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Sociology Notes and Topics on Sociology

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Old Thursday, March 19, 2015
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Default Social System:

Social System

It is Talcott Parsons who has given the concept of ‘system’ current in modern sociology.

Social system refers to’ an orderly arrangement, an inter relationships of parts. In the arrangement, every part has a fixed place and definite role to play. The parts are bound by interaction.

System signifies, thus, patterned relationship among constituent parts of a structure which is based on functional relations and which makes these parts active and binds them into reality.

To understand the functioning of a system,

for example the human body, one has to analyse and identify the sub-systems (e.g. circulatory, nervous, digestive, excretionary systems etc.) and understand how these various subsystems enter into specific relations in the fulfillment of the organic function of the body.

Likewise, society may be viewed as a system of interrelated mutually dependent parts which cooperate to preserve
a recognisable whole and to satisfy some purposes or goal.

Social system may be described as an arrangement of social interactions based on shared norms and values.

Individuals constitute it and each has place and function to perform within it.

Society is a system of usages, authority and mutuality based on “We” felling and likeness.

Differences within the society are not excluded. These are, however, subordinated to likeness.

Inter-dependence and cooperation are its basis. It is bound by reciprocal awareness.

It is essentially a pattern for imparting the social behaviour.

Applying these conclusions to society, social system may be described as an arrangement of social interactions based on shared norms and values. Individuals constitute it, and each has place and function to perform within it.

In the process, one influences the other; groups are formed and they gain influence, numerous subgroup come into existence.
But all of these are coherent. They function as a whole.

Neither individual, nor the group can function in isolation.

They are bound in oneness, by norms and values, culture and shared behaviour.

The pattern that thus comes into existence becomes the social system.

In the social system each of the interacting individual has function or role to perform in terms of the status he occupies in the system.

For example, in the family parents, sons and daughters are required to perform certain socially recognised functions or roles.

Social system is a comprehensive arrangement.

It takes its orbit all the diverse subsystems such as the economic, political, religious and others and their interrelation too.

Social systems are bound by environment such as geography. And this differentiates one system from another.

Elements of Social System:

The elements of social system are described as under:

1. Faiths and Knowledge:
The faiths and knowledge brings about the uniformity in the behaviour.
They act as controlling agency of different types of human societies.
The faiths or the faith is the result of the prevalent customs and beliefs.
They enjoy the force of the individual are guided towards a particular direction.

2. Sentiment:
Man does not live by reason alone.
Sentiments – filial, social, notional etc. have played immense role in investing society with continuity.
It is directly linked with the culture of the people.

3. End Goal or object:
Man is born social and dependent.
He has to meet his requirements and fulfill his obligations.
Man and society exist between needs and satisfactions, end and goal.
These determine the nature of social system.
They provided the pathway of progress.

4. Ideals and Norms:
The society lays down certain norms and ideals for keeping the social system intact and for determining the various functions of different units. These norms prescribe the rules and regulations on the basis of which individuals or persons may acquire their cultural goals and aims.
In other words ideals and norms are responsible for an ideal structure or system of the society.
Due to them the human behaviour does not become deviant and they act according to the norms of the society.
This leads to organization and stability.
These norms and ideals include folkways, customs, traditions, fashions, morality, religion, etc.

5. Status-Role:
Every individual in society is functional.
He goes by status-role relation.
It may come to the individual by virtue of his birth, sex, caste, or age.
One may achieve it on the basis of service rendered.

6. Role:
Like the status, society has prescribed different roles to different individuals.
Sometimes we find that there is a role attached to every status.
Role is the external expression of the status.
While discharging certain jobs or doing certain things, every individual keeps in his mind his status.
This thing leads to social integration, organization and unity in the social system.
In fact statuses and roles go together.
It is not possible to separate them completely from one another.

7. Power:
Conflict is a part of social system, and order is its aim.
It is implicit, therefore, that some should be invested with the power to punish the guilty and reward those who set an example.
The authority exercising power will differ from group to group; while the authority of father may be supreme in the family,
in the state it is that of the ruler.

8. Sanction:
It implies confirmation by the superior in authority, of the acts done by the subordinate or the imposition of penalty for any wrong doing.
The acts done or not done according to norms may bring reward and punishment.

Characteristics of Social System:
Social system has certain characteristics. These characteristics are as follows:

1. System is connected with the plurality of Individual actors:
It means that a system or social system cannot be borne as a result of the activity of one individual. It is the result of the activities of various individuals. For system, or social system, interaction of several individuals has to be there.

2. Aim and Object:
Human interactions or activities of the individual actors should not be aimless or without object. These activities have to be according to certain aims and objects. The expression of different social relations borne as a result of human interaction.

3. Order and Pattern amongst various Constituent Units:
Mere coming together of various constituent units that from social system does not necessarily create a social system. It has to be according to a pattern, arrangement and order. The underlined unity amongst various constituent units brings about ‘social system’.

