In societies and communities, there is need
for social order in institutions and traditions in order to keep the society
together and operate cooperatively preventing it from falling apart. Social
order is what holds the society together and people need to comply with what
the society expects of them. For any form of order to be maintained in a
society, there is need for some degree of control on the individual right from
childhood to adulthood.
Social order is a fundamental concept in
sociology that refers to the way that the various components of society and institutions, social relations, social
interaction and behavior, and cultural aspects such as norms, beliefs, and
values work together to maintain the status quo. This is the way in which a
society is organized along with certain
rules and standards that are set forth in order to maintain that organization.
In a society individuals live together and interact in
unique arrangements such as families, churches, formal and informal groups,
institutions and organizations. Some individuals belong to a single group while
others belong to more than one. These structures take on form that is in a
form of hierarchy in which some people have more power than others and use this
power in order to enforce laws and rules that govern it.
Benefits of Social Order to a society
As discussed earlier on, it’s important to
appreciate the essentiality of social solidarity for the existence of society.
As known that people are different in nature with varying ideas, interests and
attitudes therefore each individual has a unique personality.
The differences among individuals can for
instance be based on the religious orientation in which some are orthodox and
others are catholic. This explains the society as a heterogeneous organization.
Incase an individual is granted freedom with no limits on how to behave it may
give rise to a social disorder. Therefore it is necessary to have social
control to bring about and orderly social life.
Most of us agree that murder is out of order
and that we have to work to earn our money and this is based on the morals and
values of our societies. And as societies evolve, so does the order change. In
that citizens have to work collaboratively with the law to set up systems that
reward good behavior and systems that punish bad ones. We also find such
systems set up in our homes, in schools and other institutions.
It’s through means of social contracts that our
societies remain stable through implied agreements. These contracts are
standards and exceptions that most people believe necessary to maintain order
and progress. According to philosopher Thomas Hobbes the people within a
society agreed to empower the state to enforce the rule of law, and in
exchange, they gave up some individual power leading to a form of social
contract. He argued that a society
cannot exist without such a contract because it would be filled with fighting
and chaos. In order to bring about social order in the society, modern states
were created with in which this order was enforced. The people in the society
entrusted the state to enforce the rule of law while they gave and in so doing
gave up some of their individual power which formed the basis of Hobbes’ theory
of social order.
In our world today even though the society is
made up of different groups of people with different goals yet there is always
a need to work together cooperatively. This helps explain why we do look out
for one another, obey the law and other rules and also invest in our futures.
The problem of social order gives rise to the
concept of cooperation and concept of coordination each of which is a need that
needs to be met by not only the individual but by also the society. We do need
to recognize that we as people are both individuals and social creatures. Not
only do we want our needs to be met, but we also have expectations of those in
the world around us.
As people we do have a need to be happy and
don’t want to live a miserable life and therefore we have to rely on other
people in order to be happy. For instance it is unimaginable how life can be if
for instance you are sent to live on an island alone. This clearly shows why we
do need one another in order to be happy. Since we need people in order to be
happy, therefore we need others to be happy so that we are also happy. However
there is a tension that arises between the individual self-interests and
interests of the group which brings in the need for both coordination and
Coordination does create order which means
that when we don’t coordinate with one another it will give rise to disorder
which can also be referred to as anomie. Coordination does require
predictability and stability when we know that we can rely on the world in
which we live in. There is a need to behave in a predictable way in which can
coordinate our life with the lives of others. However when society acts in
unpredictable ways, we begin to become disorderly. It is important we have this
coordination structure to depend on that even if is invisible we can rely on
it. Take for instance driving. When you
get 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 to
stop on the red light and also mindful of the people driving around us. This is
the kind of structure that we need in place to assume that people will behave
the same way when we come in contact with them.
Cooperation is doing things that benefit
others and not just our-selves. When we work in a structure willing to support
us, we in turn cooperate with one another. The individual decides to follow the
rules and laws because they are beneficial to all of us. Some may decide to do
some volunteer work. However when we don’t have cooperation in society, people
become too individualistic whereby they look out only for themselves. With lack
of cooperation the need for collective action decreases and many of the
collective needs go unmet. For example, when we as voters perceive that
politicians 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 for
others around them.
When cooperation is working well, we work
together. For example when a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina hit
America, many volunteers came to the aid of survivors and many food resources
where given to the flood rescuers and victims. This required some bit of
sacrifice on the side of the volunteers or Aid groups in order to help fix the
problem that had happened so that everything could be put back into some sort
of reasonable social order. Cooperation and coordination are required to create
a world that we want to live in. We must have social order and not take that order
for granted. We must have public policy that address issues which make it
difficult for individuals not to want to cooperate.
Social order is what holds the society
together and people need to comply with what the society expects of them. For
any form of order to be maintained in a society, there is need for some degree
of control on the individual right from childhood to adulthood. It’s an
interesting concept of social
on Social Order
Karl Marx’s Take On Social Order: With a focus on
the transition from a pre-capitalist to capitalist economies, and their impact
on society formed a background to Karl Marx’s theory of social order. Whereby
the economic structure of a society and the social relations of how goods are
made create a form of social order which is maintained through the cultural
aspects of society, its social institutions and the state.
The shift to a capitalist industrial economy
through out of Europe brought up hierarchical class-based society. This society
had a large class of workers exploited by the small minority who held power
that included the factory owners and their wealthy financiers. This first class
of bourgeoisie owned the product, means of production and the profit whereas
the 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 laborers
gained little and lost much while the bourgeoisie benefited more. He believed
that the proletariat could eventually over take the Bourgeoisie leading to a
revolution through re distribution of resources. The social institutions of
like education, religion and media focus on the values and norms the ruling
class so as to maintain a social order which in most cases serves their
interest and safe guards their power.
Cultural Theory of Social Order: According to
French sociologist Emile Durkheim, culture is the most important aspect in this
theory of social order. During his study, he noted that the social order in
primitive 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 a
society, there is a form of social connection which binds the people together
leading to a form of collective conscience. The way people interact in the
social institutions such as the state, education, news media and cultural
products forms the basis of their participation in the maintenance of rules and
norms that brings about a smooth functioning society.