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Module 1: Understanding Culture, Society and Politics- Some Key Observation

At the end of this module the student should be able to:

- Articulate observation on human cultural variations, social differences, and social change and
political identities
- Demonstrate curiosity and an openness to explore the origins and dynamics of culture and
society and political identities.
- Trace the link between behavior and culture through observation and analysis
Activity 1
Directions: 1. Get one whole sheet of paper.
2. Write your name inside the circle.
3. Draw figure 1 on the sheet of paper
4. Write the following information of yourself in the 4 spaces: a. gender b. socio-economic class c.
ethnicity d. religion
Directions: Based on the output from the previous activity, the teacher will ask the students to
discuss their observations based on the following questions: 1. What are the similarties and
differences of every individual? 2. Do these similarities and differences affect the life of the whole
community? Why? The teacher will give each group a time frame of 2 minutes to present their
answers group outputs. Processing of answers shall follow.
Culture, Society and Politucs as Conceptual Tools
Culture, society and politics are concepts. They exist in the realm of ideas and thoughts. As such,
they cannot be seen or touched and yet the influence the way we see and experience our individual
and collective social beings.
Concepts are created and have been used to have firm grasp of a phenomenon. Just like any other
words, concepts nare initially invented as icons to capture phenomena and in the process assist the
users/inventors to describve facets of social experience in relation to the phenomena concerned.
What is interesting about concepts is that as conceptual tools, they allow us to form other concepts,
or relate concepts to each other or even deconstruct old ones and replace them with something
Students as Social Beings
The way we live our livesor should we say, the way we are being steered to live our livespresupposes
omnipotent forces shaping the very fabric of our existence. The categories that we
posses as individualslabels that are ascribed or given to us individually and collectivelyare
testament to the operation of these forces which leave us unsuspecting of their intrusive and
punitive implications in our lives. Our categories as male/female, rich/poor, or tall/short and even
the problematic effect of the color of our skin are evidences of the operation of these social forces.
Our sociality is defined by the very categories that we possess, the categories assigned to us by the
society at large. These labels so to speak, function, as tags with which our society read our worth
and value. These categories that we posses are not natural; rather they are socially constructed.
Identity is the distinctive characteristic that defines an individual or is shared by those belonging to a
particular group. People may have multiple identities depending on the groups to which they belong.
Module 2
The Scope of Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science
Lesson 1: The Need for Studying Social, Cultural, and Political Behavior through Science
At the end of this module the student can
1. appreciate the value of disciplines of Anthropology, Sociology, and Political Science as social
2. Understand the shared concerns of sociology, anthropology and political science
A. The Holistic Study of Humanity: Anthropology
Definition and Scope of Anthropology
Anthropology is derived from two Greek words anthropos and logos, which intensively studies
and the respective cultures where they were born and actively belong to.
It is considered the father or even grandfather of all social and behavioral sciences like sociology,
economics and psychology, to name a few. The discipline had its humble beginnings with early European
explorers and their accounts which produced initial impressions about the native peoples they
encountered In their explorations.
The father of American anthropology, Franz Boaz, a physicist, strongly believed that the same method
and strategy could be applied in measuring culture and human behavior while conducting research
among humans including uniqueness of their cultures.
Two American anthropologists Alfred Kroeber and William Henry Morgan, became prominent in
field since their specialization included the championing of indigenous rights like traditional cultural
preservation and ancestral domain of the American Indian tribes they intensively studied.
Historical Beginnings
Ruth Benedict became a specialist in anthropology and folklore and authored the famous book
of Culture.
The field of anthropology offers several topics for relevant research and discussion in various academic
fields since its distinct way of data gathering from their respondents applies participant observation
which is central to ethnography. Bronislaw Malinowski is the founding father of this strategy.
B. The Study of the Social World: Sociology
Sociology and the Sociological Perspective
Sociology is the study of society, social institutions, and social relationships. Sociology is interested
describing and explaining human behavior, especially as it occurs within a social context (Merriam-
Studying sociology is practical and useful. A social beings, we gain understanding of how the social world
operates and of our place in it. C.Wright Mills (1959) calls it sociological imagination which he
as the vivid awareness of the relationship between private experience and the wider society.
Sociologys point of view is distinct from other sciences. Peter Berger explains that the perspective of
sociology enables us to see general patterns in particular events (Macionis, 2010). This means finding
general patterns in particular events. The first systematic study on suicide provides a good example.
Emile Durkheims pioneering study on suicide in the 1800s revealed that there are categories of
who are more likely to commit suicide.
History of Sociology as Science
Sociology emerged with the two of the most significant social and political revolution in the history.
The French Revolution of 1789, along with the Industrial Revolution in England during the 18th century,
tremendously changed peoples lives.
Early Thinkers
August Comte (1798-1857) is the person who invented sociology in 1842, by bringing together the
Greek word socius or companion and the Latin word logy or study. He originally used social
as a term for sociology. Its aim was to discover the social laws that govern the development of society.
Comte suggested that there were three stages in the development of societies, namely the theological
stage, the metaphysical stage, and the positive stage.
The founding mother of sociology is Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), an English writer and reformist. In
her accounts in her book How to Observe Morals and Manners (1838), the deep sociological insights
call now ethnographic narratives are fully expressed.
Karl Marx (1818-1883), a German philosopher and revolutionary further contributed to the
development of sociology. Marx introduced the materialist analysis of history which discounts
metaphysical explanation for historical development. Before Marx, scholars explain social change
through divine intervention and the theory of great men.
Marx is the forerunner of the conflict theory. He wrote the Communist Manifesto a book that is
on the misery of the lower class (working class) caused by the existing social order. He reiterated that
political revolution was vital in the evolutionary process of the society, the only means to achieve
improvement of social conditions.
Emile Durkheim (1864-1920) a French sociologist who put forward the idea that individuals are
products rather than the creator of society; the society itself is external to the individual. In his book
Suicide, Durkheim proved that social forces strongly impact on peoples lives and that seemingly
event is not personal after all.
Max Weber (1864-1920) Weber stressed the role of rationalization in the development of society. For
Weber, rationalization refers essentially to the disenchantment of the world. As science began to
religion, people also adopted a scientific or rational attitude to the world. People refused to believe in
myths and superstitious beliefs.
