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rationalization

Definition of Rationalization

(noun) A long-term process whereby beliefs based on morality or superstition are replaced by rules and procedures based on logic and efficiency.

Rationalization Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˌræʃənləˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
      • /ˌræʃnələˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
      • /ˌræʃənlˌaɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
      • /ˌræʃnəˌlaɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
    • British English
      • /ˌraʃn̩əlʌɪˈzeɪʃn/
      •  /ˌraʃn̩l̩ʌɪˈzeɪʃn/
      •  /ˌraʃənl̩ʌɪˈzeɪʃn/
      •  /ˌraʃ(ə)nəlʌɪˈzeɪʃn/
  • Syllabification: (ra·tion·al·i·za·tion)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: rationalizations
  • Also called systematization.
  • A (noun) rationalist uses rationalization as a framework to (verb) rationalize decisions.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Rationalization

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “rationalization.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 24, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/rationalization/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

rationalization. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/rationalization/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “rationalization.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 24, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/rationalization/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“rationalization.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/rationalization/>.