SOCIAL COHESION AS THE BASIS OF MORALITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL COHESION AS THE BASIS OF MORALITY

 

 

 

Name

 

 

 

 

Instructor

Cause

Date

 

 

 

 

 

Social Cohesion as the Basis of Morality

Social cohesion or integration can be described as a set of characteristics that hold a group or community closer together, enabling it to function as a single unit. Among these characteristics include shared values and culture among others[1]. From a sociological point of view, social cohesion is seen as a structural issue describing how the different parts or sub-groups within the larger group interact with each other to function as a whole. Communities are made up of different individuals, families, social institutions, and different age groups, who interact with each other effectively to promote their culture and shared values[2]. Morality refers to a system or doctrine of principles that distinguish between right and wrong behavior. Individuals are expected to conform to established guidelines and principles of morality in their groups or communities[3]. Of note, however, is the fact that different groups have different sets of moral principles. Thus, morality standards for one group may vary with those of another group. Besides, conformity to the moral standards is seen as one of the crucial aspects of social cohesion. Therefore, this paper asserts that social cohesion is the basis for morality.

For a long time, sociologists have theorized that social cohesion is the basis or foundation for morality in a society. This argument has been expounded and explained through various theories and models in sociology over the years. Among the most notable sociologists who have promoted the notion of social cohesion as the basis for morality include Emile Durkheim, Henri Bergeson, and Adam Smith.

In general terms, communities or groups are able to regulate the morality of their individuals if they are held closely together. The more tight the group is, the easier it will be for it to regulate morality. Essentially, morality of individuals within a group can be regulated and monitored through different approaches including social norms and incentives.These are the two main motivations that drive individuals to act morally[4]. Social norms are the specific standards that a community accepts as the ideal measures of desirable and acceptable behavior. The norms can be conventional or explicit and could range from dress codes to how an individual ought to conduct himself or herself within the community. Ignoring the norms can result in disciplinary actions.

Incentives are rewards that individuals receive for performing something or doing some desirable acts. On the other hand, if people act in a manner that is not remarkable and contravenes the rules, regulations, and conventions within the community, they will be punished. Each society has its system of incentives and punishments to help motivate people to act in a certain way[5]. For example, good people who exemplify the community’s values will be praised, given leadership roles, and more responsibilities in the community. On the other hand, those who contravene the acceptable standards in the community will be rebuked.

According to Emile Durkheim, the society is the sole determinant of the moral phenomena. He argues that morality is a collective element which characterizes the society as a whole. In his moral theory, Durkheim introduces the concept of social facts to describe the various aspects of the collective life of a group or community, which influence the behavior of individual members within the group.  He also criticizes the belief in a priori moral standards, which rely on logical or abstract reasoning to create ethical or moral standards[6]. Rather, he recommends treating the moral phenomena as a concept conditioned by both social and historical factors. With time, each society or community is able to create its   sets of moral principles, which may vary in different degrees to those of other communities. Therefore, a society’s moral principles are based on its existential needs, which make its code of ethical or moral principles unique. Therefore, Durkheim states that in order to for one to understand the moral values of a particular community, it is important to understand its socio-historical development.

Durkheim’s moral theory also distinguishes between moral rules and other sets of rules that may be found within a community. Morality has unique qualities such as desirability and its obligatory nature, unlike other rules in the community[7]. Community leaders act as the central source of authority for enforcing morality within the community, thereby creating an external force demanding individuals to behave in a certain way[8]. Therefore, obligation is seen as one of the most crucial aspects of morality. Similarly, individuals often willingly accept the obligatory nature of the moral principles in their community as they view the moral principles as being beneficial to them in the long run. Durkheim also sees a close relationship between mo0rality and religion.

Therefore, based on these arguments, Durkheim is able to show that the society, as a whole, plays a very vital role in creating and enforcing morality[9]. This morality is often based on the society’s socio-historical developments over the years, which result in the community becoming more integrates in terms of its leadership structure, division of labor, and specialization where each person depends on each other for their own survival as well as the survival of the community at large[10]. Thus, the closer the community is held together, the more influential their moral principles will be on individual members.

In conclusion, social cohesion is relevant matter of discussion in the world today. The argument that can be used to support such intuition is that many of the world’s societies thrive on social relationships and bonds. Evidence presented in the course of discussion show that social cohesion highly impacts the notion of morality. In simple terms, the concept of morality is instrumented by the way people maintain certain bonds in the society. Subsequently, morality guides the way people behave and reason within the society. Thus, social cohesion is the defining element of the concept of morality in the modern world. The relationship between social cohesion and morality is that the social cohesion generates the latter by formulating the platform of existence. The argument on such a matter is that when there is the understanding of group or societal bonds, there is the willingness to meet the moral obligations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Pickering, Sharon, Jude McCulloch, and David P. Wright-Neville. 2008. Counter-terrorism policing community, cohesion and security. New York: Springer.

Herbert, David. 2013. Creating community cohesion: religion, media and multiculturalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Shin ,Hyesun, and Margaret Jane Wyszomirski. 2015. Promoting trust building in a unified Korean society: the arts-based policy strategy for social cohesion. Columbus: Ohio State University.

 

 

 

 

 

[1]Shin ,Hyesun, and Margaret Jane Wyszomirski. 2015. Promoting trust building in a unified Korean society: the arts-based policy strategy for social cohesion. Columbus: Ohio State University.

[2]Pickering, Sharon, Jude McCulloch, and David P. Wright-Neville. 2008. Counter-terrorism policing community, cohesion and security. New York: Springer.

[3]Pickering, Sharon, Jude McCulloch, and David P. Wright-Neville. 2008. Counter-terrorism policing community, cohesion and security. New York: Springer.

[4]Pickering, Sharon, Jude McCulloch, and David P. Wright-Neville. 2008. Counter-terrorism policing community, cohesion and security. New York: Springer.

[5]Herbert, David. 2013. Creating community cohesion: religion, media and multiculturalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[6]Shin ,Hyesun, and Margaret Jane Wyszomirski. 2015. Promoting trust building in a unified Korean society: the arts-based policy strategy for social cohesion. Columbus: Ohio State University.

[7]Shin ,Hyesun, and Margaret Jane Wyszomirski. 2015. Promoting trust building in a unified Korean society: the arts-based policy strategy for social cohesion. Columbus: Ohio State University.

[8]Herbert, David. 2013. Creating community cohesion: religion, media and multiculturalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[9]Herbert, David. 2013. Creating community cohesion: religion, media and multiculturalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[10]Herbert, David. 2013. Creating community cohesion: religion, media and multiculturalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: