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sociological imagination

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Introduction

Sociologically speaking, what are 'society', 'culture' and 'the individual'? Within this essay I will be giving different interpretations of 'society, 'culture' and 'the individual'. I will mainly be doing this by referring to different sociologists. I will also be referring to definitions that people may generally assume that these particular words mean. In my opinion, the words 'society', 'culture' and 'the individual' are all words that are all related in some way. By this I mean you cannot have a 'society' without 'culture' or 'the individual'. A society can be phrased in a formal sense. For example, you can get certain societies like The Anti-Slave Society but I will be talking about 'society', 'culture' and 'the individual' in a sociological context with reference to Jenkins and Giddens as well as other sociologists. The reason why I will be referring to these sociologists is because they have specifically written about 'society' and 'culture' which I can relate to within my essay and I can then compare the different interpretations. In everyday language people may refer to the word 'society' as something that exists 'somewhere'. ...read more.

Middle

Sociologists such as Jenkins would say that 'Society' and 'culture' can be said to stress some of the same concerns. 'Society' and 'Culture' both address individual's behaviour. In my opinion, there is a link between culture and society because they do have a shared meaning when it comes to individual ways of doing certain things, individual's reactions and actions. In Jenkins (2002) book there is a paragraph that would agree with me to a certain extent; "The dividing line between 'society' and 'culture' is further obscured if we recognise that ordered social life is impossible without at least some shared meanings, and that the notion of shared meanings makes absolutely no sense other than in the context of interaction." (Jenkins 2002:55) "Since culture was learned from other humans, and since human behaviour was almost entirely patterned by culture, it followed that man was unthinkable without society." (Van Den Berghe 1975). This quote shows again the link between 'society' and 'culture', I want to go a little bit further than a sociological interpretation and I wanted to find more in depth reading and that is why I have gone further to read into Berghe's work about "Man in society". ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion, you cannot have a society without individuals and all individuals have a culture of some sort. People stick to different norms and values that they think is either 'right' or 'wrong'. I find it very difficult to talk about society without mentioning individuals or culture; you can't get one without the other. Different societies have different ways of doing things and have different acceptable situations. For example, marrying more than one person in some cultures is acceptable but not others. Sociologists obviously go into the argument of the link between the concepts in more depth than what I do but sociologists like Jenkins (2002) say that considering the link between society and culture is obscured and that the distinction between the two concepts just helps people to think about the human world. He also points out that he doesn't see the necessity to find a distinction or connection between culture and society. I do feel there is a distinction and connection between the words and I feel it is necessary to know what they are because the words are concepts that need to be defined. Whether in a similar or dissimilar way to one another, it doesn't matter, there is still distinction to be made and there is no reason why that shouldn't be done. ...read more.

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