Basic Concepts & Terms of Sociology

We have explained in details the various terms used in Sociology. Check out the alphatically listed terms of sociology for your reference. If there are any terms commonly used in Sociology and that have not been explained in out list of Sociology Terms, please write to us and we will add it to the list of terms of sociology for your benefit. After all it is the basic concepts of any subject that requires clarity and if your basic concepts of Sociology are not clear you are bound to remain unclear with many topics.  Society o Definitions Of Society o Types Of Societies  Community  Cultural Relativism  Association o Main Characteristics Of Association  Culture o The Development Of Culture  Diffusion  Cultural Lag  Cultural Relativism  Ethnocentrism  Values o General And Specific Values o Means Values, Ends Values, And Ultimate Values o Values Conflict With One Another  Social Norms  Social Institutions  Cooperation  Competition o Nature And Characteristics Of Competition  Conflict o Harmful Effects Of Conflict o Useful Functions Of Conflict  Accommodation  Assimilation  Acculturation  Social Groups o Primary Groups o Secondary Groups o Reference Groups

 Social System  Status And Role o Ascribed Statuses o Achieved Statuses  Socialization  Deviance  Conformity  Law  Customs  Acculturation  Integration  Social Distance  Some Of Terms And The Theorists  Important Points To Remember  Important Books And Authors  Important Concepts And Their Theorists  Sociology of Media

Society
The term society is most fundamental to sociology. It is derived from the Latin word socius which means companionship or friendship. Companionship means sociability. According to George Simmel it is this element of sociability which defines the true essence of society. It indicates that man always lives in the company of other people. Man is a social animal said Aristotle centuries ago. Man needs society for his living, working and enjoying life. Society has become an essential condition for human life to continue. We can define society as a group of people who share a common culture, occupy a particular territorial area and feel themselves to constitute a unified and distinct entity. It is the mutual interactions and interrelations of individuals and groups.  Definitions of Society August Comte the father of sociology saw society as a social organism possessing a harmony of structure and function.Emile Durkheim the founding father of the modern sociology treated society as a reality in its own right. According to Talcott Parsons Society is a total complex of human relationships in so far as they grow out of the action in terms of means-end relationship intrinsic or symbolic.G.H Mead conceived society as an exchange of gestures which involves the use of symbols. Morris Ginsberg defines society as a collection of individuals united by certain relations or mode of behavior which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from them in behavior. Cole sees Society as the complex of organized associations and institutions with a community. According to Maclver and Page society is a system of usages and procedures of authority and mutual aid of many groupings and divisions, of

controls of human behavior and liberties. This ever changing complex system which is called society is a web of social relationship.  Types of Societies Writers have classified societies into various categories Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft of Tonnies, mechanical and organic solidarities of Durkheim, status and contract of Maine, and militant and industrial societies of Spencer. All these thinkers have broadly divided society into pre-industrial and post-industrial societies. Sociologists like Comte based their classification of societies on intellectual development. Most of them concede the evolutionary nature of societyone type leading to the other. One more way of dividing societies is that of Marx. His classification of society is based on the institutional framework of society as determined by a group of people who control the means of production. Marx distinguishes five principal types of societies: primitive, Asiatic, ancient, feudal and capitalist. Following these classifications, sociologists often refer to societies as primitive or modern nonliterate or literate. A more recent kind of classification which is also used while distinguishing societies into types is the one between open and closed societies. A closed society is the one which is a traditional and simple society or a totalitarian State tends to resist change, while an open society admits change. None of these classifications is accurate; for every major type have number of sub-types. One type like the capitalist can be of various kinds like carboniferous type, finance capital, and the modern neo-colonial or multi-national type. Further, it is to be borne in mind that the chief task of a sociologist is not that of identifying societies but finding out whether a particular kind of society has the potential to nurture, defend and survive. Such a study alone can reveal the sociological aspects of societies and thereby facilitating understanding of societies as they are, and, if need be, activate the required changes. In other words, sociology based on values relies on objective analysis of societies. However, in recent years there have been several studies of what are variously called irrigation civilization or hydraulic societies. These studies have been related to the general study of bureaucracy, but little has yet been done in the way of large scale comparative work of various complex organized societies. It is not enough, however, to characterize pre-British India as an irrigation civilization with a centralized bureaucracy and a village system of production. The unity and stability of Indian society depended also upon two other factors, caste and religion. There, the aspect of caste to be emphasized is not so much its rigid hierarchical character and the way in which it divided groups from each other, as its integrating function, closely connected with religion. M.N. Srinivas, in a discussion of Indian social structure, observes that caste guarantees autonomy to a community into relation with numerous other communities all going to form a hierarchy. The importance of such an institution is obvious in a vast country like India which has

been the meeting place of many different cultures in the past and which has always had considerable regional diversity. While the autonomy of a sub- caste was preserved it was also brought into relation with others and the hierarchy was also a scale of generally agreed values. The work of K. Wittfoged suggests that many important similarities can be found, in ancient Egypt, in Byzantium and elsewhere especially in the social functions of the priests and in the elements and caste revealed in detailed regulation of the division of labor. Each human group develops its own social and political structure in terms of its own culture and history. There broad types of social structures may be distinguished. First, the tribal society represented by the social structures of African tribes second, the agrarian social structure represented by the traditional Indian society. And the third, the industrial social structure represented by the industrially advanced countries Europe and U.S.A. Sociologists also speak of yet another type, called post industrial society, which is emerging out of the industrial society. Community The term community is one of the most elusive and vague in sociology and is by now largely without specific meaning. At the minimum it refers to a collection of people in a geographical area. Three other elements may also be present in any usage. (1) Communities may be thought of as collections of people with a particular social structure; there are, therefore, collections which are not communities. Such a notion often equates community with rural or pre-industrial society and may, in addition, treat urban or industrial society as positively destructive. (2) A sense of belonging or community spirit. (3) All the daily activities of a community, work and non work, take place within the geographical area, which is self contained. Different accounts of community will contain any or all of these additional elements. We can list out the characteristics of a community as follows:        Territory Close and informal relationships Mutuality Common values and beliefs Organized interaction Strong group feeling Cultural similarity

Talcott Parsons defined community as collectivity the members of which share a common territorial area as their base of operation for daily activities. According to Tonnies community is defined as an organic natural kind of social group whose members are bound together by the sense of belonging, created out of everyday contacts covering the whole range of human activities. He has presented ideal-typical pictures of the forms of social associations contrasting the solidarity nature of the social relations in the community with the large scale and impersonal relations thought to characterize industrializing societies. Kingsley Davis defined it as the

An association is known essentially as an organized group. This is unsocial with limitations. he organizes various associations for the purpose of fulfilling varied interests. They may assume written or unwritten forms. . Association Men have diverse needs.  Organization: Association denotes some kind of organization. Organization depends on this element of regulation. Without people there can be no association. No single association can satisfy all the interests of the individual or individuals. Finally men may try to fulfill their ends through cooperation and mutual assistance. The associations may be found in different fields. An unorganized group like crowd or mob cannot be an association.  Common interest: An association is not merely a collection of individuals.smallest territorial group that can embrace all aspects of social life. It is a social group. Organization gives stability and proper shape to an association.  Regulation of relations: Every association has its own ways and means of regulating the relation of its members. Firstly they may act independently each in his own way without caring for others. Secondly men may seek their ends through conflicts with one another. When a group or collection of individuals organize themselves expressly for the purpose of pursuing certain of its interests together on a cooperative pursuit an association is said to be born. For Karl Mannheim community is any circle of people who live together and belong together in such a way that they do not share this or that particular interest only but a whole set of interests. There are three ways of fulfilling these needs. Organization refers to the way in which the statuses and roles are distributed among the members. Main characteristics of Association  Association: An association is formed or created by people. This cooperation has a reference to association. For example a political party has to work together as a united group on the basis of cooperation in order to fulfill its objective of coming to power. It consists of those individuals who have more or less the same interests. People work together to achieve some definite purposes. desires and interests which demand satisfaction. According to Morris Ginsberg an association is a group of social beings related to one another by the fact that they possess or have instituted in common an organization with a view to securing a specific end or specific ends. It is an organized group.  Cooperative spirit: An association is based on the cooperative spirit of its members. He may belong to more than one organization. Since Man has many interests. Accordingly those who have political interests may join political association and those who have religious interests may join religious associations and so on.

B. we say that culture is 500. the Westerners kiss. they can be understood as the two sides of the same coin. it follows that culture and society are separable only at the analytical level: at the actual existential level. There are some long standing associations like the state. and year round sexual receptivity on the part of the female. Taylor in 1860s. evolved. stereoscopic vision.000 years old. Even in combination. society is able to survive and perpetuate itself because of the existence of culture. a flexible shoulder. None of these biological characteristics alone. If. tools existed half a million years ago and might be considerably older. It is because of the adaptive value of culture that Herskovits states that culture is a screen between man and nature.  Durability of association: An association may be permanent or temporary.Some associations may be temporary in nature. family. some groups practice spitting on the beloved. American men are permitted to laugh in public but not to cry. the structure of the hand. of course. Or. on the other hand. values. Culture. beliefs. According to him culture is the sum total of ideas. material cultural equipments and non-material aspects which man makes as a member of society. Culture evolved slowly just as some anthropoids gradually took on more human form. Culture is an instrument by which man exploits the environment and shapes it accordingly. The variability of . accounts for the development of culture. religious associations etc. Associations normally act through agents who are responsible for and to the association. Culture is an ally of man in the sense that it enhances man's adaptability to nature. The concept of culture was rigorously defined by E. physiological factors have little to do with when men laugh and cry and when they do not do either. it is still difficult day has appeared very recently.culture is the man-made part of environment (M. the Maori rub noses. Herskovits). consider this. several biological characteristics particularly favorable to the development of culture appeared in the species. the Australians rub faces. a favorable brain structure. all they guarantee is that human beings would be the most gifted members of the animal kingdom. The distinctive human way of life that we call culture did not have a single definite beginning in time any more than human beings suddenly appearing on earth. is an outcome of society and.J. Unmistakably. Iroquois men are permitted to do neither in public. Tylarian idea can be discerned in a modern definition of culture . From this. Association as agencies: Associations are means or agencies through which their members seek to realize their similar or shared interests. Culture As Homo sapiens. Italian men are permitted to do both. In showing affection. for convenience. Since this is true. the Chinese place nose to cheeks. Taylor's theme that culture is a result of human collectivity has been accepted by most anthropologists. Such social organizations necessarily act not merely through leaders but through officials or representatives as agencies. These included erect posture. on one hand.

