IntroductionIn societies and communities, there is needfor social order in institutions and traditions in order to keep the societytogether and operate cooperatively preventing it from falling apart. Socialorder is what holds the society together and people need to comply with whatthe society expects of them. For any form of order to be maintained in asociety, there is need for some degree of control on the individual right fromchildhood to adulthood. Social order is a fundamental concept insociology that refers to the way that the various components of society and institutions, social relations, socialinteraction and behavior, and cultural aspects such as norms, beliefs, andvalues work together to maintain the status quo. This is the way in which asociety is organized along with certainrules and standards that are set forth in order to maintain that organization.In a society individuals live together and interact inunique arrangements such as families, churches, formal and informal groups,institutions and organizations. Some individuals belong to a single group whileothers belong to more than one. These structures take on form that is in aform of hierarchy in which some people have more power than others and use thispower in order to enforce laws and rules that govern it.
Benefits of Social Order to a societyAs discussed earlier on, it’s important toappreciate the essentiality of social solidarity for the existence of society.As known that people are different in nature with varying ideas, interests andattitudes therefore each individual has a unique personality. The differences among individuals can forinstance be based on the religious orientation in which some are orthodox andothers are catholic. This explains the society as a heterogeneous organization.
Incase an individual is granted freedom with no limits on how to behave it maygive rise to a social disorder. Therefore it is necessary to have socialcontrol to bring about and orderly social life.Most of us agree that murder is out of orderand that we have to work to earn our money and this is based on the morals andvalues of our societies. And as societies evolve, so does the order change. Inthat citizens have to work collaboratively with the law to set up systems thatreward good behavior and systems that punish bad ones. We also find suchsystems set up in our homes, in schools and other institutions.It’s through means of social contracts that oursocieties remain stable through implied agreements. These contracts arestandards and exceptions that most people believe necessary to maintain orderand progress.
According to philosopher Thomas Hobbes the people within asociety agreed to empower the state to enforce the rule of law, and inexchange, they gave up some individual power leading to a form of socialcontract. He argued that a societycannot exist without such a contract because it would be filled with fightingand chaos. In order to bring about social order in the society, modern stateswere created with in which this order was enforced. The people in the societyentrusted the state to enforce the rule of law while they gave and in so doinggave up some of their individual power which formed the basis of Hobbes’ theoryof social order.In our world today even though the society ismade up of different groups of people with different goals yet there is alwaysa need to work together cooperatively. This helps explain why we do look outfor one another, obey the law and other rules and also invest in our futures.The problem of social order gives rise to theconcept of cooperation and concept of coordination each of which is a need thatneeds to be met by not only the individual but by also the society.
We do needto recognize that we as people are both individuals and social creatures. Notonly do we want our needs to be met, but we also have expectations of those inthe world around us.As people we do have a need to be happy anddon’t want to live a miserable life and therefore we have to rely on otherpeople in order to be happy. For instance it is unimaginable how life can be iffor instance you are sent to live on an island alone. This clearly shows why wedo need one another in order to be happy. Since we need people in order to behappy, therefore we need others to be happy so that we are also happy. Howeverthere is a tension that arises between the individual self-interests andinterests of the group which brings in the need for both coordination andcooperation.
Coordination does create order which meansthat when we don’t coordinate with one another it will give rise to disorderwhich can also be referred to as anomie. Coordination does requirepredictability and stability when we know that we can rely on the world inwhich we live in. There is a need to behave in a predictable way in which cancoordinate our life with the lives of others. However when society acts inunpredictable ways, we begin to become disorderly. It is important we have thiscoordination structure to depend on that even if is invisible we can rely onit. Take for instance driving. When youget in a car to drive, you have to abide by the rules that govern the road,drive on the side of the road that you must drive on and stop when you need tostop on the red light and also mindful of the people driving around us.
This isthe kind of structure that we need in place to assume that people will behavethe same way when we come in contact with them.Cooperation is doing things that benefitothers and not just our-selves. When we work in a structure willing to supportus, we in turn cooperate with one another. The individual decides to follow therules and laws because they are beneficial to all of us.
Some may decide to dosome volunteer work. However when we don’t have cooperation in society, peoplebecome too individualistic whereby they look out only for themselves. With lackof cooperation the need for collective action decreases and many of thecollective needs go unmet. For example, when we as voters perceive thatpoliticians do not meet the needs of the people, there will be a low voter turnout.In this way people begin to serve their own interests without consideration forothers around them.
When cooperation is working well, we worktogether. For example when a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina hitAmerica, many volunteers came to the aid of survivors and many food resourceswhere given to the flood rescuers and victims. This required some bit ofsacrifice on the side of the volunteers or Aid groups in order to help fix theproblem that had happened so that everything could be put back into some sortof reasonable social order.
Cooperation and coordination are required to createa world that we want to live in. We must have social order and not take that orderfor granted. We must have public policy that address issues which make itdifficult for individuals not to want to cooperate.Social order is what holds the societytogether and people need to comply with what the society expects of them. Forany form of order to be maintained in a society, there is need for some degreeof control on the individual right from childhood to adulthood. It’s aninteresting concept of socialTheorist Opinionson Social OrderKarl Marx’s Take On Social Order: With a focus onthe transition from a pre-capitalist to capitalist economies, and their impacton society formed a background to Karl Marx’s theory of social order.
Wherebythe economic structure of a society and the social relations of how goods aremade create a form of social order which is maintained through the culturalaspects of society, its social institutions and the state.The shift to a capitalist industrial economythrough out of Europe brought up hierarchical class-based society. This societyhad a large class of workers exploited by the small minority who held powerthat included the factory owners and their wealthy financiers. This first classof bourgeoisie owned the product, means of production and the profit whereasthe second class of laborers who could not afford to invest in mass production,the only thing they could sell was their labor. Marx believed that the laborersgained little and lost much while the bourgeoisie benefited more. He believedthat the proletariat could eventually over take the Bourgeoisie leading to arevolution through re distribution of resources. The social institutions oflike education, religion and media focus on the values and norms the rulingclass so as to maintain a social order which in most cases serves theirinterest and safe guards their power. Cultural Theory of Social Order: According toFrench sociologist Emile Durkheim, culture is the most important aspect in thistheory of social order.
During his study, he noted that the social order inprimitive and traditional societies was maintained majorly on the share values,norms and beliefs within those societies.He noted that with that kind of culture in asociety, there is a form of social connection which binds the people togetherleading to a form of collective conscience. The way people interact in thesocial institutions such as the state, education, news media and culturalproducts forms the basis of their participation in the maintenance of rules andnorms that brings about a smooth functioning society.