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(a) Gender, Sex and Social:
Gender is that aspect that makes one feel either masculine or feminine. For a long time now, the words gender and sex have been used interchangeably to refer to both the biological and the cultural aspect that identifies one and makes them feel either male or female. The social aspect of it comes in when the cultural set of features categorizes one either as male or female and points out to the societal conducts and how the two groups interrelate. Gender, like any other social concept is a yardstick against which the evaluation of societal and social processes is measured. Socially speaking, the conduct of an individual is normally shaped by the moral principles and acceptable code of behavior in the society and by extension the character and outlook of the said person. Keeping all the other factors constant (such as genetic and consciousness), analysts believe that the societal morals are more objective in shaping an individual socially while others believe that an individuals morals are fundamental. When people interact (social interactions), there is more likelihood that the higher the frequency of contact, the closer they become, this however differ on the grounds of whether they are of the same gender or not.
(b) Value emphasis, norms, sanctions chances:
Values are perceived set of what is generally considered fine in the society and this is what distinguishes one culture from the next. Honesty, respect and concern for others are some of the values in the society. Norms are usual ways of doing things or an acceptable code of behavior in the society; this gives explanation as to why people of a given standing and or importance in the society are normally expected to act in certain ways (these are mostly social norms). The word norm could also mean standard or normal way of conducting one self, on this note therefore, breaking a norm could mean acting in a way that would be considered unusual or in general, upsetting the community’s peace. Sanctions are ways in which discipline is instilled in the society to ensure peace and harmony, law and order, this, in simple terms is an implementation of the norms and values. Sanctions could either be upbeat or downbeat: downbeat sanctions involve penalties while upbeat involve appraisals. Formal sanctions are those that are enforced by associations and are normally imposed by some regulatory authority, on the other hand, informal sanctions are implemented by the court of civic judgment and by and large relate to the society. There is a strong relationship between sanctions (both positive and negative) and moral norms in that proper administration of sanction results to a morally sane society which in turn will mean that the societal values are upheld and sound.
The notion of Circulation of elites as offered by Pareto:
According to Pareto, social itinerancy is one thing that is feasible and is experienced by all societies; it is a global observable fact and is perfectly expressed in the circulation of elites. Against this background therefore, Paretos’ conception believes that the society (social beings) is divided into two: the rulers and the subjects. Paretos’ concept was based on criticisms; being an economist and a scholar of the
Secondly, Pareto argued that history should be analyzed in terms of remains, descents, communal heterogeneity and economic aspect that are both economical and non-economic. He refutes the notion that the past can be understood on the argument that it is based on a fixed and unchangeable factor without considering the changes that have occurred in history. This concept was closer to Weber’s and Pareto appreciates the fact that an outstanding society can either thrive or decline based on causes that are not economic. Thirdly, Pareto believed that the governing class of people needed political, financially viable and martial arsenal. In the contemporary civilization however, the ruling class need not to combine the above arsenal, this was contrary to Max’s’ ideology that the people in power needed sound means of production to govern.
Another important concept was based on the fact that due to the political rule existing at any given time, there is the continuous growth of a class that is below the middle class rather than the initially accepted middle social class. The strongest notion of Pareto was the fact that class and class conflicts are to continue into the foreseeable future and the effects would be everlasting. According to Pareto, communalism without capitalism would lead to more struggles between the existing social class and this in turn will lead to the emergence of many more classes to bridge the gap. This meant that people were bound to become more aggressive in their quest for dominance in the society and in trying to achieve their dreams and this by extension leads to conflicts between the rulers and the subjects, the elite and the non-elites, between politicians among themselves and between the innovators and the conformists.
Circulation of elites is indeed a concept that helps analyze and give a deeper understanding of the social conflicts in
In Socialist republics like the
Comte, Spencer, Marx and Durkheim and their contribution to social evolution:
Karl Max is credited to be the first to be interested in sociology and to stand out (through his values and beliefs) among other sociologist in the capitalist world. The period between (1818 and 1883) saw a remarkable revolution in sociology. Among his major concerns were the sequential challenges experienced by the Orient and other primitive set-ups and this led to
the uprising led by Max and Engles in the
Max is also credited for coming to the defense of the Indian community: the
Max was a true believer in his Marxist theory which: according to him, human labor and control of production arsenal capital was the most important thing in the quest to control power, and this was one of the ingredients of social evolution. Culture was divided into three parts: philosophy, societal associations and technical know-how, his theory purported that technical know-how somehow shaped societal relations which in turn was resultant to changing philosophies. To support this theory, Max’s evidence that people in the past (before civilization came) believed in exploiting human labor and that explains why they remained primitive in their functional systems. Early agriculture was archaic and people kept domestic animals and cultivated and so they slowly gained momentum that some the development of townships and capitals and finally the ruling class amassed power and exploited resources that further led to superfluous production and industrial revolution.
