Friday, November 27, 2009

Concept of Disorganization and Causes of Social Disorganization

Meaning of Social Disorganization:
Some condition of order and system pervades all forms of physical, biological and social existence. The sociologists have at least accepted a starting point that some order and organisation exist in social life. The very essence of the group, culture pattern, and social personality implies an arrangement of parts into an integrated whole. But side by side social organisation and social order have their concomitants in social disorder.
Social organisation and social disorganisation are two relative terms, because neither there is any society totally organised not only disorganised. There is social disorganisation when the equilibrium of social factors is disrupted. As observed by Ogburn and Nimkoff, “Society is a going concern of an organisation. The organization consists of habits and institutions among which there is a fair degree of equilibrium. This equilibrium is often shaken by social changes. We begin therefore, by considering how the balance achieved in a stationary contract with the condition of changing society”.
Similarly, according to Elliott and Merrill, “Social disorganization occurs when there is a change in the equilibrium of forces, breakdown of social structure, so that former patterns no longer apply and the accepted forms of social control no longer function effectively. The dynamic nature of society involves a constant rearrangement of the constituent element.

Definition of Social Disorganization
(1) Mowerer: “Social disorganization is the process of by which the relationship between members of a group are broken”.
(2) Ogburn and Nimkoff: “Social disorganization imply some break in cultural contact, some disturbance in the equilibrium among the various aspects of the culture pattern”.
(3) Fairies:
(a) “Social disorganization refers to the disruption of the function of some social unit such as group, in institution or community”.
(b) “Social disorganization is a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relation”.
(4) Fairs Robert E. L: “Social disorganization is the disruption of the functional relations among persons to a degree that interferes with the performance of the accepted task of the group”.
(5) Ellict and Francis: “Social disorganization is the process by which the relationship between members of a group are broken or dissolved”.
(6) Josep B. Glittler: “When affairs deviate either from the existent order of from the desired order, the inference is that there is social disorder. It is the deviation that is referred to as social disorganization. It consists of the relative decline and breakdown of those factors that have made and do mark for the effective patterning of collective living”.

Social disorganization is not the negation of the harmonious relationship in a given society, it is indicative of serious breakdown of those relationships. Strike by factory workers or by sanitary workers results in the dislocation and paralysis of normal function of the society, besides it involves a direct conflict between the employer and the employee. Social disorganization is therefore a product of clash of interests of groups. Conflicts between the interests of individuals, if not organised as group conflict, have little bearing on social disorganization.

Social disorganization in the Modern Society

In our own times, the process of social disorganization has assumed in universal dimension. The developed as well as the underdeveloped societies, both are almost equal suffers. The society of the old world was comparatively peaceful partly due to stronghold of customs and traditions over the social conduct of man. Modernization of human society is mainly the result of industrials revolution of the consequent breakdown of old social relationships, first at the economic place and later on at cultural level. The man himself was swayed by the tides of industrial revolution which crushed the old order with ruthless velocity but the establishing some substitute values. Old society was not divided into sharp economical classes with mutually-conflicting interests.
In the old world order, societies cultures and communities were isolated from each other by distinct geographical barriers. Modern means of communication and transport have pushed the barriers of space and time into background. But the old attitudes and concepts die a hard way. Culture is regarded as he distinguishing feature of a community or people. Preferences are given to one’s own culture and others are looked down as inferior. The West has its own ways and East follows the suit. Culture is still regarded completely synonymous with group, community or class interest when in fact the speed of modern life and means of communication have accelerated greatly cultural diffusion. Culture by itself does not stand in clashing position in modern world but it is the class interests which push them into the forefront of conflict. When cultures clash, social disorganization affected by cultural conflicts work from within. Cultural clash has become more frequent with the increasing urbanization of country’s population.
According to Maclver and Page, “The situations we have just been describing, especially those in which the resistance is to an imported technology, serve also to illustrate the phenomenon of culture clash. We have used this expression to denote the conflict of opposing value scheme, creeds or ways of life when these are brought into contact inside the same community. The feat of an alien technology is not simply a fear that it will disturb the old values; it is also a fear that with it will be introduced alien values different goals. We do not include under culture clash the conflict of creeds and ideologies, so frequent in every modern society. We refer only to conflicts between two entire culture patterns each of which embraces a whole way of life. Such clashes arise permanently from the coming together within a single community of groups that have been bred in separation before they become thus conjured. Usually one of the cultures concerned is an imported culture while the other indigenous or at least has long been established in its present home. The two are brought rather abruptly into contact and out of those conditions one of them appears to be a threat to the very existence of the other especially if the former is associated with a dominant group.”
Cultural clashes cause social disorganization but this fact has also to be kept in mind that industrial civilization has disrupted the overall pattern of human culture. Old cultural patterns themselves have undergone the process of disorganization resulting further breakdown of those elements of solidarity in our society which were directly based on cultural patterns. Social disorganization is thus happening in every sphere of modern life, from all sides directly or indirectly. The outcome has yet to crystallize before any prediction may be made about the nature of the new social set up that is bound to replace in the old one.


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