When And-Becomes-Or: Motivational Saliency of Humanity as Drugs of Industry, Science, and…

This was written for Washington State University’s SOC-368 course. There are minor edits post submission here for readability.


During several sociology courses here at WSU, I had been introduced to Sykes & Matza’s (1932) techniques of neutralization, Scott & Lyman’s (1968) accounts, Stokes & Hewitt’s (1976) aligning actions and many other sociological theories. What, at periphery, became saliently more central—the concept of motivation. Motivation is referenced in many articles but had not been investigated until this discussion post. I could not help but think what motivations are at play during review of historical social situations and developments of drug policies and executions of these policies. Mosher & Akin’s (2021) offer many reasons which qualify as “because statements” and “in-order-to-motives” (Schütz, 1960; Schütz, 1967), but early in the course, an ultimate motivation was asserted. It had been asserted that there is an ubiquitous desire of humanity in the pursuit of consciousness alteration (Mosher & Akins, 2021, p. 1; Weil, 1986, p. 17). When considering motivation, drugs are merely one of a plurality of vehicles toward consciousness alteration, yet while one could focus on a many-vehicles-theory-of-consciousness-alteration, it might be helpful to avoid talk of vehicles and stay close to that which results in motivation toward consciousness alteration: when and-becomes-or motivation.  

As mentioned prior (Hodges, 2022), the talk of a ubiquitous desire to pursue consciousness alteration is an appeal to biological drives (Scott & Lyman, 1968, pp. 49-50). Habituation diminishes repeating stimuli and leads attention toward novel stimuli (Groves & Thompson, 1970; Thompson & Spencer, 1966). In pursuit of greater novelty, human mobility itself serves Merton’s (1938) strain adaptation(s) of innovation (i.e., innovation as drug). Merton’s strain adaptions are essentially methods of consciousness alteration either by dispositional and/or situational influences. Drug use and abuse is clearly demonstrated to have both biological aspects and greater social aspects (Mosher & Akins, 2021). To explore motivations with respect to drug use, it may be useful to convenience sample a moment in time where a tripartite basic social process (BSP) of mobility-efficiency-rebellion employed a symbolic biasing agent in the formation of motivation: drugs. To illuminate this BSP, cigarette use in the early 1900’s will be used as a singular sample (for sake of time). This tripartite BSP in detail is comprised of: (a) innovation adaptation producing greater social mobility (i.e., auto-motive industry); (b) appeals to loyalties of efficiency (i.e., industrial productivity); and (c) rebellion against stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminations (i.e., productive suffrage). 

To use the typology of Merton, cigarette use indexed deviancy, where deviancy carried potential harm to innovation, conformity, and ritualism. Cigarette use also indexed rebellion and retreatism (i.e., non-productivity), where deviancy carried potential to make more salient in media, the women’s right to vote and earn income at parity with opposite gendered/sexed peers. Cigarettes indexed deviancy and rebellion. It is in this conflict laden and that motives arise. The weight of and seems metabolically expensive in the face of increasing efficiency, and it is proposed that a more prime-motive adialectically unbinds complexity through an and-to-or motivation resulting in a choice of “sides” toward greater simplicity. Essentially, there is a deeper motivation by way of biological drives in alternating consciousness toward minimizing metabolic maintenance of diverse perspectives (i.e., heuristics, choices, parties, etc.).

To set out investigating the and-to-or crisis-to-motives, it is helpful to consider C. Wright Mill’s (1940) comments on motives, “for men live in immediate acts of experience and their attentions are directed outside themselves until acts are in some ways frustrated. It is then that awareness of self and of motive occurs… [motives] stand for anticipated situational consequences of questioned conduct” (p. 905). Within democratic institution, it is curious that the “anticipated situational consequence of questioned conduct” is that moment of salient choice itself: voting. Voting for one’s representatives, and the questions, dialogues, and discussions in various environs. In psychological theory, fundamental attribution error (FAE) attributes behaviors incorrectly to dispositional or situational causes (Epstein & Terapulsky, 1986; Jones & Harris, 1967; Ross, 1977). With respect to tobacco and cigarettes it appears that FAE served as a moderator to motives.

Mobility & Efficiency: Henry Ford & The Automotive Industry

There is no doubt as to the efficacy of Ford’s contributions to the mobilization of societies, and this is a subject for a great matter of books and journal articles already published. Yet it should be said that innovations across technology of vehicles, production, management, and marketing triggered a great many changes in society, failing to mention the technological empowerment of those holding ownership of these very innovations themselves. As this is the case, and that there are many books and journal articles on this, the subject shall be assumed to be in the public common sense and that a great many people would understand how societies have been altered by vastly accelerated transportation, yet access to availability and velocities of transportation are differentiated by socio-economic status and other aspects subject to stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination. While Ford’s marketing is that pay would allow the purchase of the company’s products, the reality is that this pay rate was done to reduce turnover and training time, while it came with a “Socialization Organization” which would “visit the employees’ homes to ensure that they were doing things the ‘American way’” (Worstall, 2012). Regarding an “American Way” now it is useful to examine efficiency.

