Society as a system — страница 2

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or Jewish ones with their own norms, traditions, customs and native language is a good proof. It’s a common knowledge that the Jews who migrated from the former USSR don’t speak English although they use some casual expressions. In reality, American culture is an aggrerate of subcultures bound into a whole by political and legislative powers. The other debated criterion is that of political independence. An argument against is that ancient ethnoses with highly developed culture like Armenia, Georgia that lived on the territory of the USSR had no political indpendence but existed as Union republics. An extended list of the society’s attributes was given by another American sociologist Edward Shils (1910-1995): association is not part of a larger system; marriages are made

between members of the given association; association is physically replenished mainly with children of its recognized representatives; association exists within its own territory; it has its own name and history; it possesses its own system of ruling; its existence is longer than the average duration of life of its members; it is linked with a common system of values (customs, traditions, norms, laws, rules etc.) called culture. The given criteria prove that both modern states with the population of hundreds of millions of citizens and ancient tribes that occupied the territory of a district in a contemporary city can comply with them. Each of them has its own blood-kinship system (entering into marriage and receiving new members), territory, name, culture, history, system of

ruling and it’s not part of another association. However, in recent years a philosophic perspective to think of the society as a big, interacting system has become most shared. According to the general theory of systems, in the physical universe everything is arranged into systems that are themselves components of a more extended system, like the earth as part of a solar system that forms a part of a galactic system, which in turn belongs to a cluster of galaxies. The other examples of a system are a set of three PCs (local network) or the British Empire. A human body is also a system as it is made up of cells which make up tissues which in turn make up different organs as parts of functionally defined subsystems such as circulatory, reproductive etc. Social systems demonstrate

analogous structural characteristics where humans are considered components of social systems such as banks or universities which are in turn components of the system of banking or education as parts of the economic or cultural spheres of the society. And if, for instance, a person’s heart gets sick, the whole human organism becomes out of order. By analogy, if the country’s economy is in recession, the whole system including politics, culture, education and other spheres begins suffering. Any system is characterized by integrity, structure, functions, equilibrium, open character, dynamics, self-organization, self-reproduction, self-regulation and evolution. A society thought of as a system is not an exeption as it is created by its members to meet the needs of living by

joint efforts at that time and in that place. For achieving those needs the society should have structure and processes. Its integrity is realized through a number of functions such as reproduction of the population, order and security etc. Differentiation of social functions is accompanied by establishing various social structures such as economic, political, religious and other institutions filled up with people possessing the required qualities. For instance, a mother who doesn’t work because she looks after her children can’t be a member of an economic structure but she is a member of the institution of the family. The society is self-regulated to ensure support and constant reproduction of social relationships. Another analogue with a human body can be used: every day a

body should reproduce enough amount of blood with the necessary quality so that the whole organism be healthy, otherwise poor blood quality can lead to leukemia, a cancer disease. If any infection comes to blood, its self-regulating mechanism starts working to liquidate the infection either by itself or in combination with medicines. As for the society, due to self-regulation, it can constantly reproduce social quality of its structures and social qualities of individuals and groups engaged in their functioning. In turn, the society has internal mechanisms of including new structures into an existing system of interrelations in order to adapt such structures to the forms and ways of the functioning of the societal system. It means that newly created institutions, organizations