4. Functional Relationship is the Basis of Unity:
We have already seen different constituent units have a unity in order to form a system. This unity is based on functional relations. As a result of functional relationships between different constituent units an integrated whole is created and this is known as social system.

5. Physical or Environmental Aspect of Social System:
It means that every social system is connected with a definite geographical area or place, time, society etc. In other words it means that social system is not the same at different times, at different place and under different circumstances. This characteristic of the social system again point out towards its dynamic or changeable nature.

6. Linked with Cultural System:
Social system is also linked with cultural system. It means that cultural system bring about unity amongst different members of the society on the basis of cultures, traditions, religions etc.

8. Characteristics of Adjustment:
Social system has the characteristic of adjustment. It is a dynamic phenomenon which is influenced by the changes caused in the social form. We have also seen that the social system is influenced by the aims, objects and the needs of the society. It means that the social system shall be relevant only if it changes itself according to the changed objects and needs. It has been seen that change takes place in the social system due to human needs, environment and historical conditions and phenomena.

9. Order, Pattern and Balance:
Social system has the characteristics of pattern, order and balance. Social system is not an integrated whole but putting together of different units. This coming together does not take place in a random and haphazard manner. There is an order am’ balance.
It is so because different units of the society do not work as independent units but they do not exist in a vacuum but in a socio-cultural pattern. In the pattern different units have different functions and roles. It means that there is a pattern and order in the social system.

Functions of Social System:

It is generally agreed that the social system has four primary functional problems to attend. These are:

1. Adaptation,
2. Goal attainment,
3. Integration,
4. Latent Pattern-Maintenance.

1. Adaptation:
Adaptability of social system to the changing environment is essential. No doubt, a social system is the result of geographical environment and a long drawn historical process which by necessity gives it permanence and rigidity. Yet, that should not make it wooden and inelastic. It need be a flexible and functional phenomenon.
Economy for its maintenance, division of labour for better production of goods and effective services, and role differentiation for job opportunity is essential. Durkheim in Division of Labour in society has given great attention to the role of division of labour and role differentiation as these make possible a higher average degree of skill than would otherwise be possible.
Lack of adaptability, very often has caused the social system to be challenged. It has caused revolution resulting in the overhauling of the system. The British system, in the nineteenth century, when the continent was in the inferno of revolution, showed remarkable adaptability. It responded well to the mounting demands of change. Over the time our system has demonstrated the excellent sense of adaptability.

2. Goal Attainment:
Goal attainment and adaptability are deeply interconnected. Both contribute to the maintenance of social order.
Every social system has one or more goals to be attained through cooperative effort. Perhaps the best example of a societal goal is national security. Adaptation to the social and nonsocial environment is, of course, necessary if goals are to be attained. But in addition, human and nonhuman resources must be mobilised in some effective way, according to the specific nature of tasks.
The economy of a society is that subsystem which produces goods and services for a wide variety of purposes; the “polity”, which includes above all the Government in complex societies, mobilizes goods and services for the attainment of specific goals of the total society regarded as a single social system.

3. Integration:
Social system is essentially an integration system. In the general routine of life, it is not the society but the group or the subgroup in which one feels more involved and interested. Society, on the whole does not come into one’s calculations. Yet, we know as indicated by Durkheim, that individual is the product of society. Emotions, sentiments and historical forces are so strong that one cannot cut oneself from his moorings.
The working of these forces is best seen when society is involved in a domestic crisis or an external challenge. An appeal in the name of society, culture, heritage, patriotism, national solidarity or social welfare invokes quick response. Cooperation in effort is often demonstrative of integrating. It is the real basis of integration.

4. Latent Pattern-maintenance:
Pattern maintenance and tension management is the primary function of social system. In absence of appropriate effort in this direction maintenance and continuity of social order is not possible. In fact within every social system there is the in built mechanism for the purpose.

recognized or implied purposes.
According to H.M Johnson, organization refers to an aspect of interaction systems.
At present the term social organization is used to refer to the interdependence of parts in groups.
These groups may vary in size and nature from workers to the factories. Many sociologists prefer to use the term social system to refer to the society as such rather than social organization.
The term is used in sociological studies and researches today to stress the importance of arrangement of parts in which the parts of society are related to each other and how each is related to the whole society.

Organization makes possible the complex activities in which the members of a complex society participate.
A small body of organized police can control a very large crowd. A small number of men constituting themselves as a government can rule a country.
Sometimes the word organization is used to refer to the associational groups.
It includes corporations, armies, schools, banks and prisons.
The society consists of many such organizations.
A state is frequently called a political organization.
A school may represent an educational organization and so on.
They are all social organizations.
According to Ogburn and Nimkoff entire society represents a wider organization; a social organization.
But society is also quite generally an organized group of interacting individuals.
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Default Social Organization

Social Organization

Ogburn and Nimkoff have defined organization is an Technical arrangement of different parts which perform various functions; it is an active group device for getting something done.