dating from 35. Those who speak of a generation gap portray two generations at odds with each other.  Development of Culture The distinctive human way of life that we call culture did not have a single definite beginning. horn.the human experience simply cannot be explained by making reference to human biology. The use of fire can be dated from 200. The parallel cannot be drawn in detail because all inferences to the period before the dawn of history must be made from material artifacts.000 B. cumulative reservoir containing both material and non-material elements that are socially transmitted from generation to generation. Parents encourage young people to seek progress. They made weapons of bone.000 years. According to this view. once having internalized culture. They also made jewellery of shells and teeth. Culture evolved slowly just as anthropoids gradually took on more human form. This is to say that human beings did not suddenly appear on earth. attach positive value judgments to it and are more or less reluctant to change their established ways of life.000 to 600. The earliest tools cannot be dated precisely. We contend that if. The debates are usually about how such change should occur. Tools of bone had come into existence by 100. and these tell little about the total way of . Culture is continuous because cultural patterns transcend years.000 years ago. Stones that have been used as weapon do not differ systematically from other stones. and the differences are of degree and not of substance. The prospect of change can seem threatening. Culture is cumulative because each generation contributes to the reservoir. Australopithecus may have used stones as weapons as long as five million years ago. and progress is a form of social change. we must consider culture as the fabric of human society. in fact. or to the climate and geography. and carved statuettes of women that emphasized pregnancy and fertility.000 years ago. Their cave paintings have been found. and ivory. the age of Neanderthals. reappearing in successive generations. The Neanderthals also apparently had some form of languages and buried their deal with an elaborateness that indicates the possibility of religious ceremonies. The first stones that show reliable evidence of having been shaped as tools trace back some 500. the parent generation embodied the dynamic dimension. was a superior biological specimen and had a correspondingly more elaborate culture. An inherent paradox exists within the social heritage where culture tends to be both static and dynamic. Debates between generations in modern societies are seldom about whether any change should occur. Instead. a striking parallel appears between the evolution of Homo sapiens and the development of culture. a generation gap does exist in modern societies. however. Part of the social heritage of almost every modern society is the high value placed on progress. yet every human culture is subject to and does experience change. Humans. and used needle in the fabrication of garments. Thus.000 to 300.C. and there is no way to tell for sure. how fast it should occur. Culture can be conceived as a continuous. Cro-Magnon. and which methods should be used for bringing about change. Through most of recorded history men have apparently considered that change per say is undesirable and that the ideal condition is stability.

the rate of culture growth has become overwhelming. that is. the parallel between biological and cultural evolution should not be overdrawn. As the culture base expanded and societies became differentiated. Moreover. It grew slowly at first. was large. Because airplanes can be measured against these standards. Moreover. Ogburn. we keep working to develop planes that will fly. or a Gainsborough. and carry more payloads on a lower unit cost. but factors having to do with the growth of culture itself were sufficient to prevent any quantum leap in the development of learned behaviour. It was Ogburn. This is because there are agreed-upon standards of efficiency that are used to evaluate material inventions. Similarly. To use air-planes. through a combination of invention and diffusion. for example. who was chiefly responsible for the idea that the rate of invention within society is a function of the size of the existing culture base. also. Cro-Magnon's brain capacity. most of the content of modern cultures appears to have been gained through diffusion. however. In modern times. for example. a Picasso. originated with other people. those societies must be in contact with one another so that substantial borrowing is possible. He saw the rate of material invention as increasing with the passage of time. Whether one prefers a Hussain. culture borrowing became so pervasive that most of the elements of most modern cultures. Cultural Lag The role played by material inventions. higher and faster. Diffusion In spite of the fact that invention occupied a dominant place in culture growth over such a long period of time.life of the people who used them. Change in material culture is believed to have a marked directional or progressive character. including our own. by technology. . republics or democracies. oligarchies. the large -scale diffusion of traits become possible and the rate of growth speeded up. These conditions probably developed late in the evolutionary process. and particularly in the Western world. and styles of painting fluctuate unevenly. as an example. on the other hand there often are no such generally accepted standards. In order for diffusion to operate on a substantial scale. Once begun. is a matter of taste. Governments may be dictatorships. In the area of non-material culture. there must be separate societies that have existed long enough to have elaborated distinctive ways of life. mostly as the result of invention. then. The term diffusion refers to the borrowing of cultural elements from other societies in contrast to their independent invention within a host society.Ogburn believed that material and non-material cultures change in different ways. in institutions such as government and the economic system there are competing forms of styles. Culture has grown. in social change probably received most emphasis in the work of William F. inventions in this area appear rapidly and predictably.

facilitated crime by making escape easier. Ogburn and others believe that material culture tends to change faster than non-material culture. family life. We cannot possibly understand the actions of other groups if we analyze them in terms of our motives and values. after the typewriter was invented before it was used systematically in offices. freed young people from direct parental observation. economic system. Cultural relativism means that the function and meaning of a trait are relative to its cultural setting. The obvious directional character of change in material culture is lacking in many areas of nonmaterial culture. In some hunting societies which occasionally face long periods of hunger to be fat is good. and religion seems to have been much slower. Culture lag is defined as the time between the appearance of a new material invention and the making of appropriate adjustments in corresponding area of non-material culture.Invention of the automobile. we may have a family system better adapted to a farm economy than to an urban industrial one. and. the concept of culture lag is associated with the definition of social problems. for example. This time is often long. airplanes. As the discussion implies. While this has been happening in material culture. It was over fifty years. Cultural Relativism This is a method whereby different societies or cultures are analyzed objectively without using the values of one culture to judge the worth of another. and capitalist ones. TV. life has been transformed by invention of the radio. The resulting imbalance is defined as a social problem until non-material culture changes in adjustment to the new technology. Certainly one of the imperative aspects of modern American life is the tremendous development of technology. transistors. Half a century earlier. and computers and so on. In our society to be fat is not only unnecessary but is known to be unhealthful and fat people are not admired. As far as can be told. it has real survival value and fat people are admired. rockets. he believed bring changes that require adjustments in various areas of non-material culture. In addition to the difference in the directional character of change. there is no regular progression from one form of government or economic system to another. This difference in rates of cultural change led Ogburn to formulate the concept of culture lag. change in government. automobiles. socialist. education. families still were structured as they were in the era of the family farm when young people were under continuous observation and worked right on the homestead. feudal. Material inventions. Even today. Within this century. Scholars envision some balance or adjustment existing between material and non-material cultures. habits and values if we are to understand them. We must interpret their behavior in the light of their motives. . A trait is neither good nor bad in itself. made it possible for them to work at distances from their homes. for instance. It is good or bad only with reference to the culture in which it is to function. and nuclear weapons exist in a diplomatic atmosphere attuned to the nineteenth century.Economic system includes communist. That balance is upset by the appearance of raw material objects. Fur clothing is good in the Arctic but not in the tropics. among other things.

The possessiveness of the small child quickly translates "into my toys are better than your toys" Parents. Ethnocentrism Closely related to the concept of cultural relativity is the concept of ethnocentrism. Much of the learning of ethnocentrism is indirect and unintended. is that ethnocentrism is one of the features of culture and . Once one becomes conscious of ethnocentrism. Positively. Some patterns of behavior may be injurious everywhere. nor does it imply that no customs are harmful. of course to the centre. they may reassure their off springs that their possessions are indeed very nice. The important point. History for example. Ethnocentrism is a universal human reaction found in all known societies. The functions of ethnocentrism in maintaining order are more apparent than those which promote social change. Believing that one's own ways are the best. The world ethno comes from Greek and refers to a people. in all groups and in practically all individuals. is often taught to glorify the achievements of one's own nation. Everyone learns ethnocentrism while growing up. and religious.The concept of cultural relativism does not mean that all customs are equally valuable. nation. ethnocentrism encourages the solidarity of the group. high or low. ethnocentrism is simply a fact of life. This incidentally. but even such patterns serve some purpose in the culture and the society will suffer unless a substitute is provided. It makes our culture into a yardstick with which to measure all other cultures as good or bad. ethnocentrism promotes continuance of the status quo negatively. outwardly discourage their children from verbalizing such beliefs. right or queer in proportion as they resemble ours. while centric comes from Latin and refers. it needs to be evaluated in terms of its contribution to the maintenance of social order and the promotion of social change. But in private. encourages a "we" feeling with associates and strengthens the idea that loyalty to comrades and preservation of the basis for superiority are important values. and to imply that one who has not discovered and compensated for his or her ethnocentric biases is not worthy. however. or cultural grouping. . Ethnocentrism is the practice of comparing other cultural practices with those of one's own and automatically finding those other cultural practices to be inferior. is another form of ethnocentrism. the temptation is strong to evaluate it in moral terms. unless they are quite crude. First. to label it with epithets such as bigoted chauvinistic. It is the habit of each group taking for granted the superiority of its culture. Among adults. and so on. The term ethnocentrism then refers to the tendency for each society to place its own culture patterns at the centre of things. like the rest of culture . it discourages change. The central point in cultural relativism is that in a particular cultural setting certain traits are right because they work well in that setting while other traits are wrong because they would clash painfully with parts of that culture. civic and other groups disparage their competitors openly. but some of it is deliberate.

the poor.Second. Each of them pervades many aspects of life and each is anything but situationally . however. In so doing. and young people have included deliberate efforts to foster ethnocentrism as a means of strengthening themselves. Conflict. to denigrate ethnocentrisms and to imply that students must rid themselves of it if they are to learn effectively. however. Some attempts have been made to estimate the dollar costs of the old system of segregated schools and. there are four other aspects of the sociological concept of value. they tend even if subtly. Values The term 'value' has a meaning in sociology that is both similar to and yet distinct from the meaning assigned to it in everyday speech. defy statement in monetary terms and most people take their stand on the issue in terms of deeply held convictions about what is important in life. In sociological usage. and religious and racial conflicts reveal. sociologists operate implicitly from a combination of evolutionary and functionalist models. The revolutionary efforts of groups who see themselves as downtrodden blacks. disdain and hostility are likely to be engendered. Recent years have seen this stance called into question. Extreme ethnocentrism is likely to promote conflict. The idea of deeply held convictions is more illustrative of the sociological concept of value than is the concept of price. What is the value. of course often leads to social change and in that sense ethnocentrism becomes a vehicle for the promotion of social change. If the ways of one's own group are best. It does so. and (4) values often are in conflict with one another. for illustration. of the right of every human being to dignity in comparison to the need to improve the technical aspects of education? This issue is directly involved in the desegregation of the public schools and has been debated bitterly. In addition. as the records of past wars. more recently. freedom. and the right to dissent are stated at a very broad level of generality. (2) values tend to be hierarchically arranged (3) values are explicit and implicit in varying degrees. women. there is little incentive to interact with inferior groups. In fact. estimates have been made of the costs of using both black and white children to end segregation. Consequently. through encouragement of its peaceful evolution. Sometimes 'value' means 'price'. Slogans such as' "black power" conflict model of society from which they operate. But the sociological concept of value is far broader than here neither of the objects being compared can be assigned a price. Most of the social costs of the two systems. attitudes of suspicion.  General and Specific Values Such values as democracy. ethnocentrism hinders the under standing of the cooperation with other groups. values are group conceptions of the relative desirability of things. They are: (1) values exist at different levels of generality or abstraction. There is little doubt that most social scientists are biased in favor of peaceful social change and are opposed to conflict.

