Compare and Contrast Two Accounts of Disorderly Behaviour

Topics: Sociology, Anti-Social Behaviour Order, Criminology Pages: 5 (1676 words) Published: March 17, 2011
In contemporary society the public believe that life is approached in a free-for-all attitude however social order and disorder govern are initial motives of ‘uniformity’ so in this assignment I will seek to compare and contrast disorderly behaviour through examining, ‘How is society made and disorder connected in social life’, through the theory of the Buchanan Report and the mass media. I will also evaluate how and why the intervention of Anti Social Behaviour (ASBO) promote the aspect of repairing and making social order is wrongly applied, and how the London Transport for London (TFL) is an entity of making and repairing social order. I will also examine the question, ‘who gets to decide what is order and what is disorder?’. This will be compared and contrasted through the theories of Erving Goffman and Micheal Foucault who are two social scientists attempting to give an explanation to how order is created in society and where it originated from.

My first question I like to examine is who gets to decide what order is?. According to Erving Goffman (1959) order in society is made and remade through the interactional order and performances, such as people performing roles in specific contexts to convey a designated air of ‘servility’. This would accommodate bodily ‘deportment’ and ‘gazes’. Goffman says this discourse of interaction forms ‘a set of rules of conduct’ (Silva B. Elizabeth, 2009, p. 317) that determine the dominant ways of thinking what the imagined social order. Goffman withstands that social order is presented through everyday practices and actions people play as they live their lives.

Evidently Goffman gathered his evidence as a participant observer in ‘restaurants, hotels and hospitals’ (Silva B. Elizabeth, 2009, p. 317) whereby his everyday interactions were explored by examining through a variety of social situations. Although social order can be seen here on a micro, I believe disorder seems to loom on a more macro. This can be seen through the theory of Micheal Foucault as social order is made and held through the echelons of power notably the ‘social institutions, such as family, school, workplace, the neighbourhood, welfare systems, and so on, have different means and powers of intervention into the regulation of governing of human conduct’ (Silva B. Elizabeth, 2009, p. 319). This subsequently conforms individuals in their behaviour through the ‘visibility’ of ‘surveillance’. Foucault says this form of social order is performed essentially through the power of knowledge and discourse which are a part of socially constructed meanings of ‘historical processes’ (Silva B. Elizabeth, 2009, p. 321) such as many forms of punishment carried out by authorities in power since the 19th century to instill feelings of fear and ‘uniformity’ to order. This he says leads to individuals being more conscious of sustaining internalized discipline.

However the discourse of experts and people of power holding authority projects a disconcerting quality as this form of social order might be acceptable to them but to others it may spell inequality hence the reason disorder plays a role alongside this form of social order. This is visible through the mass media that configure to the calls of power and authority and prompt their imagined look on disorder as an ideal to create unequal and unfair claims.

Disorderly behaviour is partly produced by the mediation of the mass media. This argument can be supported by the rhetoric headlines the mass media project by instilling a sense of moral panic into society which is born out of the initiation of people are experts in declaring what is moral such as government. The mass media emphasize and ‘play on the imminent threat that confronts society’ (The making of order and disorder’ , 2009). This can be seen in topical crime issues of knife stabbing and Muslim extremists who are perceived to be an enemy to society and a general reverse parameter of social order. The notion...

References: Kelly, B. and Toynbee, J. (2009) ‘Making disorder on the street’ in Taylor, S., Hinchcliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Silva, B. Elizabeth. (2009) ‘Making social order’ in Taylor, S., Hinchcliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Squires and Stephen (2005) cited in Kelly, B. and Toynbee, J. (2009) ‘Making disorder on the street’ in Taylor, S., Hinchcliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
‘The Making of order and disorder’ (2009) Making Social Lives [Audio CD 3], Milton Keynes, The Open University.
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