In this essay I will discuss how unemployment is an individual and a social problem and how Max Weber distinguished power, authority and coercion and how the functionalist, conflict theorist and symbolic interaction theory view the economy and by the mid century how they have evolved and the role of these theories to explain social and economic phenomenon. How unemployment is individual and social problem Unemployment is caused by many factors in a modern market economy.
It can be caused by rapid technological change, business cycle or recessions, seasonal factors in some industries particularly such as changes in tastes and climatic conditions which affects demand for certain products and services, individual perceptions and willingness to work and search for jobs, their values and attitudes towards some jobs and about employers, accessibility for retraining and acquisition of work skills, willingness and perception of unemployed of the benefits of training and the possibility for them to get a job after the training even though they have a chance to get a job, discrimination in the workplace based on race, color.
religion, ethnicity, age and class.
It can be seen from the above causes unemployment in a particular period can be a combination of caused by social factors and how the economy as a whole works and also due to the subjective individual factors. In a sociological point of view according to functionalist and conflict theorists the unemployment is caused primarily by the social factors than by the individual factors. However according to Max Weber and symbolic interaction theories individuals construct their own social constructs and perception and they can be subjective in their behavior and there fore can become unemployed even though the actual condition they can get a job in the job market.
In summary applying the sociological and the primary causes of unemployment unemployment is individual as well as a social problem in a market economy. As discussed above it is caused by the society as well as by individuals. Even the economy or societal factors are not present unemployment can be caused by individual perception and their own subjective behavior. . Max Weber’s distinction among power, authority and coercion Power can be defined as one person’s ability to influence others does what ever they want even though they don’t like to do what is demanded and they resist doing what is demanded. For example a professor can influence the students to assign work and demand them to do to satisfy some criteria.
As well a dictator like Hitler can control all aspects of life because of this ability to impose his will on majority of people. In other words a person or group on other person or other groups can use power legitimately or illegitimately. That is power need not come from proper authority or legitimate authority. That is power and authority can be different in this respect. According to Max Weber authority can arise from tradition, charisma of certain powerful people or from legal-rational. That is authority need not come from any logical reason but likely to come from respect for the past. For example a monarchy in Western Europe can get authority because they ruled the populace over a long period of time.
Even the traditional authority can exist in modern democracies because the people respect the monarchy or authority of monarchy at least in a limited symbolic head of states in Western Europe. Authority also can arise from charisma of some powerful people. They have authority because of their charisma. This arises because they have the ability to lead a vast number of people for a particular cause using their powerful charm and influence over ordinary people. For example Martin Luther King, Gandhi. Nelson Mandela is the modern examples of charismatic authority they had because of their ability to charm and influence a vast majority of people for a particular cause. Authority also can arise from legal-rational. That is in society authority is given to individuals and organization based on rationally enacted laws and regulations.
This authority is impersonal and differs from charismatic authority because the legal-rational authority is impersonal and the charismatic authority is personal and admired by the people who accept that authority. In modern societies the authority is derived from the legal-rational compared to charismatic and traditional in varying degrees in industrialized societies in particular. Coercion is the extreme manifestation of power in a way threatens the person to complete obedience because it threatens the person coerced physically, financially and socially. This results in persons following the authority of another because of fear rather than will.
Coercion is mostly linked with abuse and conflict. Coercion exists in many dictatorships in the past as well as in the present world in many parts of the world where citizens are forced to follow the regime of dictatorship. The view of the economy in the perspectives of functionalist, conflict theorists and symbolic interaction theory Functionalist perspective of the economy In the perspective of functionalist sociological theorist social systems including economy works like a biological organism where every part of the system work in a united manner so that smooth functioning is maintained and so that society builds consensus between different parts of the system..
In this change is evolutionary and the changes take place to minimize dysfunction and to enhance the stability and its survival in the future. In this respect Capitalism will not collapse and will endure in the future as the functions of the system will adjust and evolve so that it maintains the social order and stability without any radical overhaul of the economic system. In addition the social, legal, political, religious systems will not be in conflict with the economic system and work in unison with the economic system so the whole social organism survive and social order is maintained and their functions and their purpose even though different work as a unified system.
As discussed above this is the functionalist view of the economy. Conflict theorist view of the economy In contrast conflict theorist believe society do not work as a unified system. Conflict and struggle take place as different groups work to maximize their benefit in the same time other groups loose. Functionalist view conflict in a negative manner. However the conflict theorist see the conflict to some extent is beneficial as it forces the parties to come to a common ground and make the economic system or the social system to change for the better and minimize the losers and maximizing the benefits for a greater number of groups as well make the power system in check so that abuse of power is minimized.
In this context the economic system and social order changes continually and changes take place and shaped by different interest groups in varying degrees in a market economy. However Marxism as a conflict theory predicts radical change to the economic system to move towards a socialist system it has not eventuated. However Max Weber as a conflict theory predicts the viability of the market economy with some reform to minimize the negative aspects of capitalism like alienation and the negative impact of bureaucracy in capitalist economies and more democracy in society and continuous reform of the economic system to make it work efficiently but also effectively by legal, social and political reform appropriate to a countries historical, cultural, political and social context.
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How unemployment is individual and social problem. (2017, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/how-unemployment-is-individual-and-social-problem-essay