According to the sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies there is two main types of societies. There is Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Both are German words. Gemeinschaft means commune or community. Gesellscaft means association. Overall, gemeinschaft relates to a small community were everyone knows one another by a first name basis. Gesellschaft relates to a more urban society were relationships are more impersonal.
In a gemeinschaft society everyone knows everyone else. All the people play a role and they all support each other. There is a strong sense of togetherness in a gemeinschaft. On the other hand in a gesellschaft, people know each other on an impersonal level. They also don't have a strong sense of togetherness and they don't work as one big group.
There are both advantages and disadvantages living in a gemeinschaft. The advantages are: safety, friendship, strong bonds with other members and there is always support. A gemeinschaft is safe because it's a smaller community and everyone trusts one another. A gemeinschaft is less likely to have the same problems that an urban area would. Like: gangs, drugs, homicides, and rape. By living in a gemeinschaft you would make very close friends. Since there are a small number of people, you get to know everyone really well. When somebody is having trouble with something, they would always have someone they can turn to who they can trust. Since it is a small group, when someone is sick or something else is wrong, everyone in the town would know. Since everyone knows, the person that is sick is going to get support from many people.
Along with the advantages there are also some disadvantages living in a gemeinschaft. These disadvantages are: little privacy, seeing the same people everyday, and its tough to broaden your horizons. There is very little privacy in a gemeinschaft. If you have a problem that you want nobody to know, it is hard to hide because everyone knows you at a personal level....
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