Essay on Social Processes

Social relationships represent the functional aspects of society:

Analysing the classifying so­cial relationships is a difficult talk. Social relationships involve reciprocal obligations, reciprocal statuses, and reciprocal ends and means as between two or more actors in mutual contact. They refer to a pattern of interaction between these individuals [and this is why the school of sociology which has attempted to systematise its thought in relationship terms has been called the ‘ formal school Simmel, Von wise, Park, Burgess, Becker belong to this school.]

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Thus social relationships may be studied by the kind or mode of interaction they exhibit. These kinds or modes of interaction are called social processes. Social processes are the fundamental ways in which men interact and establish relationships.

(i) MacIver:

“Social process is the manner in which the relations of the members of a group, once brought together, acquire a distinctive character”.

(ii) A. W. Green:

The “Social processes are merely the characteristic ways in which interaction occurs”.

(iii) Ginsberg:

“Social processes mean the various modes of interaction between individuals or groups including cooperation and conflict, social differentiation and integration, development, ar­rest and decay”.

(iv) Horton and Hunt:

The term social process refers to the “repetitive forms of behaviour which are commonly found in social life.”

Forms of Social Processes:

The society contains hundreds and perhaps thousands of socially defined relationships. These relationships are beyond measurement. It is humanly impossible for any individual to make a detailed study of each and every social relationship. Instead they must be classified and dealt with as ‘general types’.

For this reason social relationships have been classified and discussed in terms of the ‘kinds of interaction’ they manifest. These kinds of interaction or ‘patterns of interaction’ are called social processes.

The kinds of interaction or social processes include- cooperation, compe­tition, conflict, contravention, accommodation, assimilation, accumulation, isolation, differentia­tion, disintegration etc.

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