Society comprises tonss of diverse and dynamic societal groups: pupils. parents. the on the job category. politicians. famous persons. every bit good as co-workers in work topographic points and people in leisure nines. So how do all of these different societal groups interlink and work together in society and how do people cognize how to act in different state of affairss and groups?
From the minute we enter the universe we have society’s outlooks of different genders. a babe dressed in bluish one twenty-four hours would have different remarks than the same babe dressed in pink the undermentioned twenty-four hours. and regulations and cognition push upon us – we are taught to state please and thank you and to esteem our seniors ; we are in instruction from every bit immature as four larning how to act in society ; it is instilled in us that in order to win we must educate ourselves and act in certain ways and to follow norms – shared sets of values which dictate how we should act in society ( Silva. 2009 ) .
Social life can be broken down into different degrees. macro – the big scale constructions of societal life. such as provinces and states ; meso – intermediate constructions. societal establishments such as schools and prisons which looks at forms of behavior ; and micro – little constructions such as personal interactions ( Silva. 2009 ) .
Ordered society is an illustration of a macro society – utilizing Torahs and common apprehension ( norms ) ( Silva. 2009 ) of acceptable behaviors based on regard for all people taking to a by and large peaceable and jurisprudence staying population to order society which is broken down into regulations and is governed by Torahs and surveillance.
Ordered societal state of affairss are an illustration of a micro society – behavior which is learned ( socialization ) which frequently uses unwritten regulations. such as non queue jumping or stating please.
An illustration of a meso society would be a school or prison.
Erving Goffman. a micro sociologist who studied societal forms of mundane life and who had a modernistic attack. ( Silva. 2009 ) undertook surveies and wrote several books that were based around how we present ourselves to society and looked into the theory that societal alteration is created by actions being worked and reworked and that forms of interaction create societal order ( Silva. 2009 ) as opposed to societal alteration being created by power.
Goffman’s basic rule was that we are all playing functions in society – as though acting in a theatre production. Goffman believed that society is non a separate entity but. alternatively. is a building created by the actions of persons together and the unwritten regulations of society ( Silva. 2009 ) .
As mentioned above. Goffman used the theater as a metaphor to depict his theories: the phase was where people performed to society. seeking to give their best public presentation. and the wing was where they could be themselves and halt acting ( Silva. 2009 ) .
Goffman studied trust and tact and the usage of organic structure linguistic communication. such as oculus contact. He said that people would interact with each other utilizing their organic structure linguistic communication to convey messages. such as nodding your caput at person to expose blessing or to admit them ( Silva. 2009 ) .
However. Goffman’s theories sing public presentation have been criticised as he seems to presume that people are being false and seting on a false individuality to society ( Taylor. 2009 ) . It may be said that people aren’t being false but are accommodating and moving suitably in different societal state of affairss.
In comparing. Michael Foucault. a Gallic philosopher. studied the correlativity between linguistic communication. cognition and power and how this is used to command society in the signifier of societal establishments. such as schools and public assistance systems ( Silva. 2009 ) . He believed that the power of swayers and lawgivers was used to train and order society.
Whereas Goffman focused on the present and how we interact with each other on a personal degree. Foucault focused on the historical procedures of discourse ( family tree ) and concentrated on linguistic communication and cognition. To Foucault persons appeared to be inactive. docile and of being of small importance ( Silva. 2009 ) .
Foucault had similar subjects to George Orwell. an writer who wrote the book ‘1984’ the subject of which was surveillance of all facets of life. even cameras in sleeping rooms. Alternatively of seeing schools and colleges as a beginning of instruction and developing immature people into socially acceptable grownups. Foucault saw establishments as detrimental to persons. that they were implemented to condition people into how the lawgivers want us to move and act in society. Foucault identified surveillance and hierarchy as a agency of societal control. which is besides really outstanding in modern twenty-four hours society with the inclusion of CCTV on most streets and informations being saved from the web sites that we use. every bit good as the Government Census which is carried out every ten old ages.
Both Goffman and Foucault believe that power in society is created by people. However. Goffman believes that we all contribute towards the building of societal order whereas Foucault believes that power prevarications within discourse of the opinion groups ( Silva. 2009 ) .
For illustration. if we take the societal establishment of a school. Goffman would state we are moving or executing as a ‘good’ pupil if we attend school on clip. convey the right ‘props’ ( books. pens ) and listen to the instructor. However. he would state we could take on the function of a ‘bad’ pupil by burying our prep or have oning wrong uniform. Foucault would state that schools are created by governments and maintain in topographic point by penalty and signifiers of surveillance ( CCTV in schools. monitoring of Personal computers ) .
Using Goffman’s theories every person would be included in the running of the establishment. utilizing societal interactions to make societal order and alteration. Whereas utilizing Foucault’s theories the lawgivers would make order
by utilizing power and cognition.
Both Goffman and Foucault understand the importance of norms ( cognizing how to act in different societal state of affairss in a socially acceptable mode ) and that society is ordered by norms and regulations. However. Foucault showed that linguistic communication was the cause of this. whereas Goffman showed that this was due to the manner we act and interact with each other during societal interactions.
Again. both Goffman and Foucault acknowledge that society is ordered by norms and regulations and that regulations may be set by jurisprudence but that some societal regulations may be informal or unwritten. such as debaring your regard on the London Underground or waiting your bend in a waiting line.
But do we truly need all these regulations. ordinances and Torahs to populate by? Are they truly making societal order or making persons mindlessly following regulations?
In 1989 Hans Monderman. a Gallic applied scientist. created a route system in a town of 43. 000 people in Drachten in the Netherlands ( Silva. 2009 ) . Monderman used the ‘shared space’ doctrine which combines public infinites. such as Parkss and schools. with roads. Monderman implemented his ain traffic quieting steps. known as ‘psychological traffic calming’ ( Silva. 2009 ) by taking route markers and warnings every bit good as raising the route to the same degree as the paving.
Monderman’s theory was that when route users and walkers were non told explicitly how to move ( with the usage of traffic visible radiations. route marks. rush bounds ) whilst utilizing the route they would prosecute in more oculus contact. organic structure linguistic communication and halt ‘behave [ ing ] like zombies’ ( Silva. 2009. citing Glaskin. 2004 ) and get down utilizing common sense.
The integrating of Parkss and schools into this ‘shared space’ were used as an option to route markers and traffic warnings and Monderman believed that these ‘contextual signals’ ( Silva. 2009 ) had more consequence on a driver’s behavior than the typical route signals.
In kernel. the Drachten Experiment handed back control and order of the roads to the persons instead than the lawgivers which is comparable with Goffman’s theory that societal interactions create alteration.
Goffman and Foucault demonstrate two different societal theories and mentalities about how society is organised and how alteration takes topographic point. Goffman focuses on how we present ourselves to society and how we can make alteration as a society. whereas Foucault dressed ores on linguistic communication. cognition and discourse as a agency of alteration and societal order.
I have found that there are tonss of different ways that society can be perceived. either positively or negatively. and that this perceptual experience can be formed by persons. societal groups or society as a whole.