C. The Study of Politics: Political Science
Guide Questions: 1. Why is there a need for politics? 2. Can we exist without politics?
Political Science is part of the social sciences that deals with the study of politics, power, and
government. In turn, politics refers to the process of making collective decisions in a community,
society, or group through application of influence and power (Ethridge and Handelman 2010, p.8).
Political Science studies how even the most private and personal decisions of individuals are influence
collective decisions of a community. The personal is political.
Generally, politics is associated with how power is gained and employed to develop authority and
influence on social affairs. It can also be used to promulgate guiding rules to govern the state. It is also a
tactic for upholding collaboration among members of a community, whether from civil or political
Concept of Politics
Politics is allied with government which is considered as the ultimate authority. It is the primary role of
the government to rule the society by stipulating and transmitting the basic laws that will supervise the
freedom of the people. Each form of government possesses power to attain order that should lead
toward social justice.
Politics as Science
Science is commonly defined as the knowledge derived from experiment and observation systematically
done. Policy-making and government decisions should be done through proper research, social
investigation, analysis, validation, planning, execution and evaluation. Thus, politics is a science.
Module 3
Theoretical Foundations of Culture, Society and Politics
Humans seek explanations about why things happen. Each person has ideas about the nature of
existence, motion, and relationships. Our ideas come from everywhere- from experiences,
conversations, materials we read, media we access, our teachers, family friends and foesall these are
sources of ideas.
A. What is a Theory?
Theory explains how some aspect of human behavior or performance is organized. It thus enables us to
make predictions about that behavior.
The components of theory are concepts (ideally well defined) and principles.
A concept is a symbolic representation of an actual thing - tree, chair, table, computer, distance, etc.
Construct is the word for concepts with no physical referent - democracy, learning, freedom, etc.
Language enables conceptualization.
A principle expresses the relationship between two or more concepts or constructs. In the process of
theory development, one derives principles based on ones examining/questioning how things/concepts
are related.
Concepts and principles serve two important functions:
1) They help us to understand or explain what is going on around us.
2) They help us predict future events (Can be causal or correlational)
Theories are crucial to science because they provide a logical framework for making sense out of
scientific observations. In sociology, a theory is a set of general assumptions about the nature of society.
B. Theoretical Paradigms
Macro vs. Micro view
Sociologists may study human society by focusing on the large social phenomena or the big picture,
such a social institutions and inequality to see how it operates. This is the macro view. They can also
in on the immediate social situation where people interact with one another or looking at the situational
patterns of social interaction. This is the micro view.
Three Major Perspectives in Sociology
Sociologists analyze social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives. From concrete
interpretations to sweeping generalizations of society and social behavior, sociologists study everything
from specific events (the micro level of analysis of small social patterns) to the big picture (the
level of analysis of large social patterns).
The pioneering European sociologists, however, also offered a broad conceptualization of the
fundamentals of society and its workings. Their views form the basis for today's theoretical perspectives,
or paradigms, which provide sociologists with an orienting frameworka philosophical positionfor
asking certain kinds of questions about society and its people.
Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic interactionist
perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer
sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences people, and vice versa. Each
perspective uniquely conceptualizes society, social forces, and human behavior (see Table 1).
The symbolic interactionist perspective
The symbolic interactionist perspective, also known as symbolic interactionism, directs
sociologists to
consider the symbols and details of everyday life, what these symbols mean, and how people interact
with each other. Although symbolic interactionism traces its origins to Max Weber's assertion that
individuals act according to their interpretation of the meaning of their world, the American philosopher
George H. Mead (18631931) introduced this perspective to American sociology in the 1920s.
According to the symbolic interactionist perspective, people attach meanings to symbols, and then they
act according to their subjective interpretation of these symbols. Verbal conversations, in which spoken
words serve as the predominant symbols, make this subjective interpretation especially evident. The
words have a certain meaning for the sender, and, during effective communication, they hopefully
have the same meaning for the receiver. In other terms, words are not static things; they require
intention and interpretation. Conversation is an interaction of symbols between individuals who
constantly interpret the world around them. Of course, anything can serve as a symbol as long as it
to something beyond itself. Written music serves as an example. The black dots and lines become more
than mere marks on the page; they refer to notes organized in such a way as to make musical sense.
Thus, symbolic interactionists give serious thought to how people act, and then seek to determine what
meanings individuals assign to their own actions and symbols, as well as to those of others.
Consider applying symbolic interactionism to the American institution of marriage. Symbols may include
wedding bands, vows of life-long commitment, a white bridal dress, a wedding cake, a Church
and flowers and music. American society attaches general meanings to these symbols, but individuals
also maintain their own perceptions of what these and other symbols mean. For example, one of the
spouses may see their circular wedding rings as symbolizing never ending love, while the other may
see them as a mere financial expense. Much faulty communication can result from differences in the
perception of the same events and symbols.
Critics claim that symbolic interactionism neglects the macro level of social interpretationthe big
picture. In other words, symbolic interactionists may miss the larger issues of society by focusing too
closely on the trees (for example, the size of the diamond in the wedding ring) rather than the forest
(for example, the quality of the marriage). The perspective also receives criticism for slighting the
influence of social forces and institutions on individual interactions.
The functionalist perspective
According to the functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, each aspect of society is
interdependent and contributes to society's functioning as a whole. The government, or state, provides
education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep
itself running. That is, the family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good
jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become
taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of society produce
order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt to
a new order, stability, and productivity. For example, during a financial recession with its high rates of
unemployment and inflation, social programs are trimmed or cut. Schools offer fewer programs.
tighten their budgets. And a new social order, stability, and productivity occur.
Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, or cohesion, in which
of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. Emile
Durkheim suggested that social consensus takes one of two forms:
Mechanical solidarity is a form of social cohesion that arises when people in a society maintain
similar values and beliefs and engage in similar types of work. Mechanical solidarity most commonly
occurs in traditional, simple societies such as those in which everyone herds cattle or farms. Amish
society exemplifies mechanical solidarity.
In contrast, organic solidarity is a form of social cohesion that arises when the people in a
society are interdependent, but hold to varying values and beliefs and engage in varying types of work.
