Gender defined the roles, behaviors, activities or attributes that the society assigns to either female or males in the society. Based on the distinctive sex category the society assigns roles that are deemed appropriate for each gender or more appropriately the society uses this categorization to attribute varying gender characteristics such as women being seen as the weaker sex while the males are seen as the stronger sex. Based on such generalization the societies then assign what they consider as appropriate roles for each category. Male roles are therefore constructed to be the activities that require more physical forces or the dangerous activities. Female roles are seen as the safe activities such as the household chores. Sex is used to describe the physiological or biological characteristics that are used to define members of the society as either female or male.
Biological characteristics that are distinctive in male include the genetic composition whereby male have XY chromosomes while the female sex have YY chromosomes. Social construction can be described as the realities that the society creates for itself such as gender roles .These are not roles that existed before the society rather it is the society that assigned them or attributed them to the various categories .Therefore social construction is what we use to link sex and gender, whereby gender is the socially constructed roles for the two sex that exist in the society. It is through social construction we assign individuals of the male sex physically demanding roles. In the reality female sex members of the society can equally perform such tasks with equal skills as the modern society is proving.
Proletariat is a term used to refer the social class in a capitalist society that offers their labor so as to earn a living. They do not own resources used for production thus they earn a living by providing labor to the elite in the society. Construction workers are good example of proletariats. Bourgeoisie can be define as the capitalist class who control or owns resources used for production in a capitalist society. Example of exploitation in capitalist state is where those who own resources of production offers lower wages than what is just and fair.
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Marx argued that the society was divided into two classes, Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. As earlier explained bourgeoisie have the control of the resources used for production and they always take advantage of proletariat and use their labor to accumulate more wealth, thus creating a social conflict.
Bourgeoisie posses’ economic powers attained form ownership of production means thus they can control the authorities since authorities are aware of their important role in the economy. This would amount to political oppression where they manipulate authorities to enforce legislation oppress the workers and benefit them.
Capitalists will act as the ruling class; since the capitalist own all resources used by the production as many fight for few employment opportunities available, then capitalist will acts as ruling class as they control hiring and firing of the proletariat.
Dominant ideologies: Capitalists ideologies dominate in the society since they have ways and means of expressing as compared to the poor who are voiceless as religion persuaded proletariats to agree their position as workers without rebelling by promising a good life in heaven if they persevered.
Exploitation by the capitalist would make proletariat become more poor and eventually divide the society into few wealthy individuals and many poor workers. This would lead to conflict between the two classes as the proletariat fight for their welfare by protesting against the exploitative nature of the bourgeoisie. Capitalists requires workers and the same time more wealth while workers (proletariat) desires improved welfare, this brings instability in class relation thus making conflict inevitable.
Conflicts in societies are inevitable and they exist at all levels from the smallest unit which is the family to macro levels .Conflicts results when there are few resources in the society and individuals have to compete for these resources. Societies are stratified according to the resources that an individual controls. Those with more resources occupy the upper strata’s of the society while those with fewer resources or none at all are grouped in the lower strata’s where majority belongs. Those few individuals in the upper strata are the elites of the society.
There are two forms of elitism in the society and they include those elite individuals in higher government position and those in non government positions but in higher spheres of the social system. This means that the elites who are not in higher government offices hold higher positions in industries. Vilfredo Pareto argued that the elite had turned the upper classes into exclusive clubs where they locked the other lower social classes from rising to become elites. The few who could rise to join the elites are those individuals who are gifted or the intelligent members of society. Based on exceptional skills they can be appointed to higher offices with the government or in the industries.
Therefore very few individuals if any at all have a chance of joining the elite. This lack of social mobility in societies that are supposed to have social mobility leads to the majority lower classes rising against the elites and thus conflict results. This theory by Vilfredo Pareto is perhaps well reflected in the modern world in the recent uprising in Egypt. The masses from the lower social strata revolted against their elite leaders and drove them out of their high government position after years of leading the state.
Vilfredo Pareto and Karl Marx both foresaw class conflicts between the poor masses. Their perspectives however differ in that Pareto’s perspective on social conflict, put differently the poor masses would revolt because of their shared commonality of poverty due to lack of social mobility. While according to Marx perspective the working classes would form a socialist movement based on fact the there are exploited by those in upper classes hence overpowering the ruling elites .Today’s reality is that the lower classes clamor for political changes regardless of their political affiliations. They revolt as a group with poverty as their shared commonality and not as a socialist movement.
