Individuals in Societies

The questions of the relationship between the individual and the society is the starting point of many discussions. There are two main theories regarding the relationship between individual and society.

The relationship between societies and individuals is very close. Man can not live without society because man is a psychological and biological being equipped to live in groups.

The relationship between societies and individuals is ultimately one of the profound of all the problems of social philosophy. Man depended on societies as a result of the society that is surrounded and encompassed by culture which is a societal force.

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Relationship between individual and society.
How to behave in one’s society or what is right and what is wrong in the society, all these things, one has to learn in the society. Each society has its own special set of rules, its own customs and traditions, its own set of values and beliefs, and each must teach its members to fit into the society.

The relationship between individual and the society can be viewed from three angles

1. functionalist
2. interactionist, and
3. culture and personality

Functionalist view

Functionalist regard the individual as formed by society through the influence of such institutions as the school, workplace and family. Society is a reality, it is the origin and for all individuals. The collective consciousness showed the ways in which social interactions and relationship and ultimately society influence the individual’s attitudes, ideas, sentiments.

Culture and personality

In reality, it is not society or the individual, but it is society and individual which helps in understanding the total reality. The extreme view of individuals or society has long been abandoned. for sociologist the present have recognized that neither society nor individual can exist without each other and that they are in reality different aspects of the same thing.

Interactionist views

As regards to interactionist view, it is through the interaction of people that society is formed; the main champion of this approach is built up out the interpretations of individuals. The structuralists or functionalist tend to approach the relationship of self-individual and society from the point of the influence of society on the individual. Interactionists on the other hand tend to work on self (individual) outwards, stressing that people create society.

Man depended on societies as a result of the society that is surrounded and encompassed by culture which is a societal force. How to behave in one’s society or what is right and what is wrong in the society, all these things, one has to learn in the society. Each society has its own special set of rules, its own customs and traditions, its own set of values and beliefs, and each must teach its members to fit into the society. The structuralists or functionalist tend to approach the relationship of self-individual and society from the point of the influence of society on the individual. In reality, it is not society or the individual, but it is society and individual which helps in understanding the total reality.

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To conclude it, it can be stated that the relationship between society and individual is two-sided. Both go hand in hand, each is essentially dependent on the other. Both are interdependent on each other.