Sociology, Its Theories And Technology In Society Sample Essay

Sociology as a social science

French philosopher, Augustine Comte in 1839 introduced the idea of sociology. This term is resultant of the Latin word, “society” which refers to society, and the Greek term, “Logos” which is taken to imply the study of science. Therefore sociology is the science of society. According to Bid (2006), the term sociology refers to the study of a man’s behavior in gatherings or the dealings among people, of social interactions, and of the ways by which human group activity occurs.

Sociology is usually said to belong to the field of the social sciences. Science refers to a collection of systematically set information that shows the operation of universal laws (Tischler, 2010). Sociology also happens to employ the same general techniques of investigation that are applied in natural sciences. Like in sciences, sociologists are seen to be allied to the application of the scientific process. The scientific process in this respect refers to the process by which a collection of scientific information is built via observation, experimentation, generalization as well as verification (Tischler, 2010).

Social sciences comprise of the disciplines that apply scientific techniques to the study of human behavior. These interrelated disciplines are as follows: cultural anthropology, psychology, economics, history, political science, and social work. Sociology differentiates itself from these other social sciences in that it studies human society and generally, the social interactions. It helps persons understand the different societies in which they exist. These other social sciences go deeper into the definite and specific areas of the social environment.

Macrosociology Versus Microsociology

The word “macro” usually refers to “large” or “big”. Macrosociology can thus, in this respect be taken to mean the study of vast social phenomena. Microsociology on the other handsets the focal point on the social activities of persons and smaller groups.

Characteristically, macro-level studies of sociology set the focus on the individual or personal thought, interaction as well as action, usually, moving in tandem with the social-psychological approaches. The macro-level investigations on the other side set the focus on the social structures and the currents that organize and divide individuals into groups.

Alexander Jeffrey (1987) asserts that Microsociology and macro sociology are involved in the contrasting theoretical approaches in social life and as a result, give differing explanations. The units that are dealt with differently in the two occasions; the first occasion (microsociology) deals with individuals while the second occasion (macrosociology) deals with populations. The individuals may be poor or rather rich but only collectivities can reveal characteristics of the economic inequality.

The micro-sociology and the macrosociology apply different approaches and seek to come up with different models to explain the social relations and the complex social patterns based on a platform of social relations. Microsociology looks into the fundamental social processes that create relationships between individuals. The focus here is set on social interaction and communication while the vital concepts are reciprocity, dependence, and exchange (Alexander, 1987). Macrosociology tends to analyze the structure of the different positions in a particular population and the consequences of such on social relations. The focus here lies on the external hindrances of the social environment on the relationships of persons, whilst the vital concepts are inequality, differentiation, and heterogeneity.

Generally, micro-sociology cuts across the internal dynamics of social relations while macro sociology looks at the influences on social relations caused by the external social restraints as well as opportunities. Examples of micro-sociology include the study of the character of a particular student in the class, how a parent relates to one of his sons, or the police’s study of a single criminal. Examples of macro sociology would be the study of the characters of students at Harvard, how parents generally relate to their children in Australia, or the general study of criminals.

Functionalism, the conflict perspective, and symbolic interactions

Functionalism was coined by a man called Durkheim who was concerned with how the society remained stable. In this approach, the society is split into many parts which collectively contribute to the larger whole. These distinct parts are the institutions of the society which are organized to fill the different needs (Anderson and Francis, 2007). The main institutions of the society include education, religion, families, the economies as well as governments. From a functionalist approach, the different parts of the society are dependent on each other as each particular institution has its consequences in the overall structure.

The conflict perspective stresses the importance of coercion as well as power (Andersen & Francis, 2007). Functionalism differs from the conflict approach in that functionalists emphasize the need for cohesion within a given society whereas conflict theorists put more weight on coercion, strife as well as friction. Conflict theory was developed from the work of Karl Marx and it tends to view the society as comprised of groups and subgroups which are constantly competing for social and also economic resources.

This approach holds the belief that sometimes agreement may be attained, but only if it is for the common interest. In this perspective, inequality is not fair but exists as a result of some persons controlling disproportionate portions of the society’s resources. Conflict is here viewed as inherently unfair as opposed to the functionalists who perceive it as beneficial to society. This theory has however been criticized for overlooking the need for shared values and public harmony and overstressing on social inequality and social control.

Symbolic interaction theory is the work of Irving Goffman, which holds that the immediate social interactions form “the society” (Andersen & Francis, 2007). Due to its emphasis on the face to face contact, this theory is a form of micro-sociology whereas functionalism and conflict perspectives are by nature macro-sociological. According to this theory, people behave the way they do out of their beliefs. This approach holds the belief that the world is subjective and it’s only an imagination whose effects are real. This subjective nature of this theory forms the basis for its criticism.

On a personal level, I hold a preference for the functionalist perspective which I consider the most realistic of the three perspectives.

The impact of technology on cultures

In many, if not all societies in the world, technology is expanding. The expansion of technology impacts the values, religion, politics, and all other spheres of human culture (Montgomery, Keegan & Guzzetta, 2005). This section focuses on the impact of mobile phones, the internet, and social networking on cultures as recent technological breakthroughs.