Societies probably differ in the extent to which their value systems are internally consistent and in small homogeneous societies than in large heterogeneous ones. and long life to permit one to be of service to God. conformity. If a comprehensive list of values were prepared. On more specific levels yet. ends values. . One additional distinction may be useful that implied in the concept of ultimate values. When the context shifts. health as a means to longevity. The distinction between means values and ends values is a matter of logic and relates to the context of a particular discussion. and continuing the process until it can be pursued no further. To a religious person. also stated in fairly specific terms. however. and ultimate values Values tend to be hierarchically arranged. then the maintenance of good nutrition. At least in complex societies. The concept of ultimate value is arrived at by following the same logical procedures used in distinguishing between means values and end values. and respect for authority as American values illustrate the point that values frequently are in conflict with one another. Thus. so also may change the definition of particular values as means values or ends values. we may define values as physical health or affluence. Values are. for example. Ends values are both more general and more important in the eyes of the groups who are doing the valuing. the securing of proper rest and the avoidance of carcinogenic and mind-destroying substances all become means to that end. This may be shown through use of the concepts of means values and ends values. there is generally not just one value system but multiple. If good nutrition is sought as a means to health. overlapping. We may also value silk rather than nylon or the writing of a particular novelist rather than that of another.  Means Values. it is obvious that one is about to arrive at an ultimate value that can no longer be justified in terms of other values. American society has long had the reputation of embracing many and deep value conflicts. These potentially conflicting values are so pervasive that it is virtually impossible to pursue some of them without violating others. a large proportion of them would be found to be very general and abstract. is there any higher or more ultimate value than service to the deity? Regardless of which way the question is answered. the avoidance of hallucinogenic substances might be defined as an end in itself requiring no further justification. and a host of other values. the problem is not that they value religions working over personal gratification or vice versa. if health is an American value.  Values conflict with one another The examples of the right to dissent. As the words themselves imply.specific. along with the achievement of status. the accumulation of wealth. means values are instrumental values in that they are sought as part of the effort to achieve other values. and sometimes opposing ones. but that they value them both at the same time. health might not be an end in itself but only a means to the continued worship of the deity. In America. we may value between symphonies or powerful automobiles. Thus. To a narcotics agent.

should. we might refer to norms as the standards of behavior of a group. conventional ways of doing things that are not defined as crucial to the survival of either the individual or the society. Many are learned. many of them are not that formal. The significance of learning in behavior varies from species to species and is closely linked to processes of communication. with the casket open or closed. The 'should behaviors' in our own society include the prescriptions that people's clothes should be clean. but students should be able to construct their own examples from all areas of life. One should not belch in public. there is a wide range of behaviors in which the individual is given considerable choice. should not. informally. A complete list of the should behaviors in a complex society would be virtually without end. in interaction with other people and are passed "that way from generation to generation. all members of the group are required to wear clothing and to bury their dead. The 'should behaviors' are what Sumner called "folk-ways". with or without religious participation. Funerals may be held with or without flowers. in most groups. run stop signs. rules and regulations.Social Norms Social norms grow out of social value and both serve to differentiate human social behavior from that of other species. including the 'should-not' and the 'must-not' behaviours. For example. Social norms are rules developed by a group of people that specify how people must. Sociologists have offered the following definition. in Western countries girls may select to wear dresses or halters and jeans. Many social norms are concerned with "should ". a term coined by the American sociologist William Graham Sumner. may. So that the whole range of that behaviour may be included. probably does not require lengthy illustration because such examples are implicit in what has already been said. To continue the illustration. Norms are the means through which values are expressed in behavior. Such "musts" are often labeled "mores". We have confined our examples to just two areas. that is. there is some pressure on the individual to conform but there is some leeway permitted also. The word "May" in the definition of norms indicates that. The remainder of the definition. and that death should be recognized with public funerals. Some norms are defined by individual and societies as crucial to the society. The term "norms" covers an exceedingly wide range of behaviour. and must not behave in various situations. or tell lies. and so on. One must not kill another person or have sexual intercourse with one's sister or brother. call to mind some kind of formal listing. . Only human beings are capable of elaborate symbolic communication and of structuring their behavior in terms of abstract preferences that we have called values. Or perhaps because the words. For while some of the appropriate standards of behavior in most societies are written down. Norms generally are the rules and regulations that groups live by. that is. dump garbage in the street.

jails. but they have also been taught that sex is acceptable within true love relationships. Their universality indicates that they are deeply rooted in human nature and that they are essential in the development and maintenance of orders. and they vary from standards where almost complete conformity is demanded to those where there is great freedom of choice. Norms also vary in the kinds of sanctions that are attached to violation of the norms. government. and since complex societies have multiple and conflicting value systems. hospitals. but. two proscriptive norms prohibit premarital intercourse and extramarital intercourse. and many other things as institutions. economy. Obviously. integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value. new prescriptive norms give sanction to formerly prohibited behaviour and even extend it. The five primary institutions are found among all human groups. Taking the illustration of American sex norms. Apparently there are certain minimum tasks that must . it follows that norms frequently are in conflict also. Since norms derive from values. they exist everywhere. Social Institutions A social institution is a complex. find themselves faced with conflicting demands for participation in sex and for abstinence from it. But many boys also have been taught that sex is good and that they should seek to "score" with girls whenever possible. (4) in transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next. (1) In determining Kinship. (2) in providing for the legitimate use of power. the change is evident among couples who simply begin to live together without the formality of a marriage ceremony. The change is more apparent in communal living groups where sometimes there is an explicit ideology of sexual freedom and the assumption that sexual activities will be shared with all members of the group. Members of both sexes. In less dramatic fashion. (3) in regulating the distribution of goods and services. As statistical norms come to differ too blatantly from existing prescriptive norms. which may be designated as the primary institutions. Lay persons are likely to use the term "institution" very loosely. then. Sociologists operating in terms of the functionalist model society have provided the clearest explanation of the functions served by social institutions. the sociologist does not define institutions in the same way as does the person on the street. or as concepts. and (5) in regulating our relation to the supernatural. for churches. girls have been taught that promiscuous intercourse before marriage is bad. Normative conflict is also deeply involved in social change. They also discover that there are sanctions associated with either course of action. They are not always as highly elaborated or as distinct from one another as into the United States. Recent changes in the sex norms of teenage and young adult groups provide examples. In shorthand form. Somewhat similarly.Social norms cover almost every conceivable situation. in rudimentary form at last. Sociologists often reserve the term "institution" to describe normative systems that operate in five basic areas of life. education and religion. these five basic institutions are called the family.

student and professor may cooperate towards the student's mastery of professor's discipline. Here the famous principle of the 'division of labour' is introduced. worship together. Again at the level of twoperson interactions. Means and goals become one. 1. Two college students working together to complete a laboratory experiment. . Direct Cooperation: Those activities in which people do like things together play together. In its simplest form. labor together in myriad ways. Unless these tasks are performed adequately. cooperation may involve only two people who work together towards a common goal. Perhaps the only way to avoid this is to have a careful accounting of the cost of each step in the production and distribution process. neighborhood. but they may not be identical or shared. An analogy may help to make the point. Primary Cooperation: It is found in primary groups such as family. The rewards for which everyone works are shared or meant to be shared. some also are individual but attainable only through joint effort. but the student may be working to make a good grade while the professor is working to establish or reinforce his/her reputation as a good teacher. 2. It can be divided into five principal types. The cooperating parties in this case may be either neutral or kindly disposed towards one another but their relationship is not likely to have lasting solidarity. Indirect Cooperation: Those activities in which people do definitely unlike tasks toward a single end. for cooperation itself is a highly prized value. From the college experience again. Man can't associate without cooperating. The essential character is that people do in company.be performed in all human groups. a principle that is imbedded in the nature of social revealed wherever people combine their difference for mutual satisfaction or for a common end. 3. If some of their rewards are shared. friends and so on. or two inter-city youths working together to protect their 'turf' from violation by outsiders are examples. solidarity between the collaborators is encouraged and they share jointly the reward of their cooperation. the group will cease to exist. We might hypothesize that cost accounting department is essential to the operation of a large corporation. there is an identity end. the goals towards which the cooperation parties work may be consistent with each other. the things which they can also do separately or in isolation. the company will soon go out of business. In these cases. Here. with every other member in the group. A company might procure a superior product and distribute it then at the price which is assigned to it. Cooperation Cooperation involves individuals or groups working together for the achievement of their individual or collective goals. They do them together because it brings social satisfaction. without working together in the pursuit of like to common interests.

People everywhere compete for dwelling space. There is some justification for this reaction to competition. tribes.4. They have sufficient theme. has accepted the view that the collective interest further by individual and group competition spurs people on to accomplish more than can be managed under other circumstances. intelligence and self control. European capitalist society. so that he/she can separately enjoy the fruits of his/her cooperation. but all cases may be ranged somewhere along the continuum between the two end points. animals. This often is done by making a pair of ideal types and letting them represent the ends of a continuum or scale. This stands in marked contrast to the beliefs of some other societies. to seek this interest through united action.H. generally. 5. Cooley says that Cooperation arises only when men realize that they have a common interest. Competition grows out of the fact that human needs and desires appears to be insatiable and the goods. Because the ends of the scale are defined in terms of logical extremes. nevertheless. Cooperation is important in the life of an individual that it is difficult for man to survive without it. so is competition found in all societies. for mates. no existing case falls at either end of the continuum. and thus helps others to perform their tasks. is an ideal type. and perquisites that are the rewards for successful competition always are in short supply. The Zunis discouraged the accumulation of wealth and they minimize status differences among themselves. It is highly formalized and specialized. they differ in the relative emphasis that they place on competition and cooperation. Tertiary Cooperation: It may be found between 2 or more political parties. . Although all societies acknowledge and support the value of competition in some areas of life. however. Each performs his/her task. It is often called accommodation. Competition. castes. C. money or even cockle shells. They also regard overt competitiveness as a matter of taste in their children. to that of the Zuni Indians of the American South west. The two groups may cooperate and work together for antagonistic goals. Competition Just as cooperation exists as a universal form of social interaction. religions groups etc. Secondary Cooperation: It is the characteristic feature of the modern civilized society and is found mainly in social groups. are very useful as logical standards by which reality can be measured. The type thus constructed does not represent reality because the very process of its construction involves exaggeration. cooperation and competition always exist as reciprocal aspects of the same general experience. for elaborate clothing and other bodily ornaments. Ideal types. prestige. and for wealth whether defined in terms of land. An ideal type is a form of concept that is constructed by taking one or more characteristics of a phenomenon and accentuating those characteristics to their logical maximum or reducing them to their logical minimum.

but. one seeks to win at any cost. Such a phrase is contradiction in terms. But in conflict these rules break down. there is competition. there is a difference. just as cooperation and competition are. or public office all are examples of personal competition. Moral norms or legal rules always govern and control competition. it causes persons to adopt new forms of behavior in order to attain desired ends. 3. Like cooperation. competition occurs at personal. 4. 2. Competitors are expected to use fair tactics and not cut throat devices. Some times. It may take place between two or more cultural groups. Human history provides examples of such a competition for example. a promotion.regulated. Conflict Conflict is goal-oriented. Competition is a cause of social change: Competition is a cause of social change in that. the notion of a . Some sociologists have also spoken of cultural competition.particularly. As Hamilton has pointed out competition is necessitated by a population of insatiable wants and a world of stubborn and inadequate resources. People competing for affection. Competition may be personal or impersonal: Competition is normally directed towards a goal and not against any individual. The rules of competition always include restrictions upon the injury that may be done to a foe. Competition may also be personal as when two individuals contest for election to an office. competition for status. The competitors are likely to know one another and to regard others defeat as essential to the attainment of their own goals. There is no such thing as unrestricted competition. New forms of behavior involve inventions and innovations which naturally bring about social change. Scarcity as a condition of competition: Wherever there are commonly desired goods and services. Infact economics starts with its fundamental proposition that while human wants are unlimited the resources that can satisfy these wants are strictly limited. In talking about conflict. wealth and fame is always present in almost all societies. Nature and characteristics of Competition 1. Competition is always governed by norms: Competition is not limitless nor is it un. and organizational levels. 5. there has always been a keen competition between the culture of the native and that of the invaders. Hence people compete for the possession of these limited resources. in conflict. Competition in the social world is largely impersonal. one seeks deliberately to harm and/ or destroy one's antagonists. group. It is impersonal as in the case of civil service examination in which the contestants are not even aware of one another's identity. it takes place without the actual knowledge of other's existence. As competition becomes more personal it leads to rivalry and shades into conflict. Competition is continuous: it is found virtually in every area of social activity and social interaction.

