Compare and Contrast Two Theories of Social Disorder in Contemporary

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UK’s society, like others in modern democratic states, is “ordered” in a certain way, as in, it is arranged according to a certain order. The people that live in this society are accustom to its social order and considers anything that disrupts it a disorder and a threat to their beliefs and ways of life. The question is, “who gets to decide what is order and what is disorder?” To answer the essay question about disorder in contemporary UK, I think that the concept of social order needs to be tackled first. I will do so by comparing and contrasting the work of Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault, two social scientists that attempted to explain how order is created in society and where it comes from. I will then compare and contrast the work of Stuart Hall and Stanley Cohen, two social scientists that have attempted through their studies to explain

what social disorder is, who creates it and why it is an issue for society. By doing so, the essay gives the reader an understanding of how and why contemporary UK society is produced and reproduced through the making and remaking of social order.

Picking up on what I said in the introduction, people get accustom to a certain order. They get used to knowing that things work in a certain way in their society. But who gets to decide what this order is? According to the social scientist Michel Foucault (1972), order in society is made and remade through the power of discourses and authoritative knowledge. In other words, people’s dominant ways of thinking, the authorities, professionals and experts that are “put” in positions of authority. Foucault says that “in any given historical period, ways of thinking and talking are organised in systems of discourses”. These discourses are what determines the dominant ways of thinking and subsequently what the order in our society is. Foucault sustains that these discourses are shaped...
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