): "Going places with the young at heart." (Chrylser-Plymouth) "The hot one's getting hotter." (Chevrolet) "It cools off the hot o n e s . " (Ford) Todays automobile advertising pitch is built on such lines. P e r f o r m a n c e , p i c k u p , power to spare -- these are the things Detroit is selling hard. Racing results are the best way to prove advertising claims of performance so Detroit has suddenly taken an interest -- and a part -- in the stock car races it used to shun. Half a dozen makers sent company engineers to the National A s s n . for Stock Car Auto Racing meet in Daytona B e a c h , F l a . , a couple of weeks a g o . Five or six years a g o , only Hudson and Oldsmobile w e r e interested in stock car races. Then in 1 9 5 2 , Lincoln put its first entries in the Mexican road race and took the first four places. Chevy went into the racing b u s -

294 iness a y e a r ago as the basis for its b u i l d ing of a " h o t car 1 1 r e p u t a t i o n . Now Ford has taken up the c h a l l e n g e . At D a y t o n a . B e a c h , f a c t o r y - b a c k e d Fords had it out w i t h C h e v r o l e t , w i t h e n o u g h s u c cess to kick off last w e e k ' s a d v e r t i s i n g s l o g a n : "It cools off the hot o n e s . " . . . W i t h i n two d a y s , Ford had large ads out to p r o c l a i m its s u c c e s s in the c o n v e r t i b l e race and the a c c e l e r a t i o n tests or drag r a c e s . The c o m p e t i t i o n among the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s got hot and h e a v y . So many races and e v e n t s w e r e d e v e l o p e d that

e v e r y o n e c o u l d win s o m e t h i n g a b o u t w h i c h it could s h o u t in its sales p i t c h e s , m a k i n g the w h o l e thing s o m e w h a t m e a n i n g l e s s . M o r e o v e r , c e r t a i n moral e n t r e p r e n e u r s began to p r o t e s t v e h e m e n t ly the r e s u l t i n g " h o r s e p o w e r r a c e " and s p e e d and p e r f o r m a n c e oriented advertising. F e a r i n g this o u t c r y w o u l d f o r c e some im-

type of g o v e r n m e n t a c t i o n , and r e a l i z i n g the c o m p e t i t i o n a l p a s s e they w e r e i n , the A u t o m o b i l e M a n u f a c t u r e r s

Association

took the i n i t i a t i v e to v o l u n t a r i l y stop such a d v e r t i s i n g and to stop p a r t i c i p a t i o n in racing and o t h e r e v e n t s i n v o l v i n g speed (see "Auto I n d u s t r y S w e a r s Off Ads S t r e s s i n g Speed and H o r s e p o w e r " , J u n e 1 5 , 1 9 5 7 ; "Can D e t r o i t Sell W i t h o u t S p e e d ? " July 20, 1957). H o w e v e r , it a p p e a r s that the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' a t t i t u d e

t o w a r d hot rodding did not c h a n g e d u r i n g this p e r i o d , for w i t h in f o u r y e a r s B u s i n e s s Week r e p o r t e d t h a t " D e t r o i t e r s Go To the Races A g a i n " (March 4 , 1 9 6 1 ) ; and it is a l s o r e p o r t e d that the ban on p a r t i c i p a t i o n " n e v e r had the w h o l e - h e a r t e d s u p p o r t of d i v i s i o n v i c e - p r e s i d e n t s r e s p o n s i b l e for s e l l i n g c a r s . " For

e x a m p l e , S . E . K n u d s e n , general m a n a g e r of P o n t i a c , used c l a n d e s t i n e s u p p o r t of stock car racing to build a p e r f o r m a n c e image as a help to m o v e his c o m p a n y from sixth p l a c e in U . S . car

295 r e g i s t r a t i o n s in 1955 to third in 1961 (see "Medium Price Car that D e f i e s E c l i p s e " , B u s i n e s s M e e k , S e p t e m b e r 1 6 , 1 9 6 1 ) . Sim-

i l a r l y , C h e v r o l e t "has been s t r e s s i n g p e r f o r m a n c e heavily since 1 9 5 9 , w h e n the Ford D i v i s i o n ' s sales topped its o w n . e n j o y i n g its second record sales y e a r in a r o w . " H e n c e , it could come as little s u r p r i s e that in the June 1 6 , 1962 issue of B u s i n e s s Week the f o l l o w i n g news item appeared: "Ford Drops Out of Pact C u r t a i l i n g A d v e r t i s i n g Speed And in 1963 B u s i n e s s W e e k a n n o u n c e d that the Now it is

and H o r s e p o w e r . "

" H o r s e p o w e r Race B r e a k s Out A g a i n " (March 9) and that " D e t r o i t 3 (is) Back in the R a c e " (May 2 5 ) . From these a r t i c l e s it is learned: " P e r f o r m a n c e sells c a r s " , says C h e v r o l e t general m a n a g e r S.E. K n u d s o n £note his p r o m o t i o n from P o n t i a c j . . . . M o s t D e t r o i t e r s n o d d e d in a g r e e m e n t , and the p e r f o r m a n c e race is on again . . . after having been s o f t - p e d a l e d s i n c e 1 9 5 7 . S t r e s s on p e r f o r m a n c e was n e v e r q u i t e a b a n d o n e d , d e s p i t e all the c o m p a n i e s ' s u b s c r i b i n g to an A u t o m o b i l e M a n u f a c t u r e r s A s s n . r e s o l u t i o n a g a i n s t the a d v e r t i s i n g of h o r s e p o w e r and s p e e d . . . . Chrysler Corp. Vice-President Robert A n d e r s o n in c h a r g e of p r o d u c t p l a n n i n g sees sound m a r k e t i n g r e a s o n i n g for f o l l o w ing the r a c e s . He says "We are t a i l o r i n g a car for drag strip racing e v e n t s to get the y o u n g e r e l e m e n t i n t e r e s t e d in C h r y s l e r p r o d u c t s . We w a n t the huge a u d i e n c e s at these e v e n t s to see how well our cars perform." L a t e r in 1 9 6 3 , Ford D i v i s i o n General M a n a g e r Lee A. Iscocca told B u s i n e s s W e e k r e p o r t e r s that his c o m p a n y was going

all out in 1964 to win any and all types of a u t o m o b i l e races and hot rod e v e n t s b e c a u s e "he is c o n v i n c e d a w i n n i n g image will p e r s u a d e a m u l t i t u d e of car o w n e r s to switch to Ford"

296 (''Ford's Bid For a Better Year," September 2 8 , 1 9 6 3 ) . And in

early 1964 Frank E. Z i m m e r m a n , m a n a g e r , special v e h i c l e s , Ford Division of the Ford Motor Company, described the nature of Ford's participation in "rod and custom shows" ("Ford Soups Up Its Youth D r i v e " , January 4, 1 9 6 4 ) . The development of several

varieties of Ford race-type cars under the factory backed hand of Carroll Shelby was described in "Building Fast Cars on a S h o e s t r i n g " , August 1 4 , 1 9 6 5 ) . In T964 Business Week reported again on the business of stock car racing. Its successful development is heralded in

the title of the article, "Cashing in on Speed" (February 2 9 , 1964). Record s p e e d s , record c r o w d s , and record returns for The article

investors are found to be the order of the day. cone!udes :

Speed means spectator appeal . Success at Daytona has caused a rash of new tracks to be built, and it has brought a u t o m a k e r s , and satellite i n d u s t r i e s , on the run not only to display their wares in competition but to test on Daytona's we!1-publicized track. Last y e a r , testing by such as Ford's Lincoln-Mercury Div., Pure Oil C o . , D u P o n t , G o o d y e a r , Firestone brought Speedway revenue from this source to $33,000. It is from actual racing, though, that the manufacturers get their greatest public exposure; and on it they spend m i l l i o n s . From this point o n , all the articles in Business Week which deal with hot rodding reflect the now wide-spread public acceptance of the hot rod sport in the sense that entering, s u p p o r t i n g , and advertising results of hot rod events is recognized as one of the most profitable ventures an automobile manufacturer can do -- in more than one way:

297 Says Leo C. Beebe £head of the newly formed racing division of Ford Motor Compa n y } : "We think racing has an important effect on s a l e s . It generates enthusiasm for Ford p r o d u c t s . It engenders an espirit de corps within the c o m p a n y , in the sales organizations and, most of a l l , among the c u s t o m e r s . . . . We w a n t people to think we are a y o u n g , vigorous c o m p a n y , and racing does that" ("Le Mans Adds Fuel to Ford's F u t u r e " , Business W e e k , June 2 5 , 1 9 6 6 ) . A 1968 article discussing the marketing functions of styling documents the minority group function of hot rodders and Detroit's continuing respect for them: "I w o n ' t design from m a r k e t r e s e a r c h " , says GM's Mitchell [William L. M i t c h e l l , "You've Head of Design at General M o t o r s ] . got to lead." Auto men loiter around the experimental cars at automobile s h o w s , and keep a close watch on what the car-buff magazines say the hot rodders are wheeling through the local drive-in r e s t a u r a n t s . John Z. D e L o r e a n , Pontiac's general m a n a g e r , who has built his division's reputation on its appeal to a y o u n g , rather daring market s e g m e n t , took his sporty Firebird to several college campuses prior to introduction two years a g o , then stood back unobtrusively to listen to the s t u d e n t s ' r e a c t i o n s . "We get ideas from k i d s " , he s a y s . "In the 1 9 5 0 ' s , they were frenching their cars -- recessing the head and rear l i g h t s , putting in hood s c o o p s . E v e n t u a l l y , this stuff showed up in our Grand Prix" ("How Detroit Designed the '69 C a r s " , Business W e e k , September 14, 1968). An article which appeared in 1969 and thus is not included in the sample is described here because it further illustrates the complexities of the relationship between hot rodding and D e t r o i t . "Hot Rodder to Hot Designer" (October 4, 1969)

depicts how a former hot rodder "is leading American Motors out of its styling d o l d r u m s " by putting his "dream cars" (sporty, p e r f o r m a n c e - o r i e n t e d a u t o m o b i l e s ) into p r o d u c t i o n :

298 Ever since he reached driving age in the c a r - h a p p y city of Los A n g e l e s , Dick T e a g u e had had his i m a g i n a t i o n filled with visions of a u t o m o b i l e s . At the age of 1 6 , he a s s e m b l e d his first jalopy out of salvaged p a r t s . Two y e a r s l a t e r , he had his d r i v e r ' s license revoked for h o t - r o d d i n g and was a d m o n i s h ed by a traffic judge to "slow down and get into s o m e t h i n g else But n e i t h e r that w a r n i n g nor the loss of an eye in a childhood auto a c c i d e n t w e r e enough to change l e a g u e ' s d i r e c t i o n . I n s t e a d , Richard A. T e a g u e has ridden his a u t o m o t i v e passion to b e c o m e one of the w o r l d ' s leading commercial car d e s i g n e r s . Now 45 y e a r s old and living in D e t r o i t , he is v i c e - p r e s i d e n t and director of styling for A m e r i c a n Motors C o r p . , and in that c a p a c i t y has created some of the f r e s h e s t designs to come out of the auto capital in the past few y e a r s . . . . T e a g u e ' s designs . . . make good use of racing styles y o u n g drivers fancy -hood s t r i p e s , a i r s c o o p s , side e x h a u s t r a i l s , s h a r p l y - a n g l e d w i n d s h i e l d s , and so on. Teague stays close to the track scene by reading all the s o - c a l l e d b u f f b o o k s and by a t t e n d i n g meets s p o n s o r e d by NASCAR and other g r o u p s . He also pays close attention to w h a t the kids are d r i v i n g . On his recent vacation in C a l i f o r n i a , he spent time sleuthing around to see how car buffs there -- still the most turnedon lot in the country -- are c u s t o m i z i n g their r o d s . Summary The data from Life show that the big shift in public a t t i t u d e s toward hot rodding takes place in the early 1 9 6 0 s , a l t h o u g h some s o f t e n i n g of the d e v i a n t and d a n g e r o u s image is e v i d e n t in the late fifties by articles which a t t e m p t to present both sides of the hot rod "problem". In c o n t r a s t are the

data from Business Week which show that the e n t r e p r e n e u r per-

299 c e i v e d t h e h o t r o d p h e n o m e n o n as a c h i e v i n g r e s p e c t a b i l i t y b e f o r e t h e p u b l i c w a s w i l l i n g to m a k e t h e s a m e c o n c e s s i o n . e n t r e p r e n e u r is f o u n d to s h o w l i t t l e c o n c e r n f o r t h e which the public raises over hot rodding. issues long The

FOOTNOTES 1 T h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n f l u e n c e of h o t r o d d i n g on D e t r o i t m a y n o t be as g r e a t as M r . B i l l i n g s ! e y and M r . S m i t h w o u l d h a v e the r e a d e r b e l i e v e . T h i s a s p e c t w i l l be d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r in t h i s and the n e x t c h a p t e r . 2 " L i n c o l n W i n s " is t h e t i t l e of an a r t i c l e in B u s i n e s s W e e k 4 D e c e m b e r 5, 1 9 5 3 , p p . 1 4 4 - 1 4 5 , w h i c h d e s c r i b e s t h e e f f o r t s of L i n c o l n to w i t h the P a n - A m e r i c a n H i g h w a y R a c e in M e x i c o and its e f f o r t s to e x p l o i t its s u c c e s s : " T h e w i n n i n g L i n c o l n t e a m t h i s y e a r w a s s p o n s o r e d by a C a l i f o r n i a d e a l e r , b u t g o t eyery a s s i s t a n c e f r o m F o r d . T h e C o m p a n y s e n t a h i g h - p o w e r e d t e a m of c a m e r a m e n and p u b l i c i t y e x p e r t s to M e x i c o , e v e n c h a r t e r e d a t r a n s p o r t p l a n e to haul n e w s m e n a l o n g t h e r o u t e . You can be s u r e t h a t the w i n n i n g L i n c o l n s w i l l s h o w up in L i n c o l n a d v e r t i s ing f r o m h e r e o n . " A n d in 1 9 5 5 B u s i n e s s W e e k r e p o r t e d , " L i n c o l n - M e r c u r y D i v i s i o n of F o r d , f o r i n s t a n c e , s h e l l s o u t b e t w e e n $ 1 5 0 , 0 0 0 and $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 e v e r y y e a r to m a k e it p o s s i b l e f o r d e a l e r s and o w n e r s to e n t e r L i n c o l n s in t h e M e x i c a n R o a d R a c e . T h i s y e a r a f t e r a C h r y s l e r " 3 0 0 " (a l i m i t e d p r o d u c t i o n m o d e l w i t h 3 0 0 h p ) t o o k top h o n o r s at D a y t o n a , all C h r y s l e r D i v i s i o n s a l e s in the s u r r o u n d i n g s t a t e s t u r n e d u p . B e f o r e y e a r end C h r y s l e r w i l l s p e n d $1 m i l l i o n in t r u m p e t i n g its v i c t o r i e s . " 3 "Ask an a u t o m o b i l e e x e c u t i v e p r i v a t e l y if the p o w e r r a c e is s t a r t i n g a g a i n and h1e ' s l i k e l y to s m i l e and r e p l y : ' W h e n did it e v e r s t o p ? " S e e " H o r s e p o w e r S t a r t i n g A g a i n ? " P r i n t e r s I n k , S e p t e m b e r 2 7 , 1 9 6 3 , p. horsewryly Race 5.

300

C H A P T E R 11 THE I N C O R P O R A T I O N OF HOT R O D D I N G : HOT R O D D I N G AND THE INDUSTRY TO T H E EARLY 1950s This c h a p t e r and the next will e x a m i n e the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n hot rodding and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y . This c h a p t e r

will e x a m i n e b r i e f l y the p r e - W o r l d W a r II y e a r s , and detail the p o s t w a r y e a r s to the early 1 9 5 0 s . A l s o d i s c u s s e d here will

be the use and m e a n i n g s of the a u t o m o b i l e to hot r o d d e r s , as these are s e l e c t i v e l y u t i l i z e d by the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s . The next c h a p t e r will carry the a n a l y s i s through the m i d d l e and late 1950s and 1 9 6 0 s . T h e n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n hot r o d d i n g and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y m u s t be u n d e r s t o o d h i s t o r i c a l l y in terms of the s t r u c t u r e of the i n d u s t r y , its o p e r a t i o n s to r e duce u n c e r t a i n t i e s in its e n v i r o n m e n t , and its e f f o r t s to c a p ture and d e v e l o p m a r k e t s for its p r o d u c t . the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e s e v a r i a b l e s : This m e a n s t r a c i n g (1) the n a t u r e of

the p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g y ; (2) the i n t e r e s t s and p r i o r i t i e s of the p r o d u c e r s ; (3) the c o n t e n t of a d v e r t i s i n g ; and (4) the d e m a n d s of c o n s u m e r s . In p r o c e e d i n g w i t h this a n a l y s i s the en-

v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s and c o n s u m e r d e m a n d s t r u c t u r e will be o u t l i n e d for each p e r i o d . The r e s p o n s e s and a c t i o n s of a u t o -

m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s will be e x a m i n e d , and the fit of hot rodding into the various i n t e r e s t s of the i n d u s t r y will be d e tailed. W o v e n into this a n a l y s i s will be a d e s c r i p t i o n of the

corporate decision-making process.

301

302 The Early Years: The A u t o m o b i l e I n d u s t r y and Hot R o d d i n g

H o t r o d d i n g is u s u a l l y v i e w e d as e n c o m p a s s i n g all f o r m s of a u t o m o b i l e r a c i n g and m o d i f i c a t i o n . W h i l e the c o n t e n t of

c u r r e n t h o t rod m a g a z i n e s may b e a r this o u t , it w a s n o t a l w a y s so. O r g a n i z e d and s p o n s o r e d a u t o m o b i l e r a c i n g is a l m o s t as form

old as the a u t o m o b i l e i t s e l f , b u t h o t r o d d i n g as a social

of " a m a t e u r " a u t o m o b i l e m o d i f i c a t i o n and c o m p e t i t i o n o r i g i n a t ed o n l y in the late 1 9 2 0 s . It is only in the l a s t t w e n t y y e a r s

or so t h a t hot r o d d i n g has c o m e to e n c o m p a s s such a w i d e r a n g e of p r o f e s s i o n a l and a m a t e u r a c t i v i t y . This historical distincbetween

tion is q u i t e i m p o r t a n t in e x a m i n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p

hot r o d d i n g and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y b e c a u s e e a r l y a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e h e a v i l y i n v o l v e d in a u t o m o b i l e r a c i n g . It w a s r a c i n g (and the j o u r n a l i s t i c r e p o r t s of r a c i n g ) w h i c h (1) s t i m u l a t e d e a r l y a u t o m o t i v e d e v e l o p m e n t , (2) b r o u g h t the a u t o m o b i l e to the a t t e n t i o n of the p u b l i c , and (3) i l l u s t r a t e d the t e c h n o l o g i c a l f e a s i b i l i t y and the stimulating/sporting

a s p e c t s of the a u t o m o b i l e to the p u b l i c . A c c o r d i n g to a n u m b e r of a u t o m o t i v e h i s t o r i a n s , the a u t o m o b i l e w a s not e v e n a t e c h n o l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y in the

m i n d s of m o s t A m e r i c a n s until the e x t e n s i v e f a v o u r a b l e n e w s p a p e r c o v e r a g e of a u t o m o b i l e r a c e s in F r a n c e in 1 8 9 4 - 1 8 9 5 and the f i r s t A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e race s p o n s o r e d by the Chi c a g o T i m e s - H e r a l d in 1 8 9 5 . S t a t e s , the very M o r e o v e r , until this t i m e in the U n i t e d

idea of a s e l f - p r o p e l l e d road v e h i c l e t h a t

w a s m o r e e f f i c i e n t than h o r s e d r a w n t r a n s p o r t a t i o n w a s the f a n tasy of a few i n v e n t o r s w h o b u i l t and t e s t e d a n u m b e r of e x perimental designs. (See for e x a m p l e , A n d e r s o n , 1 9 5 0 ; C r a b b ,

303 1969; Donovan, 1965; Doolittle, 1916; R i n k , 1970, 1975; McShane, 1975; Rae, 1959, 1965; Smith, 1968.) A y o u n g re-

porter at the T i m e s - H e r a l d persuaded its p u b l i s h e r to sponser a race m o d e l l e d on one that had been run in 1894 in France from Paris to B o r d e a u x . It was to run from M i l w a u k e e to Chicago

This race was basically a publicity stunt to increase c i r c u l a t i o n , but was also i n t e n d e d , according to the p u b l i s h e r , "to p r o m o t e , e n c o u r a g e and s t i m u l a t e i n v e n t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t and p e r f e c t i o n and general adoption of motor v e h i c l e s " (cited in Anderson, 1950:55). A purse of $ 5 , 0 0 0 prize money was offered

($2,000 to the w i n n e r ) and $ 5 , 0 0 0 was provided for e x p e n s e s . The race received t r e m e n d o u s publicity in n e w s p a p e r s t h r o u g h out the country and the response was more than anyone a n t i c i 1 pated. Other races and other types of contests f o l l o w e d ; n e w s 2 paper c o v e r a g e of these events increased g r e a t l y . These races and other e v e n t s , sponsored by various business interests, public

stimulated the interest of both inventors and the general and w e r e a source of financial s u p p o r t for those whose designs proved successful in c o m p e t i t i o n . inventors

At this t i m e , a u t o m o b i l e s w e r e experimental and poorly developed v e h i c l e s . In f a c t , a u t o m o b i l e s during this period

were r e l a t i v e l y undefined objects both t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y and socially. ... in the United S t a t e s , unlike Europe at the same t i m e , literally nothing about the a u t o m o b i l e was firmly decided e x c e p t that it should not be powered by animal s t e n g t h . The m a j o r i t y thought of the automobile as a horseless c a r r i a g e , a few as a bicycle w i t h o u t p e d a l s ; the source of p o w e r , the p l a c e m e n t of the power s u p p l y , the

304 methods of control and s t e e r i n g , the manner of stopping the v e h i c l e , all were subject of vigorous debate (Thomas, 1965:18). Also the subject of vigorous d e b a t e , e s p e c i a l l y in n e w s p a p e r s , was a s u i t a b l e name for these v e h i c l e s . By the end of the cen-

tury the name " a u t o m o b i l e " had become more or less publicly accepted. A u t o m o b i l e s had been developed and become visible

to such an extent that "the idea of the a u t o m o b i l e was an accepted f a c t " , but "the concept of w h a t constituted an a u t o m o b i l e was n o t " ( T h o m a s , 1 9 6 5 : 3 9 ) . Besides racing and other promotional a c t i v i t i e s , n u m e r ous technological and social c o n d i t i o n s had combined by the

early 1900s to facilitate the growing a c c e p t a n c e of the idea of the a u t o m o b i l e as a s e l f - p r o p e l l e d road vehicle for independ3 e n t , individual t r a v e l . But there was still no consensus as to the m o s t e f f i c i e n t source of power or e f f e c t i v e d e s i g n . This

p r o d u c t instability created a condition of u n c e r t a i n t y in the a u t o m o b i l e industry which adversly affected both supply and d e mand. The a u t o m o b i l e s produced by m a n u f a c t u r e r s around the b e -

ginning of the twentieth century w e r e e x p e n s i v e , c o m p l i c a t e d and f r a g i l e . They were b a s i c a l l y hand crafted in small few m o n t h s . numbers

and were redesigned or changed e^ery

Compared to were

h o r s e s , b i c y c l e s , trolley c a r s , and rai1 r o a d s , a u t o m o b i l e s not very c o m p e t i t i v e as e f f i c i e n t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n .

In f a c t , the

first m a j o r industrial effort c a p i t a l i z e d to produce a u t o m o biles met with failure because it attempted to m a r k e t e f f i c i e n t transportation. A number of large companies w e r e formed in

the late 1890s to produce electric cars designed for light com-

305 mercial delivery in urban a r e a s . These automobiles were un-

able to compete effectively with the existing forms of transportation in this market -- the horse and light w a g o n .

Other manufacturers attempted to produce for another market w h e r e transportation efficiency per se was not the most important criteria of consumer e v a l u a t i o n . "the awakening sporting This market was

and pleasure-car m a r k e t , where

fashion and rarity were more sought after than efficiency. These vehicles were designed to be consumer g o o d s , not producer goods" ( T h o m a s , 1 9 6 5 : 3 3 ) . Automobiles produced for this As such

market were designed as personal passenger v e h i c l e s .

they w e r e basically novelty items aimed at the upper classes who could afford e x p e n s i v e , stimulating t o y s . These m a n u f a c t -

urers enjoyed a modicum of success in this market -- but faced a low ceiling in part because of the product instability d i s cussed e a r l i e r . According to Robert T h o m a s 1 study of the early automobile i n d u s t r y , it took manufacturers roughly eight years from 1900 to 1908 to resolve this instability. This period com-

prises w h a t Thomas calls the second economic stage of the automobile i n d u s t r y , the "era of product d e v e l o p m e n t " , following the era of invention and experimentation in the late 1 8 0 0 s . The industry during this stage in its economic d e v e l o p m e n t had to discover a design with qualities that would make it so desirable to consumers that they would buy automobiles in sufficient quantity. In this the automobile industry was f o r t u n a t e , for the nature of the product conveyed upon its owner a mobility that was both highly desirable and obtainable in no other way. The manufacturers only had to develop a reason-

306 ably e f f i c i e n t p r o d u c t to c r e a t e s u f f i c ient demand to allow the i n d u s t r y to exist ( T h o m a s , 1 9 6 5 : 2 7 5 ) . The p r o c e s s by which a s t a b l e , s u c c e s s f u l b a s i c design w a s reached need not be d e l i n e a t e d h e r e . It is s u f f i c i e n t to note

that by the end of this p e r i o d , the " s t a n d a r d " A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e w a s powered by a g a s o l i n e e n g i n e and e m b o d i e d in the 4 "French" design. It is not e n o u g h , h o w e v e r , to d e v e l o p and p r o d u c e "a r e a s o n a b l y e f f i c i e n t p r o d u c t " for it to sell w e l l . duct m u s t be p r o m o t e d . That pro-

A u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s during this

p e r i o d , if they wanted to m a i n t a i n or e n l a r g e their m a r k e t , had to i n c r e a s e sales to the virgin or c a r - l e s s population.

This r e q u i r e d some means of e s t a b l i s h i n g the l e g i t i m a c y and v i a b i l i t y of the a u t o m b i l e and of d e t e r m i n i n g the s u p e r i o r i t y of one m a k e over a n o t h e r . T h u s , in the early 1900s m a n u f a c t -

urers c o n t i n u e d to s p o n s o r and enter their p r o d u c t s in racing e v e n t s and various e n d u r a n c e c o n t e s t s . (For an o u t l i n e of

factory i n v o l v e m e n t in racing at this t i m e , see S i n s a b a u g h , 1924, 1940; Borgeson, 1966; Levine, 1968; Crowell, 1968). T h e s e a c t i v i t i e s f u n c t i o n e d not only as a test for continual m e c h a n i c a l and technical i m p r o v e m e n t s and as a means of gene r a t i n g f a v o u r a b l e p u b l i c i t y , but also as a means of e s t a b l i s h ing the r e p u t a t i o n and d u r a b i l i t y of an a u t o m o b i l e to i n f l u e n c e new buyers entering the m a r k e t . The a u t o m o b i l e s used in these Race-

p e r f o r m a n c e tests w e r e a c t u a l l y those sold c o m m e r c i a l l y . bred i m p r o v e m e n t s w e r e thus i n c o r p o r a t e d d i r e c t l y into the commercial product.