Social Organization means social interaction among groups. Individual groups interrelated together create social organization.

All the social institutions are social organizations.

Associations, clubs, and all other formal groups are social organizations.

In an organized body its members get into one another on the basis of roles and status.

Interaction among the members sets them into organizations.

Social organization is the product of social interaction.

Social Interaction-----------Social Organization---------------Social system..

Individuals in a social organization perform their activities according to their social positions called status.

The activities done in an organization are called roles of the members.
Even individuals performs his roles according to his status.
So status and Roles are the basis of social participation in an organization.
Eliott and Merrill says, organization is a state of being, a condition in which the various institutions in a society are functioning in accordance with their
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Default Social Norms and Social Sanctions

Social Norms and Social Sanctions

Social Norms

Norms refer to the group shared expectations.
Social norms grow out of social value and both serve to differentiate human social behavior from that of other species.
The significance of learning in behavior varies from species to species and is closely linked to processes of communication.
Only human beings are capable of elaborate symbolic communication and of structuring their behavior in terms of abstract preferences that we have called values.

Norms are the means through which values are expressed in behavior.
Norms generally are the rules and regulations that groups live by.
Or perhaps because the words, rules and regulations, call to mind some kind of formal listing, we might refer to norms as the standards of behavior of a group.

For while some of the appropriate standards of behavior in most societies are written down, many of them are not that formal.
Many are learned, informally, in interaction with other people and are passed "that way from generation to generation.

The term "norms" covers an exceedingly wide range of behaviour.
So that the whole range of that behaviour may be included.
Sociologists have offered the following definition.

Social norms are rules developed by a group of people that specify how people must, should, may, should not, and must not behave in various situations.
Some norms are defined by individual and societies as crucial to the society.

For example, all members of the group are required to wear clothing and to bury their dead.
Such "musts" are often labeled "mores", a term coined by the American sociologist William Graham Sumner.

Many social norms are concerned with "should "; that is, there is some pressure on the individual to conform but there is some leeway permitted also.

The 'should behaviors' are what Sumner called "folk-ways"; that is, conventional ways of doing things that are not defined as crucial to the survival of either the individual or the society.

The 'should behaviors' in our own society include the prescriptions that people's clothes should be clean, and that death should be recognized with public funerals.
A complete list of the should behaviors in a complex society would be virtually without end.

The word "May" in the definition of norms indicates that, in most groups, there is a wide range of behaviors in which the individual is given considerable choice.
To continue the illustration, in Western countries girls may select to wear dresses or halters and jeans.
Funerals may be held with or without flowers, with the casket open or closed, with or without religious participation, and so on.

Functions of Norms:

Control behaviour:as they provide a set pattern for our behaviour,these set patterns become customs when are socially approved.people are expected o follow these customs.

Making behaviour systematic and patterned:systematic and patterned behaviour brings harmony among members of group.

Safeguard of our values:They are guardian of our socio cultural values.

Norms maintains social order of society:

Social norms create social cohesions and social solidarity:

Social Norms helps in self control:

Folk ways: These are socially approved ways of behaving in a society.
man actions repeted by him is his habit and a repeated behaviour by a group of people is a custom.Socially approved ways of behaviour are called Folkways.

Social Sanctions

Social Sanctions: Sanctions are the rewards or punishments used to establish social control that is to enforce the norms in a society.
Rewards for conformity and punishments for non conformity.

Sanction, in the social sciences, a reaction (or the threat or promise of a reaction) by members of a social group indicating approval or disapproval of a mode of conduct and serving to enforce behavioral standards of the group. Punishment (negative sanction) and reward (positive sanction) regulate conduct in conformity with social norms (see norm). Sanctions may be diffuse—i.e., spontaneous expressions by members of the group acting as individuals—or they may be organized—i.e., actions that follow traditional and recognized procedures. Sanctions therefore include not only the organized punishments of law but also the formal rewards (e.g., honours and titles) and the informal scorn or esteem by members of a community.

Types of of Social Sanctions:

Formal sanctions:According to rules and laws are called formal.

Positive formal sanctions:Promotions ,Increments in salary,certificates,degree.

Negative Sanctions:Puting in jail.,police arrest ,court trial, death punishments.

Informal Sanctions:Witout rule or law awarded by group,community,people of society.

Positive Informal Sanction:praise,slogans acclamation of good,well behaving .

Negative Informal Sanctions:Punishments without writing and rule.Threat admonishing ,abusing,calling bad names, beating and harsh treatment.
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Do you have them in document format?
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Can someone help me with the pdf file of feudalism in Pakistan by Nawab Haider Naqvi?
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