Dd101 Tma4 Essay

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DD101 TMA04 Compare and contrast two social science views about the ordering of social life. Social order refers to a social situation which is maintained in a stable state; either without changing, or else changing in a way that could be considered ‘predictable’, (Silva, 2009, p. 173) as opposed to its antithesis - social disorder, where change is viewed as chaotic or not in keeping with social norms – the shared values and expectations about how individuals in society should behave. (Silva, 2009, p.307) How social order is made and maintained has been the basis of much social science discussion. The two social scientists’ views this essay will be comparing and contrasting are those of Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault. 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’. (Silva, 2009, p.317) In contrast, Foucault leaned strongly toward the macro – the large-scale structures, systems and patterns of social life (Silva, 2009, p.309). Foucault saw social order, as well as individual and relational identities, as being socially
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