Organic solidarity most commonly occurs in industrialized, complex societies such those in large
American cities like New York in the 2000s.
The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists in the 1940s
and 1950s. While European functionalists originally focused on explaining the inner workings of social
order, American functionalists focused on discovering the functions of human behavior. Among these
American functionalist sociologists is Robert Merton (b. 1910), who divides human functions into two
types: manifest functions are intentional and obvious, while latent functions are unintentional and
obvious. The manifest function of attending a church or synagogue, for instance, is to worship as part of
a religious community, but its latent function may be to help members learn to discern personal from
institutional values. With common sense, manifest functions become easily apparent. Yet this is not
necessarily the case for latent functions, which often demand a sociological approach to be revealed. A
sociological approach in functionalism is the consideration of the relationship between the functions of
smaller parts and the functions of the whole.
Functionalism focuses on social order. Emile Durkheim differentiates two forms of social order. The
is mechanical solidarity. It is a type of social cohesion that develops when people do similar work.
often it exists in small scale traditional societies. The second is organic solidarity. It is a type of social
cohesion that is formed in a society whose members work in specialized jobs.
Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event such as divorce.
Critics also claim that the perspective justifies the status quo and complacency on the part of society's
members. Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social
environment, even when such change may benefit them. Instead, functionalism sees active social
as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may
The conflict perspective
The conflict perspective, which originated primarily out of Karl Marx's writings on class struggles,
presents society in a different light than do the functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives.
While these latter perspectives focus on the positive aspects of society that contribute to its stability,
conflict perspective focuses on the negative, conflicted, and ever-changing nature of society. Unlike
functionalists who defend the status quo, avoid social change, and believe people cooperate to effect
social order, conflict theorists challenge the status quo, encourage social change (even when this means
social revolution), and believe rich and powerful people force social order on the poor and the weak.
Conflict theorists, for example, may interpret an elite board of regents raising tuition to pay for
esoteric new programs that raise the prestige of a local college as self-serving rather than as beneficial
for students.
Whereas American sociologists in the 1940s and 1950s generally ignored the conflict perspective in
of the functionalist, the tumultuous 1960s saw American sociologists gain considerable interest in
conflict theory. They also expanded Marx's idea that the key conflict in society was strictly economic.
Today, conflict theorists find social conflict between any groups in which the potential for inequality
exists: racial, gender, religious, political, economic, and so on. Conflict theorists note that unequal
usually have conflicting values and agendas, causing them to compete against one another. This
competition between groups forms the basis for the ever-changing nature of society.
Critics of the conflict perspective point to its overly negative view of society. The theory ultimately
attributes humanitarian efforts, altruism, democracy, civil rights, and other positive aspects of society to
capitalistic designs to control the masses, not to inherent interests in preserving society and social
Module 3
Doing Research in the Social Science
At the end of this module, the students are expected to:
1. Identify the subjects of inquiry and goals of Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology
2. Explain the nature of social research and its importance to society
3. Distinguish scientific method from common sense
4. Discuss some of the major methods used in the social science
5. Explore the political and ethical issues in social research
One of the strongest features of science is that it can correct our seriously flawed cognition and give us
an unfiltered view of reality. Most people put a lot of faith into relying on common sense and intuition,
but as any social scientist will tell you, this faith is misplaced.
Science helps us to understand the universe by freeing us from a reliance on gut-feelings or unchecked
reasoning hopelessly rooted in the unsystematic software of our brains. Common sense, as a product of
this software, will never get us as far as we may wish.
Science, as a way of thinking, possesses many vital qualities for true understanding that common sense
does not. Based on observations we make, science operates under theories, constantly revised and
checked by experiment. Based on the required validity that we need to make judgments, science tests
own propositions, throwing out the theories which do not fit our world. Science also has controls, or
ways of eliminating other explanations that may fit our preconceptions and intuitions but do not
adequately explain phenomena. Causation, itself crucial to decision-making and judgment, can only
reliably be determined through analytical methods that common sense pretends to involve but does
Lastly, science rules out the metaphysical (so far). Common sense allows us to believe that ghosts,
goblins, and angels run amok throughout our world, themselves causal agents of events in our lives. To
suggest that angels cured your disease, and not modern medicine, for example, is exactly why common
sense is such a poor master.
We will take all of these components in turn. Hopefully, by the end, you will realize that the chains of
intuition and common sense that bind you should be cast off, unless you prefer the darkness of ignorant
Theories construct the enterprise of science. A theory is an abstraction that applies to variety of
circumstances, explaining relationships and phenomena, based upon objective evidence. For example,
evolution is a theory that applies to a wide range of phenomena (the diversity of life, development,
and explains the observations of said phenomena, all of which is based upon evidence. Gravity too is a
theory, explaining the phenomena that we observe in interactions of bodies with mass.
Common sense has no structure to it, is explicitly subjective, and is subject to all manner of cognitive
biases. There is no need for testing, replication, or verification when you are reasoning for yourself. No
checks for you to pass or fail, no peers reviewing. It is no wonder why science is so much better at
explaining things.
Unlike common sense or intuition, science systematically and empirically tests theories and hypothesis.
This is important when viewed in the light that psychological research shows us that the default mode of
human information processing includes the confirmation bias, which is a form of selective testing, and
unworthy of scientific thinking.
If unchecked, most people intuitively notice or select ideas, beliefs, or facts that fit within what they
already assume the world to be like and dismiss the rest. Common sense reasoning has no problem with
the idea that the Sun goes around the Earth because it sure looks like it does, doesnt it? Humans
feel like they are the center of the universe, why not accept a belief that confirms that notion? Science is
free from such constraints.
Science controls for possibly extraneous sources of influence. The lay public does not control for such
possibilities, and therefore the chains of causation and explanation become tangled.
When trying to explain a phenomena, science rigorously excludes factors that may affect an outcome so
that it can be sure where the real relationships are. Common sense has no such control. The person who
believes that a full moon increases the rate of crime does not control this hypothesis. Without control
they may never see that statistics speak to the contrary. Assuming a connection is never as meaningful
proving one.
Correlation and Causation
Science systematically and conscientiously pursues real relationships backed by theory and evidence.
