We have seen three basic approaches to theorizing/explaining social order so far:
|Source of Order||Type of Order||"The Social"|
|Individuals||imposed/emergent||REAL socialization, the social mind|
|Hierarchy||imposed||REAL structure of super/subordination relations|
|Markets||emergent||NOMINAL "society" has no independent existence|
Laissez-faire ("just let them alone") approach to market society
attractive b/c it appears supra-political and built on human "nature"
but (1) boom and bust
but (2) most efficient deployment of resources may be socially optimal but defers redistribution
Markets imagines society as a collection of impersonal, identical entities that interact via exchange and following abstract rules.
Hierarchy images society as a collection of entities that can fill positions.
But the world is clumpy. If we go back to our image of individuals sharing some mental content, we can amend it.
What do groups do for society?
Groups can be dangerous. In a totalitarian regime, for example, gatherings and groups might be banned as a threat. In groups of friends, the existence of smaller cliques can be seen as a threat.
This section is about theories that try to explain how and how much of the work of getting individuals to participate in the creation of social order happens in, or is done by, groups.