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What are the disadvantages of industrialization?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The biggest disadvantage of industrialization is pollution. The Industrial Revolution resulted in a huge amount of smog and smut. It covered the streets and stung in the air. Industrializaion also resulted in polluted rivers and workers made ill by chemicals. These days pollution is more under control, but the effecfs are still there.

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kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the advantages of the production methods prior to industrialization was that things were generally produced locally with local expertise.  One of the frustrating things about our industrial system that all of us have dealt with is the inability to get something repaired or the incredible difficulty in getting a replacement or refund.  Prior to mass production, a craftsman's reputation and future success was on the line so if something was defective or there was a problem, they would generally attempt to fix it in order to maintain that reputation.  It was also locally repairable as opposed to needing to be sent to some distant service center.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The previous thoughts are quite accurate.  I might also suggest that there is an intense environmental disadvantage to industrialization.  The wide open spaces that serve as natural habitats and areas where communion with nature is evident are destroyed in name of economic progress.  The mass of urbanization and cities that end up resulting from the factory system help to create overcrowded conditions where the delicate balances of the ecosystem are destroyed.  Additionally, the more factories that are produced that use the burning of fossil fuels release contaminants in the environment that end up creating huge plumes of polluted area, and trapping gasses that increase the Earth's temperature.  From a theoretical point of view, the disadvantage with industrialization is that it ends up forcing a choice with the respect of nature and the respect for the dollar.  Economic progress ends up trumping environmental advocacy and in this light, there is a significant perceived disadvantage with industrialization. While industry is a driving force of all social orders, to have it trade off with environmental protection and awareness is an intense disadvantage.

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islandmarsh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The major disadvantages of industrialization was the change in farming methods, culture of the farm town,  and potential industrial collapse when the community has a single industry.

Thanks to industrialization, farmers left the fields in favor of a steady pay check.  This gave rise to bigger farms which required newer technology to grow product faster and be able to weed easier.  Thus, the hybrid seeds that have less nutritional value and pesticides which destroyed things other than weeds, like birds.

The culture of the farm town also went away.  Farm towns were places where communities of people came together to help each other out in hard times.  The towns were small, the schools were small and children had a harder time slipping through the cracks because everybody knew everybody else.  One could argue that this was not always a good thing.

Then there is the problem when the factory closes, creating too many families where the bread winner no longer had a pay check.  Think about the steel towns in Pennsylvania or the iron mines in Northern Minnesota, or more recently, the Motor City of Detroit without the car industry.  Without a back up industry, families move; often leaving their now worthless home behind, creating ghost towns and micro depressions within those areas.

There were many advantages to industrialization, and one shouldn't minimize them, but it did change many things for the worse.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The major disadvantages of industrialization fall into two categories: social and environmental.

Environmentally, industrialization both pollutes the environment and depletes its resources.  Industry requires huge amounts of inputs such as ores and petroleum for fuel.  Its outputs (in the form of waste chemicals and such) are major pollutants.

Socially, industrialization changes a country in many ways.  Typically, there comes to be less security for workers, and less continuity with the past.  People move to cities, breaking family ties.  Time is more regimented, making it harder to observe traditional festivals.

These are but a few examples...

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morris-madut | Student

Industrialization has led to air pollution and erosion of the Ozone layer, making the Earth more vulnerable to the harmful rays from the sun.

morris-madut | Student

industrialization has led to air pollution and erosion of the Ozone layer making the has more vulnerable to harmful rays from the sun.

jgarrett1967 | Student

The biggest disadvantage is urbanization.  Rapid growth of cities brings with it the following problems:


competition for jobs increases

pollution (both water & air)

crime rate increases

While industrialization can bring much needed economic improvement, that economic improvement will not be equally distributed. Thus, socio-economic problems become more pronounced.


krishna-agrawala | Student

Industrialization refers to increase in industrial activities in an economy. This is almost invariably accompanied by creation of large factories and urbanization. While industrialization is essential to reap the benefit of modern technology and improve the level of economic prosperity, it also creates some problems. The main disadvantages of industrialization include the following.

  • Deterioration of quality of life due to urbanization which are generally more crowded than rural areas. This leads to many problems for the individual and the society including psychological disorders, crimes and other social problems. Urbanization also leads to environmental pollution such as destruction of forests and extinction of many varieties of animals and plants.
  • Loss of individuality of factory workers. Frequently people working in large factory do some simple,repetitive jobs, that gives them no job satisfaction and they feel alienated.
  • The importance individual power is reduced in comparison to that of equipment used for production. For example workers are required to work in shifts to improve utilization of expensive equipments.
  • The increased used of physical comforts and new products frequently has negative impact on health of individual leading of increase in diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart attacks.
  • Excessive pollution created bu industrial production as well as consumption activities. This one problem like that of urbanization leads to hundreds of associated problems.