The a u t o m o b i l e s people w a t c h e d on the race

track could be p u r c h a s e d from the m a n u f a c t u r e r .

307 After 1908 the legitimacy, reliability and dependability of automobiles increased greatly. They became more utiliThe

tarian commodities and their market penetration increased.

industry had entered its third economic s t a g e , the era of industry expansion, which would last until about 1 9 1 8 , according to Thomas ( 1 9 6 5 ) . When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1 9 0 9 , a demand was created, or more correctly, a market was developed whose demand outstripped the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' productive ability to supply it. Under the conditions of an expanding m a r k e t ,

manufacturers in this economic era concentrated on improving the product and production methods and building up a distribution network of branch offices. Production methods were given

special attention for i m p r o v e m e n t , since f a s t e r , more efficient production increased output and lowered unit cost and thus permitted further reductions in price, which in turn increased demand and further stimulated production. It [the Model T] put within reach of persons of moderate i n c o m e s , f a r m e r s , and city wage e a r n e r s , an efficient transportation tool. And once that happened, demand was so immediate and insistent that mass production inevitably followed. It was the Model T that led the way to mass production, meaning the production techniques developed by the Ford Motor Company, and not mass production that gave us the Model T (Denison, 1 9 5 6 : 1 6 8 , emphasis a d d e d ) . While the inevitability of the institution of mass production as a response to consumer demand is d e b a t a b l e , one 5 point is indisputable: mass production itself inevitably led to further standardization of the product. As automobiles be-

came more standardized the resemblence between the commercial

308 s t o c k c a r and the i n c r e a s i n g l y s p e c i a l i z e d r a c e car d i m i n i s h e d ; p a r t s b e c a m e less i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e , and r a c e t r a c k e x p e r i e n c e and t e c h n i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t h a r d e r to a p p l y . M o r e o v e r , by the

1 9 2 0 s the m a r k e t of f i r s t - t i m e b u y e r s w a s a p p r o a c h i n g s a t u r a tion -- the i m p o r t a n t c o n s u m e r s w o u l d no l o n g e r be p e o p l e p u r c h a s i n g t h e i r f i r s t a u t o m o b i l e but p e o p l e w h o a l r e a d y had o n e . The i n d u s t r y had e n t e r e d "the era of r e p l a c e m e n t d e m a n d " w h i c h w o u l d l a s t until a b o u t 1 9 2 9 . T h e c h a n g i n g s t r u c t u r e of the

m a r k e t e n v i r o n m e n t r e d u c e d the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' m a r k e t c o n t r o l and i n c r e a s e d c o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n t h e m . As a r e s u l t , they n o t

only i n c r e a s e d t h e i r e f f o r t s to i n f l u e n c e t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t but a l s o r e d i r e c t e d t h e m . W i t h the s h i f t to a b u y e r s ' m a r k e t

they no l o n g e r n e e d e d to s h o w the a b i l i t y of t h e i r p r o d u c t to a c h i e v e s p e c t a c u l a r r e s u l t s in t e r m s of s p e e d and p u n i s h m e n t . T h e y n o w a i m e d p r i m a r i l y at i n c r e a s i n g p e o p l e ' s d e p e n d e n c e on the a u t o m o b i l e and s o l i d i f y i n g its p o s i t i o n as a b a s i c social n e e d , e s p e c i a l l y t h r o u g h m a r k e t i n g t e c h n i q u e s such as d i v e r s i fication, styling, styling changes, increasing driver comfort, consumer financing, etc. C o n s e q u e n t l y , the m a s s sponsorship

of r a c i n g and r a c i n g t e a m s by the f a c t o r i e s d u r i n g the 1 9 0 0 1 9 2 0 p e r i o d w a s r e d u c e d to a few m a n u f a c t u r e r s by 1 9 2 5 a n d , d e s p i t e the e f f o r t s of the A m e r i c a n A u t o m o b i l e A s s o c i a t i o n to get m o r e i n d u s t r y i n v o l v e m e n t , r e m a i n e d at this level until after World War II. N o t long a f t e r t h i s hot r o d d i n g m a d e its f i r s t a p p e a r a n c e and b e g a n a p e r i o d of slow g r o w t h . The automobile indus-

try paid l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to hot r o d d i n g d u r i n g this p e r i o d m a i n l y b e c a u s e hot r o d d i n g w a s not p e r c e i v e d to be useful in solv-

309 ing its probl ems. T h e i n d u s t r y ' s main p r o b l e m , s e l l i n g cars to a s a t u r a t e d m a r k e t , and the p e r c e i v e d s o l u t i o n , sell m o r e than s i m p l y "basic t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , gave rise to i n t e n s e and costly c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h i n the i n d u s t r y . The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n will

b r i e f l y t r a c e the d e v e l o p m e n t of this c o m p e t i t i o n up to World War II in o r d e r to set the c o n t e x t for the a n a l y s i s of the 6 1950s. In the era of p r o d u c t d e v e l o p m e n t , m o s t automobile

m a n u f a c t u r e r s u t i l i z e d the s t r a t e g y of e x p a n d i n g o u t p u t and lowering prices. Henry Ford was e s p e c i a l l y s u c c e s s f u l in the

a p p l i c a t i o n of this s t r a t e g y -- his s h a r e of this

increasing

m a r k e t rose from 19.9 p e r c e n t in 1911 to 55.6 p e r c e n t in 1 9 2 1 . H o w e v e r , b e g i n n i n g in 1923 the m a r k e t s t o p p e d e x p a n d i n g and r e m a i n e d at an a v e r a g e of a little under four m i l l i o n cars a y e a r until a f t e r World W a r I I . The m a r k e t had f i n a l l y become

s a t u r a t e d , the initial d e m a n d for a u t o m o b i l e s having the level p e r m i t t e d by the e x i s t i n g n a t i o n a l i n c o m e .

reached By 1 9 2 4

m o s t p e r s o n s w h o could a f f o r d a car had p u r c h a s e d their f i r s t one. M o r e o v e r , the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s had r e a c h e d the

state w h e r e their p r o d u c t i o n p o t e n t i a l e x c e e d e d the d e m a n d ; they had the c a p a c i t y to p r o d u c e over six m i l l i o n yearly. vehicles

No longer could p r o f i t m a r g i n s be a s s u r e d by l o w e r i n g 7 unit c o s t s through e x p a n d e d o u t p u t . M a r k e t i n g now b e c a m e a g r e a t e r c h a l l e n g e than p r o d u c t i o n . The u n d e r l y i n g m a r k e t i n g p r o b l e m w a s no longer to sell an i n d i v i d u a l his f i r s t car but to get the man who a l ready owned one to buy a new c a r . And m a n a g e m e n t b e c a m e a g r e a t e r c h a l l e n g e than finance. Effective co-ordination, appraisa l , and p l a n n i n g w e r e e s s e n t i a l if costs w e r e to be kept down and the m a r k e t was not to be o v e r s o l d ( C h a n d l e r , 1 9 6 4 : 1 3 ) .

310 Henry Ford refused to believe that the changes in the market were fundamental ones which had serious implications

not only for him but for the automobile industry as a w h o l e . He continued to follow his production strategy and soon found himself in trouble. to fall. From 1924 his share of the market began

By 1927 competition forced him to abandon the Model

T and to shut down for months in order to bring out his new p r o d u c t , the Model A. H o w e v e r , even in 1 9 2 9 , the year of the

A, Ford managed to capture only 31.3 percent of the market and subsequent years saw this percentage decline. For the ten

years between 1927 and 1 9 3 7 , Ford averaged an annual net loss 8 of $1.4 mi 11 ion. Not all automobile manufacturers had followed Ford's strategy. Several entrepreneurs who had upper-class backgrounds

with professional and/or business experience followed a different strategy. This was to expand by combination, that i s , by

the accumulation of existing assembling and marketing facilities as well as by obtaining control of producers of parts and accessories. After 1908 a number of combinations appeared.

They included the United States Motor Company, the EverittMetzger-Flanders Company, and the General Motors Company. William Crapo Durant, the founder of General M o t o r s , the largest and most successful of the c o m b i n a t i o n s , felt that the then current annual production of 63,500 passenger cars in 1908 could be increased to 500,000. To meet this potential he

moved in 1908 to combine ten a u t o m o b i l e , three truck and ten parts-and-accessories manufacturers. In his maneuvers Durant

used little cash, paying for the securities of the companies

311 he o b t a i n e d with General M o t o r s s t o c k . Following industry

p o l i c y , D u r a n t relied on the r e t u r n s from the sales of his cars to pay his s u p p l i e r s and l a b o u r f o r c e . T h i s lack of o p -

e r a t i n g funds put General M o t o r s and D u r a n t in a p r e c a r i o u s s i t u a t i o n m o r e than o n c e , and e v e n t u a l l y put General Motors

into the hands of P i e r r e D u P o n t in 1921 a f t e r the post World War I r e c e s s i o n . D u P o n t , a s s i s t e d by A l f r e d Sloan (who s u c c e e d e d DuPont

to the p r e s i d e n c y in 1 9 2 3 ) and two or three o t h e r able s e n i o r o f f i c e r s , t r a n s f o r m e d General M o t o r s into an e f f e c t i v e w o r k i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n and i n s t i t u t e d long term b u s i n e s s s t r a t e g i e s and tactics. They created a d e c e n t r a l i z e d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w h i c h b e industry

came the model not only for the rest of the a u t o m o b i l e but also for many o t h e r i n d u s t r i e s .

They i n s t i t u t e d the p r a c -

tice of c o l l e c t i n g and using s t a t i s t i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n as a basis for d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g . They also adopted..Qew...niarketing>pol ici es

such as (1) r e a c h i n g all s e c t o r s of the m a r k e t -- "a car for every p u r s e and p u r p o s e " ; (2) r e s e a r c h g r o u p s to i m p r o v e parts

and to i m p r o v e the ease and c o m f o r t of d r i v i n g ; (3) a s t y l i n g s e c t i o n to i m p r o v e the lines and c o l o u r of t h e i r c a r s ; (4) the incor9 p o r a t i o n into new m o d e l s ; (5) improved d e a l e r r e l a t i o n s . By 1925 General M o t o r s had a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y a s s u m e d its new s h a p e and its new p o l i c i e s had been i m p l e m e n t e d . And r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of these i m p r o v e m e n t s by t h e i r annual

as it i n f l u e n c e d and a t t e m p t e d to m a n i p u l a t e its e n v i r o n m e n t , General M o t o r s helped to a c c e l e r a t e the downfall of Ford. With

the m a r k e t s t a b i l i z i n g under the p a r t i c u l a r social and e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s of the p e r i o d , c o m p e t i t i o n b e t w e e n m a n u f a c t u r e r s only

312 could i n c r e a s e . One m a n u f a c t u r e r could increase its output H e n c e , almost as fast as General Motors

only at the expense of a n o t h e r .

Ford's o u t p u t f e l l , General M o t o r s ' i n c r e a s e d .

did not c o m p e t e a g a i n s t Ford on Ford's t e r m s , i.e., by price c u t t i n g , but on the basis of n o n p r i c e f a c t o r s -- s t y l i n g , adv e r t i s i n g , a strong d e a l e r o r g a n i z a t i o n , c o n s u m e r f i n a n c i n g , consumer acceptance, etc. Successful c o m p e t i t i o n a g a i n s t Ford itself

and the i n c r e a s i n g l y o l i g a r c h i c nature of the industry

r e i n f o r c e d the disregard of price as the m a j o r c o m p e t i t i v e 10 w e a p o n in selling new cars in favour of n o n p r i c e f a c t o r s . It has not been the intention of this d i s c u s s i o n to e x p l i c a t e in any depth the d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e industry prior to World War II. The aim m e r e l y has been to estab-

lish several points before more detailed e x a m i n a t i o n of post World War II d e v e l o p m e n t s . These points a r e : (1) Ford Motor

Company was in dire financial s t r a i g h t s ; (2) the industry itself was becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y o l i g a r c h i c to the extent that by 1 9 3 7 , F o r d , C h r y s l e r , and General M o t o r s (the Big T h r e e ) had a l m o s t ninety p e r c e n t of the m a r k e t ; 21 firms existed in 1 9 2 1 , only 10 firms were in o p e r a t i o n in 1 9 4 7 , and only 5 in 1 9 5 5 ; (3) prices among various makes b e c a m e quite uniform as c o m p e t i t i o n shifted to n o n p r i c e a r e a s ; (4) the m a n u f a c t u r e r s strove to increase the d e p e n d e n c e of p e o p l e on the a u t o m o b i l e and to s o l i d i f y its position as a basic social need.

313 The A u t o m o b i l e and Hot R o d d i n g A u t o m o b i l e s as t e c h n o l o g i c a l f o r m s are u n i q u e . As

with all t e c h n o l o g i c a l f o r m s , a u t o m o b i l e s can be v i e w e d as e x t e n s i o n s of p a r t i c u l a r human s e n s e s and f u n c t i o n s ( I h d e , 1974, 1979; McLuhan, 1964). A s h l e i g h B r i l l i a n t ( 1 9 6 9 : 3 1 ) has

a r g u e d t h a t the " b a s i c appeal £of the a u t o m o b i l e ] lay in the fact t h a t it e n o r m o u s l y e x t e n d e d the p o w e r s of both human legs and human a r m s ; in o t h e r w o r d s it was a vast m a g n i f i c a t i o n of the a b i l i t y to m o v e and c a r r l y . " O t h e r f o r m s of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n

t e c h n o l o g y w e r e s i m i l a r e x t e n s i o n s and p e r f o r m e d a s i m i l a r function. And it was not the f i r s t p r a c t i c a l , m e c h a n i z e d m a c h i n e

d e v e l o p e d for that s e r v i c e -- the f i r s t was the r a i l r o a d . W h a t is u n i q u e a b o u t the a u t o m o b i l e , a c c o r d i n g to B r i l l i a n t ( 1 9 6 4 : 3 2 ) is that . . . it was the f i r s t c a p a b l e of b e i n g used and c o n t r o l l e d by a m u l t i t u d e of i n d i v i d u a l s for their own p r i v a t e p u r p o s e s . H i t h e r t o the i n d i v i d u a l human being had had only his own s t r e n g t h , the i m m e m o r i a l h o r s e , m u l e , e t c . , or the \/ery r e c e n t b i c y c l e . In each case some c r e a t u r e ' s or g r o u p of c r e a t u r e ' s m u s c l e s had to do all the w o r k , and this w a s a s e v e r e l i m i t a t i o n upon the a m o u n t and n a t u r e of m o v i n g and c a r r y i n g c a p a b l e of b e i n g d o n e . Now for the f i r s t time an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t and i n f i n i t e l y m o r e p o w e r f u l f o r m of m o t i v a t ing f o r c e was a p p l i e d to m a k e the w h e e l s go a r o u n d -- the v i r t u a l l y i r r e s i s t a b l e p o w e r s of e x p a n d i n g s t e a m , of e l e c t r i c a l e n e r g y , and of e x p l o d i n g p e t r o l e u m v a p o r . No s i n g l e c o n t r i v a n c e e v e r o f f e r e d , b e f o r e or s i n c e , to the m a s s p u b l i c has been c a p a b l e of s a t i s f y i n g so many i n d i v i d u a l human d e s i r e s . No o t h e r t e c h n o l o g i c a l form of such s i z e , p o w e r , c o m p l e x i t y , d a n g e r is owned and o p e r a t e d by so many p r i v a t e p e r s o n s .

314 Automobiles possess particular characteristics p r o v i d e the b a s i s for s i g n i f i c a n t h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e s bolism. O b v i o u s l y , as t r a n s p o r t a t i o n which

and s y m -

devices,automobi1es

a l l o w p e o p l e to travel f r o m p l a c e to p l a c e m o r e or less at the c o n v e n i e n c e of the d r i v e r . B u t b e y o n d t h i s , d u e to t h e i r p o w e r ,

a b i l i t y to m o v e at v a r y i n g s p e e d s , n e c e s s i t y f o r h u m a n c o n t r o l , v a r i o u s b o d y d e s i g n s , e t c . , a u t o m o b i l e s can be very ing p h y s i c a l and a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e s . stimulatof

In the d i s c u s s i o n s

e x t r a m o t i v e s and m a c h i s m o it w a s n o t e d t h a t a u t o m o b i l e s l a t e " h e d o n i s t i c o b j e c t i v e s " , t h a t d r i v i n g (and s o m e t i m e s

stimusimply

s i t t i n g in or l o o k i n g a t ) a u t o m o b i l e s can be an e x c i t i n g , s e n sually pleasing experience. T r a v e l l i n g at high s p e e d s and e x -

p e r i e n c i n g r e l a t i v e l y s t r o n g " g - f o r c e s " a l s o can be e x c i t i n g and s e n s u a l l y p l e a s i n g . M o r e o v e r , s p e e d r e q u i r e s e f f o r t s at opportunities and

c o n t r o l w h i c h are o f t e n i n t e r p r e t e d as p r o v i d i n g

for " e x p e r i e n c i n g r i s k s e n s a t i o n s and t h r i l l s " ( N a a t a n e n S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 : 6 8 ) a n d / o r as r e f l e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l and m o r a l c h a r a c t e r .

competence devices

Automobiles are also communicative

w h i c h can c o n v e y p a r t i c u l a r m e a n i n g s ( s u c h as s t a t u s , i d e n t i t y , e t c . ) and e x p e r i e n c e s . potent social objects. These characteristics make automobiles

Unfortunately, this topic,while discuss11 ed w i d e l y , has not b e e n w e l l a n a l y z e d . T h i s d e f i c i e n c y can n o t be c o r r e c t e d in this d i s c u s s i o n . In the f o l l o w i n g discussion

a b r i e f a n a l y s i s of h o t r o d d i n g will be p r e s e n t e d . H o t r o d d e r s u t i l i z e and m a k e c e n t r a l to t h e i r s u b c u l t u r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h p r o v i d e experiences

w h i c h e m p h a s i z e the p l e a s u r e s and e x c i t e m e n t of d r i v i n g , s p e e d , and c o n t r o l . T h e y are e s p e c i a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the d i s p l a y

315 of group i d e n t i t y and individual c h a r a c t e r and m a s c u l i n i t y as these may be illustrated through t r a v e l , r a c i n g , c r u i s i n g , cons t r u c t i o n and m o d i f i c a t i o n of a u t o m o b i l e s , e t c . The first hot

rodders w e r e y o u n g men who reacted to the mass p r o d u c e d , stand a r d i z e d a u t o m o b i l e of the 1920s and 1930s and the e x p e n s i v e ness and t i g h t n e s s of o r g a n i z e d r a c i n g . They w e r e unable to

find s a t i s f a c t i o n in the commercial p r o d u c t i o n c a r , unable to afford the few high p e r f o r m a n c e cars a v a i l a b l e , unable to p a r t i c i p a t e in the s t r u c t u r e d , e x p e n s i v e 5 a n d e x c l u s i v e sport of auto racing and t o u r i n g , and unable to e n d u r e the p a s s i v i t y of spectatorship. Hot rodders searched for "auto i n d i v i d u a l i z a -

tion" and p a r t i c i p a t i v e action and found it by b u i l d i n g their own cars from junkers and d i s p a r a t e parts and then d r i v i n g , testing and r e b u i l d i n g them. B a l s l e y ( 1 9 5 0 : 3 5 5 ) o u t l i n e s the

hot r o d d e r ' s position as f o r m u l a t e d in the late 1 9 4 0 s : The hot rodder and his circle are highly a r t i c u l a t e in their o b j e c t i o n s to the D e t r o i t p r o d u c t as an a u t o m o b i l e , and the reason is that they have little respect for the D e t r o i t s o l u t i o n of a p r o blem in t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , e n g i n e e r i n g , and e s t h e t i c s . The hot rodder says that this p r o d u c t i o n car is u n e c o n o m i c a l , unsafe at m o d e r n road s p e e d s , and uglier than it has any right to b e . W h a t is m o r e , it is too c o s t l y , too h e a v y , and too c o m p l i c a t e d by class and status s y m b o l i s m to be a good car. Designed in i g n o r a n c e of the hot rodder's credo that d r i v i n g should not be so e f f o r t l e s s that one forgets one is driving until after the c r a s h , this car a p p e a r s to the hot rodder to be a sort of h i g h - s p e e d p a r l o r s o f a . In g e n e r a l , the hot r o d d e r protests a g a i n s t the a u t o m o b i l e p r o d u c t i o n and m e r c h a n d i s i n g w h i c h fails to give the public a s u f f i c i e n t l y w i d e range of m o d e l s of p e r m i t j u d g e m e n t s of v a l u e . D e v e l o p m e n t and growth of hot rodding b e f o r e World War

316 II was r a t h e r slow d u e , among o t h e r t h i n g s , to the c o m b i n e d e f f e c t s of the d e p r e s s i o n , the New D e a l , the unavailability

and high c o s t of speed p a r t s , the u n a v a i l a b i l i t y of cheap cars for m o d i f i c a t i o n , and the u n a v a i l a b i l i t y of cheap ance c a r s . With the end of World War II and the high-performr i s e , of

a f f l u e n c e , cheap parts and cars b e c a m e m o r e a v a i l a b l e and hot r o d d i n g b e g a n to g r o w . As part of the general subcultural

d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of y o u n g A m e r i c a n m a l e s taking p l a c e d u r i n g this t i m e , hot r o d d i n g m o r e than any o t h e r s u b c u l t u r e along two lines of d i r e c t i o n and g r o w t h . split

The one line was the

s e c t o r w h i c h w a s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d e l i n q u e n c y and d a n g e r , w i t h "the s u b t e r r a n e a n t r a d i t i o n s of y o u t h " ( M a t z a , 1 9 6 1 , 1 9 6 4 ; M a t z a and S y k e s , 1 9 6 1 ; Y o u n g , 1 9 7 1 ) , with the t r a d i t i o n s of the w o r k i n g class and its i n c r e a s i n g a b i l i t y to c o n s u m e 1958; Lewis, 1972). (Miller,

This s e c t o r d e v e l o p e d v a l u e s and m o t i v e s

w h i c h e m p h a s i z e d s h o r t run h e d o n i s t i c p l e a s u r e s , t h r i l l s , exc i t e m e n t , risk t a k i n g , the need to p r o v e o n e s e l f , a g g r e s s i v e n o t i o n s of m a s c u l i n i t y , c h a l l e n g e s to a u t h o r i t y . The o t h e r legitimacy

line w a s the s e c t o r w h i c h a s s o c i a t e d i t s e l f w i t h the

of s p o r t and b u s i n e s s , w i t h the l e g i t i m a t e v a l u e s of a c h i e v e m e n t and s u c c e s s . A m o n g the few s o c i o l o g i s t s w h o gave any s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n to hot r o d d i n g in the 1950s w e r e R u e ! D e n n e y (1957)

and David R e i s m a n and Eric L a r a b e e ( R e i s m a n , 1 9 6 1 ; R e i s m a n and Larabee, 1958). They tended to ignore the "subterranean"

a s p e c t s of hot rodding and the n e g a t i v e p u b l i c r e a c t i o n and s y m b o l i s m g e n e r a t e d with r e s p e c t to this s e c t o r . They analyzed

317 hot r o d d i n g as a " c r a f t s m a n - l i k e " h o b b y or p r o d u c t i o n hobby.

In a social w o r l d w h e r e l e i s u r e time and use was b e c o m i n g inc r e a s i n g l y p r i v a t i z e d they said hot r o d d e r s w e r e " c o m p e t e n t s " in the use of l e i s u r e (that i s , able to a c h i e v e personal Hot r o d d e r s w e r e i n v o l v e d in a form of m a r g i n a l autonomy,

differentia-

tion in c o n s u m e r s h i p in w h i c h they b e c a m e i n v o l v e d in the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s of b u i l d i n g and r e b u i l d i n g t h e i r cars to m e e t t h e i r own d e s i r e s and s t a n d a r d s . In d o i n g so they d e v e l o p e d It is

t h e i r own l a n g u a g e and c u l t u r e a r o u n d t h e i r new s k i l l s .

c l e a r that this a n a l y s i s fits the n o t i o n of the m a r k e t as a dual o p p o r t u n i t y s t r u c t u r e and of c o m m o d i t i e s as r e s o u r c e s for ind i v i d u a l s to u t i l i z e in c o n s t r u c t i n g i d e n t i t i e s and life s t y l e s . It s h o u l d be c l e a r that the s u b t e r r a n e a n s e c t o r also fits this a n a l y s i s -- it too u t i l i z e d a u t o m o b i l e s as r e s o u r c e s in the c o n s t r u c t i o n of i d e n t i t i e s and l i f e s t y l e s , a l t h o u g h these d i f f e r 12 in both c o n t e n t and social e v a l u a t i o n . W h i l e the p a r t i c u l a r values and m o t i v e s of the two s e c t ors of hot rodding a r e , in p a r t , c o n f l i c t i n g and o p p o s i t i o n a l , there is^as n o t e d , an o v e r l a p in s t r u c t u r e . This o v e r l a p r e -

v o l v e s a r o u n d the common c o n c e r n s in each for the s e a r c h for " a c t i o n " ( G o f f m a n , 1 9 6 7 ) , the d i s p l a y of m a s c u l i n e and a g r o u p i d e n t i t y . character,

H o w e v e r , the " l e g i t i m a t e " s e c t o r i d e n t i -

fied w i t h the c o n f o r m i s t , r a t i o n a l i z e d w o r l d of s p o r t has had d i f f i c u l t y s u p p r e s s i n g and e l i m i n a t i n g the m o r e v o l a t i l e "subterranean" sector. Even w i t h the a c h i e v e m e n t of a d e g r e e of

social l e g i t i m a c y in the 1960s the s u b t e r r a n e a n s e c t o r f l o u r ished and its s y m b o l i s m and e x p e r i e n c e c o n t i n u e d to e x i s t in

318 the p u b l i c s p h e r e , c o n t r i b u t i n g to the a m b i v a l e n c e of the leg i t i m a c y of the s p o r t i n g s e c t o r . The s y m b o l i s m s and e x p e r i e n c -

es of the l a t t e r have come to be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the s y m b o l i z a tion of wild and r e c k l e s s f r e e d o m and i n d i v i d u a l i t y , r e b e l l i o n and p a s s i o n , y o u t h and i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The c o n n e c t i o n of

these s y m b o l i s m s and the p e r f o r m a n c e themes d e v e l o p e d by the a u t o m o b i l e industry has been r e m a r k e d upon and will be f u r t h e r a n a l y z e d in the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n and the next c h a p t e r . The Early 1950s The a d v e n t of World War II a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y curtailed

a u t o m o b i l e p r o d u c t i o n as the i n d u s t r y c o n v e r t e d its f a c i l i t i e s to the p r o d u c t i o n of w a r m a t e r i a l s . As such even old w o r n out

cars had to be kept running since no r e p l a c e m e n t s w e r e a v a i l able. G a s o l i n e r a t i o n i n g w a s i n t r o d u c e d not only b e c a u s e of

s h o r t a g e s but also b e c a u s e it was a way of saving both v e h i c l e s and t i r e s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the a v e r a g e age of cars in use rose W h e r e a s the a v e r a g e age had ranged from 5.7

substantially.

y e a r s in 1935 to 5.5 y e a r s in 1 9 4 1 , in July 1946 the a v e r a g e age was 9.0 y e a r s , with 35 p e r c e n t of the cars in use ten or m o r e y e a r s , 59 p e r c e n t five through nine y e a r s o l d , and only six p e r c e n t under five y e a r s old. In 1941 only 17 p e r c e n t of

cars in use had been ten or m o r e y e a r s o l d , 32 p e r c e n t w e r e five t h r o u g h nine y e a r s old and 51 p e r c e n t w e r e under five y e a r s old. Under these c o n d i t i o n s , a demand for new a u t o m o b i l -

es b u i l t up to such an e x t e n t that w h e n the w a r ended the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y enjoyed a s e l l e r s ' m a r k e t the likes of w h i c h had never been seen b e f o r e and p r o b a b l y never w o u l d a g a i n .

