Discuss how sociologists explain the existence of social order today. Sociologists define social order as a set of linked social structures, social institutions and social practices which conserve, maintain and enforce ways of relating and behaving. A society which has social order is one where the persons within it accepts the norms and values and replicate them in their behaviour. In studying the theories of social order, there are three main perspectives, the functionalist, the Marxist and the interactionist perspectives. The first sociologist to come up with the term social order was Thomas Hobbes, in the 17th century. Hobbes was an English philosopher who based his theory of social order on the Civil war. He is best known for his explanation of the “social contract”. In his explanation he stated that humans would submit some of their freedom to political leaders for order to be maintain. In this contract persons will give up their rights to commit crime as others in the society do the same and thus there are laws in which have to be made by a superior group which is the political system. In addition, Talcott Parsons and Emile Durkheim, two functional sociologists also shed light on how social order exists in modern society. Functionalists believes that society is like the human body in that it is combined of different institutions working together to make it function. Thus, Durkheim believed that all members of society contributed to maintenance of order by their individual tasks. These tasks make up a ‘value consensus’ in which most members of the society share the same common values and goals and this leads to social order. For example, it is the parents’ role to give their children an opportunity to be educated and to provide them with food, clothing and shelter. When this does not occur social order is broken as the kids may now become a nuisance to society. Parsons in the 20th...
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