Discuss The Extent To Which You Think That Goals Are Determined By The Overarching Culture Of A Society As Opposed To Smaller Social Groups Or Subcultures

1106 words - 4 pages

Pascal Cisangani 23023554 / 23345853 Danai MuswaziDiscuss the extent to which you think that goals are determined by the overarching culture of a society as opposed to smaller social groups or subculturesDefinition of key termersCulture and subcultureA culture is made up of beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics that members of a specific group or society have in common. Through this, individuals and groups define themselves, conform to society's shared values, and contribute to society. Hence, culture does contains many social characteristics, among them are language, customs, values, norms, rules, tools, technologies, products, organizations, and institutions (Finnemore, 1996:326). However some common institutions include but not limited to family, education, religion, work, and health careA subculture can be defined as a group of people holding a particular culture (that could be visible or hidden) which differentiates them from the larger culture from which they do belong. For instance, in case where a subculture is characterized by some element of opposition to the main or governing culture, it may be described as counterculture (Finnemore, 1996:326).SocietySociety can be defined a group of people who interact in such a way as to share the same culture (Isajiw, 2006:265).GoalsA goal can be defined as a result or an achievement toward which efforts were focused. People have certain goals that they may want to achieve in life. These goals might include but not limited to getting married, Education, employment, a house, means of transportation and so on (Settergren, 2003). The question is to know where these goals come from. Do individuals set them up? If so, based on which criteria's? How do people know what is best for them? Or are people obliged to attain certain goals?Structural functionalismStructural functionalism is a method of viewing society in terms of social structures and evaluating their functions (consequences). This was introduced in the work of Emile Durkheim. Every social institution has a universal function in the society (Groth, 1970:486). For instance,Family : Reproduction of new members of the society.Education : Socialization of the young and those who newly join.Ideology : Belief in some power that is greater than an individual life.Economy : Production and distribution of goods and services.Polity : Maintenance of social order within a society and protection from outside forces.Family represent social institution while the others represent functions of the societyHerbert Spencer's theory of stability and order argues that in order for a society to be stable and achieve order it has to have an order. Hence, everything in a society are interdependent. Thus, Parsons argues that human actions may be structured into three methods or realms (called systems) that interpenetrate each other through socialisation, internalisation, and institutionalisation (Groth, 1970:486).Cultural system : Parsons consider culture...

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