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'There's no such thing as society - merely individuals and their families'. (Margaret Thatcher). Assess the validity of this statement.

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'There's no such thing as society - merely individuals and their families'. (Margaret Thatcher). Assess the validity of this statement. Adam Wojtulewicz Margaret Thatcher, one of the worlds most well known ex leaders. Not only for her gender but for her abstinence and opinionated powers, a woman very much criticised by the media and an easy target. It is however, without doubt, obvious that her contribution had a massive affect on political and social issues, unfortunately like many important and socially responsible persons anything said can be taken into the wrong context. Her quote has been massively criticised for its individualism and her lack of social understanding. Once again the playground has the facts but is missing the point entirely, Margaret Thatcher fully said, "I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it."I have a problem, I'll get a grant." "I'm homeless, the government must house me." They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. ...read more.


Methodological individualism, this doctrine holds that all economic and social phenomena can be traced back to, and explained by, the actions of individuals, the how. not should. Political scientist Jon Elster argues: "A family may, after some discussion, decide on a way of spending its income, but the decision is not based on 'its' goals and 'its' beliefs, since there are no such things. Even if the final budget is a compromise that does not correspond to the wish of any single family member, then members have nonetheless agreed to the compromise, since compromising is somehow more rewarding than not compromising." (Jon Elster. Alchemies of the Mind - Rationality and the Emotions Cambridge University Press, 1999.) Methodological holism, the political scientists' term 'structure', holds that groups consist not only of individuals, but also relationships between individuals for a common goal or goals. Individualists would argue that organizing a group best occurs at the individual level, not the group level. The problem with this argument is that organization occurs neither impulsively nor at individual level. A car factory has thousands of employees but no single worker has the complete knowledge to build an entire car. ...read more.


As far as our society profiting from individualism, then no-one could argue against Individualism being a good and very healthy thing, however the idea of a full society is wrong and confusing, society only works because we give it a chance to via our interventions and ideas, ideas are individual, results are social therefore to say there is no such thing as society is wrong, society in its purest sense is dead, however life works in movements and systems whereby society is present, this appears a methodical holist approach. Society is in a system whereby its faults are easily made but very difficult to fully understand and rectify, without social boundaries individualism couldn't exist. Society exists but only because individuals and families are part of their spectrum, without their backing and solidarity society would crumble from its foundation. Finally Oborne suggests 'Thatcher read a distinction between externally-imposed "society" and spontaneous "community"'. Which simply means that Margaret Thatcher clearly saw the line between responsibility to look after yourself, and your immediates, and responsibility to want and not return, selfishness is individualism, and altruism our society; however without one another they cannot work therefore society is a mass of all our past learning's and theories with not one right but each imperative to our survival. I think therefore I am. ...read more.

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