People belong to specific cultures, societies, and nations. The field of sociology allows individuals and researchers to learn more about societies, how they develop, and the attributes governing members’ behaviors. Sociological perspectives offer superior ideas for supporting the establishment of an ideal society. However, the realities recorded in different communities differ significantly. This discussion gives a detailed analysis of the unique elements defining a society.
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Humans live in societies sharing cultural values, norms, and ethical principles. Sociologists are professionals who study the aspects, trends, practices, and levels of communities. Little (2014) defines sociology as the “study of groups and group interactions, societies and social interactions, from small and personal groups to very large groups” (p. 6). Societies tend to have basic attributes or components that researchers consider in accordance with the field of sociology. These include social organization, culture, population, material products, and social institutions (Little, 2014). Such elements enhance or affect the process of social change. For example, the rate of population growth could result in additional cultural transformation.
Sociologists and researchers offer unique components that define an ideal society. Some of them include the promotion of democratic ideology, the availability of universal human services and essentials, and access to all items that define human life. Other key ones are freedom, liberty, fairness, environmental sustainability, equity, and balance. However, the reality is quite different since the way individuals actually live in the world would differ significantly from the components expected in an ideal society (Little, 2014). For instance, every cultural group promotes specific ideologies that other groups would interpret differently. For example, many societies would experience inequality, environmental degradation, insecurity, abuse, disunity, and disharmony that affect people’s experiences and social outcomes.
Theory and Research
Sociological theories provide evidence-based ideas that members of a given society can consider to support the establishment of an ideal society. First, structural functionalism identifies society as a specific structure with “interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of the individuals in that society” (p. 15). Using the human body analogy, Hebert Spencer was able to support the promotion of all integral parts to ensure that they functioned seamlessly. The promotion of shared symbols, ideologies, languages, and values would result in better laws. A dynamic equilibrium would eventually emerge and support the establishment of an ideal society.
Second, the macro-level conflict theory asserts that the promotion of equalities would minimize some of the established social differences. More people will have equal opportunities and be willing to obey the established policies, norms, and laws. Leaders relying on the theory will be willing to stimulate the best fashions, rituals, and approaches that promote equality (Uchida & Oishi, 2016). Third, the symbolic interactionism model will encourage more people to foster better relationships and communicate efficiently to pass across messages. All individuals will remain active to shape their community “rather than simply being acted upon” (Little, 2014, p. 18). Such theories will support the establishment of an ideal or healthy society.
Comte, Marx, and Spencer succeeded in presenting divergent perspectives regarding society. From the three, Spencer stands out as the thinker whose proposals fit an ideal society. His structural functionalism model explains how different parts function efficiently to develop a society that is capable of achieving its aims. On the other hand, Marx would emerge as the philosopher whose approaches describe a real society. He discusses how the occurrence of disparities, imbalances, and the absence of opportunities creates chaos and misunderstanding (Little, 2014). These elements define the challenges, realities, and experiences many societies go through today.
The elements of a specific society impact the way individuals interact and behave. For instance, the established social norms are critical since they force individuals to act positively if they are to become acceptable (Uchida & Oishi, 2016). This aspect dictates how people dress, communicate, and share common goals. Additionally, the notion of group conformity will compel people to cooperate and focus on cohesive tendencies. Due to the presence of specific elements and laws, citizens in a given community will act appropriately and promote the anticipated social goals.
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The society will impact behaviors at the community and individual level. For instance, the norms and attributes defining a specific community will determine how individuals behave. The presence of conflicts could compel more individuals to act differently or become delinquent. Similarly, the promotion of equality could promote peace and allow individuals to behave effectively. Correspondengly, the society is capable of influencing community or macro-behaviors. For instance, the concept of group conformity would allow people to act in a specific manner if they are to remain accepted in the society (Little, 2014). Social institutions established in a given culture will dictate or compel members to behave in a particular way. Social solidarity will emerge to bind more people together based on their kinship and religion.
The above discussion has examined some of the attributes that define a society. The insights are capable of supporting the establishment of an ideal community that can take more people closer to their goals. In conclusion, researchers and theorists in the field of sociology can consider the outlined ideas to solve social challenges, influence behavior positively, and eventually support the establishment of ideal communities.
Little, W. (2014). Introduction to sociology, 1st Canadian edition. BC Open Textbook Project.
Uchida, Y., & Oishi, S. (2016). The happiness of individuals and the collective. Japanese Psychological Research, 58(1), 125–141. Web.