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Compare and contrast two social science views about the ordering of social life.

Uploaded by mrsvigors on Feb 22, 2015

The way in which individuals form and maintain social lives with others and with the things around them is founded by social ordering; a concept defined as a set of linked social structures, social institutions and social practices which conserve, maintain and enforce ways of relating and behaving (Wikipedia, accessed on 25th June 2014). This essay will compare and contrast the theories of social ordering suggested by Goffman and Foucault, comparing and contrasting the different concepts of how social order is produced, reproduced and maintained. Both theorists are interested in the links between the individual and the social and seek ways of understanding how and why society interacts the way it does, however they explain these reasons in different ways. The first part of this essay will look at Goffman's view of social order, his concepts and how they help to structure and organise his claims and the second part will compare and contrast Goffman's views with those of Foucault, highlighting the similarities and differences between their claims and concepts. The third part of this essay will look at two examples of social ordering in practise and present the evidence supporting the theories put forward by both social scientists, using a modernist approach shown in the Buchanan model.and a flexible approach shown in the Monderman model.
Goffman's concepts of performances and interactional order focus very much on the behaviour of individuals in specific social contexts and how they interact in their everyday lives. In Goffman's view, social behaviour is 'dramaturgical' and he uses the metaphor of a theatrical play to explain his theory, with the claim that people perform roles in specific contexts with individuals behaving like characters in a play, trying to give their best possible performance (Taylor, S. 2009, p. 172). Social interaction and individual behaviour differs with changes in context and the way in which individuals perform and interpret roles involves the use of interactional processes such as body language, eye contact and the use of language to construct social order through rituals and repetitive practices used in everyday activities by people as they live their life. When disorder arises in society order is repaired and reproduced through processes of social interaction, which lead to innovations in the order of social life and creates social change. Goffman gathered evidence to support his claims...

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Uploaded by:   mrsvigors

Date:   02/22/2015

Category:   Sociology

Length:   7 pages (1,543 words)

Views:   1484

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