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Social progress can be seen as the process where the societies develop from lower development stages to higher and more complex stages. The society is continuously evolving as humans continue to gain more knowledge and apply it to develop more convenient methods of improving their lives. This results to improved economic structures, political structures and social structure. Sociologist such as Comte, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Spenser explained the socio progress phenomena from different perspectives.
Marx foresaw a society that was very much divided into classes depending on individual ownership of resources used for production. He predicted that the class which controlled the resources used for production would continue to accumulate more wealth as they exploited those who offer labor to the capitalist to earn a livelihood.
This would cause the poor class in the society to continue being poorer as the wealthy continue to exploit them. This would bring conflict between the two classes and instability in the society. These result to the poor class uniting and trying to reverse the trend. The poor will overthrow the wealthy class by holding strikes and demonstrations which will create awareness of their interest. The society will then nationalize all resource used for production that were previously controlled by a small class of wealthy individual and seek to form a communist state where all the resources would be centrally managed by a democratically elected government. Marx discusses the revolution of a society from capitalism to a communism as the society struggle to reform it social relation among its members. According to his perception of the society revolutions would spread from one state to another .This would be as a resulting of the other exploited masses seeing the success and gains that would accrue the communist societies.
Spencer believed in the need for evolution to increase individual freedom enjoyed in every society. He believed that for the advancement of the society freedom was important as it led to independence. Therefore Spencer argued that, if government intervention in relation to the political and social life of the society was minimal then the society would set its own objectives which it will seek to achieve voluntarily without the application of the pervious coercion ways applied by the involvement of the government.
According to Spencer society progressed in several phase, these phase include a move from the primitive society to a more defensive approach. In the primitive society states used military society to acquire more territories in order to increase their materials. The primordial military society was characterized by, force and coercion ways, operation was centralized, they rewarded those who were loyal rather than best performers, discipline and obedience, compulsion, elements of mass think in decision making, collectivistic. The society had to move away from these unproductive ways to develop ways of doing things.
From the primordial military the society developed into an industrialized society which concentrated on producing and trading, nurtured innovations, regulates social life through voluntary relationships, was decentralized, intentional cooperation, values and motivates initiatives and has high degree independence. According to Spencer values and self drive are the main characteristic of an industrialized society and can achieve through minimal government intervention. Thus for a society to experience social progress it must experience industrialization.
According to Comte the society develops to more advanced stages in three stages. The first stage involves the changes in theological perspective followed by the metaphysical stage to the final stage. Natural phenomena that the traditional societies simply accepted as myths or resulting from the hand of a higher power in the theological stage of social progress. They were clearly explained in metaphysical stage as natural phenomenon .scientific theories are used in the final stage of social development to explain the forces of nature. Therefore the society’s stops accepting natural happens as simple natural forces but seek answers that can dispel the myths.
Through scientific research logical explanations are sought, theory postulated and logical explanation formulated. Comte therefore argues that the society progress from a stage where phenomena is seen as a myth to where knowledge can be applied. This is indeed what has happened to the society from earlier century to date. Not only is it possible to explain forces of nature today but also to prove how natural occurrences happens and even predict when such natural events are likely to occur. Therefore the society has progressed to the final stage where deeper understanding of the surrounding environment and natural forces has been acquired. Comte’s perspective on the social progress is the most realistic of the four since it explains how our society has progressed from the dark ages to an enlightened society.
Similarly Emile Durkheim saw the society progressing in his perspective solidarity is the main driver of progress. According to him society evolves through social solidarity to become a cohesive self reliant society. This as he postulated happens through the stages of mechanical solidarity that develops to organic solidarity. In the mechanical solidarity stage the society comprises of individuals who have achieved self sufficiency .They are therefore a society capable of living with little integration due to their self dependency. There is social order in the mechanical stage since the major conflicts are preempted by self sufficiency that results from individuals competing less for the scarce resources.
With such positivity the society develops by improving the production methods as people seek to become more self sufficient .This results in labor becoming more specialized as individuals choose more specific roles to play in the production process. Eventually people have to rely on each other in the society to perform activities that they have not specialized hence more cooperation in the organic stage. This mutual dependency in turn makes the society more cohesive.
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