Common sense does not. Common sense leads us to believe that giving children sugar causes them to
more hyper. Science shows us that this is not the case. We see possible correlations everywhere, but
does not mean much if we cant prove it. It seems right is not enough.
When we use science to actually establish causation, it is for the betterment of society. For a long time
the tobacco industry would have us believe that smoking did not lead to lung cancer, it is merely a
correlation. Medical science has now shown unequivocally that smoking causes lung cancer. How could
common sense ever lead us to this healthy conclusion? Would common sense ever intuit that smoke
hurts your lungs or that it contains harmful chemicals? It may seem like common sense now, but
remember that hindsight is 20/20. People who began smoking 60 years ago had no clue that it was
harmful. Even children smoked back then. Could common sense ever grasp the methodological
measures required to prove such a harmful connection? I do not think so. Thats why we use science.
Science rules out untestable, metaphysical explanations where common sense does not. That which
cannot be observed (at least tangentially) or tested is of no concern to science. This is why
explanations of scientific concepts, i.e. creationism, is not a science and has no business in the
science classroom.
Ghosts and goblins may be thought to be the causes of many a shenanigan, but their reluctance to be
tested or observed renders them, at least scientifically, non-existent. If they have no effects that cannot
be explained naturally, if they are invisible, if they interact with no one and are only revealed in
anecdotes, what is the difference between those qualities and non-existence? Metaphysical
so far offer nothing to the understanding of the natural world. Common sense invokes them heavily, see
the problem?
We are just not as smart as we think we are and common sense wont help rectify that. It did not lead us
to invent microwaves, planes, space shuttles, cell phones, satellites, particle accelerators, or
nor did it to the discovery of other galaxies, cures for infectious disease, or radioactivity, science did.
Everything that makes your life better than those who came before us is due to science. You would
probably not live past 40 if it wasnt for scientific thinking.
You may amble your way through life, with a common sense master, assuming connections and learning
little, but only a scientific structure of thought will teach you about the universe. And what else could
you do with your short time in the sun other than contribute to human understanding of the greatest
The Emancipatory Potential of the Social Science
Based on the preceding section by using scientific method, the social science can contribute greatly to
the elimination of prejudices against certain groups of people such as racism, sexism, and cultural
ethnocentrism. It enable people to become open minded an welcoming of other beliefs and practices no
matter how foreign or alien. They can also predict future events that would allow people to mitigate
dangers, risk and casualties. It also helps people to better understand other peoples way of life. By
studying scientifically, people may come to realize that society can be controlled to a certain degree. It is
transformative insofar as it allows the social scientist to imagine an alternative way of life or direction
the future. In this sense, social sciences like natural sciences are revolutionary.
Two Basic Methods in the Social Sciences
Social Research- methods and techniques that go into the investigation of social phenomena in
order to
understand and interpret the occurrence of such phenomena.
Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of
reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or
hypotheses for potential quantitative research. Qualitative Research is also used to uncover trends in
thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using
unstructured or semi-structured techniques. Some common methods include focus groups (group
discussions), individual interviews, and participation/observations. The sample size is typically small, and
respondents are selected to fulfill a given quota.
Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data
can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other
defined variables and generalize results from a larger sample population. Quantitative Research uses
measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research. Quantitative data collection
methods are much more structured than Qualitative data collection methods. Quantitative data
collection methods include various forms of surveys online surveys, paper surveys, mobile surveys and
kiosk surveys, face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, longitudinal studies, website interceptors,
online polls, and systematic observations.
Ethics and Politics of Social Research
In the past, social scientist have debated among themselves and even outside their disciplines the
question of political nature of doing research. They asked controversial questions like Can science be
free of values and prejudices? Should social research be politically neutral? Traditionally, the answers
to these questions were provided by those who work within the positivist tradition in the social
Many of the social scientist and researchers believed in the objectivity and neutrality of social science
research. They believed that social research should not criticize existing social beliefs and practices;
instead it should only focus on describing accurately what is happening in the world.
Today, with the advent of of post colonial critique of Western science (based on indigenous knowledge
systems)., the feminist critique of science, the postmodern critique of positivism, and the growing
assertion of humanistic tradition in the social sciences like hermeneutics (or the study of textual
interpretation), phenomenology (used in qualitative observation), and other qualitative methodologies,
many social scientist believe that the personal and political values of the social scientist as well as the
community to which they belong to have a great impact of the formulation analysis, and interpretation
of research.
Reflexivity is the conscious effort of the social researcher to be aware of the social conflicts and power
struggle that underlie ones subject of research.
Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways;
the point is to change it.Karl Marx
Read the newspaper. Based on the headlines, what particular social issue do you think is worth
researching using the method of the social sciences? Write one page presentation of the issue using the
following outline:
Topic or issue (title)
Background of the study (Why did you choose the topic?)
Method (the technique and processes that will be used to gather data, whether survey or not,
qualitative or quantitative, the sample size, respondents, etc
Module: Society as An Objective Reality
At the end of this module the student shoud be able to:
1. Explain how society and its institutions shape individuals
2. Describe the construction of society through the hidden rules of society
Concept of Society
In order to concretize society mainstream sociologists have tended to define it as structure that is a
recognizable network of inter-relating institutions.
The word recognizable is crucial in its context because it suggests that the way in which societies differ
from one another depends on the manner in which their particular institutions are inter-connected. The
notion that societies are structured depends upon their reproduction over time. In this respect the term
institution is crucial. To speak of institutionalized forms of social conduct is to refer to modes of belief
and behaviors that occur and recur are socially reproduced. While we may subscribe to the arguments
that society is both structured and reproduced the Marxist account attempts to provide us with a basis
for understanding how particular social formations arise and correspond with particular mode of
production. Society is not a static or peace-fully evolving structure but is conceived of as the tentative
solution to the conflicts arising out of antagonistic social relations of production. Frequently social
scientists emphasize the cultural aspect of social relationships. In doing so they see society as being
made possible by the shared understanding of its members. Because human beings exist in a linguistic
and symbolic universe that they themselves have constructed the temptation is to construe society as a
highly complex symbolic and communication system.