continuum or scale is again useful. Moreover. conflicts probably range almost imperceptibly along a continuum from the purely personal to the completely impersonal. Before people can decide that the pain is not worth it. Yet. We have already indicated that conflict tends to cumulate rapidly. The situation. In a confrontation between police and students. Analysis of conflict needs to describe both the ways in which it is harmful and destructive and the way in which it is useful and socially integrative. So it is. . but conflict. also have untoward effects. it is not that simple.  Harmful Effects of Conflict The harmful effects probably are easier to see. just as is the case with cooperation and competition. The conflicts within football games generally are a little less personal. If we have the data with which to do it. where the enemy is perceived to be almost faceless. when two labor unions or two corporations set out to destroy each other. and of deaths and destruction. however. a frenzy of skull cracking. Perhaps the most impersonal of all conflicts is war between nations. people may have been killed and property destroyed. There might be a few situations that would be located near to each end of the continuum. all rival situations probably could be ranged along a continuum defined at one end by pure competition and at the other end by pure conflict. personal conflict may be almost completely submerged in organizational struggle. Few would defend the cooperation of a group of men in the rape of a woman. Cooperation and competition are more often perceived to be socially useful. things may be orderly until the first blow is struck. which otherwise receive a good deal of social approval. and the conflict between students and campus police at a sit-in or rally is personal. Thus. for example. to be harmful. And the school drop-out problem is hardly a beneficial effect of competition. and destroying may follow. there is a tendency to see it. but as pathological process. It is very difficult for the unsophisticated not to imply value judgments in discussing these social processes because our society as a whole tends to do so. rather than being discrete types of personal and impersonal conflicts. This snowballing tendency may lead to complete breakdown before the selflimiting features of most inter-personal exchanges have a chance to operate. competition and cooperation. Again. The word 'conflict' itself often conjures up images of heads being broken. fights and 'shoot-out' illustrate highly personal conflicts. also with conflict. It is useful in at least two ways: in differentiating conflict from competition. Conflict is an abnormal and universal form of social interaction as are any of the others. Probably the most striking thing about conflict is its destructive potential. Once that happens. the destructiveness that accompanies conflicts quickly cumulates. Because the immediate results of conflict often are so horrible. however. burning. First. but many would prove to be mixed types and would cluster near the centre. not as a normal and universal process of social interaction. Conflict also tends to be more or less personal. shootings. and in differentiating personal form group and organizational conflict. of buildings burning.

and union leaders join forces against management. or who will win. and Jews against Arabs represent something of the range of conflicts. The necessity to work together against a common foe submerges rivalries within the group and people. Nations that are torn by dissent in peacetime rally together when they are attacked by other countries. Yet it does at least the following three things. it becomes one of the societal survival. weak societies into large. is that it is often extremely costly. In other words. war was the mechanism that permitted the consolidation of scattered. the poor against the affluent. how much property destroyed. Similar arguments have been advanced that war was necessary during the early modern period in Europe to permit the formation of nations as we know them. The third general positive function of conflict is closely related to the second. a company of soldiers may shoot down women and children in an orgy of destruction. Youth against the establishment. It sets person against person and group against group in ways that threaten to destroy organized social life. and the divisiveness of conflict are so great that it is often difficult to see the ways in which conflict fulfils socially useful functions. Conflict is inherently divisive. . Second. it signals the needs for and helps promote short-run social change.as a primary mechanism through which nations have developed. it works to unify groups. Conflict threatens the existence of society itself. A second negative feature of conflict. The third negative feature has to do with social costs. rival student leaders work together to win concessions from the administration. First. If conflict pits groups and organizations against one another. Can race wars be avoided? Can the police maintain order? Can universities operate? And can presidents keep the support of the populace? Whatever else they may be. the question becomes not simply how many people will be killed. And it is much more problematic.  Useful Functions of Conflict The explosiveness. the outward costs. closely related to the first. it promotes loyalty within the group. who otherwise are competitors. A second positive function of conflict is that it serves to notify the society that serious problems exist that is not being handled by the traditional social organization. One view of human history tends to focus upon conflict particularly upon war . these are real questions. for nothing else in human experience exacts such a toll. In such situations.Establishments may be closed or they may find themselves in chaos. to work together in harmony. And the answers are by no means obvious. It forces the recognition of those problems and encourages the development of new solutions to them. War probably provides the best example. powerful ones. Similarly. it appears intimately involved in moving societies towards new levels of social integration. blacks against whites. And third. Competing football halfbacks flock for each other. conflict is not simply divisive. United States has seen conflict so widespread as to raise questions whether anarchy might prevail. Thus. it also tends to promote unity within each of the conflicting groups.

the initial accommodation agreed upon by the parties may be part of the process of seeking solutions to the issues that divide them. Third some assimilation probably occurs in all lasting interpersonal situations. The assimilation of immigrants was a dramatic and highly visible set of events and illustrates the process well.  Mac Irer says that the term accommodation refers particularly to the process in which man attains a sense of harmony with his environment. If those solutions are not found. Formally. Accommodation checks conflicts and helps persons and groups to maintain cooperation.Accommodation The term 'accommodation' refers to several sorts of working agreements between rival groups that permit at least limited cooperation between them even though the issues dividing them remain unsettled. It is clear from the above that accommodation assumes various forms. According to him.M. being applied most often to the process whereby large numbers of migrants from Europe were absorbed into the American population during the 19th and the early part of the 20th century. Without accommodation social life could hardly go on. assimilation is often incomplete and creates adjustment problems for individuals. assimilation is the process whereby group differences gradually disappear. There are other types of assimilation. It enables person and groups to adjust themselves to changes functions and status which is brought about by changed conditions. When the differences disappear so do the issue and the conflict. assimilation is a two-way process. Second. assimilation of groups as well as individuals takes place. . And. Fourth. however. The only way in which conflicts between groups may be eliminated permanently is through assimilation. Baldwin was the first to use the concept of accommodation. the term denotes acquired changes in the behaviour of individuals which help them to adjust to their environment.  The famous psychologist J. but holds it in abeyance. It does not technically end the conflict.  According to Ogburn and Nimkoff Accommodation is a term used by the sociologists to describe the adjustment of hostile individuals or groups.  Lundberg is of the opinion that the word accommodation has been used to designate the adjustments which people in groups make to relieve the fatigue and tensions of competition and conflict. assimilation does not proceed equally rapidly and equally effectively in all inter-group situations. Issues are based upon differences. Assimilation The term 'assimilation' again is in general use. Or. the accommodation itself may become permanent. fifth. First. The accommodation may last for only a short time and may be for the purpose of allowing the conflicting parties to consolidate their positions and to prepare for further conflict. and there are aspects of the assimilation of European migrants that might be put in propositional form. as is more often the case.

This similarity and the interaction cause them to identify with one another. groups form the foundation upon which society rests. They are important both to their members and to the society at large. Acculturation This term is used to describe both the process of contacts between different cultures and also the customs of such contacts. it should be noted are different from social classes. Frequent interaction leads people to share values and beliefs. a political party a trade union is all social groups. Assimilation is the process whereby individuals or groups once dissimilar become similar and identified in their interest and outlook. There may be a tension between old and new cultures which leads to the adapting of the new as well as the old. but it has significant implications. Identification and attachment. status groups or crowds. as for example. As the outcome of such contact. Groups are among the most stable and enduring of social units. . Social Groups A social group consists of two or more people who interact with one another and who recognize themselves as a distinct social unit. Assimilation is concerned with the absorption and incorporation of the culture by another. stimulate more frequent and intense interaction. Assimilation is the fusion or blending of two previously distinct groups into one.Definitions:  According to Young and Mack. a village. a family. Nevertheless. Thus. which not only lack structure but whose members are less aware or even unaware of the existence of the group. It takes time. social classes give rise to political parties. acculturation may involve either direct social interaction or exposure to other cultures by means of the mass media of communication.  For Ogburh and Nimkoff. These have been called quasi-groups or groupings.  For Bogardus Assimilation is the social process whereby attitudes of many persons are united and thus develop into a united group. For example.  Biesanz describes Assimilation is the social process whereby individuals or groups come to share the same sentiments and goals. in turn. immigrants take time to get assimilated with majority group. Through encouraging regular and predictable behavior. the distinction between social groups and quasi-groups is fluid and variable since quasi-groups very often give rise to social groups. acculturation refers to the assimilation by one group of the culture of another which modifies the existing culture and so changes group identity. As the process of contact between cultures. Each group maintains solidarity with all to other groups and other types of social systems. The definition is simple enough. Assimilation is a slow and a gradual process. These.

they are instrumental in the development of the social life. turn to drugs. These groups. Charles H.Maclver and Page refers to them as great associations. People move frequently. Early in the twentieth century. impersonal. the factory. Interests become differentiated. and impersonal. .is specialized and direct in its contacts and relies more for unity and continuance upon the stability of its social organization than does the primary group. Primary Groups If all groups are important to their members and to society. the great corporation. These are secondary groups. primary groups. They are often called special interest groups. and the family play group and neighborhood have become less dominant features of the social order. The social groups other than those of primary groups may be termed as secondary groups.  Secondary Groups An understanding of the modern industrial society requires an understanding of the secondary groups. he said. The new range of the interests demands a complex organization. The services of experts are required.Ogburn and Nimkoff defines secondary groups as groups which provide experience lacking in intimacy. to those groups that he said are characterized by intimate face-to-face association and those are fundamental in the development and continued adjustment of their members. are almost universal in all societies. a university or a nationwide political party and so on. Primary groups are found predominantly in societies where life is relatively simple. Cooley gave the name. Since Cooley wrote. have become much more numerous. Watson writes that the secondary group is larger and more formal . Frank D. the labor union. and they promote the integration of their members in the larger society. He identified three basic primary groups. the family. and instrumental relationships. the child's play group. These features characterize the rise of the modern state. seek communal living groups and adopt deviant lifestyles in attempts to find meaningful primary-group relationships. Especially selected persons act on behalf of all and hence arises a hierarchy of officials called bureaucracy. The social context has changed so much so that primary group relationship today is not as simple as they were in Cooley's time. Young people. over 65 years ago. life in the United States has become much more urban. Secondary groups. They are of the opinion that secondary groups have become almost inevitable today. They are a residual category. Their appearance is mainly due to the growing cultural complexity. complex. they give to people their earliest and most complete experiences of social unity. With the expansion in population and territory of a society however interests become diversified and other types of relationships which can be called secondary or impersonal become necessary. some groups are more important than others. often from one section of the country to another and they change from established relationships and promoting widespread loneliness. particularly. characterized by anonymous. and the neighborhoods or community among adults.

