Impression management is an objective driven action by which people try to control the perceptions or the impressions that other individuals form of them. Personally, I have in many occasions tried to use this tool myself. For example, when I first joined college, I adopted a special lifestyle that I hoped would convince my friends that I was from rich background. I used to dress in fancy clothes, most of them spent from my upkeep money and even sometimes from my tuition money. For some time, my impression management tactics yielded fruits and I was able to acquire a lot of “cool friends”. The whole debacle however came crushing down one day when my mother got a regular caretaker job in one of my college dormitories. The dormitory that she was assigned to was actually adjacent to the one that I lived in. This meant that I had to engage with her regularly. My friends were surprised to see me talk to a caretaker over long periods of time. They therefore conducted some underground investigation and found out that the care taker was actually my mother! From that day, my so called “cool friends” abandoned me and I had to find new ones who actually fitted with my social status.
In his model of bureaucracy, Weber concluded that large organizations, the bureaucracies, were all similar and identified the key features of an ultimate bureaucratic organization. Large organizations design their structure for; division of labor, authority hierarchy, formal rules and regulations, formal selection, impersonality, and career orientation. Bureaucracy structures make organizations efficient, but we seem to dislike them since they often dehumanize their workers and also put the society into alienation. Weber stated that bureaucracy could become an iron cage and by this, he meant that rationalizations as well as rules usually entrap people in a ‘cage’ of thoughts on the basis of balanced calculations.
The tragedy of commons is the exhaustion of common resource by individuals acting on terms of rationality and independence for their own benefit. The individuals do this in spite of the common knowledge that exhausting such resource would in the long run not be in the best interests of the society. For example, a social dilemma in the society today is congestion on public roads due to toll free offer to all road users by the government.
Eitzen, D. S. Zinn, M. B., & Smith, K. E. (2011). Social problems (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.