Home >> Socio Short Notes >> Can there be one definition of Society

Can there be one definition of Society

The simple definition of society is that it is the scientific study of society. When more than one individual live together mutual relationships develop among them. This process of symbiosis creates among them the spirit of mutual cooperation, harmony, competition, animosity and struggle. These social processes constantly take place in society. The relationships established around these create society. MacIver and Page have defined society as a system of usages and procedures, of authority and mutual aid of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behavior and liberties. This everchanging complex system which we call society is a web of social relationships. According to Giddings society is the union itself, the organization, the sum of formal relationships in which associating individuals are bound together. Talcott Parsons wrote that society may be defined as the total complex of human relationships in so far as they grow out of action in terms of means end relationship, intrinsic or symbolic. According to Ginsberg a society is a collection of individuals united by certain relations or modes of behavior which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from them in behavior.

Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau believed in the theory of social contract according to which society was seen as the result of men’s mutual contract or agreement. Men initiated society either to end the state of anarchy or to free themselves from the laws of nature. Plato thought that society was a result of group mind. Hegel also supported this idea. Mcdougal the chief exponent of the group mind theory said that both individual and social minds can be studied on the same patterns and that group minds function at a different level from individual minds and also control the individual mind. While the founding father Auguste Comte sees evolution of society and Spencer and Durkheim find it to be like a living organism. Karl Marx believes that class struggle in the society. Sociologists carry in their conception one or more models of society which greatly influence their observations by way of fitting them along with other facts into a larger scheme of explanation.