Mosher & Akins (2021) when reviewing tobacco regulation briefly referenced Henry Ford’s The Case Against the Little White Slaver (p. 344). When reviewing Ford’s (1914) anthology of volumes, Ford’s status and pervasive halo effect of success lends credibility to selected evidence in crystallizing public attitudes. In Ford’s work, quite emphatically stated is “an automobile company’s attitude” later revealed to be the Cadillac Motor Car Company:

Boys who smoke cigarettes we do not care to keep in our employ. In the future we will not hire anyone whom we know to be addicted to this habit. It is our desire to weed it entirely out of the factory just as soon as practible. We will ask everyone in our factory, who sees the seriousness of this habit to use their influence in having it stamped out.

We have two objects in interesting ourselves in this matter: First, to help men and boys; second, we believe that men who do not smoke cigarettes or frequent the saloon can make better automobiles than those who do.

(as cited in Ford, 1914, p. 29).

Cadillac goes further, ascribing evilness, loose morality, untruthfulness, and less productivity to cigarette smokers (Ford, 1914, p. 29). Ford leans on political messaging of Mr. William R. Heath of the Larkin [Soap] Company, “the main element in the success of any business must be efficiency, and the wage worker must do all in his power to contribute to this efficiency,” (as cited in Ford, 19149, p. 30). As an account, this is essentially an appeal to loyalty to what Heath calls the “three parties involved in this great industrial question, three parties to be benefitted, three parties to be charged with responsibility, and three parties who must make their contribution—the possessor of capital, the possessor of labor, and the general public” (p. 30). What scapegoat to efficiency and production losses seems best suited as a corporation’s environmental/situational rather than a dispositional index? Drugs. It’s that which is at the doorway to production—the nearest cause of convenience.

Ford employed numerous social facts as summarized by today’s standard of click-bait headlines and bylines: “cigarettes spoil boys for his business” (p. 31), “non-smokers given preference” (p. 31), “puts the ban on cigarette smokers” (p. 32), “what a merchant prince says” (p. 34), “no cigarette smokers employed” (p. 34), and “no smoking is better all around” (p. 34). In the early 1900’s smoking was demonized (Mosher & Akins, 2021, pp. 344-345), and later the tobacco industry was revealed to manipulate a great many into its use, with “substantial health risk” (pp. 98-101). While Ford and others pushed against smoking, and smokers, something else was occurring, Merton’s strain theory played out as rebellion’s “new means” and “new goals” for women’s suffrage was emerging.

Rebellion: Edward Burnays and the Tobacco Industry

Smoking was conjoined with the women’s first-wave suffrage movement in 1929 (planned prior). In the 1929 New York City “Easter Parade”, Edward Bernays enlisted women smoking cigarettes to crystallize the connection between women’s search for freedom and smoking (Bernays, 1965, p. 386). Bernays sought to “break the taboo against women smoking in public” (p. 386). Bernays’ office received thirty “debutantes” from Vogue (p. 387), and sent this letter:

In the interests of equality of the sexes and to fight another sex taboo I and other young women will light another torch of freedom by smoking cigarettes while strolling on Fifth Avenue Easter Sunday. We are doing this to combat the silly prejudice that the cigarette is suitable for the home, the restaurant, the taxicab, the theater lobby but never no never for the sidewalk. Women smokers and their escorts will stroll from Forty-Eighth Street to Fifty-Fourth Street on Fifth Avenue between eleven-thirty and one-o’clock. (Bernays, 1965, p. 387). 

Bernays reported success, and the American Tobacco Company was assisted in rising revenues, yet regret years later remained (Bernays, 1965, p. 387). A variety of sociological and psychological theories can be inferred by the manifest phenomena underlying theoretical constructs presented by varying theorists (e.g., Sutherland’s [1977] differential association, Bandura’s [1973, 1977] social learning theory [i.e., modeling], and Skinner’s [1953] operant conditioning). Unfortunately, memory is not the most reliable, as Bernays claims that public relations is “about fashioning and projecting credible renditions of reality itself” (Ewen, 1996). Allan Brandt, a medical historian, noted that Bernays “prized the power of the news media precisely because it hid the interests of the industry” (Brandt, 2007, p. 82). While the story of Burnays’ contributions to the rise of cigarette use is common knowledge in public relations, it is not without controversy (cf. Murphree, 2015). Regardless, women did adopt smoking, and of note, is Burnays’ comments that media obfuscates industrial interests—what is obfuscated escapes measure, until the covert is made overt. Today it is best to view tobacco use historically to presently as the use, effects, and policies in the regulation of nicotine.


