The Interrelationship Between Humans and Society

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Which one came first – the chicken or the egg? This question, much alike the question that this essay aims to tackle has been a topic of debate for ages. If it was the chicken that came first, where did it come from – science has taught us that chickens hatch from eggs. If it was indeed the egg that came first, where did the egg come from – we were always informed that chickens laid eggs. In this case, without us humans, societies would not be formed in the first place. Alternatively, without societies, humans would have no way of life to adhere to and live by. Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist, introduced the structuration theory that involves “double involvement” of humans and society – a duality between agency and structure. He wrote, “we create society at the same time as we are created by it” (Giddens 1986, p.11). As defined by Giddens, “a society is a cluster, or system, of institutionalized modes of conduct… and behavior that occur and recur or socially reproduced – across… time and space” (Giddens 1986, p.8). This essay will evaluate how society has shaped us and how we have shaped society through societal and legal aspects based on Giddens’ structuration theory as well analyzing Max Weber’s “Iron Cage” theory in relation to the topic. Looking at it from a societal perspective, society shapes humans from within an individual; it affects their role in a family; plays a part in a person’s class; extends out to influence one’s culture; and even shapes a generation. At the individual level one must concede that we need society – we are interdependent creatures. Adam Smith mentioned, “In civilized society [a person] stands… in need of cooperation and assistance of great multitudes” – in today’s context, we ar... ... middle of paper ... ...on Cage? Utilizing Max Weber to Define the Internal Dynamics of the American Political Culture Today. Max Weber Studies, [Online]. 1/2, 178-195. Available at: http://www.maxweberstudies.org/MWSJournal/1.2pdfs/1.2%20178-195.pdf [Accessed 09 December 2013]. 7) P. Saunders, N. Davenport, K. Maguire, N.S. Dhaliwal, S. Dean (2011). Are we still a classless society Mr Cameron?. [online]. Available from: . [Accessed 7th December]. 8) University of Twente. 2013. STRUCTURATIONAL THEORY. [online] Available at: http://www.utwente.nl/cw/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%20Clusters/Organizational%20Communication/Structurational_Theory/ [Accessed: 10 Dec 2013]. 9) J.J. Rousseau, 1763. The Social Contract. Translated by H.A. Myers. [online] Available at: http://www.mysocialstudiesclass.com/Rousseau_Social_Contract.pdf [Accessed: 10 Dec 2013].

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