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What do you understand by the problem of order?

Most sociology in one respect or another can be seen as a contribution to our understanding of the ordered, patterned, and predictable nature of the social world. The notions of order and predictability to which sociologists refer are not those which would imply that social relationships and events are fixed or predetermined. The conception of order referred to derives from the observation that by and large both our expectations of our own behavior and our expectations of the activities of others are generally fulfilled in our experience. A focus on the ways in which ordered nature of social life is organized is something all sociological perspectives have in common. Where the perspectives tend to differ is in their conceptualizations of the nature of the achievement and management of social order. Each perspective tends to give a different emphasis and attention to those aspects of social life which it considers contribute most to social order. Those sociologists who have developed consensus perspective have focused on the problem of order at a societal level – they have tended to concentrate on the order of total societies. Their theoretical and empirical analyses have assumed that societies can be seen as persistent, cohesive, stable, differentiated by their cultural and social structural arrangements. This assumption has generated a conceptual framework and mode of analysis called structural functionalism.

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