This essay focuses on two theories of Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault on how society is ordered; it will attempt to show how these two theorists approached understanding society and how it is ordered, as well as look for any similarities or differences between the two theories. When looking at how social order is constructed, it is not only important to study the role of the individual, but also the role of the state or government. The part they play in the order and rules of every day interactions. Social order refers to unspoken rules of conduct in everyday life, or stable social situation in which connections are maintained without change or if change occurs it is in predictable way. (Taylor, 2009, p.173).
Two philosophers: Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault presented two very different theories about social order. This essay focusses on the differences and similarities of these two theories and will try to outline which one may have the stronger arguments. Goffman’s research theory is called interactional order theory. His work was focused on the micro-level analysis of society. He laid emphasis on the individual actors and their interactions with each other, the respective functions and rules that all of our lives are governed by and analysed the various factors that shape our lives in detail.
Simmel was inspired by social differentiation and he was interested in the change that urbanization, industrialization brought to society (Li, Lecture). Unlike the work of Mead and Pareto, Simmel’s theories were non traditional and his topics varied throughout societies many issues. Simmel thought that by focusing on the basic properties of interaction, per se, that sociology could discover the underlining processes of social reality (Turner, P.265). Simmel’s web of group affiliations is a sociological analysis of how patterns of group participation are altered with social differentiation and the consequences of such alterations for people’s everyday behavior (Turner P. 268). People become attached to certain groups because of similarities of talents, inclinations and activities and other factors of which they have some control.
As previously highlighted, Durkheim concerned himself with explaining the cog in the mechanism responsible for creating and perpetuating social solidarity in increasingly divergent societies. In order to cultivate greater understanding of the machination of social solidarity in society, Durkheim proposed that essentially society was founded within ‘two forms of consciousness’- mechanical and organic solidarity: “There are in each of us, as we have said, two forms of consciousness: one which is common to our group as a whole, which consequently, is not ourself, but society living and acting within us; the other, on the other hand, represents that in us which is person... ... middle of paper ... ...eings were essentially socialized personalities and that the human species obtains its humanistic qualities in and through society. Virtually, what makes us human is our ability to move and groove, and above all survive in a social world. Modern day society seems to present the potential for individualism within a certain degree of social regulation. In contrast to earlier forms of social organization based on a mechanical solidarity of which demanded a high degree of regimentation, in modern organic societies, social solidarity is dependent upon, rather than repressive of individualistic behaviour.
It is important that one obtain the knowledge of both attributes because it can help individuals understand and recognize the different attitudes and behavior of other cultures. Although each attribute has its own advantages and disadvantages, they do share some similarities; and are believed to be the opposite of each other. However, for one to understand the full concept of individualism; one must first have an understanding of collectivism. The concept of both, individualism and collectivism involves the aspects in which individuals live their lives in today’s society. Therefore, the idea of each attribute is to help one understand the difference between individual thinking and collective thinking from a cultural perspective.
To clarify, Justice Studies is interdisciplinary and similarly pulls from Political Science and Economics through examining societal issues concerning poverty, inequality, the environment, politics, economics, as well as social and cultural differences. However, Justice Studies differs from Sociology in that it delineates the concepts of equality, equity, crime, punishment, and deterrence. Similar to Sociology, Justice Studies focuses on the larger social and historical context of issues. In contrast, this discipline examines the intersection of how social construction and injustices are connected to race, ethnicity, gender, class, citizenship, human rights, sexual orientation, political views, and socioeconomic status (Jurik, 2015, p. 7). Furthermore, it expands on the ubiquitous narrow perspective of justice/injustice through emphasis on the comprehensive concept of “Justice Literacy” (p. 10).
Symbolic interactionism deliberates to understand the human conduct in a wider social concept of groups interactionism. Under symbolic interactionism, Herbert seeks to identify how human group life and social action coexist in society. He recognizes four main central conceptions about symbolic interactionism crucial to understanding his propositions. People, individually or collectively, are prepared to act based on meanings of objects comprising their world (Blumer, 1969, p. 67). The interactions of persons usually occur in processes where they make indications to one... ... middle of paper ... ... human interactions since humans try to interpret each other’s actions instead of reacting towards them as ethnomethodology suggests.
Silva describes how social order is fundamental to social life and how individuals fit together with others and things in the world. People usually understand what behaviour is expected from them, and what they can, therefore, expect from others. As Evelyn Rupert suggests, social order is key when living together (Reflections on Ordered lives, 2009, Audio CD3) Social order is also governed and regulated by laws, which can be a result of traditions or act of parliament (Kelly & Toynbee, 2009, p.355) Cohen and Hall et al. both studied disorderly behaviour and the way this was mediated, that is ‘the way things are represented to us through language or customary ways of thinking’ (Kelly and Toynbee, 2009, p.270). Mediation is not solely, as the term may suggest, expressed through the mass media such as television, newspapers, radio and the internet, the ideas usually originate from institutions such as the government and other influential social groups (Kelly and Toynbee, 2009, p. 369).
In order to maintain the social order there is a set of unwritten norms we are expected to live by. These norms are defined as ‘shared sets of values or expectations about how people will or should behave’. (Silva E, 2009, p307). Sociologist Erving Goffman and social philosopher Michel Foucault both concern themselves with the wider understanding of how society is produc... ... middle of paper ... ...lva E, 2009 p322) In conclusion, it would be very hard to co-exist in society without some sort of order and structure. Both scientists present their cases for social order through a significant amount of evidence collated from either practical observations, as in Goffman’s case, or historical observations, as in Foucault’s case.