319 Four years of accumulated demand bursting the dam of w a r t i m e restrictions simply flooded the automobile m a r k e t . All over the country the public poured in upon the d e a l e r s , literally screaming for cars. A decent secondhand car brought actually more than it cost. For a new car thousands of eager buyers were only too willing to slip a handsome bonus check to the local distributor or more adroitly begged to be allowed to buy all sorts of unwanted a c c e s sories and extrasat fancy prices in order to assure delivery a few months sooner (Dennison, 1 9 5 6 : 2 5 9 ) . Five months after the surrender of Japan the demand for passenger cars alone was estimated to be 18,000,000 units. Ob-

viously this pent-up demand put the industry under great pressure to get back into large-scale production very quickly. Thas the m a n u f a c t u r e r s reinsti tuted the old presses landidies,, conveyor s y s t e m s , e t c . , and began producing their prewar models rather than taking the time and capital investment required to retool for new m o d e l s . H e n c e , it was 1947 before any major

style innovation appeared -- and this by the relatively small Studebaker C o r p o r a t i o n . The Big Three did not introduce any

major changes until the replacement demand began to f a d e ; Ford was the first of the Big Three to bring out a "new" postwar car in 1 9 4 9 . Under these optimal selling c o n d i t i o n s , the manu-

facturers b e l i e v e d , it would be foolish to waste new models on a market which was gobbling up anything and everything automotive. The time to bring out new models was when demand un-

certainty became problematic and a competitive edge was needed to maintain or increase market s h a r e s ; this condition would not arise until a buyers' market returned. Production proceeded at record-breaking levels as the

320 forties drew to a close and the return of a b u y e r s ' market was 13forecast for 1950. H o w e v e r , a 100-day strike at Chrysler and the outbreak of the Korean conflict delayed this for several y e a r s . development

The Korean conflict delayed this develop-

ment for several years by stimulating "scarity" buying by consumers w h o feared future s h o r t a g e s . F u r t h e r , g o v e r n m e n t con-

trols on steel and other materials during this conflict acted to continue the short supply s i t u a t i o n . Following the stabilization of the Korean defense s i t u a t i o n , the removal of government material controls after March 1953 permitted a struggle for volume leadership among the Big T h r e e , stemming at least partly from a desire of the Ford m a n a g e m e n t to outproduce and outsell C h e v r o l e t . Ford's announced objective was to be first in sales. The result was a period of renewed and vigorous competition in the domestic passenger car m a r k e t . In 1 9 5 3 , the industry had the capacity to produce more than enough to satisfy consumer demand at prevailing price l e v e l s , and the firms were willing to use their capacity. By the middle of 1 9 5 3 , the supply of new cars was greatly increased. All makes were readily a v a i l a b l e . The easy retail selling conditions ended. What had been a s e l l e r s ' market became a b u y e r s ' market (Edwards, 1965:29). The above passage is quoted at length because it mentions several factors which are important to this d i s c u s s i o n . One of the most significant of these factors is the reluctance of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s to reduce production in the face of a buyers' m a r k e t and increased demand u n c e r t a i n t y . contrary: Quite the

their priorities were quite clear -- to increase or

at least maintain their outputs and t h u s , to utilize all of their productive capacity. All the m a k e r s , even General M o t o r s ,

considered m a i n t e n a n c e of the market a main g o a l , second in

321 i m p o r t a n c e only to the a c h i e v e m e n t of their target rates of return on i n v e s t m e n t (see E d w a r d s , 1 9 6 5 : 2 0 0 ; W h i t e , 1 9 7 1 ; Lanzillotti, 1958). C o n s e q u e n t l y , with the r e p l a c e m e n t m a r k e t

a p p r o a c h i n g s a t u r a t i o n , the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , both as a w h o l e and i n d i v i d u a l l y , faced increasing u n c e r t a i n t y as to the commercial success of their product and had to take steps to reduce this uncertainty. each o t h e r . And they had to compete more v i g o r o u s l y against 14 The focus of this c o m p e t i t i o n was n o n p r i c e f a c t o r s .

This competition was greatly i n t e n s i f i e d by the stated aim of the Ford Motor Company to o v e r t a k e C h e v r o l e t ' s one m a r k e t p o s i t i o n . number

As noted e a r l i e r , prior to World War II

the Ford M o t o r Company was o p e r a t i n g in the red m a i n l y because of Henry Ford's refusal to adapt to changing m a r k e t c o n d i t i o n s . When Henry Ford II assumed command of the o r g a n i z a t i o n in 1 9 4 5 , he i m m e d i a t e l y moved to i m p l e m e n t the m a n a g e m e n t and p r o d u c t i o n model set by General M o t o r s . He also devised a long range ex-

pansion p r o g r a m (totalling $1.5 b i l l i o n ) in order to reach the p r o d u c t i v e capacity required to o u t p r o d u c e C h e v r o l e t . In e f f e c t , 15 he w a n t e d to tackle General M o t o r s . And the c o m p e t i t i o n totik the form of a struggle to p r o d u c e and sell the largest volume of a u t o m o b i l e s p o s s i b l e . In a n t i c i p a t i n g the return of a b u y e r s ' m a r k e t and the loss of control and increased u n c e r t a i n t y and c o m p e t i t i o n it would b r i n g , t h e automobile m a n u f a c t u r e r s realized they not only would have to develop the existing m a r k e t to the f u l l e s t , but they also w o u l d have to go after and even create new m a r k e t s . Various social and economic variables w e r e s c r u t i n i z e d to ascer-

322 tain p a t t e r n s or t r e n d s w h i c h c o u l d be d e v e l o p e d a n d / o r exploited. A m o n g the t r e n d s noted w e r e : (1) the n u m b e r of new

h o u s e h o l d s -- e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e b u y i n g cars -- was i n c r e a s i n g ; (2) the n u m b e r of p e o p l e m o v i n g to the s u b u r b s was i n c r e a s i n g , h e n c e the n u m b e r of two car f a m i l i e s ; (3) the r e p l a c e m e n t m a r ket w a s e x p a n d i n g ; (4) the s c r a p p a g e rate was s p e e d i n g u p , as cars w e r e b e i n g d r i v e n m o r e than they used to b e ; (5) the c a r - b u y i n g p o p u l a t i o n was g e t t i n g y o u n g e r ; (6) p e o p l e w i t h m i d d l e i n c o m e s ( $ 4 , 0 0 0 to $ 7 , 5 0 0 ) w e r e the b i g g e s t p u r c h a s e r s of a u t o m o b i l e s , b u y i n g t w o - t h i r d s of all p o s t w a r cars and o v e r o n e - h a l f of all new c a r s ; (7) d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e w o u l d increase

12 p e r c e n t in the n e x t six y e a r s , and thus m o r e f a m i l i e s w o u l d have d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e s of o v e r $ 4 , 0 0 0 (see "A New Kind of M a r k e t " , F o r t u n e , S e p t e m b e r , 1 9 5 3 , p. 9 8 ) . These trends were

i n t e r p r e t e d to m e a n a g r o w i n g l o n g - t e r m m a r k e t (at l e a s t 5 m i l l i o n c a r s per y e a r ) t h a t w o u l d b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y m i d d l e class. A m o n g the c o m p e t i t i v e d e v i c e s u t i l i z e d to r e d u c e d e mand u n c e r t a i n t y e m p l o y e d d u r i n g this time w e r e : (1) the r e 16 v i v a ! of e x t r a v a g e n t auto s h o w s ; (2) in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e s e s h o w s , the d e v e l o p m e n t of s o - c a l l e d " D r e a m C a r s " or cars of 17 18 the f u t u r e ; (3) f r e q u e n t s t y l e c h a n g e s ; (4) the i n t r o d u c t i o n of c e r t a i n t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s to i n c r e a s e the ease and c o m f o r t of d r i v i n g , such as p o w e r s t e e r i n g , p o w e r b r a k e s , a u t o 19 matic transmissions, etc.; (5) the use of " l u x u r y " , as m a n i -

f e s t e d by a g r e a t deal of c h r o m e t r i m , f i n e l y u p h o l s t e r e d int e r i o r s , g i m m i c k s like p o w e r w i n d o w s , s e a t s , a n t e n n a e , and

323 20 (6) the d e v e l o p m e n t of " n e w " e n g i n e s , n a m e l y , 21 the V - 8 , and the r e s u l t i n g " h o r s e p o w e r r a c e " ; (7) the d e v e l o p 22 23 (8) high p r e s s u r e s e l l i n g t e c h n i q u e s ; m e n t of " s p o r t s " c a r s ; (9) c o p i o u s a m o u n t s of a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o m o t i o n ; ( 1 0 ) the d e v e l o p m e n t of gas t u r b i n e s for r e s e a r c h p u r p o s e s w h i c h w a s 24 w i d e l y p u b l i c i z e d to keep t h e a u t o m o b i l e in the p u b l i c e y e . It w a s u n d e r t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s and in the c o n t e x t o f t h i s c o m p e t i t i v e f r a m e w o r k t h a t hot r o d d i n g w a s into the p a t t e r n of the i n d u s t r y ' s i n t e r e s t s . incorporated Hot rodding fit trunk, etc.;

into this p a t t e r n in a n u m b e r of a r e a s , the m o s t i m p o r t a n t of which were: (1) p e r f o r m a n c e e v a l u a t i o n ; (2) the need to a m o r -

tize t o o l i n g ; (3) l e g i t i m a t i o n and s c a p e g o a t i n g ; (4) o p e n i n g new m a r k e t s ; (5) p u b l i c i t y and s y m b o l i s m ; (6) low c o s t ; (7) o v e r all c o r p o r a t e i m a g e ; and (8) s t y l i n g . ( 1 ) P e r f o r m a n c e E v a l u a t i o n , (2) T o o l i n g , and (3) L e g i t i m a t i o n and S c a p e g o a t i n g O n e of the m o s t i m p o r t a n t a r e a s of p e r f o r m a n c e e v a l u a tion a m o n g a u t o m o b i l e s r e l a t e s to the e f f i c i e n c y and r e l i a b i l ity of the e n g i n e s used to p o w e r t h e m . E v a l u a t i o n s of t h e s e

e n g i n e s a r e u s u a l l y b a s e d on the c r i t e r i a of the a m o u n t of h o r s e p o w e r p r o d u c e d , the gas m i l e a g e g i v e n , the l o n g e v i t y of the e n g i n e , and the e a s e of m a i n t e n a n c e . Of these c r i t e r i a , For m a n y y e a r s

h o r s e p o w e r is u s u a l l y the m a i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n .

m o s t m a n u f a c t u r e r s had u t i l i z e d d e s i g n s b a s e d on an i n - l i n e six or i n - l i n e e i g h t c y l i n d e r b l o c k . H o w e v e r , the Ford M o t o r C o m -

pany had p r o d u c e d a V - 8 b l o c k s i n c e 1 9 3 2 and w i t h its p o s t w a r m o d e l s of 1949 b e g a n a m a s s i v e a d v e r t i s i n g c a m p a i g n to the e f f e c t t h a t the V - 8 w a s the m o s t p o w e r f u l a u t o m o b i l e e n g i n e and

324 thereby was the best and most e f f i c i e n t e n g i n e . While it is

possible to dispute these c l a i m s , the fact is that other m a n u facturers reacted to this situation by developing and promoting V-8 engines of their own -- to the extent that by 1953 Business Week was able to state that "The V-8 Engine Makes the G r a d e " (December 1 9 , 1 9 5 3 , p p . 8 4 - 8 5 ) . B e c a u s e the chief criterion of p e r f o r m a n c e evaluation was h o r s e p o w e r , it is u n d e r s t a n d a b l e that the competition between e n g i n e s , and thus between m a k e s , came to focus on the higher h o r s e p o w e r of one over a n o t h e r . One m a n u f a c t u r e r could

not tolerate the c o m p e t i t i v e edge another m a n u f a c t u r e r could obtain by having a more powerful e n g i n e . The "horse

power r a c e " which began after World War II w a s , according to some o b s e r v e r s , the result purely of this c o m p e t i t i v e dimension rather than specific motives and decisions to increase h o r s e power in o r d e r , for e x a m p l e , to stimulate hedonistic or risk taking motives in c o n s u m e r s . H o w e v e r , as will be noted in the Automotive journal-

next section,this is not totally c o r r e c t .

ist Roger Huntington notes that some industry observers argue that the horsepower race was begun by O l d s m o b i l e and Cadillac in late 1948 when they brought out the first "modern" shortstroke o v e r h e a d - v a l v e V-8 e n g i n e s . this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . N o , it was Chrylser Corporation that started the horsepower race in 1951 -- and they w e r e n ' t really out to bother anybody at the time! Their engineers had just spent four or five years developing the most advanced V-8 design they knew how -- with a beautiful h e m i s p h e r i cal combustion c h a m b e r , inclined overhead valves that breathed like c r a z y , and double H o w e v e r , he disagrees with

325 rocker s h a f t s . Even with a small two-barrel carburetor and low compression ratio the "Firepower" developed an easy 180 hp. or 20 hp. more than the new Cadillac e n g i n e . That did it right there. GM brass figured the top prestige car in the industry needed a top horsepower rating -- so it was a simple matter for Cadillac engineers to hop up to 190 hp. for '52 ( H u n t i n g t o n , 1959: 41). A similar interpretation is given in an article in Business Week: Chrysler started the race in 1951 when it came out with an engine that was 30 hp. to 40 hp. more powerful than any other in the i ndustry. At f i r s t , most men in Detroit scoffed at Chrysler's m o v e , called it a gimmick to gain back some ground that Chrysler had lost to Cadillac and Lincoln. Most a u t o m o t i v e engineers thought that Chrysler had made a bad m o v e . "Who wants all that h o r s e p o w e r ? " they asked. But the dealers who had to sell against Chrysler started to squawk. They said that they need more horsepower to keep a c o m p e t i tive edge. The next y e a r , their engineers began to deliver i t , and the race was on ("The Whys of the Power R a c e " , Business W e e k , December 4, 1 9 5 4 , pp. 7 0 - 7 4 . See also Huntington, 1959). The importance of h o r s e p o w e r , combined with the expense of developing V-8 e n g i n e s , entrenched the horsepower race in an almost immutable p o s i t i o n . A brand new engine takes at least 10 years from conception to p r o d u c t i o n , according to V.G. R a v i o l o , assistant to the chief engineer of Ford Motor Co. He breaks time down this w a y : five years for d e v e l o p m e n t , two years for pilot line p r o d u c t i o n , one year for r e d e s i g n , and two years for tooling up for actual p r o d u c t i o n . Today the tooling for a high-volume production engine runs from $50 million to $100 m i l l i o n . And it is all single purpose machinery. A transfer machine that may perform 80-odd operations on a cylinder block

326 may cost several hundred thousand d o l l a r s , but it can be used for only one e n g i n e d e s i g n . This high capital i n v e s t m e n t can't be written off on one y e a r ' s p r o d u c t i o n , but over 10 to 15 y e a r s . Such high e q u i p ment costs dictate Detroit's design approach of little by l i t t l e . When a new engine is b u i l t t o d a y , its basic design is conceived for the company's 1962 cars. For e x a m p l e , its compression ratio today may be 7.5 to 1, but the engine in 1962 may be visualized as a 12 to 1 compression r a t i o . So the engine bearings and c r a n k s h a f t are built sturdily enough to w i t h s t a n d the p r e s s u r e s of the 1962 e n g i n e . Each y e a r the cylinders are bored a little more to give more p o w e r , and the cylinder head is shaved down a little less to increase the compression r a t i o . But b a s i c a l l y , the engine block casting and components are the s a m e . This w a y , the salesmen have something better to sell each y e a r , the basic t o o l ing lives for its alloted time s p a n , and engine d e v e l o p m e n t stays in line with fuel d e v e l o p m e n t ("Detroit Can Do Its Own Hot R o d d i n g " , Business W e e k , J a n u a r y 2 6 , 1 9 5 2 , pp. 6 2 + ) . It is clear that power increases formed a fundamental part of the a u t o m o b i l e industry's interests in the early 1 9 5 0 s . But many m e m b e r s of the public felt that it was not in their interests and they began to p r o t e s t . The usually c o n s e r v a t i v e

A m e r i c a n A u t o m o b i l e A s s o c i a t i o n passed a resolution calling for a u t o m a k e r s to "tone down the increasing emphasis on more and more h o r s e p o w e r and more and higher speed p o t e n t i a l s , and devote more t h o u g h t and emphasis upon ways and means of protecting the driver a g a i n s t his own m i s t a k e s " ("Too Much H o r s e p o w e r " , T i m e , S e p t e m b e r 2 1 , 1 9 5 3 , p. 9 6 ) . The same article quotes Dean A.

G a l e s , MIT associate p r o f e s s o r of a u t o m o t i v e e n g i n e e r i n g as saying: "power far exceeds m a n e u v e r a b i l i t y of the v e h i c l e s ,

with the result that there is a lack of control and the accid-

327 ent rate goes u p . . . . the auto stylists or ' d r e s s m a k e r s ' Engineers has

of the industry have been in the saddle since 1 9 3 0 .

have had to take a secondary p o s i t i o n , and the m o t o r i s t 25 paid with his life."

The industry continued to compete in terms of h o r s e power. To deal with the public protests of its position it More

utilized a number of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s / s a l e s - p i t c h e s .

p o w e r , it was t o u t e d , is needed to o p e r a t e the many power a s sist d e v i c e s , the a u t o m a t i c t r a n s m i s s i o n , the air "conditioning system, etc. M o r e o v e r , there is a great c u m u l a t i v e loss of

power as it passes from the engine to the rear wheels at different s p e e d s . For e x a m p l e , the fan requires little power to

operate at low speeds w h i l e at 80 miles per hour it draws as much as 25 h o r s e p o w e r from the e n g i n e ; other factors which also draw horsepower from the engine are the t r a n s m i s s i o n , the drive s h a f t , the rear a x l e , and the t i r e s . Consequently, a

car rated at 200 hp. may deliver as little as 100 hp. at the rear w h e e l s . Then there is the a r g u m e n t as put forward by Roy C. H a c u s l e r , then a u t o m o t i v e safety e n g i n e e r at C h r y s l e r : ". . .

more powerful engines and more d e p e n d a b l e engines . . . permit the driver to cross busy t h o r o u g h f a r e s and blend into traffic w i t h o u t breaking the traffic flow or causing dangerous j a m - u p s , and . . . p e r m i t him to pass s l o w - m o v i n g vehicles w i t h o u t spending u n n e c e s s a r y time on the wrong side of the road" (cited in "The Show Is Rough -- But Auto Safety is the P o i n t " , Business W e e k , S e p t e m b e r 1, 1 9 5 6 , pp. 2 8 - 2 9 ) . It is

328 f u r t h e r a r g u e d that high s p e e d s from b i g g e r e n g i n e s are only i n c i d e n t a l to b e t t e r p e r f o r m a n c e in lower d r i v i n g r a n g e s : the real o b j e c t i v e of i n c r e a s i n g h o r s e p o w e r is "not so t h a t cars can pass f a s t e r at the speed l i m i t , but at l o w e r s p e e d s w h e n t r u c k s and o t h e r slow v e h i c l e s o b s t r u c t t r a f f i c " (Victor

G. R a v i o l o , D i r e c t o r of the Ford E n g i n e e r i n g R e s e a r c h O f f i c e , cited in "The Show is Rough -- But A u t o S a f e t y is the P o i n t , B u s i n e s s W e e k , S e p t e m b e r 1, 1 9 5 6 , p p . 2 8 - 2 9 ) . A n d , then t h e r e

is the a r g u m e n t w h i c h p r o v e d m o s t d i f f i c u l t to r e a c t a g a i n s t : " W e ' r e o n l y giving the p u b l i c w h a t it w a n t s . " At this p o i n t the fit of hot r o d d i n g into the m a n u f a c t urers' interests becomes evident. T e c h n o l o g i c a l costs for d e -

v e l o p i n g e n g i n e s are large and r e q u i r e long a m o r t i z a t i o n p e r iods.Increasing horsepower characteristic however, as a c o m p e t i t i v e , q u a n t i t a t i v e is still less c o s t l y than d e v e l o p i n g Horsepower increases were

an a l t e r n a t i v e p r o p u l s i o n s y s t e m .

a s s o c i a t e d (or p r o x i e d ) w i t h s y m b o l i c s t r a t e g i e s in a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o m o t i o n w h i c h e m p h a s i z e d t e c h n o l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s and improved design. ity. A l s o i m p o r t a n t w a s the a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h durabil-

A u t o m o b i l e racing w a s a good w a y to d e m o n s t r a t e c l a i m s of Hot rod e v e n t s w e r e the m a i n s o u r c e of a u t o m o t i v e M o r e o v e r , these events

durability.

c o m p e t i t i o n a v a i l a b l e to m a n u f a c t u r e r s .

could be used to p r o c l a i m the " i m p r o v e m e n t of the b r e e d " and the i n c r e a s i n g safety of the a u t o m o b i l e . Of c o u r s e , as c r i t i c s

of the i n d u s t r y have p o i n t e d o u t , r a c i n g s u c c e s s e s may have l i t t l e to do w i t h the s t r e e t p e r f o r m a n c e of p r o d u c t i o n model automobiles. T h i s is not to say that p a r t i c i p a t i o n in hot rod pro-

e v e n t s and o t h e r forms of racing do not l o c a t e o p e r a t i o n a l

329 b l e m s and s t r u c t u r a l w e a k n e s s e s under e x t r e m e c o n d i t i o n s and t h e r e b y i m p r o v e the b r e e d , often times in s u b t l e w a y s . It is

to say t h a t the a s s o c i a t i o n of racing s u c c e s s w i t h p r o d u c t q u a l i t y , as logical fact w i t h o u t q u a l i f i c a t i o n ? f u n c t i o n s m o r e (See Van T i l , 1 9 7 5 : 2 2 6 - 2 2 8 26 on p r o x i e s and their e f f e c t s on c o n s u m e r p e r c e p t i o n s . ) T h e third p o i n t in the i n d u s t r y ' s p a t t e r n of i n t e r e s t s r e l a t e s to the s o c i o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n of hot r o d d i n g for the i n d u s t r y in this m a t t e r . It can be argued that p a r t i c i p a t i o n as a proxy than the literal t r u t h .

in hot rod a c t i v i t i e s such as stock car racing and drag racing f u n c t i o n e d as a l e g i t i m a t i n g d e v i c e for p o w e r i n c r e a s e s w h i c h w e r e m o r e or less p r e d e s t i n e d , w h i c h w e r e b u i l t into the o r iginal p l a n s . It is c l e a r that e n g i n e e r s w e r e d e s i g n i n g e n -

gines w i t h the 1960s in mind that w o u l d be p r o d u c i n g over 300 27 horsepower. M o r e o v e r , the hot rod s u b c u l t u r e a l s o s e r v e d as a s c a p e g o a t for the i n d u s t r y or at l e a s t as good a l t e r n a t i v e t a r g e t s for various moral e n t r e p r e n e u r s to v e n t their w r a t h and take a c t i o n upon accidents. for the i n c r e a s i n g h o r s e p o w e r , s p e e d , and

Hot r o d d e r s w e r e r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e to r e c e i v e such

a t t e n t i o n by v i r t u e or t h e i r d e v i a n t i m a g e , r e l a t i v e l y small n u m b e r s , high v i s i b i l i t y , and low d e g r e e of o r g a n i z a t i o n and power. (4) O p e n i n g New M a r k e t s and (5) P u b l i c i t y and S y m b o l i s m A n o t h e r way t h e s e p r e d i l e c t i o n s could be l e g i t i m i z e d w o u l d be to d e v e l o p the hot rod m a r k e t i t s e l f . This ties d i r -

e c t l y i n t o the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' d e s i r e and s e l f - f e l t need to open up new m a r k e t p o t e n t i a l s . The growth of the hot rod p h e n o m e n o n

330 was taken as an i n d i c a t i o n of some a s p e c t s of the tastes of the g r o w i n g t e e n a g e or y o u t h m a r k e t . This m a r k e t was i n c r e a s i m p o r t a n t and in-

ingly r e c o g n i z e d by all i n d u s t r i e s as very fluential for the f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s :

(1) for its own p u r c h a s -

ing p o w e r and its e f f e c t i v e n e s s in m a k i n g f a m i l i e s s p e n d ; (2) for the role it plays in family s p e n d i n g and its i n f l u e n c e in the c h o i c e of b r a n d s ; (3) for its r i g h t potential as an 28 adult market tomorrow. with the auto industry.. This last f a c t o r carried extra w e i g h t I n d u s t r y m a n a g e m e n t b e l i e v e d that s a t -

isfied customers w e r e loyal to the b r a n d , and it strived to c u l t i v a t e this l o y a l t y . Hot r o d d e r s w e r e i m p o r t a n t , t h e n , not

only b e c a u s e of their i n f l u e n c e on f a m i l y p r e f e r e n c e s and s p e n d ing and t h e i r own potential as a m a r k e t of y o u n g "car n u t s " , but also b e c a u s e these car nuts w o u l d c o n t i n u e to buy the " b o s s " m a k e a f t e r they m a r r i e d and settled d o w n . In a d d i t i o n , those

on the f r i n g e s of hot r o d d i n g w o u l d also be i n f l u e n c e d by w h i c h car w a s the " h o t t e s t " . On top of t h i s , hot r o d d e r s ' e n t h u s i a s virtues

tic and c o n t i n u a l p r o c l a m a t i o n s of their f a v o r i t e ' s provided great publicity value.