Herbert Spenser was a renowned sociologist to which the development of sociology can be credited in the nineteenth century (specifically between 1820 and 1903). Spenser appreciated the importance of using comparatives in the study of social particulars, in line with this; he studied a bit about the Indian society in an effort to find a middle ground of the religious practices and the political organizations of the Indians in his quest to write about the principles of sociology. He also studied widely on the
In social evolution, Spenser is seen to have come up with the ‘survival is of the fittest’ argument, according to him, there were fundamental differences between the organic and social aspects of the society, to his belief, the society was not to be viewed as parallel. Societies were formed from forms of organizations and not social relations and the family was the basic structure from which the societal groups were formed, societies also he believed had to evolve from one form to the next and as the world advanced. Forms of religion were different and unique from one societal set-up to the next and this aspect pointed out to the differences in cultures in the world over.
Fundamentally, Spenser believed that the societies that have achieved significant civilization do not necessarily have high standards of values and or morals. The societies that seem to have made very little progress in culture seem to have better organization: they tend to solve their disputes in the society through arbitration and this makes harmony thrive and reduces conflicts, they cultivate and are supportive when it comes to achievement of industrial development and business. Such societies also treat their women with much respect, women are given good positions of employment in the industries and men do outside work. In
Emile Durkheim being the son of a rabbi and a great sociologist made notable contribution to sociology ranging from moral to religious to general sociology. He was a lecturer, writer and an educationist and he devoted much effort to social revolution, most importantly though, he built his social science on, thoughts, demonstrations, symbols and according to him, the societal values were based on representations. He believed in the segregation of duties or better said division of labor: he believed that the elites should use their expertise in ensuring that they add value to the society. Another major concern was to establish what ails the society that thwarts the industrial growth and again in religion, what the origin and the development of religion has been like up to what the modern society is experiencing today.
More work was done on the Indian society: Emile defines religion as a set of values that are considered revered and are used in worship by a group of people, according to him, religion is a social aspect that is needed for some form of development just like any other. Religion needed to have some vital similarities which even though exhibit differences of sorts, there had to be some meeting of objectives. In the analysis of religion, there has to be a supernatural being, that which exceeds humans in understanding; he also establishes that religion is a complicated set of beliefs of all sorts, the difference is just between the beliefs and how the values are implemented. Emile also cites that the assembly of believers’ acts as a unifying factor and this helps in achieving reassurance and victory and success over the failures that a single believer would experience when solitary.
Emile was a strong opposer of lack of consideration for others and narcissism and this means that as a sociologist, he was a strong believer in strength of character and underlying principle. To strongly put together the contemporary society, mile believed that democratic organization, liberty and the will of the subjects was the way to go and this simply meant freedom. His quest for liberty probably points out to the fact that he was a great follower of John Calvin. In religion, Emile being a Jew was influential in making the Jews abandon their original religious beliefs on the grounds that religion should not be about hopelessness, according to him, suffering was a cost one had to give back to the community. Thanks to him, the Jews took on board wider way of life.
Auguste Comte on the other hand believed that essentially speaking, social specifics could be studied objectively: according to Comte, there are three important stages through which the human mind has advanced so that it achieves the intellectual perfection it has today. The first and the most primitive of all is the stage that was characterized by the development of religious beliefs and during this stage, family ties were of great importance. In the second phase, the worship of many gods diminished and the human mind now believed in one supreme being(God), at this stage, human beings still accepted as true the supernatural forces but at a more realistic and organized fashion. The third stage according to Comte is where the religious way of reasoning was replaced by a more scientific, sociological and level-headed way of looking at things. This school of thought puts religion at a point where it rivals for reality with sociology and further still, his theories purport that religion is inferior to social discipline and that there is no well-matched inter-relationship existing stuck between religion and sociology.
Overall and of all the theories developed by different sociologists, Comtes’ theory relates to historical evidence: the human mind has indeed developed from the practices of primitive forms of religion to a more realistic form. The belief in some supernatural beings like mountains, hills and thunder has diminished with time and in our society today, people are more religious than it was in the past. The society is less superstitious than it was in the past, today, science thrives in every field including in the prediction of the weather and in general, the society is more open-minded and civilized. Comte’s theories offer evidence to the society that science is vital in the explanations about the natural world and the society at large and courtesy of Comte, today the society understands that science is all about logic. Against this background therefore, Comte’s model is the most effective because it can be related to the theory of evolution of the human mind as social science proves today.