Term Paper: Gemeinschaft and Gessellschaft. Second

Pages: 3 (974 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This study includes which social rules and processes knit these people closer together, and which rules and processes separate people from society. This not only includes the study of individuals, but also individuals as members of specific groups, association and institutions. In the end, sociology is about the study of what drives humans to form communities, how these communities function and the complex sets of relationships and associations that form.

As mentioned, sociology does study how communities are formed and what binds these individuals together; however, more telling is sometimes the loss of community. Sociologists often concern themselves with aspects of social lives, such as Anomie, that separate individuals and groups from the societal group they were once a part of. Science, in any format, is not only concerned with how and why things work, but also how to fix things when they are broken.

Therefore it's not surprising that sociology can be seen as developing from a concern about loss of community. It was Auguste Comte, who first coined the term sociology. From the beginning he believed sociology could combine the study of history, psychology and economics and use this information to remedy societal ills, such as a loss of community. Those who followed after Comte, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Tonnies, and others, often focused their studies on alienation, disenfranchisement, and other seperations from society.


Social relationship in modern society differ greatly from those of feudal society. First, feudal society was "characterized by the legal subjection of a large part of the peasantry to a hereditary landholding elite exercising administrative and judicial power on the basis of reciprocal private undertakings" ("Feudal," 2005). These societal bonds were formed in an effort to achieve mutual benefits to both parties, protection and loyalty to the societal elite landholders and land earnings for the vassals.

There was not a strong central authority, in feudal society, as there is in modern society. Political power was dispersed across the numerous lords of the land. In addition, vassals' oaths to protect and serve these lords were voluntary. These social relationships were more in line with the business arrangements and partnerships of modern society. As such, feudal society member often developed relationships with more than one lord.

Feudal society was not a simple pyramid, with the King at the top, lords in the middle and vassals or peasants at the bottom. It was a complex network of relationships, due to the dispersed political power. As mentioned, it was not uncommon for a vassal to pledge his allegiance to more than one lord. This is in stark contrast to modern society where most citizens are aligned with one allegiance to their country of choice.


Anomie. (2 Dec. 2004). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomie.

Feudal society. (9 Jan. 2005). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudal_society.

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. (18 Dec. 2004). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemeinschaft.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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