And even m o r e i m p o r t a n t than

all of this was the t r e m e n d o u s p u b l i c i t y v a l u e of w i n n i n g hot rod c o m p e t i t i o n s as a base for a d v e r t i s i n g c o m p a i g n s . I n d u s t r y p e r s o n n e l w e r e aware of the s y m b o l i c m e a n i n g s of the a u t o m o b i l e and placed g r e a t stock in their emotional psychological associations. and

Sales p e r s o n n e l and others b e l i e v -

ed that the p u r c h a s e of an a u t o m o b i l e was b a s i c a l l y an e m o t i o n al p r o c e s s . For e x a m p l e , Gene B o r d i n a t , Head of the L i n c o l n M e r c u r y S t y l i n g D e p a r t m e n t in 1 9 5 4 q u o t e d as s a y i n g : "A man

331 buys a car e m o t i o n a l l y . The buyer may think he wants a high But when

car with lots of room to get in and out of e a s i l y .

he finally makes up his mind to b u y , he goes for the car that appeals to his e m o t i o n s , his sense of color and style" (cited in "Designigg a Car to Capture 1960s M a r k e t " , Business W e e k , May 8, 1 9 5 4 , p. 6 8 ) . M a n a g e m e n t was also aware that its inter-

ests would be served by exploiting certain symbolic and p s y c h o logical u t i l i t i e s . Among the hot rod s u b c u l t u r e and its fringe of the early f i f t i e s , the most p o p u l a r c a r , b e c a u s e it was the f a s t e s t , was the F o r d , an objective the company strived to cultivate and m a i n t a i n . This " a d v a n t a g e " was nullified by C h e v r o l e t when

its e n g i n e e r s developed a new V-8 engine which turned out to have more p e r f o r m a n c e potential than the Ford V - 8 . Combined

with a new body design in 1955 it was entered in hot rod competition. The prime reason for Ford's popularity was the V-8 e n g i n e , admired by teenagers for its power and p e p . Neither C h e v r o l e t nor Plymouth had it in bygone y e a r s . When Chevrolet came out with a V-8 in 1 9 5 5 , it d e l i b e r a t e l y set out to create the image of a "hot c a r " to a t t r a c t the y o u n g m a r k e t . Ads for Chevy's f a c t o r y - s p o n s o r e d racing team featured these w o r d s . In 1 9 5 6 , they were b r a g g i n g , "The hot one is even hotter" ("Catching Customers at the Critical A g e " , Business W e e k , O c t o b e r 2 6 , 1 9 5 7 , pp. 8 4 - 8 7 ) . Ford r e t a l i a t e d by d e v e l o p i n g an overhead valve V - 8 , special high p e r f o r m a n c e m o d i f i c a t i o n k i t s , and heavy duty chassis parts for racing. By m i d - 1 9 5 6 Ford was loudly p r o c l a i m i n g ,

"It cools off the hot ones", in ads featuring its successes in stock car and drag racing. By 1957 both Ford and C h e v r o l e t

332 were spending over $3 million each for stock car and drag racing and special events. Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Mercury, and Chrysler was co-operAmerican Motors was At

Pontiac all had less ambitious programs. ating with a wealthy independent racer.

not much involved mainly because it lacked the budget.

General Motors only Cadillac and Buick abstained completely. The structural conditions of the production technology, the horsepower race, and the actions of the manufacturers in hot rodding are the tip of an iceberg of corporate processes which were going on at this time. Nobody knows the whole story

-- or ever will -- but enough material has been gathered to piece together a basic outline. ly on This account will rely main-

published interviews and materials gathered by automoArchival material from this And interviews

tive journalists and historians.

period was not available to this researcher.

with key people were either unobtainable or if conducted were 29 not particularly informative. Itis important to remember that Henry Ford II had made it a goal of the Ford Motor Company to take the number one sales position away from Chevrolet. The

intense competition between the two -- of course, in selected areas -- combined with the returning buyers' market increased uncertainties and risks for the whole industry. In the early

1950s it was common knowledge that Ford was developing a new series of overhead valve V-8 engines for 1 9 5 4 , and that Plymouth was planning the same for 1955. At General M o t o r s ,

according to Pat Chappell in her book on the development of 1955-1957 Chevrolet, decisions about the future directions of

333 the C h e v r o l e t Division w e r e being m a d e . In D e c e m b e r , 1 9 5 1 , GM's E n g i n e e r i n g Policy C o m m i t t e e m a d e a s i g n i f i c a n t d e c i sion to "turn C h e v r o l e t a r o u n d " . The goal w a s a t t r i b u t e d to both H a r l o w C u r t i s and C h a r l e s E. W i l s o n . It implied a c o m p l e t e a l t e r a t i o n of the i m a g e , from one of r e l i able t r a n s p o r t a t i o n to one of appeal to the y o u t h of the c o u n t r y , to p e r f o r m a n c e instead of d e p e n d a b l e - b u t - c o n s e r v a t i v e transportation (Chappell, 1977:28). The General M o t o r s m a n a g e m e n t b r o u g h t Edward Cole to C h e v r o l e t w h e r e he b e c a m e c h i e f e n g i n e e r in M a y , 1 9 5 2 . He had

s i m i l a r ideas a b o u t the d i r e c t i o n s in w h i c h C h e v r o l e t should move. Cole was r e s p o n s i b l e for the d e v e l o p m e n t of the new V-8

e n g i n e and also had a m a j o r role in the design and styling of the 1955 C h e v r o l e t . In f a c t , a c c o r d i n g to Michael L a m m , the

1955 C h e v r o l e t was v i r t u a l l y his own c r e a t i o n . Ed Cole set out to build an a l l - n e w c a r , and he did it. And a l t h o u g h h o r d e s of e n g i n e e r s and d e s i g n e r s w o r k e d on i t , it d e f i n i t e l y w a s n ' t a car by c o m m i t t e e . One man s h e p h e r d e d the Chevy t h r o u g h all its many s t a g e s , from first pencil line to running a u t o m o b i l e . And that man was Edward N i c h o l a s Cole ( L a m m , 1 9 7 5 a : 2 3 ) . A p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t thing a b o u t Cole and his d i r e c t i o n was that he was very a w a r e of the hot rod s u b c u l t u r e . In f a c t ,

he had been a hot rodder h i m s e l f and he w o r k e d to d e v e l o p hot rod t h e m e s into his d e s i g n s . A u t o m o t i v e h i s t o r i a n Lamm d e s -

c r i b e s his e f f o r t s , based upon d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h him: One of Ed C o l e ' s o b j e c t i v e s , t h e n , was to build a car t h a t w o u l d appeal to the hot r o d d e r . He'd been one h i m s e l f , and in his days at C a d i l l a c b e f o r e the w a r he used to d u s t off o t h e r Cad e n g i n e e r s in his much m o d i f i e d Chevy S i x . Cole m e n t i o n e d to me several y e a r s ago that he s p e c i f i c a l l y built hot r o d a b i l i t y into the Chevy V-8 ( L a m m , 1 9 7 5 b : 21).

334 When engineer and former race car driver Zora A r k u s Duntov joined the Chevrolet engineering research and development division in May, 1 9 5 3 , he saw the potential of the new V-8, According to Leo Levine he wrote a memo to the director of his department: His memo of early D e c e m b e r , addressed to Maurice O l l e y , then Chevrolet director of engineering research and d e v e l o p m e n t , was an outline of how to take the youth market away from Ford. The way to do it was to make use of this e n g i n e , and to make good speed equipment available for it at a reasonable p r i c e . Whether or not Duntov's memo was followed -- or w h e t h e r anyone in the company is still aware of its existence -- is not known. Whatever the c a s e , it is interesting that the actions of General Motors since that date have parallelled the course Duntov recommended (Levine, 1 9 6 8 : 1 9 1 ) . In another area of Chevrolet -- actually at an outside boundary -- a further d e v e l o p m e n t took p l a c e . This was at the

Campbel1-Ewald advertising agency which handled the Chevrolet account. When Arthur B. (Barney) Clark started working at the

agency in the late summer of 1 9 5 4 , two things impressed him most: "the first was the fact that few persons in the agency

really knew or cared anything about automobiles per s e , and the second was the new V-8 e n g i n e . As a longtime car b u f f , Barney

was excited over the e n g i n e , and felt it could be raced successfully and through this medium would boost Chevy sales" (Levine, 1968:196). Together with another Campbell-Ewald ad

e x e c u t i v e , Jim W a n g e r s , who was one of the few "car buffs" in the a g e n c y , they made a proposal to Edward C o l e . and organized financial backing for an advertising He liked it campaign

335 and provided racing engines and even cars for particular racing p e o p l e . tion G r o u p . According to Leo L e v i n e , who has compiled a massive history of Ford Motor Company involvement in r a c i n g , these actions on the part of C h e v r o l e t literally "forced" Ford into stock-car racing. Ford: The fact that the country's largest automaker was now bucking their product with a V-8-engined model had been the first big shock for Ford. When Chevy started racing this c a r , it became too much to bear. Something had to be d o n e , and the incentive came from several d i r e c t i o n s . From the top the word came d o w n , and by m i d - s u m m e r Robert M c N a m a r a , then general manager of the Ford D i v i s i o n , was talking the situation over with engineers Hans M a t h i a s , Harley Copp and Bill B u r n e t t . It became obvious that a full-blown effort was needed. . . . Simultaneously, pressure was coming up the line from field service m a n a g e r s and local d e a l e r s . The dealers had been actLevine (1968:197) notes the reaction at In the fall of 1955 Cole set up a Racing Promo-

ing on their own and with sub rosa help from the field service m a n a g e r s in sponsoring racing teams since at least 1 9 5 1 , especially in the C a r o l i n a s . (Levine, 1968:197). But now they wanted factory support

And they got it.

Obviously advertising competition in p e r f o r m a n c e themes increased and certain hot rod symbolisms were incorporated its s t r u c t u r e s . into

Racing victories were given great amounts of campaigns

national and local coverage and w h o l e advertising were built around "hot" cars in 1955 and 1956. image was a major theme in these c o n t e x t s .

The youthful

A l s o , themes relat-

336 ing to m a s c u l i n i t y , rugged i n d i v i d u a l i s m and e x p e r i e n c e s iated w i t h the e x h i l a r a t i o n of a c c e l e r a t i o n and c o n t r o l . assocBut

t h e s e w e r e framed w i t h i n the m i d d l e class images of c o m f o r t , l u x u r y and s t y l e . This p o i n t will be d e v e l o p e d s h o r t l y . It

was Ford and C h e v r o l e t that w e r e m o s t a c t i v e - i n this c o m p e t i tion. C h r y s l e r C o r p o r a t i o n , w h i c h a c t u a l l y had the best a u t o a c t i v e in e i t h e r supportA

m o b i l e on the race t r a c k , was not very

ing racing teams nor p r o m o t i n g and p u b l i c i z i n g v i c t o r i e s . p r i v a t e i n d i v i d u a l , Carl K i e k h a f e r , a m i l l i o n a i r e

manufacturer

of M e r c u r y o u t b o a r d e n g i n e s , s p o n s o r e d C h r y s l e r cars in stock car r a c i n g . In the face of the e f f o r t s of Ford and C h e v r o l e t ,

he q u i t a f t e r the 1956 s e a s o n . (6) Low Costs -- C o n t r a c t i n g Risk

D e s p i t e the p e r s o n a l p e r f o r m a n c e m o t i v e s of a few ind i v i d u a l s at various levels and l o c a t i o n s w i t h i n the m a n u f a c t uring c o r p o r a t i o n s , c o r p o r a t e m a n a g e m e n t s w e r e i n t e r e s t e d in p e r f o r m a n c e and hot r o d d i n g s i m p l y as a m e a n s to s a l e s . At

this time Ford and C h e v r o l e t (read General M o t o r s ) m a n a g e m e n t s w e r e i n t e r e s t e d p r i m a r i l y in the a d v e r t i s i n g and publicity

they w e r e a b l e to g e n e r a t e from p a r t i c i p a t i o n in hot rod e v e n t s . They w e r e not i n t e r e s t e d in m a r k e t i n g m a s s p r o d u c e d race c a r s . As H u n t i n g t o n (1961) n o t e s , the a u t o m o b i l e as a c o m m e r c i a l d u c t was locked into a mold w h i c h was not e a s i l y b r o k e n . proIt

was an u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d p r o d u c t i n t e n d e d to p e r f o r m all f u n c tions and m e e t all d e s i r e s in one p a c k a g e or c o l l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and s y m b o l s . The choice of o p t i o n s was l i m i t The s t a n d a r d design

ed and c h o i c e of m o d e l s even m o r e l i m i t e d .

337 could not tolerate much "high p e r f o r m a n c e " . S e c o n d , the manuT h i r d , they

facturers did not have the productive f a c i l i t i e s .

were not equipped to handle the service problems of high performance cars. F o u r t h , and the main reason for the second and

third d e f i c i e n c i e s , they actually had comparatively little investment of time or money in "performance d e v e l o p m e n t " -- comp a r e d , that i s , to the costs if they had had to do it all themselves. In the late 1940s and very early 1950s it was the dealers who sponsored hot rod events and race c a r s . sponsored individual street r o d d e r s . They also

Al H a l l , the managing edi-

tor of Hot Rod magazine in discussions with this researcher has noted numerous instances of dealers in Southern C a l i f o r n i a , especially Ford D e a l e r s , in the early 1950s who gave free service and parts to local street racers who had fast cars of the appropriate make. Similar practices have been verified in The sub rosa

D e t r o i t , M i n n e a p o l i s , C h i c a g o , and St. L o u i s .

support given by Ford field service r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s to dealers in the Carolinas was mentioned e a r l i e r . At the industry level the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , as n o t e d , did little of their own performance d e v e l o p m e n t . or all of it by ordering a few humdred pieces of special e q u i p m e n t from a small private c o m p a n y , stamping parts numbers on them, and shipping them out to their racing teams as "export" equipment . . . It amounted to buyi ng a performance image with a few dollars and practically no expenditure in time or engineering m a n p o w e r . This practice eventually evolved into the factories actually subcontracting with outside organizations They bought most

338 to do their racing and performance development for them (Huntington, 1 9 6 1 : 6 4 , emphasis in o r i g i n a l ) . In the case of Ford and C h e v r o l e t , specific individuals were selected and in some cases actually set up in business by them to run their racing a c t i v i t i e s . It is not possible to detail

here these operations and the boundary spanning personnel who mediated between them and the p r o d u c e r s . B u t , it is clear that

these strategies were risk reducing as discussed by White in Chapter Eight. (7) Corporate Image A similar concern for publicity combined with a desire to develop a f a s t - m o v i n g , u p - t o - d a t e , a c t i o n - o r i e n t e d , that i s , "youthful" corporate image brought forth a crop of so-called "sports" cars around 1952 such as the Buick Skylark, the Buick X P - 3 0 0 , the Ford Continental Nineteen Fifty X, the Chrysler K - 3 1 0 , the Packard Pan A m e r i c a n , the N a s h - H e a l y , etc. These

cars were intended as publicity devices and prestige leaders only; some were for show o n l y , others were limited production models priced far above the mass m a r k e t . brought out in 1953 for one major purpose: "The Corvette was to refute a grow-

ing notion that Chevrolet was getting conservative and stodgy" ("Detroit's Hot Cars Are Geared to S e l l " , Business W e e k , January 1 4 , 1 9 5 6 , p. 2 7 . Also see "Detroit Goes in for Sports Cars -As

Feet F i r s t " , Business W e e k , October 1 8 , 1 9 5 2 , pp. 3 2 - 3 3 ) .

market conditions tightened, managements were persuaded to de30 velop for these cars. In 1955 they introduced a series of five-

seat "sports" cars (Chrysler 300B, Plymouth Fury, Studebaker

339 31 H a w k ) and t w o - s e a t sports cars (Corvette and T h u n d e r b i r d ) . To p r o m o t e these c a r s , they entered them in hot rod c o m p e t i t i o n s . Detroit is plowing the sports car field with new zest. No longer does it regard these o f f - b e a t m o d e l s as mere p r e s t i g e leaders for a c o n v e n t i o n a l line or as answers to c o m p e t i t i o n from sports car spec i a l i s t s . D e t r o i t w a n t s to sell these c a r s . It's out after e\/ery scrap of b u s i n e s s it can get. To sell the sports c a r s , the auto companies are . . . backing entries in stock car races ("Detroit's Hot Cars Are Geared to S e l l " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , J a n u a r y 1 4 , 1 9 5 6 , p. 2 7 ) . (8) Styling In their attempts at tapping new m a r k e t s , the a u t o m o bile m a n u f a c t u r e r s had to design their p r o d u c t so as to be a t t r a c t i v e to those groups they were a f t e r . This ties directly

into the problems of s t y l i n g , the m a j o r m a r k e t i n g w e a p o n of the i n d u s t r y ; also the most e x p e n s i v e and the m o s t risky. The un-

c e r t a i n t i e s and risks involved in styling are e s p e c i a l l y confounding b e c a u s e it is a damned if you do and damned if you don't s i t u a t i o n : there are risks involved in making style

changes and there are risks involved in not making style c h a n g e s . To m i n i m i z e these risks and increase p r e d i c t a b i l i t y , the e n v i r o n m e n t was surveyed via m a r k e t research to a s c e r t a i n developing

trends and c o n s u m e r surveys to a s c e r t a i n c o n s u m e r likes and d i s likes and future p r e f e r e n c e s . H o w e v e r , the i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r -

ed in this m a n n e r was often quite u n r e l i a b l e (witness the many f a i l u r e s ) and in any event was i n s u f f i c i e n t to base a m a n u f a c t urer's a c t i o n s . A n o t h e r means of tapping c o n s u m e r likes and dislikes was to m o n i t o r the hot rod m i n o r i t y . This m i n o r i t y of consum-

340 ers was very special according to Rue! Denney (1957:151):

. . . if we scan the entire consumer-goods market in the period 1 9 4 6 - 1 9 5 6 , the scene provides us with no other so deeply f e l t , widely p o w e r f u l , and economically penetrating revolution in style organized by the consumers themselves With every other c o m m o d i t y , in every other m a r k e t , changes in style have been brought about by research and promotion c a m p a i g n s ; and the public has had its choice of a variety of new products within a broad range or similar style. The hot rod movement is unique in the history of the market and in the history of "organized" consumers in the last twenty y e a r s . The hot rodders were critical of the commercial automobile

market and the industry's concept of the a u t o m o b i l e ; they protested the softsprung "status-car" and their lack of opportunity to purchase the type of automobile they desired. The hot

rodders were forced to build their own automobiles by altering the "Detroit iron" to their own s p e c i f i c a t i o n s . Following Denney's a r g u m e n t , the hot rod minority could possibly function as pioneers in automotive consumption -- that is, as the inventors and earliest adopters of innovations and styles that would otherwise be slower in acceptance 1957:153). (Denny,

As such, they would function as a trend setting

minority in the process of fashion selection (Myersohn and K a t z , 1957) -- although short circuiting the usual pattern of adoption of minority styles by a respectable group before they become fashionable. In the early 1950s hot rodders "modernized" their

cars by lowering, chopping, c h a n n e l i n g , s e c t i o n i n g , and dechroming them, by frenching the grills and head and rear l i g h t s , by adding fender skirts, hood s c o o p s , and continental k i t s , by

341 e x p e r i m e n t i n g with tail f i n s , by reworking i n t e r i o r s , by souping32 . up e n g i n e s , etc. At the same t i m e , industry stylists were de-

signing the cars of the late fifties along four major l i n e s : (1) less chrome and m o r e " s c u l p t u r e d " s i d e s ; (3) t a i l f i n s ; (4) more glass area. (2) lower b o d i e s ;

Many projected designs bore

a striking resemblance to the "radical" customs of the hot rodders. (See "Designing a Car to Capture 1960s M a r k e t " , Busi ness

W e e k , January 2 1 , 1 9 5 6 , pp. 2 9 - 3 4 . ) H o w e v e r , this c o r r e s p o n d e n c e does not imply a simple process of incorporation or co-optation of innovation. It is

found that the first and second generation of designers and stylists had much in common with hot r o d d e r s . Many of them

had actual hot rod e x p e r i e n c e , and all of them had a common passion which they shared with the hot rodder: "Their common

q u a l i f i c a t i o n -- and one never to be u n d e r e s t i m a t e d in Detroit was a fanatic love of c a r s , a racer's mania for the spirit This

and power of a fast moving v e h i c l e " ( M i t a r a c h i , 1 9 5 5 : 5 8 ) . e n t h u s i a m , of c o u r s e , coloured their conception of what an

automobile is and should be and how it should be a c h i e v e d , as Mitarachi ( 1 9 5 5 : 5 8 - 5 9 ) n o t e s : Rules usually have a r e a s o n , and if there is any question about the long range objectives the GM stylists who created the rules [of styling now p r e v a l e n t } , it is quickly answered by a survey of their personal automobile p r e f e r e n c e s . A l m o s t all of them drive sports cars as a matter of course. [blair] MacKichan of Chevrolet drives his own d e s i g n , the C o r v e t t e ; O l d s m o b i l e ' s £Art3 Ross drives his show c a r , the Starfire. The head of C a d i l l a c , Ed G l o w a c k e , not only drives but races a C o r v e t t e , formerly an A u s t i n - H e a l y . Ned Nickles of Buick

342 drives a customized B u i c k , but is reported to have his eye on a M e r c e d e s - B e n z . Among the other members of the Styling S e c t i o n , the MG-TC outsells all c o m e r s . The stylists currently drive (subject to c h a n g e ) 6 M G ' s , 3 Jaguars ( X L - 1 2 O ) , and 5 C o r v e t t e s , a F i a t , F-88 O l d s m o b i l e , a P o r s c h e , V o l k s w a g e n , A u s t i n - H e a l y , Nash M e t r o p o l i t a n , and a Model T. A case in point is that of Harley J. E a r l , who was the man r e s p o n s i b l e for getting designers on the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' payroll in the first p l a c e , and who is the creator and head of the Styling Section of General M o t o r s . Before joining General

M o t o r s , Earl had been involved in racing and "custom" car des i g n , and all of his designs carry this f l a v o r : for 30 years

he had conducted a "war to compress the a u t o m o b i l e into a l o w , wide o b l o n g " ( M i t a r a c h i , 1 9 5 5 : 5 9 ) . M o r e o v e r , Earl's influence

on the rest of the industry is i n c a l c u l a b l e .

At one time or

a n o t h e r , the majority of the top designers have worked for E a r l , and to many he was the sole mentor from whom the trade was learned ( E a r l , 1 9 5 4 ; H u m p h r e y , 1 9 5 4 ; M a c M i n n , 1 9 7 7 ) . The perception of a g r o w i n g , increasingly affluent

m i d d l e class m a r k e t led m a n a g e m e n t s to e m p h a s i z e s t a t u s , perf o r m a n c e , power and luxury in selling a u t o m o b i l e s rather than "basic t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " ; the aim was to sell not the most car for the m o n e y , but the most car for the most money that the consumer could afford. This emphasis was translated into a

long-term trend to l o n g e r , l o w e r , f l a s h i e r , and more powerful automobiles by designers who had certain ideas as to w h a t a car should be like. These ideas are found to be linked to

the hot rodder's because the designers shared many of the hot

343 rodder's values. But the designers were limited by manage-

ment's notions of the mass market and of one car to appeal to all segments of this market. Working within these limitations,

they attempted to create a car whose form, if not content, was the sporty car. Designing family sedans when they would rather

be creating something more lively, like the hot rodders w e r e , was frustrating (see Atcheson, 1963; Barker and Harding, 1 9 7 0 ) . These frustrations were vented in fantasy and doodling. Harley

Earl took these fantasies and turned them into the Dream Cars presented at auto shows, in effect creating the industry's own minority cars. The Dream Cars were a radical change from the

family sedan and were portrayed as the embodiment of the future; hence radical change was equated to improvement by implication. However, . . . the stylists know that change will never be too radical -- it would upset the continuity of products, alienate old friends, and cost too much to boot. The change they can control is a formalistic one -- a difference of expression within a very established concept of what an automobile should be . . . . Thus the flights of fantasy they indulge in have a very low ceiling. They rarely get as high as exploring new concepts of transportation. The stylists feel they have no choice but to pursue the phantom of a form they love -- the sports car, or a reasonably practical facsimilie thereof. In this pursuit, they have proven to their own satisfaction that form can be an adequate substitute for function in the mind of the public (Mitarachi, 1 9 5 5 : 5 9 ) . The official line on the function of the Dream Cars was that they were experiments into consumer tastes: give the

public a glimpse of what the future could hold in store for them

344 if they wanted it, and if they did want i t , give it to them. H o w e v e r , from another angle these cars can be seen as a means of structuring public perceptions and tastes in directions preferred by designers: . . . in point of f a c t , the Motorama Dream Cars are designed long after the production models for the next year or two have been planned and a p p r o v e d , so they often reflect the designs they are supposed to forecast. The Dream Car has proved to be less of an e x p e r i ment in consumer taste than a tool in consumer conditioning: convince the consumer that the future lies in the direction the designer would prefer to be travelling, and before long he'll be travelling in that direction too. There is little doubt that for the makers of the dream, the Dream Car is a motivating force for both the public and the automobile (Mitarachi, 1 9 5 5 : 5 9 ) . The d e s i g n e r s , in "working the system" to meet their own e n d s , worked to develop a strong symbolic meaning of the automobile. Now the growth of drag r a c i n g , stock car racing,

e t c . , and the religious reverence with which the automobile was regarded in these circles told industry administrators and decision-makers that there was more to these phenomena than merely a youth market or a style-setting minority. And given

the history of this "yearning for a v i r i l e , r e s p o n s i v e , hot automobile that must be tamed" (Hough and F r o s t i c k , 1 9 6 7 : 1 7 6 ) , the motives and needs which such an automobile satisfies must run very deep in the human psyche. The policymakers were not

exactly sure what these motives and needs w e r e , but they were influenced and "sold" by stylists who worked their desires into their designs within the limitations predicated by managem e n t s ' perception of other motives and needs to be exploited.

345 E m p h a s i s on p o w e r , s p e e d , and sex b e c a m e d o m i n a n t m o t i f s of the i n d u s t r y ' s d e s i g n s and s a l e s p i t c h e s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . As long as hot r o d d i n g c o n t i n u e d to g r o w it s e r v e d to r e i n f o r c e the r i g h t n e s s of t h e t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e ' s a i m s and the c o r r e c t n e s s of the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s d e c i s i o n s . A n d in m o v i n g

to e x p l o i t w h a t e v e r m o t i v e s and d e s i r e s w e r e i n v o l v e d by p a r t i c i p a t i n g in hot rod e v e n t s , by b u i l d i n g a d v e r t i s i n g campaigns

and total i m a g e s a r o u n d r e s u l t s , and by d e v e l o p i n g the hot rod ( y o u t h ) m a r k e t i t s e l f , the i n d u s t r y m o v e d to e n s u r e the c o n t i n u e d g r o w t h of h o t r o d d i n g . M o r e o v e r , the hot rodders help-

ed to l e g i t i m a t e the d e s i g n e d - i n p o w e r i n c r e a s e s r e q u i r e d by t o o l i n g c o s t s and n o n p r i c e c o m p e t i t i o n w h i l e at the s a m e t i m e t a k i n g m u c h of the b l a m e for the n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s of p o w e r and speed which were becoming public issues.

