Social phenomenon has been described as a behavior influenced by organisms that live together. Therefore, it is effectively trying to comprehend the need of people in society to conform to a uniform practice. This paper seeks to show that this is not a social phenomenon but is simply a form of peer pressure.
Presentation of opponents view
Social phenomenon has been described as man’s need to live in unison and with a particular set of practices (Halpein 2009, 15). This has brought about the advent of common law and by-laws that encourage people to live together in harmony. The fact that there is legislature to support this behavior certainly aids the case in this argument. Since time immemorial, it is societies that have worked together that have prospered. Catch phrases such as “united we stand and divided we fall” have been used to urge people to join the band wagon with regards to common practices. Furthermore, in living together, people need a sense of inter dependence. This is because all people at one point or the other will need help. This can only be done if people in a society understand each other, what each person is doing, and how they do it (Ferrier 2001, 30).
In addition to this, for any society to thrive, the leadership structure has to have platforms for monitoring and control of the activities of the people it leads. Therefore, it is important that people are divided into some sort of demographic groupings from which their needs can be addressed. This may force people with slightly varying ideas to be grouped together and therefore work under similar laws. The effect this has is making people of similar groupings conform to their own set of standards so that they may be successful as a group. After all, “united we stand, divided we fall”. Therefore, this hypothesis works on the assumption that only through conformance can societies enjoy success (Halpein 2009, 24).
Critique of opposition view
This view is highly generalized and too simplistic. The fact that it even describes this as a phenomenon is simply wrong. The truth is that people’s conformance is not due to a need to be a holistic and successful society. Rather, it is because everyone has a feeling of needing to belong (Anderson 2010, 45). Therefore, this does not generate a uniformly working society that places the needs of the community before one’s needs. Rather, it generates a condition where the need to belong is paramount with regards to all other needs. Although this does seem quite similar to the earlier definition of social phenomena, the differences are quite clear.
Social phenomenon indicates a need for a society to thrive through acting with uniformity. However, some of the greatest innovations by man have come along due to deviating from the norm. When Galileo suggested that the earth was not the centre of the universe, he was almost stoned for such a blasphemous utterance. However, this discovery has gone on to ensure man studies other planets around her in order to discover what really makes this planet habitable. A couple thousand years down the line and the travel from one continent to another has now made the world a global village, therefore, it is not conformity and uniformity that brings about success (Partridge 2011, 10). This is how revolutionary ideas may truly be attained.
Presentation of my view
I would like to suggest that –or rather back- the premise that necessity as the mother of invention is truly the backbone for successful societies. Firstly, the definition of success would be living in a relatively better way than the previous generations, and at a lower cost. Therefore, success would involve children having better lives than their parents, while not requiring commitment of themselves to the same energy their parents did. Secondly, a society shall be defined as a group of people who live together (Rogers 2003, 15).
For a society to be great, it has to be relatively self sustaining. It has to be capable of living through generations while still attaining success. Although this would mean the member would have to be on hand to provide help to one another from time to time, it lays greater emphasis on the need of such a society to be able to reinvent itself. From time to time, the requirements of civilization are bound to change. This puts pressure on such a community to be creative in their dealings. This is the only way a society can sustain success (Ferrier 2001, 8). Furthermore, once a society is successful, it can easily maintain this success. This is because it will have the necessary resources, both in terms of money and knowledge to train the younger ones on how to think in terms of innovation.
Critique of this view by the opposing view
The possible critique of this view would be that the society would still have to work together to make such an environment possible. The critique would lie in the need for people to work together to make such a situation possible or tenable. Additionally, this is quite a utopian line of thought. The general line of thought is that the society can be able to continuously reinvent itself over time ensuring its dynasty never ends. However, history would disagree with this. From the Greeks to the Romans, all these are civilizations that were great and could not sustain their greatness. Therefore, the fact that they too eventually met their demise would point this out as not being a sustainable model of living for a given society.
Response to social critique
Firstly, the fact that the society would need to work together does not correspond to working similarly. Therefore, members of a society in my hypothesis would define working together as moving towards a similar goal. All members want to achieve success. Just as in business, diversifying investment is a key component of remaining financially secure. However, the first hypothesis suggests keeping of all the eggs in one basket. Therefore, members of a community should work with a semblance of independence in order to achieve personal goals as well. The key would be to align members’ personal goals with the goals of the community. Thus, togetherness may be found in autonomy.
Secondly, the failure of like thinking civilizations such as the Roman and Greek empires does not lie in a failure by the premise, but failure by the civilizations themselves. The failure of these two great empires lies in their greed. They simply bit off more than they can chew. When an administration area becomes too large, difficulty in maintaining order becomes a reality. Therefore, the peaceful nature necessary for innovation no longer exists. Had the empires subdivided into smaller autonomous units with similar structures, they would definitely have remained successful. Some sort of assimilation program should have been adapted. Therefore, not only would each unit remain successful, through the different innovations, greatness would be achieved. Metal sharpens metal, and strong communities would be able to exchange ideas with other small communities to ensure sustenance, ergo, thriving (Rogers 2003, 12).
In finality, this paper has been able to show that social phenomenon is not a basis for success -or at least not a good and sustainable platform for one-. Success may only be achieved through innovation and forward thinking. Only through the creation of more efficient ways of working can a society be truly successful.
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Ferrier, Catherine. “Bottled Water: Understanding A Social Phenomenon.” AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 30.2 (2001): 118. Print.
Halperin, Christina T.. Mesoamerican figurines: small-scale indices of large-scale social phenomena. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2009. Print.
Partridge, Kenneth. Social networking. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2011. Print.
Rogers, Everett M.. Diffusion of innovations. 5th ed. New York: Free Press, 2003. Print.