The Ford Sociological Department
On January 5 1914, Ford announced the revolutionary five-dollar, eight-hour day:
The Sociological Department, under the leadership of the Reverend Samuel S. Marquis, was put in charge of administering the programme and investigating the home lives of workers: "investigators from the Sociological Department visited workers' homes and suggested ways to achieve the company's standards for 'better morals,' sanitary living conditions, and 'habits of thrift and saving'."
Ford workers would come to redefine what was meant by quality of life in the era of mass-production.
Inspired by welfare capitalism, Ford's "philosophy adopted a paternalistic attitude toward workers that, in Ford's case, was rooted in the Protestant work ethic. Ford believed in it and wanted his employees to adopt it..." And Ford's social standards reached far beyond the confines of work-life. The PBS film Demon Rum documents the Sociological Department's efforts to "end the working man's drinking habit" and how the "success of the small program led to a national prohibition campaign."
Apparently, many workers felt the wage - and social benefits - outweighed the intrusions into their personal lives. And many people found ways around the rules.
But, damn, that's creepy sociology! (And not just because our cultural mosaic approach to ethnic relations makes more sense to me, despite its own multicultural high weirdness.)