Efforts to increase smoking occurred concomitant to efforts to dissuade smoking; Mill’s “anticipated situational conflict” was very much at play in the early 1900s. Ford’s charge with many others to dissuade those associated with smoking (e.g., differentially associated, labeled) from industry, while successful at the time, did eventually give way to acceptance. The American Tobacco Company’s efforts to increase revenues through employment of public relations was a success under media obfuscation of personal interests. Fast forward to settlements with the tobacco industry in overwhelming revelations of manipulations (e.g., manipulation of nicotine to promote addiction [Mosher & Akins, 2021, p. 354], operant conditioning and social modeling in venues [p. 351], unsubstantiated health effects [p. 350]). Considering the theme here, it is time to close, and so a word about the and-to-or motivation.

The avoidance of vehicles of consciousness alteration helps to arrive at a core category or categories and their relations at the heart of motivations of consciousness alteration. In cursory review of literature around smoking and motivations of the automotive industry, and the tobacco industry, what is apparent is that a presence of salient social facts conflicting was anticipated. In this anticipation, justifications and excuses, reducible to motivations is evidenced. In a democratic society where choice is reinforced by consequences of said choice (i.e., voting), it is possible that this social fact influences dialectic approaches when arriving at conflict, to make a decision with regard amidst various perspectives (i.e., to vote). To transmute and to or seems as a biological result of efficiency, and it is no surprise that Ford et al. essentially made a choice prior to arriving at an approaching nexus of conflict anticipated. This choice turned and to or, excising smoking associated deviants from industry, and excising them and their families from the wealth generation the automative industry promised. In hindsight, Ford et al. was not excising smoking, but a exercising a particular prejudice and discrimination toward those embracing symbols of rebellion and search for freedom. This is evidenced in Ford’s evaluation of employees for the American Way.

Considering techniques of neutralization, accounts, aligning actions, and motivation, it is also apparent that these are as core aspects of public relations. Public relations applies specific manipulations of independent variables illuminated by sociological imagination. This is made more efficient in application through theoretical constructs further illuminating the connections between from independent to dependent variables. The operating officers of an innovating automotive industry accelerating social mobility thus engaged in obfuscating motivations, benefitting from media “hiding” not industrial, but personal motivations. An innovating industry demanded conforming individuals to a reductionist ideal of an “American Way”, and simultaneously conditioned ritualized compliance in service to assembly lines. That which was not deemed to contribute to increasing efficiency was where expected conflicts met motivations (e.g., appeals to loyalties of industrial pursuits of efficiency, appeals to loyalties of an American Way).

Like the long history of differential prohibition, as evidenced in Ford’s evaluations of employees, prejudices against smoking most likely had less to do with smoking and more to do with social conflicts. Within mobility and efficiency, social facts are modeled which brings mobility and efficiency to those stereotyped, prejudiced, and discriminated against. The system itself strains and models adaptations, no different than a drug which simultaneously strains and models neurotransmissions. It is not surprising that systems give birth to suffrage—rebellion. Drugs (placebo or not) increase mobility, increase efficiency, and empower suffrage, whether in artificial worlds of neurotransmissive bliss or real worlds of nuerotransmissive efficacy. 

As for a drug for the mediation of the and-or-motivation, to allow for exploration of and’s complexity seen complete? There is a drug already—it’s called science. And the mediation of the and-or-motivation to allow for application of or’s simplicity made complete? There is a drug already—it’s called industry. Concerning motives and drug use, Campbell’s (1996) is an eye opener to distortions in the examination of motivations, and helped in this discussion post’s construction, leading the author to reconsider approaches. Social facts themselves automate human behavior, where this autom<a|o>tive function is made more efficient by applications of theories. It is serendipitous that Delmar S. Harder of Ford Motor Company coined the term “automation” (Harper, 2022). 

This entire discussion post is nothing more than a motivation against expectancies of conflicts resolved in advance, highlight a social fact that humanity itself is a drug for various in- and out-group human behaviors (e.g., science, industry), a humanity as drug used, and a humanity as drug… abused. Cowan’s (1986) iron law of prohibition has been evidenced, where “law enforcement” is a discrimination against deviancy. The intellect has been made a drug of more potency. Differential prohibition in access to education due to remnants attitudes (i.e., feelings, thoughts, and behaviors) of influences of dispositions and socio-economic status, stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminations has had an effect.


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