Distinctions based on caste. There may not be any limit to the membership in the case of some secondary groups. movies. telephone. trade unions and corporations. court etc are made of to control the behavior of members. magazines and post and telegraph are resorted to by the members to have communication. Different statuses and roles that the members assume are specified. Impersonal nature of social relationships in secondary groups is both the cause and the effect of indirect communication. class. Secondary groups are mostly organized groups. The members of such groups are scattered over a vast area. Relations are contractual in the sense they are oriented towards certain interests Largeness of the size: Secondary groups are relatively larger in size. Specific ends or interest: Secondary groups are formed for the realization of some specific interests or ends. colour. There are some secondary groups like the Rotary Club and Lions Club which are international in character. Indirect communication: Contacts and communications in the case of secondary groups are mostly indirect. No physical basis: Secondary groups are not characterized by physical proximity. international associations are bigger in size. Formal means of social control such as law. Nature of group control: Informal means of social control are less effective in regulating the relations of members. Membership: Membership in the case of secondary groups is mainly voluntary. Many secondary groups are not limited to any definite area. political parties. Characteristics of secondary group: Dominance of secondary relations: Secondary groups are characterized by indirect. nation. impersonal. television. Communication may not be quick and effective even. City. Group structure: The secondary group has a formal structure. newspaper. Mass media of communication such as radio. rule of law and political ideologies. propaganda. They may have thousands and lakhs of members. Members are interested in the groups because they have specific ends to aim at. religion. legislation. contractual and non-inclusive relations. . They are called special interest groups. Moral control is only secondary. The behavior of the people is largely influenced and controlled by public opinion. Individuals are at liberty to join or to go away from the groups. Relations are indirect because secondary groups are bigger in size and members may not stay together. A formal authority is set up with designated powers and a clear-cut division of labor in which the function of each is specified in relation to the function of all. police. However there are some secondary groups like the state whose membership is almost involuntary. language etc are less rigid and there is greater tolerance towards other people or groups.

Both the memberships and inner groups and non memberships and outer groups may be reference groups. Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim. exchanging information with. Hobbes had maintained that man's fundamental motivation was the craving for power and that men were always basically in conflict with each other. the nature of the forces giving rise to relatively stable forms of social interaction and organization. what is called the problem of social order. he defines a social system as consisting in a plurality of individual actors interacting with each other in a situation which has at least a physical or environmental aspect. First.even though the expression social system was not a key one.The individual is surrounded by countless reference groups. to a common focus or inter-related foci. notably Auguste Comte. frequently acting with reference to other systems. The most influential conceptualization of the term has been that of Talcott Parsons. towards which he is oriented and which influences his opinion. tendency and behaviour. Parsons' devotion to this issue has two main aspects. To counter this Parsons invoked the work of Max Weber and. actors. such as ideals and values. Factors of this kind came to constitute the mainspring in Parsons Delineation of a social system. each of whom elaborated in some form or other conceptions of the major units of social systems (mainly societies) and the relationships between such units. Social Systems A social system basically consists of two or more individuals interacting directly or indirectly in a bounded situation.Limited influence on personality: Secondary groups are specialized in character. Karl Marx. Parsons took Thomas Hobbes Leviathan. Thus. who had placed considerable emphasis on the functions of normative. Hence secondary groups have very limited influence on the personality of the members.e. i. and promoting orderly change. the major units or components of the capitalist societies with which he was principally concerned were socio-economic classes. as his point of departure in this part of his analysis. in a whole sense. 1951.Members's attachment to them is also very much limited. Thus in his major theoretical work. Modern conceptions of the term can be traced to the leading social analysts of the nineteenth century. who are motivated in terms of a tendency to the optimization of . and the major relationships between classes involved economic and political power. but the fundamental sociological point of reference is that the individuals are oriented. There may be physical or territorial boundaries. in particular. Thus it is appropriate to regard such diverse sets of relationships as small groups. Thus order could only exist in strong government.  Reference Groups According to Merton reference groups are those groups which are the referring points of the individuals. 1651. Social systems are open systems. in Marx's theory. Durkheim. The Social system. Further people spend most of their time in primary groups than in secondary groups. factors in social life. People involvement in them is also of limited significance. political parties and whole societies as social systems.

one of this points being that even though Weber placed much emphasis upon normative factors as guiding action. not individuals as such). Notably. outside view of the major factors involved in a social system as a going concern. by developing abstract conceptions of the social system. 2. such as child or parent. The major units of a social system are said to be collectivities and roles (i. whereas the closely linked notion of role refers to the behaviour expected of people in a status. Status as honour or prestige is a part of the study of social stratification. when social status denotes the relative position of a person on a publicly recognized scale or hierarchy of social worth. R. for many sociologists the term social system is not by any means restricted to those situations where there is binding normative regulation. which we are going to refer to in the following paragraphs. Thus. pupil. there was in Weber's sociology no elaboration of a theoretically integrated total system of action. Status refers to what a person is. pre-occupation with system ness and analytical elegance which blinds the sociologist to disconsensus in real life and spurs him to stress integrative phenomena in his analyses. and the major patterns or relationships linking these units are values (ends or broad guides to action) and norms (rules governing role performance in the context of system values). militant and so on. i. Thus. A status is simply a rank or position that one holds in a group. and it has been alleged that Parsons neglected social conflict under the pressure of his systematic perspective. Various points in Parsons' formulation have been criticized. It is the first meaning of the term status. mother bread-winner. status as position. and so on. including each other. Parsons second major interest has been to make sociology more scientific and systematic. Status is also used as a synonym for honor or prestige. on this basis there can be a system of conflict. One occupies the status of son or daughter.e. or orientations and a shared mode of communication among a majority of actors. . highly abstract.e. However. playmate. cricket fan. is defined and mediated in terms of a system of culturally structured and shared symbols.gratification and whose relations to their situations. objections have been made to the emphasis upon normative regulation. or set of foci. statuses are divided into two basic types: Ascribed and Achieved. Status and Role The term has two sociological uses: 1. radical. Linton (1936) defined status simply as a position in a social system. one has as many statuses as there are groups of which one is a member. but in order to qualify as social system it must involve a common focus. Eventually one occupies the statuses of husband. For analytical purposes. (See 'Social Stratification'). Hence the attempt to combine in one framework both a conception of actors in social situations and an overall. it is widely agreed that sociologists should operate with some clearly defined conception of what constitutes a social system.

or a doctor.S. However. but what people believe you to be. This has often been said about the youth culture in the U. Societies vary in both the number of statuses that are ascribed and achieved and in the rigidity with which such definitions are held. Other common bases for status are age. Ascribed statuses that exist in all societies include those based upon sex.  Achieved Statuses Achieved statuses are those which the individual acquires during his or her lifetime as a result of the exercise of knowledge. some confuse the two terms. and obligations always are differentially distributed in societies by the age of the participants. as for example. Such ascribed statuses stand in contrast to achieved statuses. or at least. the number and rigidity of ascribed statuses vary from one society to another. ability. Class operates in society independently of any valuations. prestige. whereas. The perquisites and obligations accompany age change over the individual's lifetime. occupation and the choice of marriage partners in traditional India are strongly circumscribed by accident of birth. he distinguishes status situation from class situation. as for example. At times. status and role. Status defines who a person is. role defines what such a person is expected to do. As Weber did not believe in the economic phenomena determining human ideals. A common method of identifying the statuses in a social system is to discover the list of statusdesignators. according to Linton. he should care about parents etc. According to Linton. by contrast. but the individual proceeds inexorably through these changes with no freedom of choice. Pre-modern China. status is associated with distinctive beliefs about the expectations of those having status. privileges. not the intrinsic characteristic of man but of social organization. Among major nations. he is too young to work. status. because of the high value Americans attach to being young. Both ascribed and achieved statuses exist in all societies. age. Similarly. In addition to the ascribed statuses already discussed. the status of children. Ascribed Statuses Ascribed statuses are those which are fixed for an individual at birth. What matters is not what you really are. sex. as for example. race ethnic group and family background. For Weber class is a creation of the market situation. and which serves to differentiate caste-like societies from modern ones. caste like. Occupation provides an example of status that may be either ascribed or achieved. Those societies in which many statuses are rigidly prescribed and relatively unchangeable are called caste societies. birth. As the discussion implies. kinship status typically begins with a list of kin terms and their . However. attached the highest value to old age and required extreme subordination of children. genealogy and other biological constitutional characteristics. as for example. power. skill and/or perseverance. an understanding of a specific society requires that the interplay among these be fully understood. India is a caste society. is only a phenomenon. he is a child or a Negro.

as understood today. is that any person can have more than one status. Generally. the basic unit of analysis for social system is not status itself but the relation of two statuses. A social position is always defined in relation to a counter position. Thirdly. In other words. hospital administrators. Why we should treat these two terms as separate can be argued on various grounds. there are three aspects of status. therefore. The first writer to do considerable work in this field was Merton in 1957. Pandey is a doctor must have social relations with nurses. The idea underlying this statement is that every actor is sensitive to the attitudes others will have towards him. a role set. two persons having the same character. Therein each actor reveals how he defines a situation by the way he behaves. Once it emerges. as for example. On the other hand. . And the process. Interaction between two actors occurs not as persons but as two having statuses. the interaction of statuses is a very crucial one. Pandey is also a husband. have different observable conduct because of having two different statuses. to a nurse. If we treat person as the unit of such a system we must discover a basic personality structure which is an impossible task. by which Mr. Pandey became a doctor. Since what is known as status is related to other statuses. A more dynamic feature of this series of social interactions is the idea that each action implies a status and each status action. a docile son and a kind father. other doctors. which in reality is a social system where interaction occurs between actors. required that he first be a medical student. a member of Hare-Krishna cult and a municipal councilor. in sociology it is status. two persons having quite different characters may possess similar observable conduct if they have the same status. If Mr. Every actor. To illustrate. Secondly. Besides. it has to be kept in mind those statuses and persons are not only distinct concepts but also at distinct levels of analysis. it is easy to comprehend status although it is an abstract concept. rather than person. a doctor to a patient. very acquisitive and very altruistic doctors may behave in much the same way. and thus provides other actors with cues to their own statuses in the situation. then an intern and then a resident. a status sequence. as for example. in society. even two persons having similar characters but having two different statuses show very often different observable conduct.usage. Thus. patients. and so on. very often. status but not person in important. Stable interaction systems depend on the emergence of normative expectations. Also. it is a status set. such expectations are not created anew every time. tends to feel tense and upset if he is unable to define the social situation in such a way that the behaviour of the other is predictable. no status in any social situation encompasses one person. and to the hospital administrator. Mr. which is more useful as a tool of analysis. that is. According to him. a father. First. Two new actors encounter each other. that is. Status is the most elementary component of the social system which is equally abstract. One other characteristic feature of status. as for example.

