Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft

Topics: Leadership, Sociology, Situational leadership theory Pages: 4 (1303 words) Published: January 28, 2008
Age-old family ties are what lead to peaceful modern societies which respect individuals. The transition of clans and tribes into modern societies without any disruption was only possible due to linkage of basic ties. Sense of belongingness to a nation through shared ties promotes cooperation, respect and altruism amongst members. Modern times have brought along new philosophies and rapid changes which have continuously denied the sense of nationhood and emphasized on individualism and individualistic goals. The cohesion of society has been threatened and replaced by multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies. Many theories that have been laid down to support this idea of individualism one of which is the theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft introduced by Ferdinand Tonnies (1855-1936). This theory revealed how Gemeinschaft societies achieved harmonious collaboration more or less automatically due to common culture and cultural identity. As time progressed larger multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies began to emerge these have been defined as being united by Gesellschaft ties. In these ties collaboration was only maintained for exchange of goods and services. Gemeinschaft, refers to the closeness of holistic social relationships said to be found in pre-industrial communities, and imputed to the community as moral worth. Gesellschaft refers to more instrumental, purposeful types of relationship typical of industrial society. This objective society, where reference is only to the objective fact of a unity based on common traits and activities and other external phenomena stands in contrast to community defined by shared feeling. The Gesellschaft following their individualistic approach are obviously able to achieve more than Gemeinschaft who are bound by cultural ties and values. Leadership theories

Several leadership theories have been proposed when dealing with such situations. But before moving to the theories one needs to understand that leadership is a...
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