This stress on culture is associated with the notion that society is underpinned by ideas and values.
Society is a process in which people continuously interact with one another, the key terms are
negotiation, self, other, reflexivity the implication being that society is constituted and reconstituted in
social interaction. Society is not imposed upon people in the processual definition rather it has to be
accepted and confirmed by participants. Each interaction episode contains within it the possibility of
innovation and change. So against the view of society that sees it as structure the process view asserts
that people make structure.
Definitions of Society
August Comte the father of sociology saw society as a social organism possessing a harmony of
and function. Emile Durkheim the founding father of the modern sociology treated society as a reality
its own right..
According to Talcott Parsons Society is a total complex of human relationships in so far as they grow
of the action in terms of means-end relationship intrinsic or symbolic.
G.H Mead conceived society as an exchange of gestures which involves the use of symbols.
Morris Ginsberg defines society as a collection of individuals united by certain relations or mode of
behavior which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from
them in behavior. Cole sees Society as the complex of organized associations and institutions with a
community. According to Maclver and Page society is a system of usages and procedures of authority
and mutual aid of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behavior and liberties. This ever
changing complex system which is called society is a web of social relationships.
Social Reproduction or How Societies Persist
If one defines society as organization of groups that is relatively self-contained, then the next question
is how societies manage to exist and persist across time and space. The problem of explaining how
societies manage to exist over a long period of time is called reproduction by Louis Althusser. No
society can edure over time if it does not support its very own reproduction. To do this all societies
require the creation of institutions to perpetuate the existence of the society.
Two types of institution that reproduce the condition of social life:
Ideological State Apparatuses are institutions that are and used by society to mold its members
share the same values and beliefs that a typical member of the society possess.
Repressive state apparatuses refer to those coercive institutions that use physical force to make
members conform the laws and norms society like courts,police and prisons.
From a structural functionalist perspective, social reproduction is carried out through four functional
prerequisites as elaborated by the American sociologist, Talcot Parsons.
What distinguishes the ISAs from the (Repressive) State Apparatus is the following basic difference: the
Repressive State Apparatus functions by violence, whereas the Ideological State
Apparatuses function by ideology.
I can clarify matters by correcting this distinction. I shall say rather that every State Apparatus, whether
Repressive or Ideological, functions both by violence and by ideology, but with one very important
distinction which makes it imperative not to confuse the Ideological State Apparatuses with the
(Repressive) State Apparatus.
This is the fact that the (Repressive) State Apparatus functions massively and predominantly by
repression (including physical repression), while functioning secondarily by ideology. (There is no such
thing as a purely repressive apparatus.) For example, the Army and the Police also function by ideology
both to ensure their own cohesion and reproduction, and in the values they propound externally.
In the same way, but inversely, it is essential to say that for their part the Ideological State Apparatuses
function massively and predominantly by ideology, but they also function secondarily by repression,
even if ultimately, but only ultimately, this is very attenuated and concealed, even symbolic. (There is
no such thing as a purely ideological apparatus.) Thus Schools and Churches use suitable methods of
punishment, expulsion, selection, etc., to discipline not only their shepherds, but also their flocks. The
same is true of the Family.... The same is true of the cultural IS Apparatus (censorship, among other
things), etc.
-Louis Althusser, Lenin Philosophy and Other Essays
Adaptation- is the capacity of society to take resources from society and distribute them accordingly.
This function is carried out by the economy which includes gathering resources and producing
commodities to social redistribution.
Goal Attainment- is the capacity to set goals and mobilize the resources and energies necessary to
achieve the goals set forth by society. This is set by the political subsystem. Political resolutions and
societal objectives are part of this necessity.
Integration- or harmonization of the entire society to achieve consensus. Parsons meant, the
coordination, adjustment and regulation of the rest of the subsystem so that society will continue to
function smoothly. It is a demand that the values and norms of society are solid and sufficiently
The strength of reproduction theory is also its weakness. It fails to explain how people do not simply
reproduce the very social conditions that they are born with, but they also possess the power of
agency. One can be born slave in a slave society, but it does not mean that being born a slave, one has
no power and opportunities to ameliorate and change the conditions of ones birth. People can also
change the social structures that they themselves created. For if societies simply reproduce their own
existence, then no radical change is forthcoming.
Write an analysis of your family using Parsons AGIL scheme. How does your family mobilize resources,
set goals, integrate, and maintain intimacy among members. Who do you think acts as government in
your family? How about the economy?
Defining Culture and Society
At the end of this module, the student should be able to:
1. Define and explain what culture is
2. Describe culture and society a complex whole
3. Identifies aspects of culture and society as a complex whole
4. Discuss cultural diversity and human differences.
List all things that make Filipino culture unique and different from other cultures. Then explain why
Filipinos behave the way they do. Are these cultural traits unchangeable or are they subject to historical
and social changes? Do all Filipinos share the same traits? Explain
The complexity of Culture
Culture is a peoples way of life. This classic definition appears generic, yet prefigures both the processes
and structures that account not only for the development of such a way of life, but also for the inherent
systems that lend it its self-perpetuating nature.
According to British literary scholar, Raymond Williams, the first thing that one has to acknowledge in
defining culture is that culture is ordinary. This means that all societies have a definite way of life, a
common way of doing and understanding things.
Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by
symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment, in
artifacts , ideas and their attached values.
Elements of Culture
To understand culture, it is necessary to understand the different elements that compose it:
Knowledge It refers to any information received and perceived to be true.
BeliefsThe perception of accepted reality. Reality refers to the existence of things whether material
Social Norms-- These are established expectations of society as to how a person is supposed to act
depending on the requirements of the time, place, or situation.
Different forms of Social Norms
FolkwaysThe patterns of repetitive behavior which becomes habitual and conventional part of
MoresThe set of ethical standards and moral obligations as dictates of reason that distinguishes
human acts as right or wrong or good from bad.
ValuesAnything held yo be relatively worthy, important, desirable, or valuable.
TechnologyThe practical application of knowledge in converting raw materials into finished
Aspects of Culture
Since culture is very complex, there are important aspects of culture that contribute to the development
of mans social interaction.
