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The Nature of Social Organisation

The Nature of Social Organisation - The Nature of Social...

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The Nature of Social Organisation. 1. I have suggested, in the above, that human behaviour is clearly organised. We know this because, through observation of the social world we can establish patterns to peoples’ behaviour. * Given that we are all unique, thinking, beings, the existence of patterned behaviour suggests that something must cause these patterns to occur. That is, in simple terms, something must effectively force human individual’s to co-operate - to form reasonably orderly forms of social organisation. 2. There are a number of theories we could use to explain this situation (for example, people who are religious might explain the force as being that of a god or gods), but we are going to look at only two main theories, one sociological and one rejected by sociologists. * The non-sociological theory is that of instinct . That is, the idea that we are somehow naturally programmed to behave in certain ways. This is an attractive theory because, if it is true, it would explain why human beings generally behave in largely predictable ways. * The sociological theory is that of culture and socialisation . That is, the idea that we are born into a society that has certain rules of behaviour ( culture ) and we, as human beings, learn these rules through a system of teaching called socialisation (for the moment, socialisation simply means the various ways that we learn how to be a human being and are taught the basic rules of the society in which we live. We will define and develop this idea in more detail at the appropriate point). Learning to become Human. 1. One of the primary ideas within Sociology is that people are not born knowing how to behave. The claim made by sociologists is that this is something that has to be taught and learnt and we can start to investigate this idea by looking at two very basic forms of human development and need: a. Physical development and need. * Unlike some (but not all) animals, the human infant is not only helpless at birth, it remains physically dependent upon other human beings for a number of years (the exact number is not clear). * If a human baby is neglected at birth, it will die. In this respect, one of the most important relationships that we experience in life is the one that exists between us and the people who help us to develop physically to the stage where we can start to look after ourselves. b. Psychological development and need.
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* Caring for a baby's physical needs, although important, doesn’t ensure it develops into something we would recognise as a human being. A child who is neglected psychologically will not develop into a recognisable member of society because they will not be psychologically- equipped to do so. They will not, for example, be able to communicate with people, because they will not have learnt a language.
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