He also held the view that role was related to . when he becomes a member of a group. A social role is a set of social norms that govern a person's behaviour in a group and determine his relationships with other group members. If. there are some exceptions. Status. set of behaviour or action-patterns that people belonging to a given status are expected to perform. The term social role is borrowed by social scientists originally from the Greek Drama. is the static aspect that fixes the individual's position in a group. As such these constitute the group's expectations concerning how one would behave. which originally meant a mask. and each society classifies its members into a more or less elaborate system of statuses. Put somewhat differently a role is the expected pattern of behavior associated with a given social status. One plays as many roles as he has statuses. A given man may both concurrently and sequentially enact the roles of husband. In other words. or position. however. Though all statuses imply some role or roles. Social roles may be linked to blue-prints for behaviour that are handed to the individual.Although the interaction of statuses is normally satisfactory. who bear the title of knighthood and thus holding same social positions. Such ambiguities are a source of strain and discomfort and people either get out of such situations or wish that they be changed. might be performing completely different roles. Despite this fundamental difference between the two. two persons. status refers to a collection of norms. it is not always possible to infer people's statuses from what they do. This leads us directly to the definition of the concept of social role. and football fan and so on. Indeed. the attitudes of any two statuses may be either compatible or incompatible with their demands on the person. If two statuses that are activated in the same situation are incompatible it would be difficult for each status occupant to know how to interact with the other. as for example. at times. Thus. father breadwinner. The importance of role was recognized from 1936 when Linton presented the first systematic statement identifying role as a segment of culture. Also. whereas the status of a person tells us what he is. his role will tell us what he does as a member of a status group. an actor has more than one status. because it will be difficult for him to know which status is the basis of their interaction. The word person comes from the Latin word persona. statuses and roles are very closely interlinked. etc. These standard patterns of behaviour are determined by the social position or the status which the individual occupies in society because it is these social positions which lay down norms by indicating which individual should observe which norms. Individuals in a society behave according to certain standard patterns of behaviour or roles. confusion might arise because of status ambiguity. Each of the statuses involves a role. many statuses are wholly or partly defined with reference to roles which their occupants are expected to perform. hypothetically. poets. There are no roles without statuses and no statuses without roles. role is the dynamic behavioral aspect that defines how the person who occupies the status should behave in different situations. Status and role are reciprocal aspects of the same phenomenon. Greek actors wore masks when they performed in their drama. Example policemen.

A teacher in a public school must incorporate within his role pattern. roles get linked with statuses in the organization. to some extent. each tends to develop a pattern of adaptation to incorporate other roles. an individual adopts a given role.social status. As the roles get stabilized. parents. Another interpretation is that role is a specific behavior or conditioned response. Thirdly. Since the concept is being extensively used. It is believed that when roles are stabilized. If the role structure is incorporated in an organizational setting. Much work has been done after Linton in the form of experimental study. One example is our tendency to speak of male and female roles of heroic and unheroic roles while seeking meaning and order in simple human interactions. and if he fails to fulfill the role expectation. society is based on accommodation among many organizations. Despite these differences. legitimacy of expectation. a child suddenly blossoms into responsibility and helps to supply the family leadership. If the societies and the individuals' assigned roles are consistent with each other the roles tend to get merged with social values. when roles are incorporated with the organisational setting they persist as tradition and formalization. the latter's goals tend to become the crucial criteria for role differentiation. In some families when the parents become disorganized and become childish. by the organizational setting which supplies both direction and constraint to the working of the as for said processes. he will be regarded as a violator of the terms of interaction. other teachers and the principal. all sociologists agree to the following characteristics of role. and judgments of adequacy. A view from society's perspective shows that roles in different contexts tend to become merged. the place of role is determined by society itself. the role structure persists regardless of changes in the actors. A glaring example is our tendency to use age. differentiation of roles gets linked with social values. his role adaptations to pupils. Merton describes several mechanisms that are employed to minimize conflict in the role-set. depending on the extent to which the roles are incorporated with an organizational setting. Finally. The above functioning of the role is determined. depending on the level of integration with the organizational setting. Viewed from the perspective of society. for. . Secondly. Society introduces multiple organisational references for roles. Fourthly. Finally. Many studies have shown that lack of clarity and consensus in role conceptions is a contributory factor in reducing organizational effectiveness and morale. sex and occupation as qualifying criteria for the allocation of other roles. and multiplies roles for the actor. Some writers treat role and actual behavior of an individual to be one and the same. some treat role as a part to be learnt and played. some differences appear in its usage. Most of the writers treat role as expected behavior and role behavior as an enactment.

and as a perspective for the interpretation of the behaviour of others. in fact. Socialization is a slow process. and it supplies a major basis for identifying and placing persons in a society. the important socializing agents are educational institutions. clans and lineages play a more important role. Socialization. However. gross lack of consensus and so forth. Also during this time force is used on the child. Who are the agents of socialization? The agents of socialization vary from society to society. There is no fixed time regarding the beginning and the end of this process. In general. in most of the cases. When the individual forms a self-conception by selective identification of certain roles as his own to be held in his repertoire. This may come about through failure of role cues. The third stage extends from about fourth year to 12th to 13th year. The first stage is that of a new-born child when he is not involved in the family as a whole but only with his mother. The time at which the second stage begins is generally after first year and ends when the infant is around three. These are (1) oral stage. his self-assurance and other aspects of his interpersonal relations. At this stage. (2) anal stage (3) oedipal stage. and (4) adolescence. the child becomes a member of the family as a whole and identifies himself with the social role ascribed to him. that is. The other groups which are socializing units in a society vary according to the complexity. the nearest kinsmen are the first and the most important agents of socialization. (2) affective. the main socializing agent is the family. it is the family which is a major socializing agent. the child separates the role of his mother and his own. therefore. which is likely to be reflected in his bearing.In the end we have to say that it is actor who faces the strain. some sociologists formulated different stages of socialization. It can be played recognizably by different individuals. the individual is said to develop a sense of personal prestige. This situation results in an individual adopting his own repertoire of role relationship as a framework for his own behaviour. socialization includes the knowledge of how things are caused and the establishment of emotional links with the rest of the members of the society. equips an individual in such a way that he can perform his duties in his society. A study of roles provides a comprehensive pattern of social behaviour and attitudes. During this time. beliefs. and (3) evaluative. till puberty. The fourth stage begins at puberty when a child wants freedom from . In other words. while in primitive societies. However. includes learning of three important processes: (1) cognitive. It is socially identified as an entity. Thus. for. he is made to learn a few basic things. He does not recognize anyone except his mother. that is. the concept of role is crucial in all sociological analyses which attempt to link the functioning of the social orders with the characteristics and behaviour of the individuals who belong to that order. rules and regulations of society or internalizes the culture in which it is born. in modern complex society. Socialization. Socialization Socialization is predominately an unconscious process by which a newborn child learns the values. In all these stages. It constitutes a strategy for coping with a recurrent type of situation. the dynamic hinges on his management of the several roles in his repertoire. especially in the first three. that is.

Thus deviance consists of those areas which do not follow the norms and expectations of a particular social group. In one sense. definitions of crime change over time. He also learns about incest taboo. His deviance generally results in widespread disapproval and punishment. or simply accepted without reward or punishment. This means that there is no absolute way of defining a deviant act. By comparison. He has to choose a job and a partner for himself. In the West the private ownership of property is an established . Since 1969. but no standards are fixed or absolute. Deviance is relative. Today this is no longer the case. homosexual acts conducted between consenting adults in private are no longer illegal.parental control. Deviance can only be defined in relation to a particular standard. In a particular society an act which is considered deviant today may be defined as normal in the future. Homosexuality was formerly a criminal offence in Britain. and warriors had to break free by tearing their flesh and in return they were granted favors by the supernatural powers. Many sociological definitions of deviance simply elaborate upon this idea. the soldier might be rewarded with a medal. the physicist with a Noble prize. the physicist to the value of academic progress. as the physicist who breaks the rules of his discipline and develops a new theory. Put another way. Sometimes ago in Western society it had been considered deviant for women to smoke. The little old lady with a house full of cats or the old gentleman with an obsession for collecting clocks would fall into this category. In the same way behaviour accepted as normal in Western society may be defined as deviant within primitive society. Similar actions by members of Western society may well be viewed as masochism or madness. in particular the value placed on human life. A comparison of modern Western culture with the traditional culture of the Teton Sioux Indians of the USA illustrates how deviance varies from society to society. The following examples will serve to illustrate the above points. though. As such deviance varies from time to time and place to place. and therefore tolerated. As part of their religions rituals during the annual Sun Dance Ceremony Sioux Warriors mutilated their bodies. Their deviance may be positively sanctioned. deviance is culturally determined and cultures change over time and vary from society to society. the soldier to the value of courage. In the same way. Deviance In everyday language to deviate means to stray from an accepted path. negatively sanctioned (punished). the soldier on the battlefield who risks his life above and beyond the normal call of duty may be termed deviant. neither is deviant since both conform to the values of society. A third form of deviance consists of acts which depart from the norms and expectations of a particular society but are generally tolerated and accepted. An act defined as deviant in one society may be seen as perfectly normal in another. They are simply defined as a 'bit odd' but harmless. leather thongs were inserted through strips of flesh on the chest and attached to a central pole. In terms of the above definition of deviance. Deviance may be positively sanctioned (rewarded). Usually their eccentricities are neither rewarded nor punished by others. however. a murderer deviates not only from society's norms and expectations but also from its values. use make-up and consume alcoholic drinks in public.

Chiefs were expected to distribute gifts of horses. Such behaviour would have incurred strong disapproval amongst the Sioux and those who acted in terms of the above norms would be regarded as deviant. However. Durkheim argues that its function is not to remove crime in society. Infact. Generosity was a major value of Sioux culture and the distributed rather than accumulation of wealth was the route to power and prestige. it can also be functional. the produce of the hunt was automatically shared by all members of the group. Durkheim regarded some crime as and anticipation of the morality of the future. Merton argues that deviance results not from pathological personalities but from the culture and structure of society itself. So for change to occur. He begins from the standard functionalist position of value consensus. Since a certain amount of change is healthy for society. He argues that all social change begins with some form of deviance. beadwork and weapons to their followers. In Durkheim's words. a healthy society requires both crime and punishment. Therefore. The norms of Sioux culture prevented the accumulation of Wealth. William Wilberforce. all members of society share the same values. In the same way terrorists of freedom fighters may represent a future established order . Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. they must have only moderate energy' because if they were to strong they would crush all originality both of the criminal and of the genius. Durkheim argues that it only becomes dysfunctional when its rate is unusually high. both are inevitable. for example. both are functional. members of society strive to accumulate wealth and substantial property holding brings power and prestige. Rather it is to maintain the collective sentiments at their necessary level of strength. Thus in Durkheim's view. He argues that crime is an inevitable and normal aspect of social life. they do not have the same opportunity of realizing the shared value. since members of society are placed in different positions in the social structure. Yesterday's deviance must become today's normality.If crime is inevitable. not everybody shares the same restraints about breaking the law. punishment 'serves to heal the wounds done to the collective sentiments'. . Crime is not only inevitable. In Merton's words: 'The social and cultural structure generates pressure for socially deviant behaviour upon people variously located in that structure. it is an integral part of all healthy societies. the collective sentiments must not be too strong. It is inevitable because not every member of society can be equally committed to the 'collective sentiments. In order for change to occur. Since individuals are exposed to different influences and circumstances. or too hostile. This situation can generate deviance. it is impossible for all to be alike. Thus the collective sentiments must not be sufficiently powerful to block the expression of people like Jesus. what is the function of punishment. The Sioux had no conception of the individual ownership of land. Without punishment the collective sentiments would lose their force to control behaviour and the crime rate would reach the point where it becomes dysfunctional. Emile Durkheim developed his view on deviance in his discussion of crime in The Rules of Sociological Method. so it can progress rather than stagnate. they differ in terms of class position. the shared values and beliefs of society. Following Durkheim. that is.norm. Thus heretics who were denounced by both the state and the established church may represent the collective sentiments of the future.

