Please scroll down to get to the study materials.
A society is a system of structured social relationships connecting individuals together according to a shared norms or culture. A society is a formal organization set up to achieve some specified ends. Aristotle said, ”Man is a social animal". Therefore, the man makes the society and cannot live alone. A society is generally conceived of as a human group which is relatively large, relatively independent or self-perpetuating in demographic terms and which is relatively autonomous in its organization of social relations.
Characteristics of Society
Social system is a widely used term in the modern sociological approach. A system is any collection of interrelated parts, object, things or organ. A social system implies stable interconnection between institutional patterns of society. A social system is a system constituted by the interaction of a plurality of individual actors whose relations to each other are mutually oriented that is defined and mediated by the system of culturally structural and shared expectation.
Characteristics of Social System
Community is an area of the social living mark by some degree of social coherence or solidarity. It is the smallest territorial group that can embrace all aspects of social life. It is a human population living within a limited geographic area and carrying on a common interdependent life. It is a social group with some degree of we feeling and living in a given area. It is a set of social relationship that takes place wholly or mostly within a locality.
Characteristics of Community
Social norms are the specific cultural pattern formed to behave in a given situation which gives direction to act and interact with each other and teach us what we should do or should not do. Norms are learning by self-observation of culture, studying legal or religious texts books as well as in school and by pair group. Norms govern every society so if anybody violets derived norms s/he will be sanctioned by any social institution.
Values are culturally shared beliefs about idle, goals and behaviors which serve as the standard for social life. Values are abstract and they define what is desirable and morally correct as well as right and wrong. The process of socialization also helps to internalize the values of a cultural group. So, the social values guide the life of a person in a society. Some of the examples of values are like respect for human dignity, scarifies, cooperation and so on.
Characteristics of Social Values
How the people identify a person in their society and family, is his status and what the person does in life to maintain his status, is the role. So, the status placement is related to the identity of an individual and the role is related to the responsibility. Social status is the position of identification of an individual in the society. It shows the degree of his/her position at his/her home, working area and community.
Characteristics of Social Status
Characteristics of Social Role
Class is the social structural positions where groups or individuals whole relates to the economic, social, religious and cultural resources of the society. Those who possess the high resources come to be in higher class and those who don’t possess the resources come to be in lower class. The class of a group or an individual influences the accessibility to the quality education, health status, quality of food, recreation etc.
Features of Social Class
A group of individual having direct or indirect social relation and interaction to each other can be termed as a social group. Any group has a common interest and culture within certain principles, norms, and values, roles and rules that can form a social group. To be a social group there must be social interaction. It can be either big or small.
Characteristics of Social Group
Human society is an organizational society. We not only live in, belong to and work for the organization but also satisfy most of our desires and fulfill our aspiration through an organization. The term is generally used to mean an association or an associational group. In a broad sense, it refers to a formal or complex organization. It is the result of the shared activities and understanding of the people.
Characteristics of Social Organization
Culture is the products of human activities and their corresponding changes in accordance with time and need of human beings. The man is not only a social being but also a cultural being. A man is born as animal being and becomes the human being through culture. What man does, uses, follows, beliefs, discovers all are the conceptions of culture. It covers all sides of our social life and practice of human kind. So, culture includes both material and non-material aspects of our life.
Characteristics of Culture
The term ‘Caste’ is taken from the Spanish word'casta',which means species and race. In Hindu society caste rank is hereditary and linked to occupational pursuits. Caste system is that kind of social hierarchy based on genetic characteristics in which the members of one group are different from the members of the other regarding race, face, structure and so on.
In the late Vedic society, four varnas were defined to show the caste hierarchy. The division was mostly based on the division of labor and occupation. Brahman on the top and Chhetriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras respectively. In the ancient classical literature, caste system has been explained as divine creation of the godly power. According to myth, Brahmans were believed to be born from mouth of the god, Chhetriyas from hand, Vaishyas from thigh and Sudras from foot.
Caste is a system of stratification in which mobility up and down the status ladder, at least ideally may not occur. – A.W Green
According to Dictionary of Anthropology - Castes are corporate social units defined by decent, marriage and occupation.
According to Lundberg - A caste is a category whose members are assigned a permanent status within a social hierarchy and whose contacts are restricted accordingly.
Characteristics of Caste
An ethnic group is a social division of a group of people who shares common culture, language, norms and values. It has a common consciousness towards their culture and existence. If there is ethnic diversity in a nation, there will be automatically diversity in culture, tradition, language, feasts, and festivals. In Nepal, there are about 100 of such ethnic groups whom we say the nationalities. Nationalities are that community who has its own mother tongue and traditional culture and don’t fall under the conventional fourfold Varna of Hindu Varna system or Hindu hierarchical caste structure.
Oxford dictionary of Sociology - Individuals who consider themselves, or are considered by others to share common characteristics which differentiate them from the other collectivities in a society, within which they develop distinct cultural behavior.
An ethnic group is a distinct category of the population in a larger society whose culture is usually different from other. - Morris Ginsberg
Characteristics of Ethnicity
National Committee for the development of Nationalities, Nepal has featured the following characteristics:
Gender is a social role of male and female in the society whereas sex is biologically determined. So gender is socio-culturally constructed. Gender roles are determined to an individual either male or female through the process of socialization that one learns to be male or female. Sociologists use the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ to distinguish sex identity from learned gender roles. One is born as ‘male’ or ‘female’ but becoming a ‘man’ or ‘woman’ is the result of social and cultural usages that governs man’s or woman’s behaviors. So, gender roles are the tasks and activities that a culture assigns to the sexes.
Ann Oakley speaks - We need an ideological revolution, a revolution in the ideology of gender roles current in our culture, a revolution in concepts of gender identity.
The term gender is used to refer to behaviors differences between male and female that are culturally biased and socially learned. We will, therefore, reserve the term ‘male’ and ‘female’ for sex differences that are biologically in origin while using the terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ to refer to the gender differences that are social in origin.- Appelbaum and Chambliss (sociology, 1995)
Characteristics of Gender
Khatri, Prem Kumar et.al., Elementary Sociology and Anthropology XI, Bhundipuran Prakashan, Kathmandu
Sharma, Kamal Raj, Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology inNepal-XI, Sunrise Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu
Sitaula, Mohan Kumar, Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology-XI, Ekta Books and Distributors, Kathmandu