FOOTNOTES 1 The a n n o u n c e m e n t of the race r e c e i v e d national n e w s p a p e r c o v e r a g e and built up a great deal of e x c i t e m e n t . N e w s papers began to publish a r t i c l e s on m o t o r car d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d . The T i m e s - H e r a l d held a c o n t e s t with a prize of $500 to coin a p r o p e r g e n e r i c name for the m o t o r veh i c l e . (The w i n n e r was " m o t o c y c l e " -- a name w h i c h did not r e c e i v e w i d e a c c e p t a n c e by the p u b l i c . ) The race itself proved to be f r a u g h t with d i f f i c u l t i e s and d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s . More e n t r i e s w e r e received than a n t i c i p a ted: e i g h t y - n i n e i n v e n t o r s s u b m i t t e d i n t e n t i o n s of e n t e r i n g a v e h i c l e in the r a c e . But m o s t of them did not have a w o r k ing v e h i c l e c o n s t r u c t e d at the time they e n t e r e d . And they w e r e u n a b l e to c o n s t r u c t one over the four month period to the actual race date (November 2 , 1 8 9 5 ) . Only four v e h i c l e s showed up on race day -- and only two of these w e r e able to continue r u n n i n g . The race was p o s t p o n e d to a later date ( T h a n k s g i v i n g ) . But only six v e h i c l e s w e r e p r e s e n t for the r a c e . For a c c o u n t s o f the race and its d i f f i c u l t i e s , see A n d e r s o n , 1 9 5 0 ; Crabb, 1969; Partridge, 1952. 2 "The history of the A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e s u p e r - s p e c t a c l e dates from the C h i c a g o T i m e s - H e r a l d c o n t e s t of 1 8 9 5 . All of the d i f f e r e n t types of a u t o m o b i l e e x h i b i t i o n s w e r e to grow out of that e v e n t -- road r a c e s , s p e e d w a y b o w l s , high speed d e m o n strations, endurance tests, reliability runs, hill-clinking c o n t e s t s , t r a n s - c o n t i n e n t a l t o u r s , a u t o m o b i l e s h o w s , and the m a m m o t h d i s p l a y s at the World F a i r s " ( A n d e r s o n , 1 9 5 0 : 1 3 5 ) . 3 It is i m p o s s i b l e to discuss in any detail here the many t e c h n o l o g i c a l and social d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e d to the a c c e p t a n c e and d i f f u s i o n of a u t o m o b i l e s in the United S t a t e s . Among the m o s t i m p o r t a n t factors w e r e : (1) the great growth in urban p o p u l a t i o n s and r e s u l t i n g i n c r e a s e in s t r e e t t r a f f i c ; (2) changes in the design and d e f i n i t i o n of s t r e e t s ; (3) c h a n g e s in r e g u l a t o r y a t t i t u d e s to s t r e e t u s e ; (4) the trend to s u b u r b a n i z a t i o n ; (5) i n c r e a s i n g p r o b l e m s with horses as p o w e r s o u r c e s ; (6) the d e v e l o p m e n t of paving t e c h n o l o g y , and its increased a p p l i c a t i o n ; (7) the r e d e f i n i t i o n of m e c h a n ical v e h i c l e s in f a v o u r a b l e terms based upon urban m i d d l e class e x p e r i e n c e with t r o l l i e s and b i c y c l e s -- and the u l t i m a t e linking of a u t o m o b i l e s with m i d d l e class p r o g r e s s i v i s m and urban reform m o v e m e n t s as a symbol of t e c h n o l o g i c a l and social prog r e s s ; (8) the lack of federal r e g u l a t i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y c o m b i n e d with f e d e r a l / s t a t e / 1 o c a ! s u p p o r t in highway construction. A l t h o u g h there is a vast l i t e r a t u r e and the social history and d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t o m o b i l e , this l i t e r a t u r e is not very s y s t e m a t i c or a n a l y t i c a l . As r e c e n t l y as 1974 Gary Tobin ( 1 9 7 4 a : 4 9 ) in a review of several s c h o l a r l y books on 346

347 the a u t o m o b i l e could say w i t h o u t fear of c o n t r a d i c t i o n : "The a u t o m o b i l e b e c a m e one of the m o s t powerful forces shaping A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y as it helped carry the nation into the t w e n t ieth c e n t u r y . Yet the social history of the a u t o m o b i l e ' s i n t e g r a t i o n into A m e r i c a n c u l t u r e and the c h a n g e s that r e s u l t e d from the m a s s use of cars have been largely u n e x p l o r e d . " It is only r e c e n t l y , in f a c t , that any real s c h o l a r l y a t t e n t i o n has been d e v o t e d to this t o p i c . H i s t o r i a n James Flink ( 1 9 7 5 : 3 ) has m a d e this p o i n t in his book The Car C u l t u r e . "Professional h i s t o r i a n s have devoted r e l a t i v e l y little a t t e n t i o n to the A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e r e v o l u t i o n . . . . This lack of s c h o l a r l y i n t e r e s t has m e a n t that m o s t a u t o m o t i v e h i s t o r y has been w r i t ten by and for the a u t o m o b i l e b u f f . We are i n d e b t e d to him for much of w h a t we know about the history of a u t o m o b i l e racing and the m e c h a n i c a l e v o l u t i o n of the modern m o t o r c a r . But for the general r e a d e r as well as the s c h o l a r , the a u t o m o b i l e buff's a p p r o a c h to a u t o m o t i v e h i s t o r y leaves much to be d e s i r e d . Inv a r i a b l y b e g i n n i n g with a s t a t e m e n t a b o u t the a u t h o r ' s long and p a s s i o n a t e love a f f a i r with the c a r , such books are often unc r i t i c a l , e s o t e r i c , and a n t i q u a r i a n . " B e s i d e s the h i s t o r i c a l r e f e r e n c e s cited in the text e a r l i e r in this s e c t i o n , see also the f o l l o w i n g selected r e f e r ences: Adams, 1938; Allen, 1952; Amory, 1952; Brownell, 1972; B u r b y , 1 9 7 1 ; C l e v e l a n d and W i l l i a m s , 1 9 5 1 ; F l i n k , 1 9 7 2 ; M e l d e r , 1960; Molene, 1971; Mueller, 1928; Rae, 1971; Thomas, 1965. A n u m b e r of r e c e n t P h . D . d i s s e r t a t i o n s in h i s t o r y have e x a m i n e d a s p e c t s of this t o p i c . B r i l l i a n t (1964) d e t a i l s the Social E f f e c t s of the A u t o m o b i l e in S o u t h e r n C a l i f o r n i a During the N i n e t e e n - T w e n t i e s . B e r g e r ( 1 9 7 2 ) d o c u m e n t s The Social Impact of the A u t o m o b i l e on Rural A m e r i c a , 1893-1921T Eastman (1973) c o l l e c t s much of the public and p r i v a t e c r i t i c i s m of a u t o m o b i l e design and styling and plots the d e v e l o p m e n t of a u t o m o t i v e s a f e t y o r g a n i z a t i o n s and their r e l a t i o n s h i p to the i n d u s t r y . M c S h a n e ( 1 9 7 5 ) e x a m i n e s the p r o b l e m s of urban t r a n s p o r t a t i o n in A m e r i c a n cities in the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , some of the changes w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e d the d i f f u s i o n of the a u t o m o b i l e in c i t i e s , and the m a n n e r in w h i c h the a u t o m o b i l e was able to p r o v i d e or was p e r c e i v e d to p r o v i d e s o l u t i o n s to those p r o b l e m s over the 1 8 7 0 - 1 9 1 0 period. T h e i m p o r t a n t role of b i c y c l e s and the b i c y c l e industry in the late 1800s as legal and social runner of i n t e r f e r e n c e and c o n d i t i o n i n g e x p e r i e n c e for the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a u t o m o b i l e s is not always given p r o p e r a t t e n t i o n . More a p p r e c i a t e d has been the t e c h n o l o g i c a l and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s to a u t o m o t i v e d e v e l o p m e n t s t e m m i n g from the b i c y c l e i n d u s t r y . See the f o l l o w i n g e x c e l l e n t w o r k s on the h i s t o r y of b i c y l c e s and their c o n t r i b u t i o n s : A r o n s o n , 1 9 6 8 ; D u n h a m , 1 9 5 6 ; H a r m o n d , 1971-1972; Mason, 1957, Rubenstein, 1977; Smith, 1972; Tobin, 1974b. 4 For various reasons not r e l e v a n t h e r e , it was in France that the first large scale c o n s t r u c t i o n and sales of

348 a u t o m o b i l e s took place ( D o o l i t t l e , 1 9 1 6 ; L a u x , 1 9 7 6 ; P o u n d , 1 9 3 4 ) . By the early 1890s the s o u r c e of power and basic design had been s t a b i l i z e d thus a l l o w i n g the early m a n u f a c t u r e r s to c o n c e n t r a t e upon improving their p r o d u c t s . The g a s o l i n e e n g i n e was chosen as the power source in a m u l t i - c y l i n d e r form. The e n g i n e was located in the front and was c o n n e c t e d to a m u l t i - g e a r t r a n s m i s s i o n which in turn was c o n n e c t e d by a drive line to a d i f f e r e n t i a l unit and the rear w h e e l s . This drive " t r a i n " was all fastened to a central p r e s s e d - s t e e l frame which also formed the f o u n d a t i o n for the body. Such a design was based on the idea that a u t o m o b i l e s w e r e "road l o c o m o t i v e s " in c o n t r a s t to the early A m e r i c a n notion of a u t o m o b i l e s as c a r r i a g e s w i t h o u t horses ( R a e , 1 9 5 9 : 2 6 - 2 7 ) . It was the e x p e n s i v e imported French a u t o m o b i l e s that rich A m e r i c a n s favoured at the turn of the c e n t u r y . Eventually, A m e r i c a n m a n u f a c t u r e r s copied this design and it began to f i l ter down through various price ranges until it became the standard A m e r i c a n design ( T h o m a s , 1 9 6 5 ) . 5 T h e emphasis on the " i n e v i t a b i l i t y " of mass p r o d u c t i o n in the a b o v e q u o t a t i o n by D e n i s o n reveals the liberal i n t e r p r e tation of the historical d e v e l o p m e n t of c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m . Mass p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g i e s as the " i n e v i t a b l e " result of consumer demand implies that m a n u f a c t u r e r s n a t u r a l l y seek the most " e f f i c i e n t " and " r a t i o n a l " p r o d u c t i o n m e t h o d s , that there is only one m o s t e f f i c i e n t and rational m e t h o d , and that the i n s t i tution of this method makes the m a r k e t (and s o c i e t y ) e f f i c i e n t and r a t i o n a l . Those of a r e v i s i o n i s t or e l i t e / c l a s s o r i e n t a tion w o u l d argue that there was nothing i n e v i t a b l e about mass p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g i e s as a r e s p o n s e to c o n s u m e r d e m a n d . M o r e o v e r , they w o u l d argue that the e f f i c i e n c y and r a t i o n a l i t y of mass p r o d u c t i o n is r e l a t i v e to the c a p i t a l i s t s o c i a l / c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t and c a p i t a l i s t g o a l s . From this p e r s p e c t i v e , mass p r o d u c t i o n was a d e l i b e r a t e s t r a t e g y i n s t i t u t e d by m a n u f a c t u r e r s to r e d u c e u n c e r t a i n t y at their input b o u n d a r i e s (that i s , to control the labour p r o c e s s ) and to m a x i m i z e p r o f i t s . Its e f f i c i e n c y is relative to these g o a l s . When other goals are c o n s i d e r e d , mass p r o d u c t i o n can be seen as an i n e f f i c i e n t and irrational s t r a t e g y ( C h i n o y , 1 9 5 5 ; A r o n o w i t z , 1 9 7 3 ; Marx and Engles, 1959; Child, 1969a, 1969b; Braverman, 1974). 6 Of c o u r s e , this a n a l y s i s m u s t be s e l e c t i v e and limited to p r e s e n t i n g main f e a t u r e s and t r e n d s . For f u l l e r and more d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t s of the h i s t o r y of the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , see A y r e s , 1 9 2 1 ; B a n n e r , 1 9 5 4 ; B u r n s , 1 9 3 6 ; C h a m b e r l a i n , 1 9 6 2 ; C h a n d l e r , 1 9 6 2 , 1 9 6 4 , 1 9 6 7 , 1 9 6 9 ; Cochran and M i l l e r , 1 9 6 1 ; Denison, 1956; Donovan, 1965; Epstein, 1928; Katz, 1970; Kennedy, 1941; Lanzillotti, 1971; Potney, 1963; Rae, 1959; Richardson and L e e c h , 1 9 4 0 ; S e l t z e r , 1 9 2 8 ; T h o m a s , 1 9 6 5 , 1 9 6 9 ; W i l s o n , 1976. 7 N u m e r o u s a n a l y s t s p r e d i c t e d the s a t u r a t i o n of the

349 market by 1926, the development of the replacement market and excess plant capacity (for example, A y r e s , 1 9 2 1 ) . However, these analysts failed to consider the powerful influence of purposeful obsolescence in creating and stimulating demand. They also failed to note the development of the export market around 1930. For recent re-analyses of market saturation in the late 1 9 2 0 s , see Mercer and Morgan, 1 9 7 2 ; George and Oksanen, 1973. 8 For full accounts of the history of the Ford Motor Company and its creator, Henry Ford, s e e , Bennett, 1951; Booton, 1969; Chandler, 1964; Ford, 1 9 2 2 ; L e w i s , 1976; Nevins and H i l l , 1954, 1 9 5 7 , 1963; Sorenson, 1956; T h o m a s , 1969; Wik, 1972. 9 For the available history of General Motors Corporation see Beasley, 1947; Chandler, 1964; Chandler and Salisbury, 1971; C u r t i s , 1954; Drucker, 1946; General M o t o r s , 1960; Gusten, 1973; M a n n , 1962; Pound, 1934; R a e , 1958; S l o a n , 1 9 4 1 , 1965; Rae, 1 9 5 8 ; W o l f , 1962. 10 The competition between firms was very stiff during this period. The emphasis on nonprice competition, especially the annual model change, and vertical integration, the increasing use of assembly plants increased the minimum size necessary for producer survival. Many firms were unable to maintain the necessary efficiencies in such a competitive environment and went bankrupt. See Banner, 1954; Epstein, 1 9 2 8 ; Katz, 1970; Seltzer, 1928; T h o m a s , 1965. 11 For all of its importance, it is curious that so little systematic or well developed work has been done on the texture and significance of automotive experience and the many meanings which have been attached to this experience. This does not mean that the literature is small in volume. On the contrary, the volume is large -- but it either briefly skims the surface or elaborates only one aspect. For a sampling, see Black, 1966; Blake, 1974; Bogart, 1976; Botkin, 1970; B u e l , 1973; Dettlebach, 1976; Dodd, 1973; Finch and Smith, 1970; Fishwick, 1970; Hayakawa, 1962a, 1962b; Hoffman, 1966; K e a t s , 1958; Larabee, 1955, 1 9 6 0 ; MacDonald, 1964; McLuhan, 1 9 5 1 , 1964; Nosphitz, 1965; Pactolus, 1 9 7 0 ; Rosenbaum, 1 9 7 2 ; Sanderson, 1969; Schneider, 1971; Silk, 1976; Stone, 1972. Several anthologies on the experience and meaning of automobiles have been compiled by various editors. See Baker and Van O s d o l , 1 9 7 2 ; Jewell, 1965; Malone and Roberts, 1971; Sanford, 1977. On the special relationship between adolescents and a u t o m o b i l e s , see Bauea, 1955; Goldberg, 1969: H o l t z , 1975; Klein, 1 9 7 2 ; McFarland and M o o r e , 1961; Naatanen and Summala, 1965; Weiland, 1955.

350 On hot r o d s , see B a l s l e y , 1 9 5 0 ; B o y l e , 1 9 6 1 , 1 9 6 3 ; D e n n e y , 1 9 5 7 ; Neavles and W i n o k u r , 1 9 5 7 ; R e i s m a n , 1 9 6 1 ; Reisman and L a r a b e e , 1 9 5 8 ; W o l f e , 1 9 6 5 . On m o t o r c y c l e s , see G u t k i n , 1973; Sagnier, 1974; Stone, 1966; Willis, 1972, 1975, 1978. On s y m b o l i c aspects of d r i v i n g , see B l a k e , 1 9 7 4 ; D a n n e f e r , 1 9 7 6 ; Finch and S m i t h , 19 70^ H o f f m a n , 1 9 6 6 ; Jewett and L a w r e n c e , 1 9 7 6 ; K l e i n , 1 9 7 2 ; Naat'anen and S u m m a l a , 1 9 7 6 ; P a r r y , 1 9 6 8 ; R o b e r t s , et a l . , 1 9 6 6 . This author (Listiak, 1978) has developed a p r e l i m i n ary analysis of the a u t o m o b i 1 e - h u m a n r e l a t i o n s h i p and its m a n i f e s t a t i o n in racing in terms of the quality of this r e l a t i o n s h i p and its social i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . It cannot be presented here. 12 The utilization of commodities as personal resources by p u r c h a s e r s or other users is termed " a p p r o p r i a t i o n " by analysts at the Centre for C o m t e m p o r a r y Cultural Studies at the U n i v e r s i t y of B i r m i n g h a m . Users of p a r t i c u l a r c o m m o d i t i e s can a p p r o p r i a t e the standard d e s i g n s , u s e s , m e a n i n g s , and exp e r i e n c e s attached to commodities and creatively r e c o n s t r u c t them to embody and c o m m u n i c a t e types and ranges of d e s i g n , u s e , m e a n i n g , and experience which they choose to develop in constructing their own l i f e s t y l e s . Clarke (1975) and C l a r k e , et al . (1975) discuss this process with respect to the postwar youth s u b c u l t u r e s in England. Willis ( 1 9 7 2 , 1 9 7 5 , 1978) a n a l y z e s the a p p r o p r i a t i o n of m o t o r c y c l e s by young men in a d i s cussion which provides a model for the analysis of automobiles and hot r o d d e r s . This analysis cannot be developed here - - b u t see Listiak ( 1 9 7 8 ) . 13 See "How Long Will the Car Boom L a s t ? " Business W e e k , May 7, 1 9 4 9 , pp. 1 0 - 1 1 ; "End of the Auto B o o m " , Business W e e k , O c t o b e r 2 8 , 1 9 5 0 , p. 2 1 ; "AutosFace Make-Do D a y s " , Business. W e e k , J a n u a r y 2 0 , 1 9 5 1 , p. 7 0 T See also B a n n e r , 1 9 5 4 ; E d w a r d s , 1965; Katz, 1970; Smith, 1968; White, 1971. 14 See "Auto S a l e s : It's No B o o m " , Business W e e k , June 1 4 , 1 9 5 2 , p p . 3 1 - 3 2 ; "Car Makers Gird for B a t t l e " , Business W e e k , S e p t e m b e r 1 9 , 1 9 5 3 , p p . 2 7 - 2 8 ; "Auto C o m p e t i t i o n : How Hot Can It G e t ? " Business W e e k , April 2 4 , 1 9 5 4 , p p . 2 0 - 2 2 . 15 See William B. H a r r i s , "Ford's Fight for F i r s t " , F o r t u n e , S e p t e m b e r , 1 9 5 4 , pp. 1 9 5 - 1 9 8 + ; "Top Goal of Ford's New M a n a g e m e n t : To Outsell C h e v r o l e t " , Business W e e k , June 1 3 , 1 9 5 3 , pp. 9 2 - 9 6 . Among the reasons cited for this drive to o v e r t a k e C h e v r o l e t are: (1) the desire of Henry Ford II to regain Ford's overwhelming position of 30 y e a r s ago under his g r a n d f a t h e r ; (2) the desire to use the Number One position in sales as an asset in the selling of stock in order to gain the n e c e s s a r y funds for e x p a n s i o n .

351 16 "GM Meets Return of Competition with Big Show", Business Week, January 2 2 , 1949, pp. 65-68; "Motorama at the Waldorf; General Motors Revives an Old Custom", Business Week, January 2 4 , 1953, pp. 32-34; "Auto Shows Back", Business Week, February 2 0 , 1954, p. 32; "Bonanza Auto Show in Houston, Business Week, January 15, 1955, p. 41. 17 "General Motors' Car of the Future: Le Sabre", Business Week, December 2 0 , 1950 pp. 22-23; "Sabre Is the Car of the 1960s", Li fe , January 1 , 1951 , pp. 60-61 ; "Ford Shows His Dream Car" , Business Week, June 19, 1952, p. 25; "Ford's Latest Has Two Tops; Mercury's Dream Gets Tryout", Business Week, February 20, 1954, p. 32
18 H Auto Designers Are Getting Ready for Competition",

Business Week, August 3 0 , 1952, pp. 27-28; "Designing a Car to Capture 1960s Market", Business Week, May 8, 1954, pp. 62-66; "Chevrolet Story: Styling", Business Week, October 3 0 , 1954, pp. 44-46; "What Car Designers Are Planning", Business Week. January 21 1956, pp. 56+. 19 "Automatic Drives: Now There Are Five", Business Week, April 3 0 , 1949, pp. 31-32; "Now Its Power Steering; Hydra-Glide", Business Week, December 9, 1950, p. 21; "GM Stock Cars to Offer Air Conditioner in '53", Business Week July 19, 1952, p. 32. 20 "Car Makers Stack Their Chips on Luxury" , Business Week, February 2 3 , 1952, pp. 157-158+; "Designing a Car to Cap. ture 1960s Market", Business Week, May 8, 1954, pp. 62-64; "What Car Designers Are Planning", Business W eek, January 21 1956, p. 56+. 21 "New Auto Engines in Works", Business Week, April 2 2 , 1950, p. 2 0 ; "Detroit Can Do Its Own Hot Rodchng" Business Week, January 26, 1952, p. 62+; "More Horsepower for Chrysler" Business Week, November 8. 1952, p 34; "V-Eight Engines Make the Grade" , Business Week December 19, 1953, pp 84+; "The Whys of the Power Race",' Business Week, December 4, 1954, pp 70+. 22 "Egg That Hatched a Sports Car", Busi ness Week, December 8, 1951, pp. 180-182; "Detroit Goes in for Sports Cars -- Feet First", Business Week, October 1 8 , 1952, pp. 32-33; Business Week, January "Detroit's Hot Cars Are Geared to Sell 14, 1956, p. 27.

352 23

The m a n u f a c t u r e r s 1 s t r u g g l e for s a l e s l e a d e r s h i p , e s s e n t i a l l y a s t r i v i n g for v o l u m e , and t h e i r d e s i r e to m a i n tain p r o f i t m a r g i n s led them to set the p r i c e of t h e i r cars in a d v a n c e on the basis of a p r e d e t e r m i n e d v o l u m e . If t h a t v o l u m e was not p r o j e c t e d s o m e w h a t h i g h , t h e i r p r i c e s w o u l d be h i g h , and d e a l e r s w o u l d have t r o u b l e s e l l i n g t h e i r c a r s . O n c e the v o l u m e was d e t e r m i n e d , m a n u f a c t u r e r s tried to m a k e it a r e a l i t y . H e n c e , the f a c t o r y put " p r e s s u r e " on the d e a l e r to sell as m a n y cars as p o s s i b l e . And due to the n a t u r e of the f r a n c h i s e a g r e e m e n t s b e t w e e n d e a l e r s and m a n u f a c t u r e r s , d e a l e r s w e r e in e f f e c t f o r c e d to buy all the cars the f a c t o r y w a n t e d them to -- and at t h e i r p r i c e -- and then to retail them as b e s t they c o u l d . With the c h a n g e d m a r k e t c o n d i t i o n s , m a n y d e a l e r s w e r e forced into all s o r t s of m a n e u v e r s j u s t to get rid of these c a r s , no matter what. T h u s , d e a l e r s are found g i v i n g o v e r s i z e d t r a d e - i n a l l o w ances a n d / o r cutting p r i c e s (both of w h i c h r e d u c e the d e a l e r s ' profit m a r g i n ) , running loud, full-page newspaper a d s , telep h o n e s o l i c i t i n g , ringing d o o r - b e l l s , s t a g i n g sales " b l i t z e s " at w h i c h "no r e a s o n a b l e o f f e r " is r e f u s e d , o f f e r i n g p r i z e s , e t c . S e e , for e . g . , " A u t o s : T h e Dump and D i s c o u n t B l u e s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , O c t o b e r 3, 1 9 5 3 , p. 1 6 9 ; " F o r t y - E i g h t Cars in 4 8 H o u r s : BaTlly-Hoo W h o o p s Up S a l e s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , O c t o b e r 1 0 , 1 9 5 3 , p. 5 8 ; " R a z z l e - D a z z l e M o t o r s : D e a l e r ' s Sales P r o m o t i o n " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , N o v e m b e r 7 , 1 9 5 3 , p. 5 0 ; "Auto D e a l e r : O l d , T i r e d and B a f f l e d ; R a z z l e - D a z z l e S e l l i n g M a k e s H u l l - D o b b s B i g g e s t Ford D e a l e r " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , May 2 2 , 1 9 5 4 , p p . 4 4 + . O v e r l o a d e d f r a n c h i s e d e a l e r s also r e s o r t e d to the " b o o t l e g g i n g " of new cars to n o n f r a n c h i s e d " s u p e r m a r k e t " d e a l e r s , t h a t i s , selling e x c e s s new cars to a used car d e a l e r in a n o t h e r t e r r i t o r y at near w h o l e s a l e p r i c e s . This p r a c t i c e was both illegal and u n e t h i c a l . See " N o . 1 W o r r y : Car B o o t l e g g i n g " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , F e b r u a r y 1 8 , 1 9 5 0 , p p . 4 8 - 5 0 ; "War on A u t o B o o t l e g g i n g " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , M a r c h 1 3 , 1 9 5 4 , p. 5 2 ; " D e a l e r s Find It R o u g h " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , F e b r u a r y 1 2 , 1 9 5 5 , p p . 3 0 - 3 1 ; "Auto D e a l e r s in a J a m , Busi ness ...Week, F e b r u a r y 1 9 , 1 9 5 6 , p. 5 6 ; " S u p e r m a r k e t s : D e a l e r s in S u r p l u s C a r s G o Big T i m e " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , O c t o b e r 1, 1 9 5 5 , p p . 1 0 4 - 1 0 6 + . D e a l e r s found l i t t l e r e s p o n s e to t h e i r p l i g h t and to t h e i r c o m p l a i n t s by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s . T h e y b e g a n to take a c tion on t h e i r own -- even t a k i n g the m a n u f a c t u r e r s to c o u r t . See " D e a l e r s T a k e the O f f e n s i v e ; Put P r e s s u r e on M a n u f a c t u r e r s More Liberal Franchise T e r m s " , Business W e e k , June 1 7 , 1 9 5 0 , p p . 3 2 - 3 3 ; "Auto D e a l e r s Sound a W a r n i n g " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , J a n u a r y 1 6 , 1 9 5 4 , p . 2 8 ; "Auto M a k e r s in C o u r t ; L e g a l i t y of E x c l u s i v e F r a n c h i s i n g of D e a l e r s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , March 1 9 , 1 9 5 5 , p. 6 8 ; " R e v o l t in the A u t o W o r l d " , Busines's W e e k , S e p t e m ber 1 0 , 1 9 5 5 , p. 5 2 . Only a f t e r this a c t i o n did the m a n u f a c t u r e r s r e a c t : " D e t r o i t Bids for D e a l e r P e a c e " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , D e c e m b e r 1 7 , 1 9 5 5 , p p . 3 0 - 3 1 ; "Auto Men B u t t e r Up T h e i r D e a l e r s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , F e b r u a r y 4 , 1 9 5 6 , p. 2 9 ; " S t r i v i n g Off a D e a l e r R e v o l t " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , July 7, 1 9 5 6 , p p . 5 5 - 5 6 +

