Last night while I was having a cup of tea and the autumn breeze was touching my cheeks, I was thinking about the evolution, development, and progress and uplifting of our society. All of sudden, a thought came into my mind to write something about it for my readers. Sociology is all about learning, understanding and developing sound knowledge about society and people in relation to society. By and large, society is a blend of people who through their own understanding and knowledge put the genesis and edifice of any society. They try to relate themselves to society and to society to themselves through their own perspectives which they make about themselves and society. Various sociologists came and contributed to the development, elevation and opulence of sociology. Amongst them, August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx and Max Weber were a few prominent and sagacious sociologists who not only developed a sound understanding of society but also contributed further for its headway and well-being. The theories and perspectives with which they enlighten society provide us a comprehensive understanding about it, people and other social institutions prevailing in it. These perspectives if understood leave great impact on society.
Society is an amalgamation of people, social institutions and public governance. There are good people, bad people, high standard educational and health institutions, substandard education and health mechanisms, good governance and bad governance, all these state of affairs shape society collectively. Then we have agrarian society which is based on conventional traditions and archaic customs, rules, regulations and values and norms. Such societies are mostly relied upon agriculture for their livelihood. Then on the other hand we have an urban society which is fast growing, progressive, adaptable and infested with sustainability. Such kinds of societies count on manufacturing, services, and technology for sustenance. And, mostly it is the middle class which is the ambassador and pioneer of this society.
Perspectives are said to be the ways of looking at various things differently. For instance, I look and take love and marriage as different phenomenon. To me love is totally a different thing than that of marriage. In marriage, love is secondary. There are many more important and pragmatic things which are count as inevitable; after all, it is a life’s long decision and phenomenon. Many other people may disagree to it as everyone has a different perspective and understanding of looking at it.
Similarly, various sociologists after studying society deeply gave their own perspectives, which by the passage of time were tested and proved then become valid. Such perspectives which enlighten our minds and souls towards the understanding of society are called sociological perspectives. First, evolutionary perspective, which says that society, develops bit by bit. Overnight nothing can happen. It takes time to evolve. For instance, a person from rural society comes into a metropolitan city in the quest of quality education. After completing his education, he finds the city relative stable than that of his native town in terms of employment, and other cardinal socio-economic facilities. Following his footsteps, many other people start to migrate from their native valleys to the urban cities. This trend puts the genesis of urbanization which subsequently produces more productive minds and dignitaries. Now, this whole process takes a reasonable time may be of 5 years or a decade to make society stable, progressive, and sustainable.
Second, functional perspective, which states that society, is functional as far as its primary stakeholders are working in harmony and coordination. For example, an educational institution, whose job is to bestow students with quality education, fails to cater to the needs of students in relation to his or her education is regarded as dysfunctional. If the other way around prevails, then the same institution is said to be functional. In addition, despite of providing relevant education if irrelevant material is being imparted then the same institution will be averted to as non-functional.
Another example in this regard is of democracy. It is functional if all other political parties are allowed to take participation in election and further strengthening of public participation. It is dysfunctional it political, social, and economic terrorism prevail in it. It id non-functional, if there is any change in the vocabulary or terminology of politics as it has nothing to do with the basics of politics in relation to democracy.
Third, Interactionist perspective, which states that society, is shaped by people and people are shaped by society. In other words, it seeks to understand the behavior of people with which they set certain values, norms and tradition which become the part and parcel of society. And, what are the factors, prevailing in our society, which make people, become what they are not actually. For instance, people while interact with each other tend to extract a meaning out of it. Every individual takes out a meaning according to his or her own understanding of interaction. For example, an aspirant of Civil Services when see a serving Civil Servant may relate the meaning of the service with power, prestige, position and status. On the same time, there is another person, who by seeing the similar officer may relate It to passion for public services and to serving the masses above one’s own self.
Even further, meeting someone living in a Porsche locality and having expensive attire may make one believe that respect comes from having these luxuries of life. This notion may lead him to adopt even illicit means to fulfill his desires. On the other hand, one may not be impressed by such qualities except character. For him nothing can substitute character which is a charisma bringing all other blessing with itself.
Fourth, conflict perspective, which states that society, is not functional, not stable and smooth going. This perspective deeply endorses that there are class conflicts deeply entrenched in society. These conflicts do not make society achieve equilibrium of stability. For example, long prevailing conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat class has never made society achieve stability, solidarity and social order. One class by dint of hard work is progressing while other is regressing though more hard worker than the former. But, since the latter does not have sufficient funds to make both ends meet is vulnerable to relentless suppression and exploitation at the hands of the middle class.
All these perspectives indeed make us understand the ground realities of society. The change in society is continuous but it evolves at a slow pace. Further, society is more functional if institutions and the governing people of such institutions are competent and pragmatic. Similarly, understanding of class conflict makes us able to have a broad and clear distinction of different classes, and helps us mitigate the grievances prevailing amongst them by providing enough means on the basis of equity not equality so the level of income may be balanced. Moreover, every individual is a different human being and carves out the meaning of social events, behavior and actions and attitudes differently. So as sociologists our focus should be directed towards the causes which make them think so, direct them to extract such meanings. Only by then, we can put the genesis of solidarity with which we may achieve social order and social stability later on.