Explore the Claim That Contemporary Societies Have Moved from Modernity Into the Post Modern Condition. Illustrate Your Answer with Reference to at Least Two Substantive Areas Covered in the Lecture and Seminar Programme.

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim Pages: 3 (1154 words) Published: February 27, 2007
"Explore the claim that contemporary societies have moved from modernity into the post modern condition. Illustrate your answer with reference to at least two substantive areas covered in the lecture and seminar programme."

As society has developed from a pre-industrial society to modern industrial society (modernity) many sociologists have studied the different elements that have contributed to society's arrival in the age of modernity. One of the factors that sociologists attribute to modernity is the theme of community. Fulcher and Scott define community as "A group of people who have some aspect of their lives in common, engage in common activities and collective action, and have a shared and distinctive sense of identity" ; many sociologists contribute the declining role of community within society as a characteristic of the modern society". The German sociologist Ferdinand Toennies produced the theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (community and association), Toennies argued that the decline of human society was due to the arrival of the industrial revolution, and although he didn't feel modern society was worse than pre-industrial society, Toennies believed that the growth of individualism was a drawback for society as a whole, he argued that before society advanced in areas such as technology, the feeling of ‘community' within society was much stronger, for example before the telephone and the internet people heavily relied on the postal system and before the introduction of televisions in every household families kept themselves entertained. Toennies' work on community and modernity has been widely criticized by other sociologists who feel that Toennies' favours and romanticizes the idea of traditional pre-industrial societies. Unlike Toennies, sociologist Emile Durkheim did not see modernization as the loss of community, but rather as a change in the basis of community from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity. Durkheim was more...
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