353 For studies on a u t o m o b i l e f r a n c h i s e agreements and m a n u f a c t u r e r - d e a l e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , s e e , among o t h e r s , C h a m b e r s , 1 9 5 8 ; H e w i t t , 1 9 5 6 ; P a s h i g a n , 1 9 6 1 ; B u r y , 1 9 7 3 ; B r o w n l e e , 1966. Several authors have argued that these r e l a t i o n s h i p s are structurally loaded in favour of the m a n u f a c t u r e r s and cause dealers to v i o l a t e ethical and legal norms in their sales e f f o r t s . For e x a m p l e , L e o n a r d and W e b e r , 1 9 7 0 ; F a r b e r m a n , 1 9 7 5 . Several studies have examined the legal and political aspects of these r e l a t i o n s h i p s . See M a c a u l a y , 1 9 6 6 ; P a l a m o u n t a i n , 1 9 5 5 ; C r o l l , 1969. 24 "Next: A G a s - T u r b i n e Powered A u t o ? XP-21 F i r e b i r d " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , January 1 6 , 1 9 5 4 , p. 3 0 ; "What to Do Until Turbine C o m e s " , Business W e e k , October 2 2 , 1 9 5 5 , pp. 8 3 ; "Parts Makers Prepare for T u r b i n e " , Business W e e k , May 1 9 , 1 9 5 6 , p p . 6 4 + . 25 This protest was expressed in many n e w s p a p e r e d i t o r i a l s and m a g a z i n e a r t i c l e s . For e.g., see " H o r s e p o w e r vs H o r s e s e n s e ; Pro and Con D i s c u s s i o n " , S c h o l a s t i c , S e p t e m b e r 2 4 , 1 9 5 2 , pp. 91 1 ; J.K. K n u d s e n , "We've Gone H o r s e p o w e r C r a z y " , Changing T i m e s , M a y , 1 9 5 3 , pp. 1 9 - 2 0 ; "Too Much H o r s e p o w e r ? " T i m e , S e p t e m b e r 2 1 , 1 9 5 3 , p. 9 6 ; "Horsepower Race Condemned by Research G r o u p " , S c i e n c e D i g e s t , O c t o b e r , 1 9 5 3 , p. 2 6 ; R. M o s e s , "Turn Back the Killer S p e e d " , New York Times M a g a z i n e , January 4, 1 9 5 3 , pp. 1 1 + ; "Don't Spare the H o r s e s " , C o l l i e r s , J a n u a r y 8, 1 9 5 4 , pp. 1 1 0 + ; G. K o e t n e r , "High H o r s e p o w e r -- Does It Mean Life or D e a t h ? " L o o k , January 2 6 , 1 9 5 4 , pp. 6 8 + ; E. J a d e r q u i s t , " H o r s e p o w e r R a c e " , A t l a n t i c , June 1 9 5 4 , pp. 5 6 - 5 8 ; "Now Is the Time to Round Up H o r s e p o w e r " , Farm J o u r n a l , March 1 9 5 5 , p. 1 7 6 ; W.J. M o r g a n , "Stock Car Racing Is D a n g e r o u s " , New S t a t e s m a n , May 1 4 , 1 9 5 5 , pp. 6 8 0 - 6 8 1 ; R. M o r l e y , " S p e e d , the K i l l e r " , N e w s w e e k , June 2 7 , 1 9 5 5 , p. 9 6 ; "Horsepower R a c e " , T i m e , O c t o b e r 2 4 , 1 9 5 5 , p. 9 4 . 26 Regarding the hot rodder's claims of great t e c h n o l o g ical i n f l u e n c e on the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y , the question of the origins of such d e v e l o p m e n t s as high c o m p r e s s i o n e n g i n e s , dual and t r i p p l e c a r b u r e t i o n , dual e x h a u s t s y s t e m s , etc. is a complex and d i f f i c u l t o n e . On the one h a n d , the industry was talking about developments such as these immediately after World War II: "New E n g i n e s " , Business W e e k , June 1 4 , 1 9 4 7 , p. 5 2 ; " C o m p r e s s i o n Ratio Going U p ? " Business W e e k , N o v e m b e r 8, 1 9 4 7 , p. 6 2 ; "01s Steps Up C o m p r e s s i o n " , Business W e e k , April 1 7 , 1 9 4 8 , p. 8 0 . F u r t h e r , the industry was e x p e r i m e n t i n g with new engine d e s i g n s ; "Radical engines a r e n ' t new to D e t r o i t . Auto makers keep large research staffs busy d e s i g n i n g , b u i l d i n g , and testing radical p o w e r p l a n t s that bear no r e s e m b l a n c e to those under the hoods of late m o d e l s . New ideas do get into p r o d u c t i o n e n g i n e s , but it has to be an e v o l u t i o n a r y rather than a r e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s . There are two big r e a s o n s : (1) it takes y e a r s to make sure that a new idea will give the same results in the hands of the customers as in the laboratory and on the proving g r o u n d s ; (2) i n v e s t m e n t in special production

354 m a c h i n e r y and e q u i p m e n t is too high to m a k e f r e q u e n t c h a n g e s " ("Detroit Can Do Its Own H o t R o d d i n g " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , J a n u a r y 26, 1952, pp. 6 2 + ) . On the o t h e r h a n d , m a n y of the i n d u s t r y ' s d e s i g n e r s , s t y l i s t s , and e n g i n e e r s at this t i m e w e r e a c t u a l l y hot r o d d e r s or had b a c k g r o u n d s in hot r o d d i n g . See the d i s c u s s i o n l a t e r in this s e c t i o n . M o r e o v e r , hot rod r a c i n g and o t h e r types of r a c i n g did m a k e i m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s to a u t o m o t i v e d e v e l o p m e n t . See D o n o v a n , 1965 ; - M a c P h e r s o n , 1 9 6 0 ; and e s p e c i a l l y Van Valkenberg, 1972:Chap. 10. 27 S e e "The W h y s of the P o w e r R a c e " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , D e c e m b e r 4 , 1 9 5 4 , p p . 7 0 - 7 4 ; " D e s i g n i n g a Car to C a p t u r e 1 9 6 0 ' s M a r k e t " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , May 8, 1 9 5 4 , p p . 6 2 - 6 4 ; " W h a t Car D e s i g n e r s A r e P l a n n i n g " , B u s i n e s s Week., J a n u a r y 2 1 , 1 9 5 6 , p p . 29-32. 28 By the late 1950s t h e r e w o u l d be 16 m i l l i o n to 17 m i l l i o n t e e n - a g e r s , of w h i c h at l e a s t 5.5 m i l l i o n w o u l d be d r i v i n g . In a d d i t i o n , the p o s t w a r baby boom w o u l d be c o m i n g of d r i v i n g age in the s i x t i e s -- t h e r e w o u l d be a 53 p e r c e n t inc r e a s e in the 13 to 19 age g r o u p from 1 9 5 5 to 1965 ( w h e r e a s the total p o p u l a t i o n w o u l d i n c r e a s e only 15 p e r c e n t ) . T h i s is the g r o u p w h i c h w o u l d come to have a g r e a t deal of p o w e r o v e r the i n c r e a s i n g p e r s o n a l and d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e s . See " C a t c h i n g C u s t o m e r s at the C r i t i c a l A g e " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , O c t o b e r 2 6 , 1 9 5 7 . pp. 8 4 - 8 7 . 29 A n u m b e r of p e r s o n s ( f o u r ) w h o w e r e d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d in the a c t i o n s and d e c i s i o n s t a k e n d u r i n g this time w e r e in f a c t i n t e r v i e w e d -- a f t e r m u c h d i f f i c u l t y in t r a c k i n g them down a n d / o r a r r a n g i n g an i n t e r v i e w . H o w e v e r , they w e r e not i n c l i n e d to d i s c u s s in any detail the d e c i s i o n s or the c r i t e r i a upon w h i c h they w e r e m a d e at t h a t t i m e . M u c h of this r e t i c e n c e e v i d e n t l y s t e m m e d from p a s t e x p e r i e n c e w i t h a c a d e m i c and o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s , e i t h e r at f i r s t hand or t h r o u g h s t o r i e s they had h e a r d . E v i d e n t l y a n u m b e r of r e s e a r c h e r s had not b o t h e r e d to show t h e i r w r i t t e n w o r k to the i n d i v i d u a l s c o n c e r n e d a n d / o r m i s q u o t e d , s l a n t e d or c r i t i c i z e d t h e m . A l s o two w e r e still emp l o y e d by the c o r p o r a t i o n and b e c a u s e some of t h e i r e a r l y a c t i v i t i e s w e r e not a p p r o v e d by c o m p a n y p o l i c y , they w e r e r e l u c t a n t to d i s c u s s t h e m . For o b v i o u s r e a s o n s no n a m e s will be gi v e n . 30 T h e C h r y s l e r 300 is a case in p o i n t . A c c o r d i n g to the r e p o r t s of Bill C a r r o l l ( 1 9 6 1 a , 1 9 6 1 b , 1 9 6 1 c ) the car w a s i n t e n d e d as an i m a g e b u i l d e r for C h r y s l e r and w a s a p u b l i c i t y v e h i c l e m o r e than a n y t h i n g e l s e , a l t h o u g h p r o f i t a b i l i t y f i g u r e d in the c a l c u l a t i o n s as w e l l . C a r r o l l c i t e s Bob R o d g e r , then c h i e f e n g i n e e r of C h r y s l e r D i v i s i o n as s a y i n g t h a t "the b i g g e s t p r o b l e m in s e l l i n g c o r p o r a t i o n m a n a g e m e n t on the 300 p r o j e c t

355 w a s g e t t i n g key p e o p l e to d r i v e the c a r . 'We w e r e n ' t c o n c e r n e d w i t h b u i l d i n g a lot of t h e s e j u s t b e c a u s e h o r s e p o w e r and p e r f o r m a n c e w e r e t o p s ' , says B o b . 'We w a n t e d the 3 0 0 p e r f o r m a n c e i m a g e a r o u n d the e n t i r e C h r y s l e r l i n e . ' It took a m o n t h to c o n v i n c e c o m p a n y b r a s s t h a t a ' h o t ' h a r d t o p c o u l d c r e a t e a p r o d u c t i m a g e and be p r o f i t a b l e " ( C a r r o l l , 1 9 6 1 b : 6 1 6 2 . See a l s o W i l l i a m s , 1 9 7 4 ; H o w l e y , 1 9 7 9 b ) . 31 T h e r e are m a n y s i m i l a r i t i e s and o v e r l a p s b e t w e e n " s p o r t s " cars (that i s , f o r e i g n s p o r t s c a r s ) and hot r o d s , and b e t w e e n the p a r t i c u l a r c u l t s w h i c h have g r o w n up a r o u n d t h e m . M o s t d i s c u s s i o n s t r e a t s p o r t s cars as one a s p e c t of hot r o d d i n g T h i s d i s c u s s i o n does n o t . T h e r e are i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n both the cars and the c u l t s . See B o n d , 1 9 5 4 ; D o n o v a n , 1 9 6 5 ; H o u g h , 1 9 6 4 ; P u r d y , 1 9 6 0 ; Y a t e s and Y a t e s , 1 9 5 4 . The g r e a t e s t d i s t i n c t i o n s , for the p u r p o s e s of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , are the u s u a l l y s t o c k c o n d i t i o n of the s p o r t s car as c o m p a r e d to the hot r o d , and the s p o r t s c a r ' s l e g i t i m a c y , t h a t i s , the lack of n e g a t i v e p u b l i c r e a c t i o n to the s p o r t s car and its c u l t . T h e v a r i a n c e in l e g i t i m a c y b e t w e e n hot r o d d i n g and s p o r t s car c u l t s , as f o r m s of m a r g i n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n in c o n s u m e r s h i p at this t i m e , a p p e a r s to d e p e n d upon two b a s i c f a c t o r s : (1) the c l a s s and s t a t u s of the m e m b e r s , and (2) the d e g r e e of i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h the a u t o m o b i l e as m a c h i n e . T h e r a n k s of the s p o r t s car c u l t w e r e d r a w n from m a i n l y the m i d d l e and u p p e r c l a s s e s w h e r e a s the hot r o d d e r s w e r e , on the w h o l e , l o w e r m i d d l e c l a s s in o r i g i n . M o r e o v e r , w h i l e both c u l t s w e r e c r i t i c a l of the A m e r i c a n car and both a d v o c a t e d " i n v o l v e d " d r i v i n g , o n l y the hot r o d d e r b e c a m e f u l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h his m a c h i n e in a c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s of b u i l d i n g and r e b u i l d i n g to s u i t his d e s i r e s . T h e s p o r t s car fan w a s a p u r i s t w h o r e m a i n e d f a i r l y d i s t a n t from his car in this s e n s e , u t i l i z i n g it m o r e as a " s p e c i a l kind of s u b u r b a n i t e s t a t u s s y m b o l , " a c c o r d i n g to B o t k i n ( 1 9 7 0 : 4 8 ) . T h i s d i s t a n c e and his c l a s s b a c k g r o u n d w e r e the s o u r c e of the l e g i t i m a c y of the car d r i v e r ; the hot r o d d e r ' s c r e a t i v e i n v o l v e m e n t and r e b u i l d i n g w a s e q u a t e d w i t h d e l i n q u e n c y as an a t t a c k on e s t a b l i s h e d a u t h o r i t y , and t h e i r u n c o v e n t i o n a l r e s u l t s w e r e p e r c e i v e d as d a n g e r o u s . T h e p o i n t to be m a d e h e r e is that the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y ' s a t t e m p t s to tap and b u i l d this m a r k e t (the s p o r t s car m a r k e t ) are tied to t h e i r a t t e m p t s to d e v e l o p the y o u t h and hot rod m a r k e t s and a l s o to play on the m o t i v e s and the n e e d s s a t i s f i e d by a r e s p o n s i b l e p e r f o r m a n c e - o r i e n t e d automobile. On the p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n of the f o r e i g n s p o r t s car c u l t , see "MG M i d g e t C r a z e " , L i f e , J a n u a r y 1 9 , 1 9 4 9 , p p . 5 3 - 5 4 ; " S p o r t s C a r s " , L i f e , S e p t e m b e r , 2 2 , 1 9 5 2 , p p . 8 8 - 9 3 , and d i s c u s s i o n O c t o b e r 1 3 , 1 9 5 2 , p. 2 0 ; " S p o r t s Car Set R i d e s A g a i n " , C o l l i e r s , April 4 , 1 9 5 3 , p p . 6 8 - 7 3 ; R. B u t t e r f i e l d , " C r a z y Over Sports C a r s " , Saturday Evening P o s t , November 7, 1 9 5 3 , pp. 3 4 - 3 5 + ; C.W. N o r t o n , " A c c e n t on L i v i n g ; S p o r t s C a r s " , A t l a n t i c J u n e , 1 9 5 4 , p p . 8 6 - 8 7 ; " S p o r t s m a n ; S p o r t s C a r " , New Y o r k e r , O c t o b e r 2 2 , 1 9 5 5 , p p . 3 5 - 3 7 ; " S p o r t s w i t h C a r s ; S p o r t s Car C u l t " , New York T i m e s M a g a z i n e , A u g u s t 1 1 , 1 9 5 7 , p p . 1 5 - 1 6 + .

356 32 See, for e.g., Bob McCail , "Trend in Custom Design" Motor Trend, September, 1953, pp. 40-44; James Potter and George Barris, "How Cars Are Customized", Motor Life, June, 1956, pp. 24-29.

C H A P T E R 12 THE I N C O R P O R A T I O N OF HOT R O D D I N G : THE LATE 1950s AND 1960s

This c h a p t e r c o n t i n u e s the analytical history begun in the last c h a p t e r . It traces the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n hot

rodding and the a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y through the r e c e s s i o n of the late 1 9 5 0 s , the recovery of the late 1 9 6 0 s . The Late 1950s The a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y had e s t i m a t e d the new car m a r ket of the m i d d l e and late fifties to be around 5 m i l l i o n per y e a r . units in the early 1960s and the growth

The unexpected sales e x p l o s i o n of 1955 o c c a s s i o n e d

i n d u s t r y p l a n n e r s to r e - e v a l u a t e the i n d u s t r y ' s "growth f a c t o r s " and s u d d e n l y 8 m i l l i o n units per y e a r looked r e a s o n a b l e to exp e c t (see "8 Million C a r s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , O c t o b e r 8, 1 9 5 5 , p. 2 7 ; G i l b e r t Burck and Sanford S. P a r k e r , "The B i g g e s t Car M a r ket Y e t " , F o r t u n e , N o v e m b e r , 1 9 5 6 , p p . 1 0 9 + ) . The t r e m e n d o u s

s u c c e s s of 1955 was a t t r i b u t e d to the new designs and m e c h a n ical f e a t u r e s introduced s i m u l t a n e o u s l y by all manufacturers

(only B u i c k , O l d s m o b i l e , and C a d i l l a c did not i n t r o d u c e new models). Industry m o g u l s w e r e now firmly c o n v i n c e d not only

of their a b i l i t y to a r o u s e the c o n s u m e r with well styled and p r o m o t e d a u t o m o b i l e s but also of their a b i l i t y to keep the consumer coming back for more with "new" m o d e l s ( D y c k m a n , 1 9 6 2 ) . In f a c t , it appears that they felt that they had the public " h o o k e d " on its m a c h i n e s for a long time to c o m e ; that they could w o r k the public in the same way that a p u s h e r c o n t r o l s his j u n k i e s : 357

358 The auto industry . . . is selling not just t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , but a p a c k a g e of physical and p s y c h o l o g i c a l s a t i s f a c t i o n s . And its genius for p e r i o d i c a l l y arousing the passion of the A m e r i c a n c o n s u m e r for a new model shows not the s l i g h t e s t sign of d e c l i n i n g . And that is w h y , in the face of fierce c o m p e t i t i o n from other c o n s u m e r g o o d s , the industry so c o n f i d e n t l y -- and plausibly -- expects the A m e r i c a n c o n s u m e r to keep on devoting a large and ever growing percentage of his growing income to p a s s e n g e r a u t o m o b i l e s (Gilbert Burck and Sanford S. P a r k e r , "The B i g g e s t Car M a r k e t Y e t " , F o r t u n e , N o v e m b e r , 1 9 5 6 , p. 2 8 0 ) . H o w e v e r , the c a r - b u y i n g public did not respond to the i n d u s t r y ' s m a n i p u l a t i o n s like a j u n k i e on a pusher's s t r i n g . It b o u g h t only 5.8 million a u t o m o b i l e s in 1956 and 5.7 m i l l i o n in the recession y e a r of 1957 -- far from the expected 8 m i l lion. Yet the industry's c o n f i d e n c e remained u n s h a k e n :

D e t r o i t r a t i o n a l i z e d that it had o v e r b u i l t in 1 9 5 5 , would soon recover its former p a c e . W h a t was needed was change every

y e a r , r a t h e r than the t h r e e - y e a r cycle d e v e l o p e d in the T w e n t ies by GM ("Detroit Enters New C o m p e t i t i v e Era With its 1960 M o d e l s " , Business W e e k , A u g u s t 9, 1 9 5 9 , p. 7 2 ) . With recovery slated for 1 9 5 8 and e x t e n s i v e model changes to insure good r e s u l t s , the m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e solidly o p t i m i s t i c as they e n tered the 1958 model year -- in f a c t : " D e t r o i t is more optimAnd with good r e a -

istic now than it has been since m i d - 1 9 5 5 . sons:

Never since 1955 have the auto m a k e r s been so excited

about their new p r o d u c t s , so convinced their cars are in tune with changed and changing c o n s u m e r t a s t e s . " ("Giant Questions

Plague D e t r o i t " , Business W e e k , N o v e m b e r 9, 1 9 5 7 , p. 8 1 ) . But 1958 turned out to be a real d i s a s t e r . Total sales fell to Sales

4.3 m i l l i o n , the lowest level since World War II ended.

359 improved s o m e w h a t in 1 9 5 9 , but at 5.4 m i l l i o n were still far below the 1955 e x p e c t a t i o n s . And if a shrinking auto m a r k e t

were not bad e n o u g h , the Big Three found their m a r k e t p e n e t r a tion shrinking as w e l l : General Motors fell from 50.8 p e r c e n t

of the m a r k e t in 1955 to 42.1 percent in 1 9 5 9 ; Ford w e n t from 30.4 p e r c e n t in 1957 to 28.1 percent in 1 9 5 9 ; C h r y s l e r dropped from a 1957 figure of 18.3 percent to 11.3 p e r c e n t in 1 9 5 9 , a level not seen since before the w a r . The industry's confidence

and o p t i m i s m were replaced by c o n f u s i o n , u n c e r t a i n t y , and hesi1 tation as 1959 and the sixties a p p r o a c h e d . It is clear that such factors as the growth of the " m a t u r e " c o n s u m e r and the general r e c e s s i o n which began in mid 1957 and continued through 1959 and which was intensified by Sputnik I contributed to the poor p e r f o r m a n c e of the auto 2 industry at this time. H o w e v e r , some fundamental factors lay in the auto industry itself. As the c o n c e p t of relational conlevel

trol is n e i t h e r monocausal nor phrased at the individual

of a n a l y s i s , it is able to c o m p r e h e n d the often unintended cons e q u e n c e s or secondary o u t c o m e s which a power s t r u c t u r e creates or sets in motion as a result of its own a c t i o n s . No power

strategy is effective for all times and all c i r c u m s t a n c e s ; "no solution lasts forever" ( W h i t t , 1 9 7 9 : 9 7 ) . At the institutional

l e v e l , the automobile m a n u f a c t u r e r s along with highway c o n s t r u c t i o n , o i l , and associated industries w e r e acting in such ways as to promote legislation and public p o l i c i e s f a v o u r a b l e to their interests and blocking the d e v e l o p m e n t of e f f e c t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e systems of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n ( B u e l , 1 9 7 3 ; L e a v i t t , 1 9 7 0 ; Mowbray, 1969; Whitt, 1975, 1979; Burby, 1971; Snell, 1975).

360 T h e s e e f f o r t s , w h o s e a n a l y s i s is b e y o n d t h e s c o p e of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , w e r e still r e l a t i v e l y e f f e c t i v e . Secondary outcomes until

w o u l d n o t d e v e l o p t h r e a t e n i n g p r o p o r t i o n s at t h i s level

e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s had b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t and c o s t l y - - a n d R a l p h N a d e r b e g a n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n m u c k - r a k i n g and c o n s u m e r i s s u e s . of

A t t h e c o r p o r a t e level is

w h e r e m a n y of the d i f f i c u l t i e s in t h i s p e r i o d can be l o c a t e d . P a r t i c u l a r l y in the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e a u t o m o b i l e as an all p u r p o s e v e h i c l e and t h e t h r e e to f o u r y e a r lead-times

r e q u i r e d to i n s t i t u t e s t y l e c h a n g e s or to b r i n g a n e w c a r to 3 market. M u c h of t h e a u t o m o b i l e i n d u s t r y ' s t r o u b l e s in the l a t e f i f t i e s can be t r a c e d to t h e d e c i s i o n s m a d e in 1 9 5 4 - 1 9 5 5 a b o u t 1957-1958 designs. As m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , t h e s y m b o l i c nature

of t h e a u t o m o b i l e and t h e n a t u r e o f t h e c o m p e t i t i o n in t h e i n d u s t r y led to the e m p h a s i s of n o n p r i c e f a c t o r s s u c h as s t y l e , h o r s e p o w e r and p e r f o r m a n c e , l u x u r y , e t c . Such emphasis was

w e l l r e c e i v e d by the n o v e a u r i c h m e n t a l i t y of t h e g r o w i n g m i d d l e c l a s s m a r k e t in the b o o m i n g e c o n o m y of t h e e a r l y f i f t i e s , a m a r k e t w h i c h l o o k e d as if it w o u l d g r o w f o r e v e r . Consequently,

t h e m a k e s in the m i d d l e - p r i c e b r a c k e t ( $ 2 , 0 0 0 - $ 4 , 0 0 0 ) c a m e to t a k e a b o u t h a l f of t h e total s a l e s . Within this b r a c k e t ,

G e n e r a l M o t o r s ' B u i c k , O l d s m o b i l e , and P o n t i a c had 60 p e r c e n t of t h e t o t a l . Ford and C h r y s l e r w a n t e d to fill t h e i r c o m p e t i -

t i v e g a p s by i n c r e a s i n g t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e s h a r e s of t h i s l u c r a 4 tive m a r k e t . In the p o s t w a r y e a r s the Ford M o t o r C o m p a n y had c o n c e n t r a t e d its m a i n e f f o r t s to g a i n a p o w e r f u l p l a c e in the i n -

361 d u s t r y w]t,h the l o w - p r i c e Ford. Ford line was set by the Ford. C o n s e q u e n t l y , the image of the The M e r c u r y , Ford's only entry people

in the m i d d l e - p r i c e r a n g e , s u f f e r e d as a r e s u l t --

t h o u g h t of the M e r c u r y (and even the L i n c o l n ) as a b i g g e r Ford w h e r e they w o u l d never think of the Buick or the P o n t i a c as a bigger Chevrolet. F u r t h e r , Ford o w n e r s did not g r a d u a t e upward

in the c o m p a n y line b e c a u s e the M e r c u r y ' s image w a s , a c c o r d i n g to R i e s m a n and L a r r a b e e ( 1 9 5 8 : 2 7 4 ) , "more s u i t a b l e for the f l a m i n g y o u t h trade than for r e l i a b l y rising b o u r g e o i s . " By 1953 Ford had i n c r e a s e d its p r o d u c t i v e c a p a c i t y e n o u g h to start planning its s t r a t e g y to gain f i r s t place in the i n d u s t r y . Noting the shape of the m a r k e t and the s u c c e s s

of General M o t o r s ' m i d d l e - p r i c e m a k e s , it w a s decided at this time to p r o d u c e a full line of b i g g e r and h i g h e r priced F o r d s . In 1955 the Ford F a i r i a n e was i n t r o d u c e d into the m i d d l e - p r i c e range. Also in 1 9 5 5 , on the basis of e x t e n s i v e r e s e a r c h and

the c o n t i n u e d success of the m i d d l e - p r i c e m a k e s , it was d e c i d ed to bring a new and s e p a r a t e line of m e d i u m - p r i c e d cars to m a r k e t for 1 9 5 8 , the Edsel . F u r t h e r steps w e r e taken at this time to p e n e t r a t e the m i d d l e - p r i c e m a r k e t : the T h u n d e r b i r d

w o u l d be e x p a n d e d into a f o u r - s e a t e r for 1 9 5 8 ; the c o m p l e t e M e r c u r y line w o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y r e s t y l e d for 1957 and b r o a d ened with a big l u x u r i o u s Park Lane model for 1 9 5 8 ; the w h o l e Ford line w o u l d be restyled for 1 9 5 9 . C h r y s l e r ' s tactics w e r e p r e d i c a t e d o n s o m e w h a t d i f f e r e n t p r e m i s e s than F o r d ' s . W h e r e a s Ford was in a solid p o s i t i o n

and aiming for the number one sales s p o t , C h r y s l e r was in bad shape as the buyer's m a r k e t r e t u r n e d in 1 9 5 3 , even though it

362 had t h r e e cars in the m i d d l e - p r i c e range to Ford's o n e , C h r y s l e r had a n u m b e r of p r o b l e m s as r e f l e c t e d in its d e c l i n i n g m a r k e t p e n e t r a t i o n w h i c h fell from 26 p e r c e n t in 1952 to a b o u t 13 5 p e r c e n t in 1 9 5 4 . It had an ingrown m a n a g e m e n t . It had a p o o r l y o r g a n i z e d sales f o r c e . It had the h i g h e s t m a n u f a c t u r -

ing costs of the Big T h r e e , m a i n l y b e c a u s e it had no large v o l u m e model n e c e s s a r y for low costs as Ford and C h e v r o l e t did. To get around this p r o b l e m many parts w e r e to be m a d e interc h a n g e a b l e on all m o d e l s by d e s i g n i n g all bodies for all m a j o r lines m o r e or less i d e n t i c a l l y . As a r e s u l t , the 1957 P l y m o u t h

( l o w - p r i c e ) w o u l d e m e r g e to be as large as Dodges and some Chryslers. On top of t h i s , C h r y s l e r ' s s t y l i s t s had r e s i s t e d the trend to l o n g e r - w i d e r - l o w e r d e s i g n s . In the early f i f t i e s

C h r y s l e r ' s e x e c u t i v e s w e r e m a i n l y e n g i n e e r s w h o a t t e m p t e d to r e a l i z e t h e i r practical i n t e r e s t s in a u t o m o b i l e s w h i c h w e r e s o l i d l y e n g i n e e r e d and c o m p a c t , that i s , m o r e " f u n c t i o n a l " than their c o m p e t i t o r s ' . M o r e than any o t h e r f a c t o r C h r y s l e r ' s

s t y l i n g was blamed for its d e c l i n e and a crash p r o g r a m to overhaul it was u n d e r t a k e n aiming for 1 9 5 5 ; its m o d e l s w e r e to be l e n g t h e n e d as much as 16 inches and l o w e r e d as much as 3 inches and w e r e to be billed as "The F o r w a r d L o o k " . And to

keep the m a r k e t s t i m u l a t e d , a n o t h e r style c h a n g e was s c h e d u l e d for 1957 and then again in 1 9 6 0 . The 1955 Ford F a i r l a n e "forced" C h e v r o l e t to turn its B e l - A i r into a super d e l u x e model w h i c h , with the right o p t i o n s , w o u l d p l a c e well into the m i d d l e - p r i c e r a n g e . Buick and O l d s -

363 mobile were restyled for 1957 and their range was broadened by offering models in almost the lowest price range occupied by C h e v r o l e t , Ford, and Plymouth. When the dust of the 1957 sales race had settled, Ford had outsold Chevrolet for the first time since the 1930's. Ford sold 37,000 more cars than Chevrolet after losing by more than 190,000 in 1956. Ford's total share of the market Chrysler also

increased from 28.4 percent to 30.4 percent. enjoyed increased market penetration.

