Social Structure in Global Perspective Changes in social structures Tönnies

Social structure in global perspective changes in

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Social Structure in Global Perspective Changes in social structures Tönnies : Gemeinschaft Gesellschaft Durkheim Mechanical Solidarity Organic Solidarity
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Social Structure in Global Perspective: Gemeinschaft & Gesellschaft Gemeinschaft : a close-knit community, often in rural areas Everyone’s lives and skills follow roughly the same pattern Shared experiences  Shared Perspectives Strong bonds Everyone knows each other Strong sense of loyalty, willing to sacrifice individual interests for the good of the whole. Social control in Gemeinschaft is through informal means – gossip, hints, gestures, etc. These work because people care what others think about them Because everyone has the same perspectives  any social change that happens is very slow
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Social Structure in Global Perspective: Gemeinschaft & Gesellschaft Gesellschaft : large, impersonal task-oriented society, where individuals have limited commitment to the group. Typically urban Relationships are largely connections to get something in return Mostly strangers with little in common with neighbors Individuals perceive themselves as superior to others Prioritize their interests over the group Very little agreement on shared values Social control rests on formal techniques – laws, legally defined sanctions Diverse experiences  Different perspectives Relatively fast social change in Gesellschaft, even seeing major shifts within a generation
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(Tönnies) Gemeinschaft Gesellschaft Typical setting Rural Urban Dominant relationship types Social bonds Secondary relationships, mostly transactional (to get something out of it) Networks Strong, dense, everyone knows each other Mostly strangers with little in common Emphasis Selfless, good of the community Individualistic – prioritize individual’s interests over the group’s interest Forms of Social Control Informal – gossip, gestures, hints Formal – laws, sanctions, police Social Change Very limited, slow Relatively quickly, sometimes seeing significant change within a generation Disadvantages Distrusts anyone different Discrimination / prejudice Very impersonal, few quality connections Remember: ‘mine’ & yours – personal interactions ‘sell’ your stuff in the marketplace
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Social Structure in Global Perspective: Mechanical & Organic Solidarity Tönnies believed that urban life was inferior to rural close-knit communities. He was nostalgic for Gemeinschaft. Durkheim was interested in the change in the social structure as a result of job specialization Division of Labor (DoL) changed the very structure of societies Previously: you did most of the things yourself With Division of Labor (DoL): Let’s go back to the Hamburger is a Miracle: A grows vegetables B breeds animals to pull A’s plow C makes the plow itself D has a cow to make cheese E grows and grinds wheat for the flour to go into the burger bun (and on and on…)
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