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Social Organization and Control

Social Organization and Control

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Social Organization and Control

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  1. Social Organization and Control

  2. Overview • need for human social contact and the rewards that it can bring leads most people to become members of numerous social groups • family members, employees, citizens of towns, states, nations, clubs, political parties,and religious groups • our individual identities are greatly defined by the groups to which we belong and by our positions within them

  3. Status and Role • status is our relative social position within a group • for example, a man may have the status of father in his family • role is the part our society expects us to play in a given status • for example, a man’s role may require him to provide for, guide, and protect his children

  4. Acquiring Statuses • achieved statuses • acquired by doing something • someone becomes a criminal by committing a crime • a soldier earns the status of a good warrior by achievements in battle and by being brave • a woman becomes a mother by having a baby • reinforced in N. America • ascribed statuses • the result of being born into a particular family or being born male or female • being a prince by birth • being the first born

  5. India • ascribed status has been strongly reinforced for more than 3,000 years • as a result, social mobility has been very difficult to achieve until recent generations  • castes • these are carefully ranked, rigidly hereditary social divisions of society • the Indian government has attempted to encourage achieved status by outlawing many of the traditional aspects of the caste system

  6. Social Control • all societies impose social control on their citizens to some degree • large-scale societies • mechanisms are laws, courts, and police • small-scale societies • maintain social control without complex legal institutions

  7. the most effective form of social control is not laws, police, and jails • it is the internalization of the moral codes by the members of society • inner directed, or conscience controlled, in regards to social norms • cultures with a high degree of cultural homogeneity, such as Japan, have a far lower crime rate • as children grow up they normally learn what is proper and improper, right and wrong, good and bad • if a society is able to indoctrinate all of its members to accept its moral code, it will not need to use police or other external means of social control

  8. social norms • commonly held conceptions of appropriate and expected behavior • in Arab nations, norms generally change very slowly • in large, multi-ethnic societies such as the United States and Canada, norms change rapidly • sometimes the laws change before the norms do for large sections of a society • if one portion of a society has changed its norms but another has not, conflict can result • "political correctness" • example: civil rights acts called for the legal enforcement of "racial" integration • it took nearly a generation before the majority of Americans in the southern states accepted these new laws

  9. Law • large-scale societies • laws are usually written down formally so that they can be known clearly to everyone • social control is more difficult because their populations are larger, more dense, and usually more diverse culturally, socially, and economically • small-scale societies • more informal, rarely written down • they are part of the evolving oral tradition that is familiar to members of these societies and there is no need to explain them to anyone

  10. Warfare • among the primates, it may only be humans and chimpanzees who conduct war-like activities • violent physical fighting is primarily a male activity among humans and chimpanzees • intimidate, scheme, and form short-term alliances with other males to be able to move up the dominance hierarchy  • rewards are gaining more access to what their society values, whether it be food, sex, land, or simply control over others

  11. armed conflict can be divided it into three categories- • feuding • prolonged hostility and occasional physical fighting between individuals and their supporters rather than whole societies • both sides in feuds believe that they have been wronged and seek to settle the score • raiding • surprise predatory attacks directed against other communities or societies • primary objective of raiding usually is to plunder and then to escape unharmed with the stolen goods

  12. warfare • larger scale and more sustained form of fighting than feuding and raiding • involves organized combat usually between clearly recognizable armies • revenge, a desire to gain or control more land and other resources, and/or motivated by religious or political ideals  • societies have gone to war believing that they were morally justified and that their god was on their side • occurs between large-scale farming or industrial societies • only kinds of societies that can afford to have large numbers of men not be involved in food production for prolonged periods of time