Sociology BA LLB for Sociology Notes

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Social order: Meaning, definition, Nature and Problem

Richard Dawkins

Nature of Social Order
Social Order founded on one essential human social action called reciprocal altruism. Reciprocal altruism helps us to survive because by helping others our chances of helping others in increased.

Problem of Social Order
The problem with this explanation of social order is that it cannot explain how exploiters who take advantage of other people become successful while people who actually help others are exploited and are not successful.

Malinowski and need function perspective

Nature of Social Order
Social order is based on cultures that satisfy biological, psychological and social needs of the people

Problem of Social Order
This theory fails to explain that many cultures may act to satisfy needs of the dominant elites of the society but not the needs of the dominated group. For example the culture of sati may satisfy the psychological need of the male but not that of the woman who is being burned alive. His explanation of social order fails to see injustice being imposed through social order.

Sigmund Freud

Nature of Social Order
Freud argues that social order helps the animal or wild biological driven instinct of human beings called “the Id” to control this wild instinct through society given values and change “id” into “Ego”.

Problem of Social Order
Freud’s concept of social order helps to understand that wild instincts such as sexuality is controlled by social norms helps to build social order. This however does not explain how the social order is male dominated or how to build a social order that is more just and equal.

Max Weber

Nature of Social Order
Social order according to Weber is based on the governance of either of these three types of authority:

  • Traditional
  • Charismatic
  • Rational authority

He argued that social order of the future will be based on rationality.

Problem of Social Order

Max Weber argued that the future social order will be based on rational authority. Due to this the rationalize system of social order the human life will be controlled by reason rather than by emotions and values.


Nature of Social Order
In rural based society the social order is dominated based on mechanical solidarity in which people will have emotional attachment with each other. In urbanized context the social order will be based on organic solidarity that makes people feel disconnected from society or anomie.

Problem of Social Order
The organic solidarity based social order ke people feel unconnected to society as a result of which people suffer from anomie and commit anomie suicide. In mechanical solidarity the social order makes people more attached with society as result of which there is altruistic suicide in societies (an example is martyrdom).

Karl Marx

Nature of Social Order
The social order according to Karl Marx is founded on what Marx calls economic base or means of production. There are exploiter class who owns the means of production but does not work and there are exploited class who work but does not own the means of production. Marx argues that the class that owns the means of production controls the law and ideology (religion and education) hence builds social order to support the exploitative system.

Problem of Social Order
Social order is created by exploiter class. Marx argued that if the social order is not destroyed then the exploitation will continue. The social order can be destroyed by class-conflict. Class conflict means conflict between exploiter and exploited class to control the economic base or means of production.

Shulamith Firestone (January 7, 1945 – August 28, 2012)

Nature of Social Order and Problem of Social Order

  • Men and women are unequal because women are weaker during pregnancy.
  • Either pregnancy should be eliminated or alternative technologies should be used to genetically produce babies.
  • The current social order is male dominated or patriarchal hence it will never allow women to be equal to male.

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