Henry Ford’s Project in Human Engineering: The Sociological Department of the Ford Motor Company (1913-1941)

Author: Loizides, Georgios P.
Year:2015
Pages:264
ISBN:0-7734-0911-4
978-0-7734-0911-8
Price:199.95
A clear and well documented work that studies the influence of a corporation’s attempt to transform the social and cultural identities of its newly arriving immigrant workforce in order to create an homogenized American working-class through the practice of ‘social / human engineering’. These corporate policies had far reaching implications in the development of class, race, ethnic and gender relations in America.

Reviews

“Professor Loizides unearths considerable evidence that directly bears on the process the company used to establish a system of differential rules to be applied to its racial and ethnic minority employees…the bosses at Ford had some fixed and firm views concerning both what an ideal working-class family should look like and just what type of home they should live in. The Sociological Department did its best to bring all this about through its social engineering programs that educated workers yet spied on them, entered and inspected their homes, and offered pay increases, increased benefits, and promotions for those most eager to comply with the Department’s intrusive demands.”
-Professor Larry T. Reynolds,
Professor Emeritus of Sociology,
Central Michigan University


“A particularly important contribution is Dr. Loizides’s emphasis on the issues of ethnic, racial and religious diversity and gender inequality. The book shows how through specific organizational practices the corporation sought to transform immigrants into “American, (family) men… this historical-sociological study clearly demonstrates how organizational policies and practices were instrumental in achieving assimilation, and what they meant in terms of suppression of ethno-cultural and ethno-religious diversity. The book is well written, clearly organized, and provides ample empirical evidence in support of its main argument.”
-Professor Vyacheslav Karpov,
Department of Sociology,
Western Michigan University


“Loizides’ book is an important contribution to our understanding of the institutional context of early 20th century labor relations and particularly to the social engineering efforts of early Fordism. By extension, it contributes to present day debates over the origin and maintenance of middle-class values and the myriad political and social divisions that are based on such shibboleths… His analysis is both descriptively rich and analytically cogent – it is informed by a clearly articulated synthesis of institutional theory in organizations and an admirable ability to stay within his data.”
-Professor David Hartmann,
Professor and Chair Sociology,
Western Michigan University


Table of Contents

FOREWORD BY LARRY T. REYNOLDS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
CHAPTER I – INTRODUCTION
Theoretical statement of the problem
Empirical statement of the problem
Research Questions
Description of the Ford Sociological Department
General Chapter by Chapter overview
CHAPTER II – THEORY
CHAPTER III – METHOD
Comparative and Historical Sociology
Case Studies
Archival Research
CHAPTER IV – REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
CHAPTER V – THE FORD SOCIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER VI – VALUES AND NORMS IN THE FORD
SOCIOLOGICAL PROJECT Married Men
Single Men
Ford Operationalization of Terms
CHAPTER VII- APPLIED RESEARCH AS AN INSTRUMENT OF THE FORD SOCIOLOGICAL PROJECT
CHAPTER VIII – ETHNICITY, RACE, AND AMERICANIZATION
Ethnic and Racial Groups Employed by the Ford Motor Company
CHAPTER IX – CLASS RELATIONS AT FORD
CHAPTER X – FAMILIES AND GENDER RELATIONS AT FORD
Family as the Foundation of Industry
Prompting “Healthy Family Relations”
The Position of Women
CHAPTER XI – CONCLUDING REMARKS
NOTES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
APPENDIS C
REFERENCES
INDEX