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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Old and Modern Concepts of Sociology

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 0 Comments

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.

Role of Sociology in Social Problems

Certain questions concerning propriety emerge when one considers the proper role of sociologist. At time the sociologist acts as a scientist, at other time he/she is a participant in society. The following four rules represent the most important roles of the sociologist. These rules are not mutually exclusive, and as is frequently the case, a sociologist can play several of these roles concurrently.
1. Research Scientist:
Sociologist can be a research scientist. In this role, the sociologist conducts scientific research and in so doing, collects and organizes knowledge about social life. Nearly all research sociologists are employed by universities, governmental agencies, foundation, or corporations. At a university, the sociologist may be engaged in teaching and research (funded or unfunded) concurrently.
2. Policy Consultant:
The sociologist can be a policy consultant. In this role, the sociologist predicts the probable effects of a social policy. Many social predicts the probable effects of social policy. Many social policies have failed because they were not scientifically researched but were based on un-sound assumptions and predictions.
3. Technician:
The Sociologist can be a technician. Many sociologists employed by various corporations, governmental agencies, and so on in order to make the organized more efficient. In this kind of work, the sociologist must especially be careful not to place the goals of the organization above the ethics of the profession.
4. Teacher:
The sociologist can be a teacher. Teaching continued to be the major career of most sociologists. As a teacher, the sociologist in a position to exert a tremendous influence over his/her students. A sociologist who teaches must always be aware of the ethical issue of possible indoctrination of students by encouraging a particular course of social action.

Approach of Sociology

Sociology deals with social events. All human relations fall in study of sociology, sociology is the study of structure, function and problem of human groups. Therefore all social phenomena of any nature fall in the field of sociology.
Sociological knowledge is as vast as social relations we can apply this knowledge in the explanation of all social events. But there are certain very important aspects of social life in which sociology knowledge is applied in our society.
(1) Education and Research:
In this field of education, sociology explains the conditions and problem of social life to the individuals. For such student it is an end those who study sociology for job it serves as means.
Sociology is taught as a subject in some alleges and universities of Pakistan. There are few sociological research institutions in Pakistan. The social science Research centre Punjab University, Rural Development Academy, Peshawar Central Statistical office, Karachi, Family planning Association, Lahore Sociology Department Punjab University, Rural Sociology Department, Agriculture University, Faisalabad are well-known institutes where sociologists are engaged in research work.
(2) Agriculture:
Agriculture is the backbone of our country. About 70% of our total population is direct or indirect engaged with agriculture. Self-sufficiency in some agricultural products has not been attained. The main cause is the old cake of custom which tightly grips the system of land cultivation. Illiteracy, superstition, lack of information on modern methods of cultivation and non availability of farming machines are major barriers in agrarian progress. Advanced forms of seeds are not available to most of the farmers in time.
(3) Industry:
The industrial relations are of much importance to the students of industrial sociology. The relation between the workers and the owners need urgent attention of the sociologists. When the workers go on strike or the mill-owners lock their mills, the social situation becomes lens. The sociologists come in and make the mills go by arbitration between the owner and the workers.
(4) Trade and Business:
Sociology has its share in the field of Trade and Business also. The sociologists boost up the disposal of industrial goods by publicity measures, and raise the quality of products so that consumption may be accelerated. A sage and rational publicity is essential for disposal of goods in this developing society.
(5) Health:
The sociologists are also at work in creating drug banks and blood banks for needy patients in hospitals. Those patents who show little progress in their treatment usually lose all hope of life sociologists, after close study of their social-life and the discase, change their attitude by interactions with them till they respond to the medical treatment.
The students of sociology help a lot in the treatment of neurosis and adjustment of the drug-addicts, as workers of Medical social welfare.
(6) Population Planning:
Some students of sociology are doing research in the fields of population planning in Pakistan. Sociologists can motivate a person better than anyone else toward in the expansion of population.
(7) Social Welfare:
Sociologists are employed in social welfare department to conduct following programmes.
1. Child Welfare Association
2. Youth Clubs
3. Community Council for old people
4. Women Associations
5. Industrial Home for Unemployed
6. Child and Maternity Centre
7. T.B. Centre
8. Conducting Orphanages
9. Adult Education Centre
10. Opening reading rooms
11. Care of abducted children
(8) Planning and development:
In national planning and developing schemes, the demand of sociologists is increasing. In developing of cities the services of sociologists are being required. Sociologists are working in planning Commission and on administrative posts in Pakistan.

Applied Sociology and Its Origin

The discipline of sociology began to emerge in the middle of the nineteenth century in the context of the sweeping charges the industrial Revolution brought for the ways of using scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. A biochemist who seeks to learn how a cell absorbs food or how a cell ages is working as a pure scientists. If this biochemist then tries to find some way to control the age process, this is applied science. A sociologist making a study of the social structure of a slum neighbourhood is working as pure scientists, if this is followed by study of how to prevent delinquency in a slum neighbourhood, this is applied science. Many people view sociology entirely as an applied science – trying to solve social problems. Properly viewed, it is both a pure and an applied science. For unless a science is constantly searching for more basic knowledge, its practical application of knowledge are not likely to be very practical.

Practical applications of sociological knowledge have become quite common. Some sociologists are employed by corporation, government bureaus, and social agencies, often in evaluation research but sometimes in administration. Sociologists are often consulted by legislative committee in preparing new legislation. While the political clout of opposing interest group may be the prime determinant of social policy decisions, the policy recommendations as social scientists are a significant factor in the legislative process.

On many questions, such as the causes and treatment of crime and delinquency, drug, and akhol addition, sex offences, the causes and consequences of race discrimination, or the adjustment of the family to a changing societies, there in consideration scientific knowledge with the social science. Often this knowledge is rejected by people who prefer to follow their prejudices, but as a nation, we are beginning to apply scientific methods to our thinking about social issues.

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