Cell phones are one of the main technological breakthroughs as they have penetrated every part of the universe. Some of their benefits include: all-time communication with loved ones, sending of texts, helping in times of emergencies-for instance fire outbreak, navigation systems help ward off getting lost, can be used as mini PCs with the internet, aid in fighting crime through tracking of criminals, also, they serve as entertainment gadgets and also aid in the transfer of data; mainly through Bluetooth and infra-red technology.

These gadgets have however aided crime where the criminals were not tracked and also their radiations are associated with some human ailments like cancer. This notwithstanding, the cell phone technology continues to advance each day with more features being added; its future cannot be foretold.

The internet is another technological breakthrough that is transforming the ways of life for individuals across the globe. This technology has been accredited with the following benefits among others. Communication- through e-mails, easy and fast sending and receiving of data, aiding shopping, marketing, and facilitating access to a vast body of information. On the other side, the internet has also caused havoc. Sometimes hackers have succeeded to breach security through the internet and made away with valuable information as well as endangering the security of the masses. In the future, the internet may replace document cabinets as data stores.

Social networking service is an online practice that builds social relationships among people who feel to have something in common. Examples of common social networks include Facebook, Twitter, my space, Nexopia, Bebo among many others.

These networks have been used to pursue political interests, to create social interactions on a global platform, sharing of experiences as well as instant messaging. On the flip-side also, these social sites have been used by sexual predators to stalk innocent young male and female members of society. Social networking has also served as a hideout for criminal gangs as they may not be tracked by law enforcers like is the case with the use of mobile phones. In the long run, social networking seems to be the future effective way of bringing together like-minded individuals for a particular course.

Works cited

Alexander, Jeffrey. The Micro-macro Link. California: University of California press, 1987.

Andersen, Margaret and Francis, Howard. 2007. Sociology: understanding a diverse society, New York: Cengage Learning.

Bid, Dibyenduranarayan. Sociology for Physiotherapists. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Publishers, 2006.

Montgomery, Barbara., Keegan, Lynn and Guzzetta, Cathie. Holistic nursing: A handbook for practice. Massachusetts: MJones & Bartlett Learning, 2005.

Tischler, Henry. Introduction to sociology. New York: Cengage Learning. 2010.

Value Of Technology Advances

To make progress in understanding scientific relations and technology, information and knowledge must be developed to constitute technological advancement. Different technologies have been developed, and three of them will be discussed in this essay with regard to how they benefit business, consumers, and the society at large; they are the internet of things, mobile technology, and social media. Despite its benefits, there are potential dangers associated with technology, but measures can be taken to manage the risks of technological advancement.

Internet of Things

This technology involves connection of equipment such as doors, windows, lights, or vehicles to an operating system that functions on prescribed intelligence. The devices connected to such facilities can relay data over a network, a concept that is founded on wireless technology, micro-electrochemical systems, and the internet (Xia, Yang, Wang, & Vinel, 2012). Businesses are granted an opportunity to develop new services and products that best suit the requirements and specifications of the consumers. The consumers are bound to benefit, for instance, from vehicles that will be connected to the internet through android where they will operate them from a computer. It is a technology that can empower and advance the whole society in the sense that it can be applied in all the sectors that relate to human life and operations.

There are security risks associated with the internet of things in that the devices used are vulnerable to attacks of interference and failure of service. It is not yet known on the internet of things how the failure of one product can be handled where it is expected that another one can take its place (Wortmann & Flüchter, 2015). The enterprise may be faced with the challenge of determining the kind of security controls necessary and at the same time how to implement the ones that are most effective. Such risks may be alleviated by designing devices with the security aspect in mind, defining information security control for an enterprise, and being careful not to underrate any future risks.

Mobile Technology

This involves technology of devices that can be moved from one point to another including devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, wireless credit card terminals, and global positioning systems. They make use of communication technologies like Bluetooth and Dial-up connections among others thus there can be the connection from the device to a home or internet (Azim & Hassan, 2013). Mobile technology allows data to be transmitted from a far-off location to a fixed point, which is beneficial to a business in that the user can make updates to customers’ features while in the field meeting them. This provides a way out for the businesses that involves a lot of movement to where the customers are located. The customer can check prices of commodities, their availability, make orders, and pay for them using wireless payment terminals, without having to move to the location of the business physically.

Mobile technology encounters the challenge of keeping the valued information and devices secure by ensuring that it is not read or accessed by unauthorized individuals. It is faced with risks such as data theft, virus attacks, and online scams like hoaxing, session takeover, and stoppage of service delivery. Businesses need to have an incident-response outline that can deny unauthorized access to data and devise effective ways of reacting to intrusion (Azim & Hassan, 2013). They can make use of people with computer expertise to prevent hacking into the system and disclose any loopholes.