They are deviant in two ways: they have rejected both the cultural goals and the institutionalized means. Rebellion forms the fifth and final response. This prevents them from turning to crime. When rules cease to operate a situation of normlessness or 'anomie' results. American society is unstable. they have been strongly socialized to conform to social norms. They are unable to cope with challenges and drop out of society defeated and resigned to their failure. Merton terms the fourth and least common response. In particular. However. They have strongly internalized both the cultural goals and the institutionalized means but is unable to achieve success. a Beverley Hills mansion and a substantial bank balance. As such. artists. pariahs. Members of society conform both to success goals and the normative means of reaching them. Members of American Society share the major values of American culture. Unable to innovate and with jobs that offer little opportunity for advancement. The first and most common response is conformity. their only solution is to scale down or abandon their success goals. their reaction will be shaped by their position in the social structure. The pressure to adopt this alternative is greatest on members of the lower middle class. Merton does not relate retreatism to social class position.to reach . Their occupations provide less opportunity for success than those of other members of the middle class. The 'American Dream' states that all members of society have an equal opportunity of achieving success. A second response is 'innovation'. Thus urban guerillas in Western European capitalist societies adopt deviant means. In particular they share the goal of success for which they all strive and which is largely measured in terms of wealth and material possessions. They resolve the conflict of their situation by abandoning both the goals and the means of reaching them. The situation becomes like a game of cards in which winning becomes so important that the rules are abandoned by some of the players. This response rejects normative means of achieving success and turns to deviant means. It is a rejection of both the success goals and the institutionalized means and their replacement by different goals and means. In a balanced society an equal emphasis is placed upon both cultural goals and institutionalized means. crime in particular. There is a tendency to reject the 'rules of the game' and to strive for success by all available means.Using USA as an example. hard work. In this situation of anything norms no longer direct behavior and deviance is encouraged. It applies to psychotics. However. Those who select this alternative are deviant because they have largely abandoned the commonly held success goals. drive. But in America great importance is attached to success and relatively less importance is given to the accepted ways of achieving success.terrorism. talent. Those who adopt this alternative want to create a new society. In all societies there are institutionalized means of reaching culturally defined goals. individuals will respond to a situation of anomie in different ways. of owning a Cadillac. 'retreatism'. compared o members of the working class. Merton uses the term 'ritualism' to describe the third possible response. Merton outlines five possible ways in which members of American society can respond to success goals. determination and ambition. Merton outlines his theory as follows. unbalanced. drug addicts. Merton argues that members of the lower social strata are most likely to select this route to success. In America the accepted ways of achieving success are through educational qualifications. and members are satisfied with both.

deviant goals such as a communist society. The most obvious and uniform manifestations of social control are found in social institutions. sociologists select only those of the social facts which are of sociological value. Merton argues that it is typically members of a rising class rather than the most depressed strata who organize the resentful and rebellious into a revolutionary group. religion. it is not their business to condemn or justify it. and some goals are not attained. describe and explain the order which characterizes the social life of man. sociologists do study social stability in totalitarian societies too. Conformity The genesis of the study of social conformity or stability is the assumption that there is order in nature and it can be discovered. Also. caste distinctions and classes provide effective control over the behavior of individuals. In doing so. sociologists talk of social system which means that the coordination and integration of social structure which ends in order rather than in chaos. Social decontrol or disorder is a part and parcel of the study of social control and conformity. but it would be of little importance in enforcing conformity in the impersonal life of an American metropolis. government. Hence the first pre-requisite for any social fact to be regarded as one that has a bearing on social order is that it should affect every member of society in one way or other. Logically. family. marriage. can be regarded as a power that restrains and inhibits. too. And in some societies the majority violates socially and/or legally defined standards . In studying the values and norms that contribute to the order or conformity of society. Sociology is concerned with an explanation of how this wonder comes about. The outcome of such social activity is not chaos but rather a reasonable approximation of order. Merton claims that his analysis shows how the culture and structure of society generates deviance. It is justifiable search because members of any large society perform millions and billions of social acts in the course of a single day. education and social classes. Applying this analogy to society what sociologists aim is to discover. but this cannot be a subject-matter of sociology since it relates only to individuals. These distinctions create patterns of behavior within limits which govern each class in its relation with other classes. These work in two ways. Some of the prominent ones are law. One's conscience. To summarize. some values are not fulfilled. as some norms are not followed. described and understood. No social system is perfect in the sense that it is very orderly and stable. The means by which individuals or groups are induced and/or compelled to confirm to certain norms and values are numerous. The importance of these patterns largely depends on the social setting of a potent means of enforcing conformity. It is also to be borne in mind that when sociologists study social conformity. Social decontrol is endemic in social life.

eccentrics and criminals. rests upon moral sentiments derived from religion and is influenced by institutional arrangements of society. therefore. There are always some mal by adjustments and conflicts. However. and judicial decisions always rely on the fundamental moral ideas of society expressed as reason. The concept of control and conformity. Legislation always rests on social doctrines and ideals which have been derived from religion and morality. Law is closely associated with morality and religion. law enforces social attitudes and contracts which initially were those of a small minority of reformers.and value of life. Much earlier. mob violence. civil war. and equality and. natural justice. It should also be kept in mind that social disorder does not necessarily mean chaos. All social groups show some absence or uniformity both in standards and effectiveness of social control. such a degree of certainty in human behaviour that cannot be attained through other types of social control. In Russia. later on approved by law. as public policy or public interest litigation as in India. societies do change. certain amount of disorder creeps in. Moreover. whether for short or long periods. and it brings about.Law. As societies are becoming more confident of their powers to maintain order as a result of rising material standards. In a lighter vein Bertrand Russell remarks that the good behaviour of even the most exemplary citizen owes much to the existence of a police force. in more recent times. Almost all societies experience riots. In democratic societies. The coordination that exists in a society at a single point of time is perhaps miraculous. When pre-literate people come under domination of a complex civilization the old norms and/or controls may become weak so as to destroy all incentive for ordinary activities of life apart from zest of living. On occasions. more and . force is present. More wondrous is the fact that system persists over relatively long periods of time. in times of rapid social change the deviations may be numerous and wide spread so as to be characterized as social disorganization. includes the efforts to retain it and the departures from it. by its precision and sanction. as illustrated psychopaths. almost God. too. law has established new morals of behaviour which were originally the aspirations of small group of revolutionaries. Since law is enforced by State. therefore. Durkheim was the first sociologist to show that law is the means to enforce the collective conscience or collectivity which makes society an entity by itself. And when they change. One more characteristic of law is the changed outlook towards punishment. crime and general disorganization. declining class differences and spread of education and extension of rights. The order of any social system consists of both regularized patterns of action and institutions that control and channelize the conflict produced by persistent strains. natural law. social reformers played an important part in influencing social behaviour. Roscoe Pound explains law as social control through systematic application of the force of a politically organized society. terror. and the principal means at its disposal is law. Law In our times state is the sole upholder of social control and conformity.

. the two processes concerned with law. The role of property in social life has been modified by the changes that have accrued in the relations between the employer and the worker through the abolition of the crime of conspiracy. are harmonized that they take their appropriate place in social control. It is more in the form of keeping each individual in his limits. Lastly. That is why the new discipline. although our courts resound with expressions like the Majesty and the sanctity of law. the change in the role of property has led to a great social change in man's social behavior. introduction of foreign codes. It is only when legislation and litigation. Taking into account these changes. there are a few weaknesses in the existing law. people do not feel collectively and directly involved when any law is violated. is increasingly being separated from custom and religion. law. Secondly. Lastly. American sociologists have introduced expressions such as the 'Otherdirected man' and the organization man. called criminology. and individual thinkers like Thoreau. implied as well as explicitly stated in the Constitution. the recognition of collective bargaining. social security and direct limitations on the use of private property. In all countries there is a continuous rationalization of the existing law by modification. As the social complex of modern communities is transforming itself. liberal thinkers of the 19th century. Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi. as it has developed. the Fabian socialists of the 20th century. As already remarked above. law as it is today. The Indian Constitution is an embodiment of such monumental change. It no longer has charismatic qualities which it earlier had. Modern Law. The philosophy governing social changes. does not primarily deal with individuals alone. This development has been further augmented by studies in sociology and psychology which have shown that crimes are projection of society rather than the results of individual violation. and systematic legislation in relation to customary and traditional law. In developing societies the role of law in contributing to social change is much more. has developed as an applied branch of sociology. your Lordships and so on. Second. The law as it exists today partly contributes to social change. too. Very often it regulates conflicts between individuals and groups as well as between individuals and large organisations whether public or private. all through legislation. is keeping pace with them in making the interaction between the other direct man and the mammoth organizations or the corporations to be smooth and efficient. is governed by the principles stated in the Preamble which are entirely secular and which bear the imprint of the leading minds of the world like the 18th century French philosophers. individual initiative is no longer on the premium in modern societies. law does not enable the criminal to be finally reconciled to society. Although law has an important role in maintaining social order or conformity.more stress is being laid on the willing cooperation of people with state and its law. Mammoth organizations and corporations undertake the vast socio-economic activities of modern times.

If you are suffering from pleural mesothelioma get the legal help you need to receive compensation. In general. However. profession. In certain communities custom determines the relations between two communities at war. family. Also. its influence on social life is very significant as it alone contributes to the textual part of social behavior. at times. . without which it becomes meaningless. Even the custom of performing Shradha in India has no meaning if people do not know how to respect what the past has given us as well as accept our moral obligation to the future generations. Go online to research various mesothelioma attorneys. He believed that the kinship group. Law itself cannot cover the whole gamut of social behavior. it becomes a role or norm of action. customs regulate the whole social life of man. The integration of the communities is facilitated by the factors that help assimilation. although custom is regarded as one of the less formal types of control like public opinion. The influence of custom. custom establishes a social order of its own so that conflict arising between custom and law is not a conflict between law and lawlessness. Custom Once a habit is established. but between the orders of reflection (law) and the order of spontaneity (custom). but with mass lawsuits of this nature it is extremely important to get reliable legal representation. Alcott Parsons defined integration as a mode of relation of the units of the system by virtue of which on the one hand they act collectively to avoid disrupting the system and making it impossible to maintain the stability and on the other hand to cooperate to promote its functioning as a unity. the state and religion are visible social structures and these perform the function of integration in various forms. Integration Integration is defined as a process of developing a society in which all the social groups share the socioeconomic and cultural life. In brief. Customs often involve binding reciprocal obligations. The Bedouins of the African desert will never destroy a water-well of the enemy. In the words of Maclver and Page. extends beyond one's own community. It is the customary practices that contribute to the harmonious social interactions in a society which normal times of peace and tranquility. custom supports law. They just exist because of their ancient nature just as all people bathing in an unhygienic tank or a lake just because of an established religious custom. in most of the traditional societies the customary practices are all emptied of their meaning. Some of the customs do not play any role in social control.