Dynamic, flexible and adaptive
Shared and contested
Learned through socialization or enculturation
Patterned social interactions
Integrated and at times unstable
Transmitted through socialization
Requires language and other forms of communication
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
The range of variations between culture is almost endless and yet at the same time cultures ensemble
one another in many important ways. Cultural variation is affected by mans geographical set-up and
social experiences. Cultural Variation refers to the differences in social behaviors that different
exhibit around the world. There are two important perceptions on cultural variability namely
ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
Ethnocentrism- It is a perception that arises from the fact that cultures, differ and each culture
reality differently. Judging another culture solely by the values and standards of ones own culture.
Cultural Relativism- The attempt to judge behavior according to its cultural context. The principle
that an
individual persons beliefs and activities should be understood by others in terms of that individuals
own culture.
Xenocentrism and Xenophobia
Xenocentrism refers to preference for the foreign. In this sense it the opposite of ethnocentrism. It is
characterized by a strong belief that ones own products, styles, or ideas are inferior to those which
originate elsewhere.
Xenophobia- is the fear of what is perceived as foreign or strange.
Diversity of Cultures
Traditionally, many anthropologists believed that culture is a seamless whole that is well-integrated with
the rest of social system and structures. Hence, many students of culture believed that within a given
society there is little room for cultural diversity. However it did not take long for students of culture to
realize that culture is not merely body of well-integrated beliefs and symbols. The culture in a given
society is also diverse. There is no single culture but plural cultures. In the sixties, the term subculture
became prominent among scholars of culture. The fieldworks done by the sociologists from the Chicago
University highlighted the unique character, if not, the fundamental differences between mainstream
American culture and subgroups within American society such as migrants, homeless, deviant groups,
black ghettoes, minorities, and those who dwell on slum areas. In response to the growing unrest
youth, many sociologists used the term subculture to define the unique character of youth culture.
Subculture is used to denote the difference between the parent and dominant culture from the way of
life of the younger generation. In particular, Milton Yinger (1960) defines subculture to designate both
the traditional norms of a sub-society and the emergent norms of a group caught in a frustrating and
conflict-laden situation. This indicates that there are differences in the origin, function, and
of traditional and emergent norms, and suggests that the use of the concept contra-culture for the latter
might improve sociological analysis. In other words, subculture is a response to the conflict between
values of the dominant culture and the emerging values and lifestyle of the new, younger generation. In
England, the works of Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, led by Stuart Hall and
Jefferson, argue that in modem societies the major cultural configurations are cultures based on social
class, but within these are subcultures which are defined as: smaller, more localised and differentiated
structures, within one or other of the larger cultural networks (Hall and Jefferson 1975,p. 13). The
cultural configuration is referred to as the parent culture. Subcultures, while having different focal
concerns from the parent culture, will share some common aspects with the culture from which they
were derived. To distinguish subculture from the dominant culture, one has to look into the language or
lingo and symbolic elements of the group. Subcultures coalesce around certain activities, values, uses of
material artefacts, and territorial space. When these are distinguished by age and generation, they are
called youth subcultures. Some, like delinquent subcultures, are persistent features of the parent
culture, but others appear only at certain historical moments then fade away. These latter subcultures
are highly visible and, indeed, spectacular (Burke and Sunley 1998, p. 40). Some examples of subcultures
include the skinheads, punks, heavy metal, and gay subculture. Spectacular subcultures that
appear only during certain historical moments would include some fans club around certain pop icons or
artists. They have to be distinguished from fads and fashions that are regular part of social life. Fads
are short-lived collectively shared fascination with being cool such as playing the Japanese electronic pet
Tamaguchi during the 1980s. Fads may also cover the popularity of certain songs and hairstyles of
artists among young people like Michael Jackson and Madonna in the 1980s, Justin Bieber and Lady
Gaga most recently. The popularity of the language jejemon (popularly known for typing jejejeje in social
networking sites) is also a fad. Usually, these fads are short-lived. While subcultures may co-exist with
the parent culture peacefully, sometimes they become radical and extreme. They are called
or contraculture. The term counterculture is attributed to Theodore Roszak (1969), author of The
Making of a Counter Culture. Typically, a subculture may expand and grow into a counterculture by
defining its own values in opposition to mainstream norms. In the early 1970s, the young college
Americans who rejected the dominant values of American society, and championed antiVietnam war
sentiments, advocated free love and psychedelic experience through drugs could be considered as
expressions of counterculture. Other than the dominant or parent culture, a certain type of culture
to be widespread and appreciated by a large mass of people beyond geographical confines. This is
popular culture. The term popular culture is a controversial concept in social sciences. An obvious
starting point in any attempt to define popular culture is to say that popular culture is simply culture
is widely favored or well-liked by many people (Storey 2009). This definition separates popular culture
from high culture or the culture that is shared only by an elite group within the wealthy echelons of
society. Hence, popular culture is often seen as inferior or a product of mass production for people with
bad artistic taste. In the Philippines, those who patronize popular culture are often labeled as jologs or
bakya crowd. Their taste is supposed to be baduy originally referring to the promdi (a person from
the province) way of combining clothing style in a wrong way: Ang baduy manamit. Popular culture is
often equated with cheaply made box-office movies, while better taste is reserved for those who watch
Oscar-winning films or movies shown in Cannes festival. So, somebody who watches Jolina Magdangals
movie is a jolog, but someone who wears green shirt with red pants is baduy. So, popular culture is
controversial. But many students of media studies and culture now realize the value and importance of
popular culture. Many scholars believe that popular culture cannot easily be distinguished from high
culture. For instance, many people from the lower class also enjoy the music of the late Luciano
Pavarotti, an Italian operatic tenor. And many middle class persons enjoy popular culture. This is the
postmodern analysis of popular culture. According to postmodern analysis of culture, the distinction
between what is low and high in culture cannot be rigidly established. With the advent of mass
production music, CDs, DVDs, used clothings (ukay), Internet, YouTube, torrents, file sharing, etc.
many elements and cultural styles once enjoyed by the middle and upper classes are now easily
accessible to the people from lower classes and vise versa.
A. My Culture My Heritage
Identify two Philippine cultural heritage under threatone tangible and one intangible. For both,
identify the threats and their sources, and then come up with a plan of action on how to to deal with
these threats. Write your output on the table.