It went from 15 percent These suc-

in 1956 to 20 percent in 1 9 5 7 , a gain of 5 percent.

cesses came mainly at the expense of General Motors whose market share fell 6 percent from 50.8 percent in 1955 and 1956 to 44.8 percent in 1957. The hardest hit at General Motors were Buick's

the middle-priced m a k e s , B u i c k , O l d s m o b i l e , and Pontiac.

share of the market fell from 10.3 percent in 1955 to 6.6 percent in 1 9 5 7 ; Oldsmobile went from 8.2 percent in 1955 to 6.2 percent in 1 9 5 7 ; Pontiac dropped from its 1955 share of 7.4 percent to 5.3 percent in 1957. Now General Motors began to feel the crunch. For 1958

management pushed Chevrolet into full competition by putting a former Dream Car, the "Impala", into production as the top of the line model selling at over $ 3 , 0 0 0 . Buick and Oldsmobile

received major style changes and Pontiac was completely restyled. For 1959 General Motors planned to restyle its complete

line -- including Chevrolet and Pontiac -- and to drop its normal three year cycle of style changeovers in favour of a two year p a t t e r n , in a strong affirmation of the belief in the power of styling and planned obsolescence. To help reduce the

364 t r e m e n d o u s costs entailed by such a p l a n , the i n t e r c h a n g e a b i 1 i t y among its various makes was increased by s t a n d a r d i z i n g one basic body shell as C h r y s l e r had e a r l i e r . The "A" body

( C h e v r o l e t and P o n t i a c ) was to be dropped and the "B" body ( B u i c k , O l d s m o b i l e , and C a d i l l a c ) w o u l d b e c o m e the basic body for the c o m p l e t e General Motors l i n e . With both Ford and General M o t o r s s p o r t i n g a l l - n e w bodies for 1 9 5 9 , total sales climbed to 5.4 m i l l i o n , an i m p r o v e m e n t over 1958 but still far from the m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' early e x p e c t a t i o n s . Y e t , in spite of the i n c r e a s e , the Big

Three c o n t i n u e d to lose part of their m a r k e t p e n e t r a t i o n . The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for this loss lay not w i t h their l o w - p r i c e d or h i g h - p r i c e d m a k e s , which m a n a g e d to m a i n t a i n or even inc r e a s e their m a r k e t s h a r e s , but with the m i d d l e -priced m a k e s . The shares of the m i d d l e - p r i c e d lines fell from over 40 percent in 1955 to 30 percent in 1957 to 25 p e r c e n t in 1 9 6 0 ; Buick dropped down to a mere 4 p e r c e n t in 1 9 5 9 , O l d s m o b i l e to less than 6 p e r c e n t , M e r c u r y to 2.6 p e r c e n t from 5.2 p e r c e n t in 1 9 5 5 , and C h r y s l e r ' s Desoto was taken off the m a r k e t in 1960. Other l o n g - e s t a b l i s h e d names in the m i d d l e - p r i c e d range

also fell by the w a y s i d e , n a m e l y , H u d s o n , N a s h , and P a c k a r d . And the E d s e l , introduced in late 1 9 5 7 , faired so poorly that 6 it was s c r a p p e d at the end of 1 9 5 9 . The d e c l i n e in p e n e t r a t i o n of the Big Three was matched by the i n c r e a s e d p e n e t r a t i o n of the f o r e i g n m a n u f a c t u r e r s and to a lesser e x t e n t the A m e r i c a n independent manufacturers. Foreign cars w e n t from less than

one p e r c e n t of the m a r k e t to 3.5 p e r c e n t in 1957 to over 10 p e r c e n t in 1 9 5 9 ; A m e r i c a n Motors climbed from less than 2 per-

365 cent in 1955 to 4 percent in 1958 and to 6 p e r c e n t in 1959 (Brantl, 1963). The m a n u f a c t u r e r s ' m a n e u v e r s in the late 1950's were in line with their 1954-1955 p e r c e p t i o n of the future m a r k e t and their c o n c e p t of the a u t o m o b i l e as "an all purpose vehicle which could be fitted to an amorphous p r e d o m i n a n t l y m i d d l e class m a r k e t by the use of optional e q u i p m e n t " ( E d w a r d s , 1 9 6 5 : 134. See also "Optional E x t r a s : Detroit's Way of Making Cars

Fit Many T a s t e s " , Business W e e k , April 6, 1 9 5 7 , pp. 1 1 3 + ) . Their m a n e u v e r s also followed the orderly p r o g r e s s i o n of style 7 change w h i c h they thought so i m p o r t a n t . trusion of the traditional The resulting in(Chevrolet,

low-priced volume leaders

F o r d , and P l y m o u t h ) into the price ranges of the traditional m i d d l e - p r i c e d group and vice v e r s a , plus the s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n of body shells led to w h a t Eric Larrabee ( 1 9 5 8 , 1960) calls the " h o m o g e n i z a t i o n " of the A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e . had been reduced from a.family of products satisfying many tastes and needs to an inbred group of first cousins aping each o t h e r . With the a c c e p t a n c e of the f u l l - l i n e (policy of b a s i c - t o - d e l u x e models in each d i v i s i o n , h o m o g e n i z a t i o n is c o m p l e t e ; there is some cream in every q u a r t and fewer visible w a y s to tell Grade A from Grade C . . .Not content to reach just a slice of the mass m i d d l e - c l a s s m a r k e t , each m a j o r p r o d u c e r engages in a l l out c o m p e t i t i o n to "cover" all the features any other m i g h t o f f e r . So car p e r s o n a l i t i e s have blurred and d i s t i n c t i o n s have dwindled as all design is shaped around a hypothetical median p o i n t . I n e v i t a b l y , this has produced the "big p a c k a g e " , not only in o u t l i n e but in d e t a i l ; more p o w e r , m o r e l e n g t h , more c h r o m e , and more money ("This Way to the New A m e r i c a n 'Small C a r 1 ? " Industrial D e s i g n , F e b r u a r y , 1 9 5 9 , pp. 7 8 - 7 9 T Automobiles

366 In f o l l o w i n g this p r o c e s s the i n d u s t r y p l a n n e r s locked onto the i m a g e of s u c c e s s that seemed to w o r k so well with the c u s t o m e r s of the early f i f t i e s : not only did they come to

b e l i e v e in the g o o d n e s s of b i g n e s s but they closed their m i n d s to any o t h e r v a l u e s . And in doing so the i n d u s t r y "defied the it r e d u c e d the p u r c h a s e of a new car

rule of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n :

from a c h o i c e among o p t i o n s to a m i n i m u m n e c e s s i t y " ("This Way to the New A m e r i c a n 'Small C a r 1 ? " Industrial D e s i g n , 8 F e b r u a r y . 1 9 5 9 , p. 8 0 ) . The status s y m b o l i s m and the n o v e a u riche m e n t a l i t y w e r e no longer as o p e r a t i o n a l ; the c o n s u m e r ' s once e x c l u s i v e love a f f a i r w i t h D e t r o i t and its p r o d u c t s had ended in the g r e a t fling of 1 9 5 5 . . . . W h a t had really h a p p e n e d w a s : (1) A s u d d e n d i s a f f e c t i o n w i t h the p r i c e of cars in r e l a tion to the new d e m a n d s being p l a c e d on the c o n s u m e r ' s p u r s e . (2) The f i r s t inkling from abroad that y o u d o n ' t have to pay $ 2 , 5 0 0 $ 3 , 5 0 0 to get basic t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , w h i c h many s u b u r b a n i t e s came to r e a l i z e w a s w h a t they really n e e d e d . It was no l o n g e r s m a r t -- c e r t a i n l y not e c o n o m i c a l -- to tie up m o n e y or f u t u r e e a r n ing (in i n s t a l l m e n t c r e d i t ) for autos w h o s e f u n c t i o n a l q u a l i t i e s , such as i n s i d e r o o m i n e s s and easy h a n d l i n g in t r a f f i c , w e r e d e c l i n i n g w i t h each new model ("Detroit E n t e r s New C o m p e t i t i v e Era With Its 1 9 6 0 M o d e l s " , B u s i n e s s Week, August 8, 1 9 5 9 , p. 6 2 ) . The i n d u s t r y had b e c o m e s t r a n d e d on a p r i c e and s t y l e p l a t e a u from which it could not e a s i l y r e m o v e itself at a time w h e n the e c o n o m y was r e c e d i n g and the m a r k e t w a s d i f f e r e n t i a t ing into "a c o n g l o m e r a t e of m a s s , s e g m e n t e d m a r k e t s , each w i t h its own n e e d s , income l e v e l s , family c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and each with m o n e y to spend on a p r o d u c t if it is t a i l o r e d to its n e e d s " ("Detroit Enters New C o m p e t i t i v e Era With Its 1960 M o d e l s " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , A u g u s t 8, 1 9 5 9 , p p . 7 2 - 7 3 ) .

367 T h e s e t r e n d s , plus the growing demand for second c a r s , had been noted by industry o b s e r v e r s as far back as 1 9 5 4 . But

for v a r i o u s r e a s o n s , the p o l i c y m a k e r s did not w a n t to change 9 the d i r e c t i o n of the industry just then. By 1 9 5 7 , h o w e v e r , it was a p p a r e n t that the Big Three w e r e moving away from a s i z e a b l e n u m b e r of car b u y e r s , as e v i d e n c e d by the growing foreign car m a r k e t , the success of A m e r i c a n M o t o r s ' R a m b l e r , and the i n c r e a s i n g public criticism of the Big Three's p r o 10 ducts. The a d m i n i s t r a t o r s told the d e s i g n e r s to start plan-

ning the " s m a l l " or " c o m p a c t " car w h i c h they w a n t e d to have 11 ready to m a r k e t by 1 9 6 0 . Y e t , n e i t h e r the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s nor the d e s i g n e r s knew much about the m a r k e t at which they were a i m i n g . In f a c t , they w e r e riddled with m i s i n f o r m a t i o n and 12 c o n t r a d i c t o r y f i n d i n g s . F u r t h e r , the $200 m i l l i o n i n v e s t m e n t r e q u i r e d to bring a c o m p a c t to m a r k e t m e a n t that a volume of at least 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 units had to be sold just to break e v e n ; this m e a n t that the small car m a r k e t had to be e x p a n d e d far beyond its p r e s e n t s i z e . fusion. The industry was in quite a state of con-

An unnamed auto company o f f i c i a l , when queried if his

firm w o u l d be i n t r o d u c i n g a c o m p a c t c a r , was quoted as d e c l a r i n g , "I can't say t h a t . It's just not a sure thing y e t . If

we build o n e , it w o n ' t be in r e s p o n s e to public demand -- it'll be a case of p a n i c " (cited in M e l d e r , 1 9 6 0 : 4 8 0 ) . U n d e r such uncertain and p r o b l e m a t i c c o n d i t i o n s as existed in the late f i f t i e s , it is not s u r p r i s i n g that the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s began to grasp at anything which would p r o m o t e and stimulate the sale of a u t o m o b i l e s . Motivational 13 research was instituted on a l a r g e - s c a l e by the auto m a k e r s .

368 Teams of r e s e a r c h e r s w e r e hired to find the effects of the sounds and smells of the car upon the b u y e r , to make sure that the car had the proper sounding door s l a m , e t c . And,

n a t u r a l l y , the symbolic nature of the a u t o m o b i l e c o n t i n u e d to be d e v e l o p e d and e x p l o i t e d in design and a d v e r t i s i n g . Automo-

biles and the a d v e r t i s e m e n t s supposed to sell them m o r e than ever came to spread the "Cadillac S y n d r o m e " , play upon a g g r e s -

sive i m p u l s e s , c h a l l e n g e m a s c u l i n i t y , hint at v i c a r i o u s v i o l e n c e , s y m b o l i z e freedom and i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and to s t i m u l a t e 14 u n c o n s c i o u s sexual d e s i r e s . In the m e a n t i m e , with the a s s i s t a n c e of the i n d u s t r y , 15 hot rodding was growing and becoming m o r e p r o s p e r o u s . However, b e c a u s e of certain d e v e l o p m e n t s the m a n u f a c t u r e r s faced the c o n s e q u e n c e s of their a c t i v i t i e s in hot r o d d i n g . The p a r t i c i -

pation of m a n u f a c t u r e r s in hot rodding e v e n t s , and the cons e q u e n t t r u m p e t i n g of v i c t o r i e s in mass a d v e r t i s i n g in the m i d d l e - f i f t i e s had increased to such an e x t e n t that many felt a p o i n t of a b s u r d i t y had been r e a c h e d . With their help con-

tests had b e c o m e so numerous and d i v e r s i f i e d that nearly every m a n u f a c t u r e r could d o m i n a t e a p a r t i c u l a r class or e v e n t ; n e a r ly every m a n u f a c t u r e r won something it could b o a s t about in its a d v e r t i s i n g . Victory began to carry a hollow ring. Add-

ed to t h i s , public concern about highway safety and p a r t i c u l arly the r e l a t i o n of the " h o r s e p o w e r r a c e " and p e r f o r m a n c e ad16 v e r t i s i n g to a c c i d e n t s had increased to such a degree that in late 1956 a s u b c o m m i t t e e from the House I n t e r s t a t e and Foreign C o m m e r c e C o m m i t t e e was formed to get answers to such q u e s t i o n s . This i n v e s t i g a t i o n put the m a n u f a c t u r e r s on the spot to e x p l a i n

369 why so much horsepower was necessary and why so much emphasis on speed and performance was required to sell cars (see "The Show Is Rough -- But Auto Safety Is the P o i n t " , Business W e e k , September 1, 1 9 5 6 , pp. 2 8 - 2 9 ) . Shortly after these hearings the Automobile Manufacturers A s s o c i a t i o n , a peak trade association which included the representatives from the Big T h r e e , passed a resolution declaring that the industry would involuntarily stop factory participation in organized racing and stop using the results in advertising campaigns. Passed unanimously at its meeting of

June 6, 1 9 5 7 , the resolution read: W h e r e a s , the Automobile Manufacturers Association believes that the automobile manufacturers should encourage owners and drivers to evaluate passenger cars in terms of useful power and the ability to provide s a f e , reliable and comfortable transportation, rather than in terms of capacity for speed. Now t h e r e f o r e , this board unanimously recommends to the member companies engaged in the manufacture and sale of passenger cars and station wagons that they: (1) Not participate or engage in any public c o n t e s t , competitive event or test of passenger cars involving or suggesting racing or speed, including acceleration t e s t s , or encourage or furnish f i n a n c i a l , engineering» m a n u f a c t u r i n g , advertising or public relations a s s i s t a n c e , or supply "pace cars" or "official c a r s " , in connection with any such c o n t e s t , e v e n t , or test, directly or indirectly. (2) Not participate or engage in, or encourage or assist e m p l o y e e s , dealers or others to engage i n , the advertising or publicizing of: (a) any race or speed c o n t e s t , test or competitive event involving or suggesting speed, whether public or p r i v a t e , involving passenger c a r s , or the results thereof; or (b) the actual or comparative capabilities of passenger cars for speed, or the specific engine s i z e ,

370 t o r q u e , h o r s e p o w e r or a b i l i t y to a c c e l e r ate or p e r f o r m , in any c o n t e x t that s u g g e s t s speed. On the s u r f a c e 4 s u c h action was an a t t e m p t to d e f u s e the p u b l i c issue and was in part m o t i v a t e d by the fear of g o v e r n m e n t l e g i s l a t i o n which would i n t e r f e r e with the i n d u s t r y ' s autonomy. M o r e o v e r , given the e s c a l a t i o n of c o m p e t i t i o n in

racing and a d v e r t i s i n g to w h a t many o b s e r v e r s believed w e r e points of d i m i n i s h i n g r e t u r n s , it appears o b v i o u s to these o u t siders that this a g r e e m e n t was a c o l l u s i v e and r e l a t i v e l y c o s t less a c t i o n -- in f a c t , a cost savi nq a c t i o n , c o n s i d e r i n g the e s t i m a t e d $3 million Ford and C h e v r o l e t w e r e each spending on such a c t i v i t i e s . For their e f f o r t s , national sales figures H o w e v e r , re-

did not seem to show much in the way of r e s u l t s .

search in the Ford Motor C o m p a n y A r c h i v e s s u p p l e m e n t e d by the more e x t e n s i v e research of Leo Levine in Ford and by the ins i d e r ' s story of former C h e v r o l e t e n g i n e e r Paul Van V a l k e n b u r g h r e v e a l s a m o r e complex and c o m p l i c a t e d p i c t u r e . It is all the

m o r e i n t e r e s t i n g b e c u a s e the AMA a g r e e m e n t was not well a d h e r ed to and was finally o v e r t h r o w n by Ford and C h r y s l e r . The idea for the r e s o l u t i o n was f i r s t p r o p o s e d to the AMA by then GM p r e s i d e n t Harlow C u r t i c e in F e b r u a r y , 1 9 5 7 . C e r t a i n l y a factor in its proposal -- and u l t i m a t e a c c e p t a n c e -- was the c r i t i c i s m by the public and the heads of various states d i r e c t e d to p e r f o r m a n c e themes and c a m p a i g n s . Much

s u p p o r t for the proposal came from the top level e n g i n e e r s . H o w e v e r , as Levine ( 1 9 6 8 : 2 2 5 ) points o u t ; t h e i r s u p p o r t was m o tivated no less out of concern for public w e l f a r e than by concern for their own r e p u t a t i o n s and p o s i t i o n s . For p a r t i c i p a -

371 pation in hot rod events and racing programs were public exhibitions of engineering p r o w e s s . When cars broke d o w n , as

they inevitable did under the severe stresses and strains of racing -- r e s p o n s i b i l i t y could be attributed to the e n g i n e e r s , e s p e c i a l l y the chief e n g i n e e r s . The public was now evaluating

production automobiles in settings which reflected directly upon them. "It had to be r e p r e h e n s i b l e to the m a n a g e m e n t en-

g i n e e r s , and when they found a w i l l i n g ally in such o r g a n i z a tions as the AAMVA and the National Safety C o u n c i l , they were quick to take advantage of it" ( L e v i n e , 1 9 6 8 : 2 2 5 ) . This m a n a g e m e n t attitude was not n e c e s s a r i l y shared by the engineering t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e and this created the conditions which would prove p r o b l e m a t i c later. Levine ( 1 9 6 8 : 2 2 5 - 2 2 6 ) : On the lower levels there w e r e young men straining every nerve to improve their products to the point where they would be better than those of the c o m p e t i t i o n , men who had suddenly discovered a whole new avenue of engineering e n d e a v o u r , and who realized how important it was -- not only to a racing prog r a m , but to making the series production vehicle that much better for the c o n s u m e r . On the upper levels there w e r e some persons who just didn't w a n t to be bothered -- or be shown up in a contest they had always been able to lay off on the sales d e p a r t m e n t . At Ford Motor Company there was some opposition expressed within the c o r p o r a t i o n . When the proposal was being According to

discussed before its tabling at the A M A , several persons voiced their concerns and their r e a s o n s . Some of these w e r e con-

tained in a report to A.A. K u c h e r , the vice p r e s i d e n t of engineering s t a f f , by James 0. W r i g h t , a s s i s t a n t general manager of Ford D i v i s i o n , written in early A p r i l , 1 9 5 7 . W r i g h t argued

372 t h a t the p r o p o s a l that " p e r f o r m a n c e a d v e r t i s i n g may be a b a n d o n ed for 1 9 5 8 and s u b s e q u e n t y e a r s p r o b a b l y s p r i n g s from a f e e l ing t h a t F o r d ' s 1958 e n g i n e p r o g r a m will c o n t i n u e to keep it in a p o s i t i o n of s u p r e m a c y in stock car r a c i n g . " He w e n t on to

a r g u e for k e e p i n g the racing p r o g r a m a l i v e in o r d e r t o . e n s u r e t h a t this p o s i t i o n will be m a i n t a i n e d "since we have every r e a s o n to b e l i e v e that if we should lessen our e f f o r t s , o t h e r m a n u f a c t u r e r s will q u i c k l y i n c r e a s e t h e i r a l r e a d y s i z e a b l e int e r e s t s in this field to the d e t r i m e n t of our sales and d e a l e r m o r a l e . " A n o t h e r set of r e a s o n s was p r e s e n t e d in a m e m o r a n d u m w r i t t e n on May 8, 1957, to R o b e r t M c N a m a r a , then general manager

of the Ford D i v i s i o n , by C.R. B e a c h a m , general sales m a n a g e r of the Ford D i v i s i o n . We w o u l d like to r e c o m m e n d the Ford D i v i s i o n c o n t i n u e to p a r t i c i p a t e Racing will not stop as a r e s u l t of any AMA r e s o l u t i o n ; and b e c a u s e of the p e c u l i a r i t i e s of the Ford and C h e v r o l e t p r o d u c t s , the Ford car -- u n l e s s in the hands of c a p a b l e m e c h a n i c s w i t h a d e q u a t e e q u i p m e n t and p a r t s , and d r i v e n by the b e s t d r i v e r s -- c a n n o t o u t p e r f o r m the C h e v r o l e t . . . . B e c a u s e of t h i s , an i n d i v i d u a l or a d e a l e r c a n n o t d e v o t e the m o n e y n e c e s s a r y to a s s u r e a w i n n i n g Ford. . . . We b e l i e v e General M o t o r s r e c o g n i z e s t h e s e facts and is using the AMA as a g u i s e for d r a w i n g us away from our o b j e c t i v e , k n o w i n g full well that they will a c h i e v e s u p e r i o r i t y p u r e l y on the basis of having a car m o r e e a s i l y a d a p t a b l e to racing than the F o r d . At F o r d s m a n a g e m e n t p r e v a i l e d aided by the fact that Ford was a r e c e n t m e m b e r of the AMA and top m a n a g e m e n t "did not w a n t to go a g a i n s t the m a j o r i t y f e e l i n g of a club in w h i c h it w a s a new m e m b e r " ( L e v i n e , 1 9 6 8 : 2 2 6 ) . A t General M o t o r s

and C h r y s l e r there was by no m e a n s a c o n s e n s u s w i t h i n their

373 ranks on this i s s u e , e i t h e r , as will be discussed shortly.

People at Ford thought that the General Motors m a n a g e ment was trying to take a d v a n t a g e of the s i t u a t i o n . Whether

this was the case or n o t , it is a p p a r e n t that General M o t o r s , and C h e v r o l e t in p a r t i c u l a r , had less to lose under the resolution. " C h e v r o l e t had stolen a march on e v e r y o n e by using rac-

ing as a new and exciting medium through which to introduce its V - 8 » " says Levine ( 1 9 6 8 : 2 3 2 ) . ceeding analysis s u g g e s t s . It was that and more,as the pre-

As C.R. Beachman noted a b o v e , the

C h e v r o l e t V-8 was better e n g i n e e r e d in terms of its hot r o d a b i l ity than anything Ford had. And the C h e v r o l e t promotion had

struck first and made its point in a r e l a t i v e short period of time. It follows that with those goals a c h i e v e d , the racing

support was no longer n e c e s s a r y ; "from now o n , private persons who w e n t racing would p u r c h a s e Chevy products before all else and thus further enhance the p e r f o r m a n c e r e p u t a t i o n of the m a k e " (Levine, 1968:232). This is an interesting h y p o t h e s i s , but

there is virtually no way to d e t e r m i n e if such thinking was b e hind the a c t i o n s of GM m a n a g e m e n t . But it was p r e v a l e n t in the A n d , as will

minds of a number of people at Ford and C h r y s l e r .

be s h o w n , it influenced greatly the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of s u b s e quent e v e n t s . T h e s e events stem from the c o n f l i c t noted above between m a n a g e m e n t and the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e and the way this conflict worked itself out in the c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e s . Within

large c o r p o r a t i o n s , most d i v i s i o n s have a good deal of freedom from the "front o f f i c e " ; similarly for d e p a r t m e n t s within divsions. This autonomy allows for a degree of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of

374 p o l i c y as well as for i n d e p e n d e n t a c t i o n ( w i t h i n l i m i t s ) . the m a n a g e m e n t s imposed the AMA r e s o l u t i o n upon t h e i r t h e r e was a lot of i n t e r p r e t i n g . When

divisions

This w a s r e i n f o r c e d by the It was not an e n f o r c -

a c t u a l w o r d i n g of the r e s o l u t i o n i t s e l f .

ed c o n t r a c t b e t w e e n p r o d u c e r s , a l t h o u g h it was e x p l i c i t and iron^ c l a d a s t o w h a t a c t i v i t i e s w e r e not a l l o w e d . "recommendation". As Paul Van V a l k e n b u r g h But it w a s only a ( 1 9 7 2 : 4 3 ) put it:

" E v e r y m a n u f a c t u r e r w a s a b s o l u t e l y free to do e x a c t l y w h a t it c h o s e a n y h o w , b e c a u s e the r e s o l u t i o n had all the i m p l i e d -- and u n e n f o r c a b i 1 i t y -- of a U n i t e d N a t i o n s c e n s u r e . power However,

the top e x e c u t i v e s at GM and Ford had a g r e e d , and they i m m e d i a t e ly b e g a n to d i s a s s e m b l e t h e i r r a c i n g o p e r a t i o n s * " O n l y the top

e x e c u t i v e s did not do the d i s a s s e m b l y t h e m s e l v e s -- they g a v e a p o l i c y d i r e c t i v e to the d i v i s i o n heads w h o p a s s e d it on to t h o s e p e o p l e w h o w e r e in c h a r g e of the p r o g r a m s . trouble began. H e r e is w h e r e the

The terms of the r e s o l u t i o n s p e c i f i e d no r a c i n g

or a d v e r t i s i n g , but s h o r t of t h a t , as n o t e d , it w a s w i d e o p e n . Ford m a n a g e m e n t took the r e s o l u t i o n s e r i o u s l y and interpreted

it 1 i t e r a l l y . T h e y w e r e q u i t e c l e a r and s t r i c t in m a k i n g s u r e it was i m p l e m e n t e d c o r r e c t l y . ation w a s d i f f e r e n t . At G e n e r a l M o t o r s , h o w e v e r , the situ-