Social Media

This is the technology that revolves around mobile and net-based innovations that have led to advancement in communication where societies, populations, and individuals can exchange information in a more collaborative way. It makes use of applications aligned to the internet to come up with ideas and innovations that make it possible for users to develop and exchange content (Jussila, Kärkkäinen, & Aramo-Immonen, 2014). It is a platform that has allowed electronic business to be carried out over internet thus making the issue of distance have no negative effect while conducting business. The impact of social media also touches on education, labor market, private life, and societies at large.

Social media technology allows outsourcing for software formulation at a lower cost and speedy pace. Manufacturing can also be done in another country while keeping track of the progress and carrying out marketing and distribution through the internet as monitoring of individuals and the manufacturers is done. Business activities can be taken to different locations for a firm to compete optimally in terms of manpower, capital, and organization (Jussila et al., 2014). For consumers and the society at large, social media serves as a connection to others and the internet, therefore, making an exchange of information possible and helping in choice making. Social media technology is at a risk of privacy raid, which can be managed by acquiring a safe approach that involves the use of secret codes that are well secured, scanning for threats, and carrying out frequent reviews.

Conclusion

Technological shifts offer solutions for further growth, convenience, and satisfaction for businesses, consumers, and the society as a whole. More knowledge and information should continue to be developed as a way of ensuring that advancements are realized continually. Due diligence should be applied in overcoming the dangers that can threaten the realization of the growth being sought by the advancements.

References

Azim, R., & Hassan, A. (2013). Impact analysis of wireless and mobile technology on business management strategies. Journal of Information and Knowledge Management, 2(2), 141-150.

Jussila, J. J., Kärkkäinen, H., & Aramo-Immonen, H. (2014). Social media utilization in business-to-business relationships of technology industry firms. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 606-613.

Wortmann, F., & Flüchter, K. (2015). Internet of things. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 57(3), 221-224.

Xia, F., Yang, L. T., Wang, L., & Vinel, A. (2012). Internet of things. International Journal of Communication Systems, 25(9), 1101-1102.

Changing Customer Demand And Its Regulation

Despite the efforts of some business analysts, many companies continue to have heterogeneous demand for their services. On the other hand, the constant maintenance of capacities and personnel that are sufficient to handle peak demand would require companies to incur prohibitively high costs. For the more even and manageable intensity of service delivery, enterprise management can influence demand through some methods and strategies.

The business market knows examples when top companies have successfully introduced appropriate plans in order to meet customer demand and adapt to current trends. The abilities to respond to any changes in consumer demand timely and to offer acceptable alternatives are the features that characterize an enterprise’s strategy as a successful approach to resource management and a competently oriented policy of attracting customers.

Plans to Deal with Changing Customers’ Characteristics

Providing the client with an opportunity to choose the level of service is one of the ways to influence the fluctuations in demand. For instance, urgent orders require an additional payment, which can be beneficial for the company from a financial point of view. High-value goods take precedence over inexpensive orders, which allows for a higher level of flexibility in terms of the timing of product sales. Another way proposed by Prajogo (2016) is an innovative approach to the production of goods. According to the author, “product innovations would naturally drive process innovations” since consumers, as a rule, acquire those things that are trendy and correspond to modern interests (Prajogo, 2016, p. 249). Therefore, this measure allows monitoring demand and providing clients with necessary goods without losing profits.

Companies Examples

As the examples of companies that successfully cope with constantly changing consumer demand, several world-famous corporations can be listed. In particular, such a brand as Samsung, one of the flagships in the field of digital goods, has always demonstrated a desire to please customers and provide them with quality and relevant products. Despite high competition and the changing environment in this market, the company uses available resources effectively and builds partnerships with other large enterprises.

As Song, Lee, and Khanna (2016) note, “Samsung involves internal vendors and outside complementors in the new product development processes of smartphones” (p. 133). These measures allow the management of the corporation to have information about the current characteristics of demand and to respond to the changing preferences of the target audience.

Another global company that copes with the changing conditions of consumer demand is McDonald’s. According to Shah and Mujtaba (2016) who research the success of this network’s opening in India, “the demand of the local clientele is the key to the survival and growth of business” (p. 43). The management of the corporation strives to provide customers with new products and attract them with frequent promotions and discounts, which is a successful approach to organizing sales. Such a strategy contributes to satisfying the interests of consumers without losing profits. Therefore, the corporation’s plan aimed at providing products at affordable prices is successful.

Conclusion

The competent regulation of demand characterizes any company as a successful enterprise that can provide customers with quality services and allocate resources efficiently. Different strategies may be useful in organizing work, for example, clients’ individual choice of the service level or the policy of innovation. Such corporations as Samsung and McDonald’s demonstrate the successful application of business and marketing strategies and have a large target audience.

References

Prajogo, D. I. (2016). The strategic fit between innovation strategies and business environment in delivering business performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 241-249. Web.

Shah, S., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2016). Contemplations for opening the first McDonald’s restaurant franchise in the IT capital of India’s Bangalore. International Journal of Marketing Practices, 3(2), 33-46. Web.

Song, J., Lee, K., & Khanna, T. (2016). Dynamic capabilities at Samsung: Optimizing internal co-opetition. California Management Review, 58(4), 118-140. Web.

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