Heritage Threats Plan of Action
B. Genocide Events
List down 3 notorious genocide events and killings in history. You may consider past and recent
Event, Time and Place Perpetrators Targets Justification for
Looking back at Human Biocultural and Social Evolution
At the end of this module, the student can
- analyze the key features of the interrelationships of biological, cultural and sociopolitical
processes in humans that can still be used and developed
- explain the diffeences of biological and cultural revolution
- explain how hominids evolved into modern humans
Species Characteristics
Homo habilis Species with a brain of a Brocas area which is associated with speech in
modern humans and was first to make stone tools. The species name means
Handy Man. Lived about 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago scavenging for food.
Homo rudolfensis Species characterized by a longer face, larger molar and pre-molar teeth, and
having a larger braincase compared to habilis particularly larger frontal lobes,
areas of the brain that processes information. The species lived about 1.9 to
1.8 million years ago.
Homo erectus The species name means Upright Man with nody proportions similar to that
of modern humans. Lived 1.89 to 143,000 years ago; adapted to hot climates
and mostly spread in Africa and Asia. They were the first to use axe and knives
and produce fire.
Homo heidelbergenesis Species with large brow ridge and short wide bodies that lived about 700,000
to 200,000 years ago in Europe and Africa. They were the first to hunt wild
animals in a routine basis using spears, and first to construct human shelters.
Homo floresiensis Species nicknamed Hobbit due to their small stature with a height of more or
less 3 feet and lived 95,000 to 17,000 years ago in the island of Flores,
Indonesia along with other dwarfed animal species.
Homo sapiens The species name means Wise Man that appeared form 200,000 years ago.
The present human race belongs to this species.
Homo sapiens
Subspecies with short yet stocky in body build adapted to winter climates
especially in icy cold places in Europe and Asia. The subspecies, also known as
Neanderthal Man is the closest relative of modern humans. The first to
practice burial of their dead, hunting, and gathering food and sewing clothes
from animal skin using bone needles.
Homo sapiens sapiens Subspecies known as Cro-Magnon characterized to be anatomically modern
humans and lived in the last Ice Age of Europ from 40,000 to 10,000 years ago.
They were the first to produce art in cave paintings and crafting tools and
Mans Cultural Evolution
Cultural Period Time Frame Cultural Development
Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age) Traditionally coincided with the first
evidence of tool construction and
use by Homosome 2.5 million years
- Use of simple pebble tool
- Learned to live in caves
- Discovered the use of fire
Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) Occurred sometime about 10,000
- Stone tools were shaped by
polishing or grinding.
- Settlement in permanent
- Dependence on domesticated
plants or animals
- Crafts (pottery and weaving)
- Food producing cultures
Simple Differentiation of the Cultural Evolution
Unpolished Stone
Hunting and
Nomadic way of
Polished stone
Domestication of
plants and animals
Living in
permanent address
The evidence of change in economic aspect have resulted in the transformation of mans way of life.
Early societies started to emerge as a result to mans interaction with his environment. Every society is
organized in such a way that there will be rules of conduct, customs, traditions, folkways and mores and
expectations that ensure appropriate behavior among members. Sociologically and anthropologically,
society possesses different characteristics that show the interdependence of people with one another.
Characteristics of Human Society
1. It is a social system.
2. A society is relatively large.
3. A society recruits most of its members from within.
4. A society sustains itself across generations.
5. A societys members share culture.
6. A society occupies a territory.
Types of societies
Have you ever wondered what society was like before your lifetime? Maybe you wonder in what ways
has society transformed in the past few centuries? Human beings have created and lived in several types
of societies throughout history. Sociologists have classified the different types of societies into six
categories, each of which possess their own unique characteristics:
Type of Society Characteristics
Hunting and gathering
- The earliest form of human society.
- People survived by foraging for vegetable foods, hunting
larger wild animal, collecting shell fish
- They subsisted form day to day on whatever was available
- They used tools made of stones, woods and bones
Pastoral societies - It relied on herding and domestication of animals for food
and clothing to satisfy the greater needs of the group
Horticultural societies
Agricultural societies
Industrial societies
Fill up the table with correct information.
Evolution of Man
Species Characteristics
1. Homo habilis
2. Homo erectus
3. Homo sapiens
4. Homo sapiens sapiens
Mans Cultural Evolution
Cultural Period Cultural Development
Unit 2: Organization of Society
In the end of this module:
1. I can identify norms and values to be observed in interacting with others in society, and the
consequences of ignoring these rules.
2. I can assess the rules of social interaction to maintai9n stability of everyday life.
3. I can recognize the value of human rights and promote the common good.
Man as a social being needs other people to survive. We develop ourselves as human beings through
social interaction. Socialization is a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal
and learns norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his and her social position.
Socialization can be described from two points of view : objectively and subjectively.
Objective Socialization- refers to the society acting upon the child.
Subjective Socialization- The process by which society transmits its culture from one generation to
next and adapts the individual to the accepted and approved ways of organized social life.
This perspective on socialization helps identity formation of individuals which is essential in establishing
her/his social skills. Its functions are:
Importance of Socialization
Socialization continues to be important part of human development. It is an instrument on how an
individual will adapt to his existence to survive. The process of socialization enables the individual to
grow and function socially (Medina, 1991 p. 47). Hence, the change in mans social reality modifies his
culture . The culture becomes internalized that the individual imbibe it. This influences his/her
It is through the process of socialization that we develop our sense of
identity and belongingness.
Skills Development
and Training
Values Formation
Social Integration
and Adjustment
Social Control
and Stability
Social skills like communication, interpersonal and occupational are
Individuals are influenced by the prevailing values of social groups and
The socialization process allows us to fit-in an organized way of life by
being accustomed including cultural setting.
Integration to society binds individual to the control mechanisms set forth by the
societys norms with regard to acceptable social relationships and social
Sex Role
on Socialization is
Vital to:
Agents of Socialization
These refers to the various social groups or social institutions that play a significant role in introducing
and integrating the individual as an accepted and functioning member of society (Banaag, 2019 p.138)
The agents of socialization guide every individual in understanding what is happening in our society.