In the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , the a c t i v i t -

ies at G e n e r a l M o t o r s will be d e s c r i b e d f i r s t and then t h o s e at Ford. M a n y of the d e t a i l s are n o t a v a i l a b l e , and of t h o s e t h a t

a r e , o n l y a s e l e c t few will be p r e s e n t e d to p r o v i d e a s u f f i c i e n t outline. T h e c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n the t e c h n o s t r u c t u r e and m a n a g e m e n t at G e n e r a l M o t o r s w o r k e d i t s e l f out in a very i n t e r e s t i n g w a y . For r e a s o n s w h i c h r e m a i n o b s c u r e , GM m a n a g e m e n t c h o s e not to be

375 literal in its i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of the AMA r e s olution. Of c o u r s e , r a c i n g p r o g r a m s w e r e o r d e r e d s t o p p e d . After

the ban the C h e v r o l e t D i v i s i o n w a s n e v e r o f f i c i a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d at hot rod and o t h e r r a c e s , n e v e r b u i l t a c o m p l e t e , r u n n i n g r a c i n g c a r , paid a d r i v e r to race t h e i r c a r s , c l a i m e d c r e d i t for r a c e v i c t o r i e s , or p r o m o t e d them in a d v e r t i s i n g . Nevertheless,

n u m e r o u s a c t i v i t i e s and d e v e l o p m e n t s took p l a c e at C h e v r o l e t and o t h e r GM d i v i s i o n s w h i c h w e r e h i g h l y q u e s t i o n a b l e u n d e r the t e r m s of the r e s o l u t i o n -- and did m o r e than r a i s e e y e b r o w s o u t s i d e the c o r p o r a t i o n . Paul Van V a l k e n b u r g h , a f o r m e r e n g i n e e r

at C h e v r o l e t E n g i n e e r i n g , has c o m p i l e d a d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t of the a c t i v i t i e s at C h e v r o l e t in the p o s t w a r p e r i o d to 1 9 7 0 . ing to h i m : General M o t o r s n e v e r c o n s c i o u s l y b r o k e the AMA d e c i s i o n not to p a r t i c i p a t e in "speed e v e n t s " . Even C h e v r o l e t n e v e r o v e r t l y d e cided to go r a c i n g . But in an o r g a n i z a t i o n as big as G e n e r a l M o t o r s , p o w e r f u l i n d i v i d uals can conceal a l a r g e n u m b e r of n e b u l o u s a c t i v i t i e s . E s p e c i a l l y if t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s are p r i v a t e l y a d m i r e d by a n y o n e w h o h a p p e n s to s t u m b l e a c r o s s t h e m . T h e r e f o r e , the r e a son C h e v r o l e t b e g a n l o o k i n g a l i t t l e s u s p i c i o u s w a s not t h a t a r a c i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n w a s f o r m e d , but b e c a u s e i n d i v i d u a l s -- h i g h , m i d d l e , and low p l a c e d -- w e r e i n t e r e s t e d in r a c i n g , for any n u m b e r of p e r s o n a l r e a s o n s . You will find the s a m e i n t e r e s t in any c o r p o r a t i o n , but at C h e v r o l e t , the p e o p l e had the m e a n s to get i n v o l v e d (Van V a l k e n b u r g h , 1972:75). T h e s e " n e b u l o u s " and " s u s p i c i o u s " a c t i v i t i e s , w h i c h will be d i s c u s s e d in a m o m e n t , o b v i o u s l y could not be p e r f o r m e d in the open but could not be t o t a l l y c o n c e a l e d e i t h e r . ment would come across them. within limits. Eventually, manageAccord-

At C h e v r o l e t they w e r e t o l e r a t e d ,

Van V a l k e n b u r g h ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of this p r o c e s s

376 will be q u o t e d : As m o r e and more upper e c h e l o n people realized w h a t was going on down deep in the c o m p a n y , j u s t i f i c a t i o n a p p e a r e d as it was n e e d e d . The c o n t i n u a t i o n of any a c t i v i t y was always based upon the r e l a t i v e value of man-hours versus demonstrable results. And b e c a u s e of the c o m p a r a t i v e l y low costs -- c o m p a r e d to w h a t F o r d , F e r r a r i , P o r s c h e , Lotus and o t h e r s w e r e i n v e s t i n g in c o m p e t i tion -- it d i d n ' t take much to c o n v i n c e the p e o p l e with the p u r s e - s t r i n g s that they w e r e getting a lot for their d o l l a r s . As far as the c o r p o r a t i o n h i e r a r c h y was c o n c e r n e d . . « a few p e o p l e had m a d e a r e l a t i v e l y a r b i t r a r y , i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l d e c i s i o n , and since they felt it had no g r e a t i n f l u e n c e on the C o r p o r a t i o n one way or a n o t h e r , it simply was not w o r t h internal p o l i c i n g . T h e r e w e r e other p r o b l e m s far g r e a t e r than that of a few inside p e o p l e who w e r e racing f a n a t i c s (Van V a l k e n b u r g h , 1 9 7 2 : 7 5 ) . But there w e r e l i m i t s . As Van V a l k e n b u r g h d e s c r i b e s the s i t u a -

t i o n , it b e c a m e a game of i n s i d e r s v e r s u s o u t s i d e r s with the ins i d e r s h o r d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and covering their a c t i v i t i e s as best they c o u l d . Going too far m e a n t the end of the a c t i o n , but w i t h

no p o l i c y g u i d e l i n e s no one knew how far was too f a r . A m o n g the a c t i v i t i e s during this p e r i o d Van V a l k e n b u r g h d e s c r i b e s are the f o l l o w i n g : (1) In 1958 the new head of GM

S t y l i n g , Bill M i t c h e l l , d e c i d e d to build his own sports c a r , j u s t i f i e d as a styling e x e r c i s e , and raced the car under his personal s p o n s o r s h i p . (2) The d e v e l o p m e n t of the Q-car or CERV (3) The d e v e l o p m e n t

(Chevrolet Engineering Research V e h i c l e ) .

w o r k on the C o r v e t t e S t i n g r a y w h i c h i n v o l v e d racing tests and s u p p l y i n g e q u i p m e n t and technical a s s i s t a n c e to s p e c i f i c p r i v a t e racers. (4) P e r f o r m a n c e e n g i n e d e v e l o p m e n t . (5) The continual

d e v e l o p m e n t of high p e r f o r m a n c e p a r t s , j u s t i f i e d as n e c e s s a r y for the C o r v e t t e and heavy duty a u t o m o t i v e a p p l i c a t i o n s (police

377 cars, etc.)The tooling costs for these parts w e r e a m o r t i z e d

by m a k i n g the parts a v a i l a b l e in all o t h e r C h e v r o l e t p r o d u c t s . They w e r e n ' t n e c e s s a r y on the e v e r y d a y s e d a n , but they were a v a i l a b l e for those who needed t h e m , for w h a t e v e r r e a s o n . C h e v r o l e t c o u l d n ' t keep them from anyone w h o w a n t e d to r a c e . E v e r y o n e had equal access to all the pieces t o o , s i n c e the list was d i s t r i b u t e d to every C h e v r o l e t d e a l e r from c o a s t - t o - c o a s t (Van V a l k e n b u r g h , 1 9 7 2 : 4 4 , e m p h a s e s in o r i g i n a l ) . (6) The p u b l i c a t i o n just b e f o r e the r e s o l u t i o n of a b o o k l e t e n t i t l e d 1957 C h e v r o l e t Stock Car C o m p e t i t i o n G u i d e , a v a i l a b l e at C h e v r o l e t d e a l e r s in 1 9 5 7 . This b o o k l e t d e s c r i b e d how to

m o d i f y the C h e v r o l e t for racing in e x p l i c i t d e t a i l . At the Pontiac M o t o r D i v i s i o n , Semon E. ( B u n k i e ) K n u d s e n , the new General M a n a g e r , i n s t i t u t e d a c h a n g e - t h e - i m a g e policy

w h i c h aimed at e s t a b l i s h i n g "a p e r f o r m a n c e image by d o m i n a n c e of stock car r a c i n g " ( L e v i n e , 1 9 6 8 : 2 4 1 ) . B e g i n n i n g in J u n e ,

1 9 5 7 , P o n t i a c e n g i n e e r s w e r e staging high speed tests at their proving g r o u n d s . O u t s i d e s u p p l i e r s w e r e c o n t r a c t e d to d e v e l o p P o n t i a c d e a l e r s began to s p o n s o r racing The b u s i n e s s press noted

high p e r f o r m a n c e p a r t s .

teams and to a d v e r t i s e v i c t o r i e s . these developments:

S u d d e n l y P o n t i a c d e a l e r s began e n t e r i n g cars in stock car races -- and w i n n i n g . The auto industry has a ban on f a c t o r y p a r t i c i p a tion in r a c i n g , but Pontiac offi cially d i d n ' t have to lift a f i n g e r to b e n e f i t . The perf o r m a n c e of the cars was lavishly p r a i s e d in auto fan m a g a z i n e s w h i c h was m o r e e f f e c t i v e than any d i r e c t e f f o r t s P o n t i a c D i v i s i o n could make ("Medium-Priced Car that Defies Eclipse", Business Week, September 16, 1961, p. 63 emphasi s a d d e d ) . At P o n t i a c and C h e v r o l e t a n o t h e r s t r a t e g y e m p l o y e d was to j u g g l e the a d v e r t i s e d h o r s e p o w e r and shipping w e i g h t f i g u r e s . These

378 f i g u r e s w e r e the f a c t o r s t h a t d e t e r m i n e d a p a r t i c u l a r s t o c k car c l a s s in drag r a c i n g . model's

The e f f e c t w a s to get a p r o m i s S o m e t i m e s j u s t an the

ing model i n t o c e r t a i n p r o m i s i n g c l a s s e s .

e x t r a f i v e p o u n d s on the p u b l i s h e d w e i g h t , or j u s t c u t t i n g

h o r s e p o w e r r a t i n g by five w o u l d put a model into a l o w e r c l a s s w h e r e it w o u l d be v i r t u a l l y unbeatable. seriously

At F o r d , w h e r e the AMA r e s o l u t i o n w a s t a k e n

by m a n a g e m e n t ; t h e m a i n a c t i v i t y was the d i s p o s i t i o n of the a s s e t s of the r a c i n g t e a m s . A n u m b e r of the o r g a n i z a t i o n s set up by or

in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e Ford r a c i n g p r o g r a m w e r e m o r e or less g i v e n the p a r t s and e q u i p m e n t on hand to carry on r a c i n g as p r i v a t e c o n cerns. T h e a c t i v i t i e s at G e n e r a l M o t o r s did n o t go u n n o t i c e d In J a n u a r y , 1 9 5 8 , R o b e r t M c N a m a r a had "had The confiden-

at F o r d , h o w e v e r .

e n o u g h of t h e r u m o r s and o r d e r e d an i n v e s t i g a t i o n .

tial r e p o r t , w h i c h c o v e r s i n q u i r i e s and i n t e r v i e w s m a d e d u r i n g J a n u a r y , 1 9 5 8 , is a t h i c k and d e t a i l e d a f f a i r , w h i c h b e t t e r than any o t h e r c o l l e c t i o n of d o c u m e n t s i l l u s t r a t e s the s i t u a t i o n at the t i m e " ( L e v i n e , 1 9 6 8 : 2 4 1 ) . T h i s r e s e a r c h e r w a s u n a b l e to

gain a c c e s s to this r e p o r t , a l t h o u g h it is b r i e f l y c o v e r e d by Levine. S o m e of its i n f o r m a t i o n w a s p r e s e n t e d a b o v e . O t h e r in-

f o r m a t i o n will n o t be p r e s e n t e d as the s i t u a t i o n is q u i t e c l e a r . One t h i n g , t h o u g h , is i m p o r t a n t to n o t e . It w a s f o u n d that s o m e

p e o p l e b e l i e v e d t h a t Ford w a s not l i v i n g up to the a g r e e m e n t . This o p i n i o n w a s based upon the s c a l e of the a c t i v i t i e s and

a m o u n t of e q u i p m e n t of the now p r i v a t e o p e r a t i o n s of c e r t a i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s -- w h i c h led to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Ford had to be behind them.

379 M c N a m a r a r e s p o n d e d to t h i s r e p o r t by o r d e r i n g a c t i o n s w i t h i n Ford w h i c h d i r e c t e d t h a t any t y p e of s u p p o r t of r a c i n g be s t o p p e d . The only concrete evidence against General Motors

w a s t h a t C h e v r o l e t had k e p t a n u m b e r o f r a c i n g p a r t s in t h e i r catalog. A c c o r d i n g to L e v i n e ( 1 9 6 8 : 2 4 3 ) , " T h e y o u n g T u r k s in

the c o r p o r a t i o n w a n t e d Ford to i n c l u d e s i m i l a r s t u f f in its c a t a l o g o f f e r i n g s . . ." the m a t t e r . B u t M c N a m a r a w r o t e to C h e v r o l e t a b o u t

O v e r a y e a r l a t e r , the p a r t s still r e m a i n e d in the T h e a t t i t u d e s of F o r d m a n a g e m e n t b e g a n to

Chevrolet catalog. change.

T h i s w a s r e i n f o r c e d by the s a l e s s l u m p of 1 9 5 8 and

the d e f e a t by C h e v r o l e t in the s a l e s r a c e -- a f t e r h a v i n g b e a t en C h e v r o l e t in 1 9 5 7 . T h e i r a c t i o n s will be d i s c u s s e d s h o r t l y .

It is c l e a r t h a t the a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r e r s c o n t i n u e ed to e x p l o i t , i n c o r p o r a t e and d e v e l o p hot r o d d i n g the l a t e 1 9 5 0 s and i n t o the 1 9 6 0 s . throughout

T h e i n d u s t r y - w i d e ban on

p a r t i c i p a t i o n in hot rod e v e n t s m o v e d s u c h a c t i v i t y to a m o r e c l a n d e s t i n e level w i t h i n the c o r p o r a t i o n s . a l l y had the e f f e c t of b o o s t i n g h o t r o d d i n g . In f a c t , it a c t u In the m i d d l e

1 9 5 0 s the m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e s u p p o r t i n g a r e l a t i v e l y few r a c ing t e a m s and o r g a n i z a t i o n s . T h e y w e r e n o t i n t e r e s t e d in b u i l d design

ing r a c e - t y p e c a r s for m a s s p r o d u c t i o n -- the p h y s i c a l

of the a u t o m o b i l e , its s y m b o l i c d e f i n i t i o n in t e r m s of m i d d l e c l a s s i m a g e s , and the n a t u r e of p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n o l o g i e s w o u l d not allow it. H o w e v e r , w i t h t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t s in p r o -

d u c t i o n and the A M A ban on r a c i n g , one s t r a t e g y w h i c h d e v e l o p e d w a s , in e f f e c t , to let the a m a t e u r s do the r a c i n g and g e n e r a t e the p u b l i c i t y for the c o m p a n i e s . S i n c e it w a s n o t f e a s i b l e to

380 build and sell complete race cars to such a small m a r k e t , the s o l u t i o n was to increase the a m o u n t of p e r f o r m a n c e e q u i p m e n t a v a i l a b l e as regular optional e q u i p m e n t off the a s s e m b l y line or at the parts d e p a r t m e n t . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the p e r f o r m a n c e d i f -

ferential between commerical and r a c e - o n l y cars began to d e c l i n e greatly as high p e r f o r m a n c e e n g i n e s and heavy duty a u x i l i a r y parts b e c a m e optional e q u i p m e n t a v a i l a b l e to anyone who checked off the right box on the order form. W i t n e s s the " o p t i o n a l "

e n g i n e s w h i c h w e r e developed under the a n t i - p e r f o r m a n c e a g r e e ment: C h e v r o l e t , 409 cubic i n c h e s , 425 h o r s e p o w e r (with two a l u m i n u m c a r b u r e t o r s and a special s o l i d - l i f t e r cam-

4-barrel

s h a f t ) ; P o n t i a c , 421 cubic i n c h e s , 370 h o r s e p o w e r ; Ford and M e r c u r y , 427 cubic i n c h e s , 425 h o r s e p o w e r ; P l y m o u t h , 426 cubic i n c h e s , 425 h o r s e p o w e r ; D o d g e , 426 cubic i n c h e s , 415 h o r s e p o w e r ; C h r y s l e r , 413 cubic i n c h e s , 390 h o r s e p o w e r . By increasing the p e r f o r m a n c e a v a i l a b l e to hot rodders both the e x c i t e m e n t of i n v o l v e m e n t and s p e c t a t o r appeal was increased. By removing the m a n u f a c t u r e r s from the s c e n e , the

way was open for many other e n t r e p r e n e u r s to get on the bandwagon. The slack was m o r e than taken up by a u t o m o t i v e - r e l a t e d

c o m p a n i e s -- many of w h i c h could be c o n s i d e r e d to be part of the a u t o m o b i l e industry i t s e l f , such as m a n u f a c t u r e r s of spark p l u g s , shock a b s o r b e r s , t i r e s , e t c . line c o m p a n i e s . Not to m e n t i o n oil and gaso-

For e x a m p l e , in 1961 A u t o l i t e , a r e l a t i v e late

comer to hot r o d d i n g , spent $1.7 m i l l i o n on a u t o m o b i l e race support,' it also s p o n s o r e d a TV m o v i e entitled The R a c e r , which cost $2.25 m i l l i o n . Other n o n - a u t o m o t i v e c o r p o r a t i o n s , such as The e f f e c t of this d i v e r -

soft drink m a n u f a c t u r e r s , joined in.

381 sification was to increase the volume of money flowing into and out of hot r o d d i n g , advertising and p r o m o t i o n , and numbers of people who came into contact with hot rodding. It was

around this time that hot rodding became r e s p e c t a b l e . The 1960s For the automobile industry to have a high sales year there must be a high interest in cars. That i s , according to

industry a n a l y s t s , people must talk about cars more than anything else. In the early years of the 1960s people were not

talki ng about cars: Now they're talking about jobs and how the Kennedy A d m i n i s t r a t i o n is doing. When the economy starts to come b a c k , maybe e n t h u s i asm for cars will come back. But the auto people aren't counting on it. It is apparent that making cars smaller was only a temporary remedy for sales weakness -- and only a limited one. . . . There is no common denominator in today's market ("Detroit's Sales Lures for 1 9 6 2 " , Business W e e k , February 2 5 , 1 9 6 1 , pp. 29-30. On top of t h i s , the industry had no certain knowledge or beliefs about the tastes of the new car b u y e r : The Big Three are sure of just two f a c t s : the public is going to continue to use a u t o m o b i l e s , and as the population grows the market must expand. But having little confidence that the shape of the future markets can be predicted with any accuracy, they are setting out to make cars to probe for business in e\/ery segment (William B. H a r r i s , "Detroit Shoots the W o r k s " , F o r t u n e , J u n e , 1 9 5 9 , p. 2 4 8 ) . The early years of the sixities were viewed as e x p e r i m e n t a l ; the manufacturers flooded the market with a bewildering array of full size and compact cars designed in the late f i f t i e s , 17 and then "waited", to see w h a t trends would develop.

382 Waiting fortrends to develop is not exactly the correct d e s c r i p t i o n of the industry's actions at this t i m e . M o t o r s , for e x a m p l e , attempted General

to influence not only the carAn article in

buying public but the whole economy as w e l l .

Business Week describes and interprets the situation with crystal clarity: General Motors C o r p . , the w o r l d ' s biggest m a n u f a c t u r i n g c o m p a n y , this week trotted out its biggest guns to buck a recession state of mind. It opened a new version of its Motorama -- that elaborate and d e c o r a t i v e product display last shown in 1958 -- and its chief executive officer announced that "the economy should be in a strong position to expand in 1961 ." GM's actions are unabashedly contrived to give stability to a wishy washy economy and to spark up 1961 auto sales that are looking good only on paper. GM executives seriously believe that the Motorama stirs up e x c i t e m e n t about a u t o m o b i l e s -- and dealers are telling Business Week there's not enough e x c i t e ment about c a r s . F u r t h e r , the executives believe that their company's activities in the national economy are important enough to have a ripple effect on business confi d e n c e . That's why C h m n . Frederick G. Donner told a New York gathering of the country's most important and influential businessmen that GM next year is investing $ 1 % billion in its w o r l d w i d e operations fGM Bucks Buyer R e s i s t a n c e " , Business W e e k , November 5, 1 9 6 0 , p. 2 0 ) . The Big Three were also going after the only consumer areas w h e r e there was interest and enthusiasm in c a r s , the hot 18 rodders and to a more limited e x t e n t , the sports car s e t . Hot rods and sports cars were defined as exciting and fun to d r i v e , The compact cars introduced by the

y o u t h f u l , m a s c u l i n e , etc.

m a n u f a c t u r e r s were not as bulky or as e x p e n s i v e as full-size

383 cars. As s u c h , they were much easier to "hot rod" -- that i s ,

it would take less of an increase in horsepower to boost the performance of a compact than a full-size car. Six months

after they were introduced the compacts were beefed up for hot rod racing: It had to happen sooner or later .... Corvair, Valiant and Falcon are offering more horsepower for a specific purpose -- stock car racing. The a u t o m a k e r s , true to the 1957 resolution of the AMA, are not promoting and publicizing the increased power in the compacts. But the extra "go" is available to any individual. The Big Three apparently are bowing to pressure from promotion-oriented dealers and race car bugs who want just a little more pep than the next guy. Just in time for the NASCAR compact car races at Daytona. . . . ("Compacts in Race to Boost H o r s e p o w e r " , Automotive Industries, February 1, 1960. p. 23) . At the same time, the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , especially Chevrolet and Pontiac,continued their clandestine participation in hot rod events and developed hot street engines and performance options. As 1961 began and the market remained unenthusiastic and

unknown, other manufacturers became more open about following the success trail of Chevrolet and Pontiac; their representatives

showed up noticeably at places where there was automotive enthusiasm, such as stock car races: On the weekend of the big race at Daytona Beach last Sunday, there were two General Motors aircraft on the ramp of the airport. Vacationing in Daytona on the same weekend were GM's vice-president for styling, William L. M i t c h e l l ; Chevrolet chief engineering Harry F. Barr; Chevrolet's sports car expert Zora Arkus-Duntov; Plymouth's police car specialist and former racing great, Romney Householder; GM's

384 R o b e r t F. M c L e a n , in c h a r g e of a u t o m o b i l e design r e s e a r c h ; and a bevy of p u b l i c relations men and lesser e n g i n e e r s from P o n t i a c , B u i c k , F o r d , and C h r y s l e r . . . . P o n t i a c s took the f i r s t three p l a c e s . . . ("Detroiters Go To The Races A g a i n " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , March 4 , 1 9 6 1 , p p . 2 4 - 2 5 ) . G i v e n these areas of a u t o m o t i v e e n t h u s i a s m and the supp o r t given them by the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , it is not s u r p r i s i n g that a trend they found d e v e l o p i n g was an i n t e r e s t in " s p o r t y " c a r s . When C h e v r o l e t i n t r o d u c e d the C o r v a i r Monza (102 h o r s e p o w e r , b u c k e t s e a t s , and f o u r - o n - t h e - f l o o r ) lagging C o r v a i r sales boome d ; M o n z a m o d e l s a c c o u n t e d for 60 p e r c e n t of all C o r v a i r sales in 1961. R e i n f o r c i n g this trend and also i n d i c a t i n g a growing p r e -

f e r e n c e for m o r e e x p e n s i v e s t y l e s , l u x u r y , and a c c e s s o r i e s , was the s u c c e s s of the h i g h - p r i c e d , h i g h - p e r f o r m a n c e makes (Thunder-

b i r d , C o r v e t t e , C h r y s l e r 3 0 0 , S t u d e b a k e r , Gran T u r i s m o H a w k ) in 19 1 9 5 9 , 1 9 6 0 , and 1961 . The p r o d u c e r s m o v e d at this time to b l a n k e t this highpriced h i g h - p e r f o r m a n c e m a r k e t by 1963 w i t h several brand new cars and several new m o d e l s . S t u d e b a k e r w o u l d bring out the

f i b r e - g l a s s A v a n t i ; Buick was to i n t r o d u c e the R i v i e r a sports c o u p e ; O l d s m o b i l e w o u l d m a r k e t the S t a r f i r e ; P o n t i a c w o u l d produce the G r a n d P r i x ; and the C o r v e t t e w o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y r e styled. The m a r k e t for these c a r s , even though it was g r o w i n g ,

w o u l d have to be s t i m u l a t e d q u i t e a bit to s a t i s f y the m a k e r s ' expected sales: "Their sales hopes hang on d e v e l o p i n g a m a r So the

ket at least half again as large as s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e .

c o m p e t i t i o n should be f i e r c e " ("Sounding the T-Bird M a r k e t " , B u s i n e s s W e e k , S e p t e m b e r 2 9 , 1 9 6 2 , p. 2 6 ) .

385 Now performance was a m a r k e t , or r a t h e r , several markets. And some changes were coming with respect to the AMA Back in 1959 4 Ford m a n a g e m e n t , as

anti-performance resolution.

mentioned in the previous s e c t i o n , was getting perturbed about the actions of Chevrolet and Pontiac in particular. They tried

to work out some arrangement to stop such actions at GM. The pile of evidence pointing toward Chevrolet's and Pontiac's violations of at least the spirit of the AMA agreement was difficult for Ford to accept. Company officials felt they had entered into the agreement in good faith and had kept watch to ensure that its actions would be as good as its word. N o w , with the facts of the matter increasingly a p p a r e n t , in the spring of the year top-level negotiations were started with General M o t o r s , first verbally, and then through a letter on April 27 (Levine, 1 9 6 8 : 2 5 3 ) . Levine reveals what was in this letter. The letter outlined what had happened, offered suggestions as to what could be done about it, and offered a more workable agreement. The letter added that Ford was now going to make available the same type of high performance parts offered by Chevrolet and Pontiac, as this action was considered mandatory if Ford were to stay alive in the m a r k e t p l a c e . On a long-range b a s i s , the letter concluded, Ford was still anxious to work out a more satisfactory agreement (Levine, 1 9 6 8 : 2 5 3 ) . General Motors did not respond -- no one knows why. From this

point o n , Ford was on its way back to racing. The first efforts in this direction were limited and unorganized. A group of

three engineers had been put together in 1958 to work undercover at developing the performance capabilities of the Ford engine and to build some race cars. They formed the basis for the

"limited re-entry", as it was called in internal company m e m o s ,

386 t h o u g h t to be s u f f i c i e n t to a c c o m p l i s h the g o a l s . The p e r f o r m catalogues

a n c e e q u i p m e n t they d e v e l o p e d w a s to be listed in the and sold o v e r the c o u n t e r . By 1 9 6 0 it was a p p a r e n t that this w a s

insufficient.

When Lee I a c o c c a w a s i n s t a l l e d as General M a n a g e r of the Ford D i v i s i o n , he acted q u i c k l y . T h e f i r s t thing he w a n t e d to do to

turn t h i n g s a r o u n d was to c r e a t e an i m a g e for Ford p r o d u c t s . A f t e r a s e r i e s of m e e t i n g s , it w a s d e c i d e d to d e v e l o p an i m a g e based on the idea of "total p e r f o r m a n c e " and p r o d u c t w h i c h r e f l e c t e d this t h e m e . it: General M o t o r s had a virtual lock on the a u t o i n d u s t r y , its cars a p p e a l e d to a broad s p e c trum of the p o p u l a t i o n -- and the only way to get back in a c o n t e n d i n g (much less s u p e r i o r ) p o s i t i o n w a s to build b e t t e r o n e s and let p e o p l e know they w e r e b e t t e r . I a c o c c a d e c i d e d to do it by c r e a t i n g e x c i t e m e n t . ("When y o u d o n ' t h a v e a n y t h i n g the q u i c k e s t w a y to g e n e r a t e s o m e t h i n g is