Hence, microsociology’s objects of interest are individuals, who shape ‘our everyday realities’ as these realities are ‘socially constructed’. (Macionis and Plummer, 2012: 208). Microsociology demonstrates the accomplishment that is social order, ‘which provide the social context or conditions under which people act’ (Layder, 1994: 4). It is formed from people’s everyday interactions and exists in norms, customs, traditions and regulations. Social order plays a significant part in regulating and organizing peoples’ way of living within society.
Assess the sociological explanations of the role of culture in contemporary society Culture is a community within a society that teaches us norms and values through various institutions. Recently, culture has become increasingly more influential and diverse with different types of culture coming into play. Not only thus, culture creates our identity, gives us personality, maintains social order and most importantly; culture provides knowledge and within culture lies a high level of knowledge for man to adapt to. Functionalists believe that society is structured and that the individual is the product of societies various institutions, for example family, education and religion. Emile Durkheim, a leading Functionalist, believed that different institutions in different cultures teach us norms and values that make up our identity and personality.
In this sense, who humans beings are, what they believe, and how they came to be, have all been influenced by society. Society has formed human nature to a point that is hard to argue against. ELABORATE/MORE EVIDENCE. To determine the social coordination/organization of society, Benedict stems many of her claims from observations of three groups: the Zuñi, Dobu, and Kwakiutl. In order to determine social coordination/organization, Benedict claims, “we need detailed information about contrasting limits of behaviors and the motivations that are dynamic in one society and not in another” (229).
This essay will first look at two different influential theories of social scientists Goffman (1959, 1971, 1972) and Foucault (1972, 1977, 1978) on how social order is made. This will enable us to then link these theories to the approaches of Buchanan and Monderman to provide better understanding on how each design creates order, highlighting contrasts and similarities along the way. Goffman developed the idea that social life is constructed by the everyday encounters and actions that take place between people. Repetitive interactions produce
These differing views can be illustrated by the case studies of Monderman’s thesis and the Buchanan report, which focus on two different approaches to traffic governance. But first this essay will address both Goffman’s and Foucault’s theories. Goffman studied what he termed ‘interactional order’ – how society is constructed by its individuals, and how social order comes about through repetitive actions and interactions in the micro - the smallest scale of social life (Silva, 2009, p.309). Goffman believed that social behaviour was ‘dramaturgical’, with individuals each trying to put on a type of social ‘performance’ in order to best represent themselves, (Silva, 2009, p. 172) with the use of language, body language, eye contact and facial expression. He saw these ‘performances’ as everyday rituals of tact and trust, which make up the rules of conduct in an ‘invisible social order’.
Functionalism is a macro, structuralist theory. This means they see human behaviour being shaped as an influence of social forces. It is also seen as a consensus theory, as functionalists’ argue that, individuals are socialised into a shared value to ensure conformity and social order. However, this functionalists approach is criticised by action theorists, as they argue that individuals create society through their interactions. Unlike other functionalists, Parsons argues that individuals are integrated through socialisation and social order.
What it means is that order in our society is maintained and repaired by state where government makes a policy. It is also a relationship between institutions and the political norms that are established to govern their functions. This will include constitution, elections. Political order is formed by members of social organization who are in power and who should ensure the order and sanity in the society and also to have their grievances and complaints put across in the light of social existence. Let’s examine and asses how political order is made and repaired through different examples supporting this claim.
Assess the Usefulness of Micro Sociology to Our Understanding of Society Assess the usefulness of micro sociology to our understanding of society (33marks) Micro sociology focuses on the actions and interactions of individuals and is a bottom-up approach. Such micro approaches, see society as shaped by its members, who possess agency, in other words, the ability to act as free agents. Micro approaches, also known as action theories, include social action theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology and ethnomethodoly. However, macro sociologists take a deterministic approach, as they believe that our actions are determined by society. Macro theories include Functionalism and Marxism, who see individuals as puppets, under the control of social structures.
For example the nature vs nurture debate. Talcott parsons (1902-79) were a key functionalist thinker. He saw society as a system made up of interrelated institutions (like the human body) He thought the main role of an institution was to socialise individuals so they behaved in acceptable ways. He argued that socialisation is the key to understanding patterns of human behaviour. Our behaviour is controlled by the rules of society into which we are born; the result is we don’t have to be told that what we are doing is socially unacceptable- we already know and feel uncomfortable if we don’t conform to social norms.
Functionalism is a structuralist theory that looks at society as a structure. They see society as more important than the individual, it is their belief that the individual are the product of society, the person is shaped by the norms and values that society teaches. Functionalists see religion, family, the political system and education as part of a complex system that has all the necessary parts in order to keep the system going. The modern day functionalism began with the work of Émile Durkheim. He started the work of positivism; this was biological analogies to explain how society should function.