Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Old and Modern Concepts of Sociology
Societies represent the most comprehensive and complex type of social structure in today’s world. As Society refer, to a group of people who live within the same territory and the share a common culture. By virtue of this common culture, the members of a society typically possess similar values and norms and a common languages. Its members perpetuate themselves primarily, through reproduction and comprises a more or less self sufficient social unit a society can be as small as a tribal community of several dozen people and as large as modern nations with hundreds of millions of people.
Although we often use the term “nation state” interchangeably with society, the two are not necessarily the same. A state is a political entity centring on a government. A large number of European nation-states contain multiple nationality groups, including great British, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland. Similarly, many African nation-states contain multiple tribal groups 250 in Nigeria, 200 in Zaire and 130 in Tanzania.
Sociologists have classified the concept of society in old and modern concepts of society, in following eras.
1. Hunting and gathering society represents the old society, when men were moving from one place to another for different purpose. Individuals survive by hunting animals and gathering edible foods. Because their food gathering techniques rather quickly reduce the supply of animals and plants in a locality, the people are constantly on the move. Moreover, their society is typically small, consisting of about fifty or 50 members. Large and complex farms of social organization are virtually impossible at this level of development. Kinship -- ties by blood and marriage – is the foundation for most relationships. Specialized and enduring work groups government and standing armies are unknown.
Same ten thousand or 50 years ago human beings learned how to cultivate a number of plants on which they depend for food. They became less dependent on the when of nature than their hunting and gathering ancestors hand bier. The daggling sticks and later the hoe provided the basis for horticultural societies. Horticulturalists clear the land by means of “slash and burn” technology, raise crops for two to three years and then move on to new plots as the soil becomes exhausted. Their more efficient economies allow for the production of a social surplus goods and services over and above those necessary for human survival. This surplus becomes the foundation for social stratification; the specialization of some economic, political and religious roles, a growth in the importance of warfare and more complex forms of culture and social structure. Even so, the upper limit for most horticultural communities is about 3000 persons.
Five to six thousand years ago, in fertile river valley such as those of the Middle East, South Africa (Moen-Jo-Daro) the plow heralded an agricultural revolution and emergence of agrarian societies. Plowing stirs up the fertile elements in the soil that in semi – arid regions sink beneath the reach of plant roots. Additionally, the harnessing animal power such as oven, and the discovery of the basic principles of metallurgy greatly enhanced the value of the plows. These innovations meant larger crops, more food, expanding populations and even more complex forms of social organization. In time sophistical political institutions emerged, with power concentrated in the hands of hereditary monarchs. Continuing advances in both productive and military technologies contributed to a substantial growth in power of the state the size of the territory it controlled, and the emergence of large capital cities.
In modern concept of society, some social analysts contend that the United States is currently moving in direction of a post industrial society. In the post industrial society, increasing numbers of workers find employment in territory industry containing on the provision of services rather than the extraction of raw material and the manufacture of goods. Simultaneously new techniques permit the automation of many processes in the work place with the introduction of computers and complex feed back regulation devices. All these changes are being accomplished by a knowledge explosion based on the creating, processing, and distributing of information.
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