Whether primitive or civilized, all societies must cope with the parallel problems that are generated by the urgencies of human nature and the necessities of a common life.
Arrangements are made for kinship and procreation; for safety, health and comfort, for producing and consuming commodities and services. Arrangements also develop latent ability into sophisticated skills of communication, body movement, and environmental management.
Government, law, and politics seek to resolve conflicting demands that arise within and among communities. Societies differ from one another in the degree that they encourage specialization. In the simplest societies everybody does everything, with exceptions that are closely linked to differences of sex and age.
On the other hand, many tribes use professional specialists, such as warriors, medicine men, blacksmiths, potters, weavers, musicians, and carvers.
The world that we call civilized appeared with the invention of writing. One way to bring out the degrees of likeness and differences among societies, whether primitive or civilized, is to compare the priorities that are given to institutions of the same kind.
Besides allocating priorities, every society strikes a temporary or durable balance between the accumulation and the immediate enjoyment of every value.
In civilized societies reliance on the results of early education is heavily supplemented by government, law and politics. The legal system is made up of several sets of authoritative and controlling prescriptions. One set is constitutive. It prescribes “who decides what are how”.
It centralizes or decentralizes formal and effective power, and it distributes powers among agencies and groups. Regulation defines the degree of protection given to the fundamental institutions of every sector of society.
Tradition alleges that the legal order is blind to values and practices that lie outside the established beliefs, faiths and loyalties (ideologies) of the society with which it is involved. In consequence, legal systems may defend widely different balances between value accumulation and enjoyment, and sharply contrasting patterns of equality and inequality in the sharing of political power, wealth, respect, or any other value.
The legal order may protect economic systems whose structures are capitalistic, socialistic, or cooperative; family systems that permit one or more members of the sexes to marry and raise children; religious faiths that exalt monotheism and polytheism; and so on through the infinite variety of human practices.
A legal system is stabilized when the effective elements in society perceive themselves as relatively better off by continuing the system than by adopting alternative arrangements. To some extent, a legal order may exhibit cyclical fluctuations as when deviations are tolerated within limits, which exceed generated reform activities that restore the former position with little change.
In a capitalist economy “creeping monopoly” may invade trade unions, employers associations, and natural are sources and industrial enterprises. In a socialist economy, “black market” may introduce “creeping competition”.
In either case, the cyclical movements may restore the original relationship before they have quietly stabilized a structural innovation, or prepared the way for a violent revolutionary change.
If this view is correct that world-wide interdependence is increasing, the traditional blindfold of legal systems must be put aside long enough to give explicit consideration to competing value goals and practices around the globe. Interdependence implies, whether they like it or not the members of an emerging planetary society must take open another into account.
Being taken into account implies that beliefs, faiths and loyalties, as well as overt behaviours, are examined by public and private decision makers. The demand to be better informed about the social environment creates an enormous opportunity and responsibility for those who study and run the society.
Social scientists are continually under pressure to provide the map of the past and probable future impact of the forces that shape society. They are, for instance, asked to explain the causes of war, or other forms of violence and to suggest strategies that lead to “victory” in a specific conflict or to show how war itself may be eliminated as an instrument of public policy.
Social scientists are asked for explanations of why an economy experience inflation, or how it generates changing excepted to discover the sources of alienation that separate young and old or threaten the unity of a family, a school or a political party or a national state.
The study of social institutions is sometimes affected by diverging norms of professional responsibility. No conflict need arise if a social scientist is personally committed to a line of research that happens to be popular with influential members of the body politic.
In recent times, professional opinion has emphasized the importance of obtaining shared participation in the pursuit of knowledge. Many investigators willingly accept the challenge of cultivating group demand for a project and for a hand in data gathering and analysis.
At every stage, arrangements are made for laymen to work side by side with professional sociologists, socio psychologists, political scientists and other investigators.
The role of man in society is given in brief, although the modern activities of the society are also given in the essay along with that the man is expected to contribute for efficient running of the society.