In these questionnaires a number of groups may be listed and the informants asked to check whether they would accept a member of each group as a neighbor. The social distance questionnaires may not accurately measure what people actually would do if a member of another group sought to become a friend or neighbour. We must see instead that the use of communication media involves the creation of new forms of action and interaction in the social world. The early writings of Horkheimer. . While most often used with reference to racial groups social distance refers to closeness between groups of all kinds. One is the tradition of critical social theory stemming from the work of Frankfurt school. as a fellow worker as a marriage partner and so on through a series of relationships. which are no longer linked to the sharing of a common locale. Adorno and Marcuse their critique of what they called 'the culture industry' were too negative and was rooted in a questionable conception of modern societies and their developmental trends. When individuals use communication media they enter into forms of interaction which differ in certain aspects from the type of face to face interaction which characterizes most encounters of daily life. In a fundamental way the use of communication media transforms the spatial and temporal organization of social life creating new forms of action and interaction and new modes of exercising power. But Habermas's early accounts of the emergence and transformation of the public sphere is a work that still merits careful consideration. The development of communication media has not only rendered power visible in new ways. Social distance is measured either by direct observation of people interacting or more often by questionnaires in which people are asked what kind of people they would accept in particular relationships. Today mediated visibility is effectively global in scope. new kinds of social relationships and new ways of relating to others and to oneself.The social distance scale is only an attempt to measure one's feeling of unwillingness to associate equally with a group. They are able to act for others who are physically absent or act in response to others who are situated in distant locales. it has also rendered it visible on an unprecedented scale. What a person will actually do in a situation also depends upon the circumstances of the situation. This circumstance is the outcome of a complex process of globalization whose origins can be traced back at least as far as mid. Sociology Of Media We can understand the social impact of the development of new networks of communication and information flow only if we put aside the intuitively plausible idea that communication media serve to transmit information and symbolic content to individuals whose relations to others remain fundamentally unchanged.19 century. Cultural theory Three traditions of thought are relevant.Social Distance Bogardus developed the concept of social distance to measure the degree of closeness or acceptance we feel toward other groups.

It highlight the fact that the reception of symbolic forms including media products always involves a contextualized and creative process of interpretation in which individuals draw on the resources available to them in order to make sense of the message they receive. The most well-known of these theorists was Marshall McLuhan but the most original and insightful was probably McLuhan's compatriot and mentor Harold Innis.about the ways in which the media are interwoven with the unequal distribution of power and resources and about how individuals make sense of media products and incorporate them into their lives.This tradition is less helpful however when it comes to thinking about the social organization of the media industries . The vision which lies behind Habermas account is one that continues with some justification to command our respect. It also calls for our attention to the fact that the activity of appropriation is part of an extended process of self formation through which individuals develop a sense of themselves and others of their history their place in the world and the social groups to which they belong. He argued that the articulation of critical public opinion through the media was a vital feature of modern democratic life.The great strength of Habermas's early work is that it treats the development of media as an integral part of the formation of the modern societies. constructive and socially embedded character of interpretation. But Innis rightly emphasis the fact that communication media as such are important for the organization of power. Innis was one of the first to expose systematically the relations between media and communication on the one hand and spatial and temporal organization of power on the other. Among the recent contributions the works of Gadamer. Hermeneutics It is a tradition concerned with the contextualized interpretation of symbolic forms. Ricoeur but also the more ethnographically oriented writings of Clifford Greetz. Hermeneutics converges with some of the recent ethnographic work on the reception of media products while at the same time enriching this work by bringing to bear on it the resources of a tradition concerned with the link between interpretation and self formation . This approach has been taken up and dev eloped by others by McLuhan but also by more recent theorists like Joshua Meyrowitz who insightfully combines an analysis of electronic media inspired by McLuhan with an account of social interaction derived from Goffman. By emphasizing the creative. His theory of the bias of communication simply put that different media favored different ways of organizing political power whether centralized or decentralized extended in time or space and so on was no doubt too crude to account for the complexities of the historical relations between communication and power. irrespective of the content of the messages they convey. The second tradition stemmed from the work of so-called media theorists.

Merton Achieved and Ascribed role.Ruth Benedict Ethos.Brown Societal System.A.Eric Fromm Social Fact.Newscomb Membership& Non.Some of terms and the theorists                                        Animism.Ginsberg Primary and Secondary group.R. Merton Role Distance.Durkheim.Karl Popper Eugenics.Lemert Theory of Moral development.Levi Strauss Structuration.Goffmann Roleset.Stouffer.Earl Bell Quasi Group.Ogburn Cultural Relativism.J.G Keller Sociography.Merton Status sequence.Bell Social Character.Kluckhon Ethnocentrism-Sumner Ethnology.A.J. Karl Pearson Gesselschaft and Gemeinschaft.Herskovitz Cultural reproduction.Anthony Giddens Status Set.Tonnies Sociometry.L Moreno Spiralist.Tylor Animatism.Pack and Bourdien Structuralism.Bogardus Social Position.Piaget Social distance.Francis Galton.Merton Relative Deprivation.membership group.S Mill Essentialism.Cooley Positive and Negative Group.Lockwood Status Symbol.Merton Patterns of culture.Bourdien Culturalization .Durkheim .F.Morgan Cultural lag.Marett Anomie.Kroeber Primary and Secondary deviance.Merton Marginal Man.Adorno Status situation.Linton Barbarism.

charter and norms. Marx and Althusser put forward the materialistic variant of the evolutionary theory. Merton believed that a political ideology as communism could provide a functional alternative to religion. Thurstone. Burgess classified societies according to their volume and density. A totem acquired significance because of social acceptance. Durkheim pioneered the method of multivariate analysis in sociology. . alternatives and specialties. Simon distinguished between three stages of mental activity. Brown gave the concepts of external and internal systems. Promordial collectivities are another name given to ethnic group. The term group dynamics refers to adjustive changes in small groups. The tendency of the person to reject the culture of his own group is called lenocentrism. Parsons argued that societies developed from organizational forms where relationship was based on status to those based upon contract. Brown was associated with the concept of Interaction process analysis. The phase psychic unity of mankind is associated with evolutionism. Brown held that functionalism represented a triple alliance between theory. Durkheim for the first time used the concept of social structure in sociology. The orientation that emphasizes individual choice and decision-making in determining behaviour is called altruism. The superorganic view of culture has given by Darwin. To Robert Merton dysfunction is an activity that lessens the adoption or adjustment of the unit to its getting. Differential Association Theory.Likert and Guttman were associated with sampling procedures. Comte saw society as a social organism possessing a harmony of structure and function. According to Malinowski elements of institutions included personnel. method and practice. Lundberg codified cultural items into universal.Sutherland Point to Remember                             Mores is to the folk society what law is to the modern society. miconjectural and the positive. Boas hold that there is not the slightest scientific proof that race determines mentality but there is overwhelming evidence that mentality is influenced by traditional culture. Bernstein distinguished two patterns of speech naming them elaborated and restricted codes.the conjectural. According to Durkheim the nature of solidarity of a society can be indicated by the nature of economy. To Durkheim altruistic type of suicide is characterized in modern societies. Maclver characterized caste as a closed status group.

C Wright Mills The Function of social conflict .Peter Blay Exchange and Power in social life .Hegel Philosophy of History .Wright Mills advocated the inverse deductive method in sociology.Thomas Hobbes Middle Class Families .Wilbert Moore Modernization :Protest and Change .  Thurston scale is type of attitude scale.  The theory of relationship was propounded by Won Weise.Hegel Leviathan .R Firth Plan of the scientific works necessary for the reorganization of society .  C.  Max Weber defined sociology as a branch of study attempting the interpretative understanding of social action.Eisenstadat S. scientific study of society for the purpose of pure knowledge and theoretical advancement.Ruth Benedict Bureaucratic structure and personality.Adorno Social Change . Sociology is confined to the study of forms of social relationship in their abstract forms is held by Idealistic school.N Protestant Ethic and Modernization: A Comparative View.Kroeber Elements of social organization .  Morphology refers to the objective.N(Edited) Philosophy of Right .Margaret Mead Patterns of Culture .David Harrison Authoritarian personality .Daniel Bell The Coming of Post industrial society.Peter Blay The sociology of modernization and development .A Coser Coming of Age in Samoa .Ruth Benedict The Chrysanthemum and the sword.  Sumner has divided sociology into systematic and general sociology and historical sociology.Daniel Bell The dynamics of bureaucracy.Bell The End of Ideology .F Ogburn Configuration of culture growth.L.Hegel Phenomenology of Mind . Books and Authors                           Social Change .Daniel Bell The cultural contradictions of capitalism.Eisenstadat S.Merton .Stuart Chapin was a pioneer in measurement of attitude.St Simon with Comte White Collar .W.C Wright Mills The sociological imagination .C.  T.

Robert Redfield The little community and peasant society.Harold Garfinkel The city.Mead Dialectics of nature.Tylor Rise of Mentocracy .                                        Community: A sociological study.W Mills Society and knowledge -Garden Child Cultural patterns and technical change.Patric Geddes The social life of modern community.E Park Democracy in America .Dahrendorf The sociology of economic life .Tocquerville The folk culture of Yucatan .Westermarck System of logic.Robert Redfield Mind.Herbert Marcuse Ancient Society .Margaret Mead Class conflict in industrial society .Maclver Folk culture of Yucatan .Herbert Marcuse Soviet Marxism.Foucault Primitive society.Foucault The birth of a prison.C.Smelsor The new man of power .J.Robert Redfield Peasant society and culture .Herbert Marcuse Eros and Civilization .H Cooley Culture and Ecology .S Mill .Engels The social construction of reality .H Tawney One dimensional man.Herbert Marcuse An essay on liberation .George Lundberg Significance and limits of category of social role .R.R.George Friedmann Cities in Evolution .R.M Young Citizenship and social class .C.Foucault Madness and civilization .Lowie Studies in Ethnomethodology.Malthus History of human marriage .Kingsley Davis Social research.Self and society.Thomas H Marshall The birth of the clinic .Berger and Luckman The anatomy of work .Robert Redfield The acquisitive society.H Tawney Equality.Lowie Primitive Culture .Dahrendorf Social processes .Morgan Principle of population .

Murdock Organizational man .Merton Atomistic family.J.Zimmerman Bureaucracy.C.Durkheim used it suicide and later developed by Merton Anticipatory socialization.Hegel and later Marx Classificatory and descriptive system.Robert Redfield Internal colonialism.Patrick Geddes Conspicuous consumption.Park Nuclear Family.Thorstein Veblen Cross cousin.used by Adam Smith later developed by Durkheim Dysfunction and function.Lockwood Deschooling society.Talcott Parsons Ethnomethodolgy .Lenin Leisure class.Morgan Division of Labour.E Lemart later discussed by Becker Marginal Man.     Structure of science. Marx Anomie .Illich Dialectical materialism.Burgess Conurbation.Sumner Grand theory.Whyte Positivism.W Mills .Auguste Comte Folkways .Max Weber Little tradition .Ogburn Cultural reproduction.Schutz and Harold Garfinkel Ethnology .Goldthorpe.H Marshall Concentric zone theory.Freud Important Concepts                                  Affluent worker .Veblen Labeling theory.Hegal.T. Lockwood Alienation.Bourdieu Differential worker.Bottomore The future of an illusion.Alfred Schutz Class in modern society.Weber explained it as ideal type Citizenship .Taylor Cultural lag .Gramsci.S Mill Ideal Type.Nagel The human group -Homans Phenomenology of social work.Merton Emergent properties .

Max Weber Styles of life .Auguste Comte Utilitarianism . Later Mannheim Gouldner and Schultz .later developed by Merton Post Industrial society.Murdock Total institution .W Dilthey.Bentham and Mill Verstehen -Max Weber Sib .Charles Darwin Sociology.Stouffe in "American soldier" .Talcott Parsons and Shills Reciprocity .Taylor Relative deprivation.Adorno Oriental despotism.Erving Goffman Social circle.Zenienki Hermeneutics .Mauss Role distance.                       Frankfurt school .Lenski Social Darwinism .Karl Wittfogel Asymmetric society.Turner Rationality.David Bell Pattern variables.James S Coleman Teknonymy.Bogardus Sociometry.Robert Redfield Status inconsistency.Moreno Sponsored mobility.Goffman Social distance.