People learn to determine what is proper, right or wrong. Social norms were formed in order to control
the individual behavior in the society. The following are forms of social norms.
Folkways Customary patterns that specify what is socially correct and proper in everyday life. They
repetitive or the typical habits and patterns of expected behavior followed within a group of community.
Mores- They define what is morally right and wrong. These are folkways with ethical and moral
significance which are strongly held and emphasized.
Laws- Norms that are enforced formally by a special political organization. Component of culture that
regulates and controls the peoples behavior and conduct.
According to Peter Worsely, values are general conceptions of the good, ideas about the kind of ends
that people should pursue throughout their lives and their activities they engage.
Major Value Orientation according to Robin Williams
Mass Media Family School Peer Group Church Work Place
Achievement and Success
Activity and Work
Moral Orientation
Efficiency and Practicality
In study about Filipino values, Jaime Bulatao, SJ, discovered the following values held highly by the
Socialization serves as an avenue for developing self-concept which is essential in role identification. The
self responds to categories called social statuses (Clark and Robboy, 1986 p.65). The child must learn
categories or statuses by which to identify or define himself or herself like being a daughter, friend,
student, Catholic lay evangelist, teacher, officer of an organization. Social status refers to position an
individual occupies in society and implies an array of rights and duties. Related to status is a social role
which involves the pattern of expected behavior in a social relationship . Social status can be classified
into two:
Emotional Closeness and Security in the Family
Authority Value
Economic and Social Betterment
Patience, Suffering and Endurance
AAssccrriibbeedd SSttaattuusseess AAcchhiieevveedd ssttaattuusseess
Those which are assigned to
the individual from birth.
It involves little personal
choice like age and sex.
It carries with it certain
expectations of behavior.
It is acquired by choice, merit, or
individual effort.
Made possible through special
abilities or talents, performance or
Choice in occupation, marriage,
joining religious organization are
Conformity and Deviance
Social Role must be performed in connection with the xpected behavior. Erving Goffman, in his book
Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, tried to show how certain social processes modify the
of self and the impact of the role expectations on the behavior of the individual. To Goffman, everyone
consciouysly playing a role. When persons present themselves to others in everyday ineteractionm they
organize their overt behavior in such a way as to guide and control the impressions others form of them
to elicit role-taking response.
It is a process of conformity where individuals attempt to change his/her behavior because of the desire
to conform with the defined social norm. Different types of conformity according to Kelman (1958).
1. Compliance (group acceptance)
Occurs when an individual accepts influence because he hopes to achieve a favorable reaction from
another person or group. He adopts the induced behavior because he expects to gain specific rewards or
approval and avoids specific punishment or disapproval by conformity. (Kelman, 1958,.p53)
2. Internalization (genuine acceptance of group norms)
This occurs when an individual accepts influence because the content of the induced behaviorthe
ideas and actions of which it is composedis intrinsically rewarding. He adopts the induced behavior
because it is congruent or consistent with his value system.
3. Identification
This occurs when an individual accepts influence because he wants to establish or maintain a satisfying
self-defining relationship to another person or group. Individuals conform to the expectations of a social
role, eg. Nurses, police officers.
4. Ingratiational
This is when a person conforms to impress or gain favor/acceptance from other people. It is similar to
normative influence, but is motivated by the need for social rewards rather than the threat of rejection.
Example group pressure does not enter the decision to conform.
Nonconformity of an individual would mean deviation from the acceptable social norms which is known
as social deviance. Social Deviance refers to any behavior that differs or diverges from established
Functions of Deviance
- Deviance serves as an outlet for diverse forms of expressions.
- Deviance serves to define the limits of acceptable behavior.
- Deviance may also promote in group solidarity
- Deviance can serve as a barometer of social strain
Social Control of Deviance
Two type of Sanctions:
Human Rights and Dignity
Human Rights are natural rights of all human beings whatever their nationality, religion, ethnicity,
language and color. We ara equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.
1. Natural Rights- rights inherent to man and given to him by God as human being. (Right to live,
love and be happy)
2. Constitutional Rights- rights guaranteed under the fundamental charter of the country (rights
against unreasonable searches and seizure, rights safeguarding the accused.)
3. Statutory Rights- rights provided by the law making body of a country or by law, such as the
right to receive a minimum wage and right to preliminary investigation.
4. Civil Rights- These are rights specified under the Bill of rights. (freedom of speech, right to
information) Rights enjoyed by an individual by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community.
Unofficial, often casual pressures to conform
Positive informal sanctions involve reward for conformity or compliance..
Exmples: smiles, kiss, an affirmation
Negative sanctions or informal sanctions involves penalties for not
conforming. These may take the form of ridicule, ostracism, rejection, or
even expulsion from the group.
Official, institutionalized incentives to conform and penalities for
Needed in large complex societies.
Criminal Justice system is the most important and visible institution of
social control.
These may take form of arrest, pre-trial, sentencing or imprisonment.
5. Economic Rights- rights to property, whether personal, real or intellectual. (right to use and
dispose his property, right to practice ones profession, right to make a aliving)
6. Political Rights- rights an individual enjoys as a consequence of being a member of body
politiv. (right to vote and right to be voted into public office.
Process Question:
1. How does socialization help in development of individuals to become a productive member of society?
2. Why is social conformity important in society?
How Society is Organized
Groups: The Heart of Interactions
In the end of this module I can;
1. Understand and discuss the composition of society based on the groups that compose it;
2. Identify and define the different types of groups in society
3. Explain the role that social groups play in the formation of identities, values, attitudes and beliefs
4. Describe theorganized nature of social life and rules governing behavior in society
Fill in the blanks with information regarding your home province, your favorite things, and interest and desired
profession. Find classmates that share the same characteristics and interest.
Protection of
different rights of
Human Beings.
Social Groups
A social group consists of two or more people who interact with one another and who recognize
themselves as a distinct social unit. The definition is simple enough, but it has significant implications.
Frequent interaction leads people to share values and beliefs. This similarity and the interaction cause
them to identify with one another.
Identification and attachment, in turn, stimulate more frequent and intense interaction. Each group
maintains solidarity with all to other groups and other types of social systems.
Groups are among the most stable and enduring of social units. They are important both to their
members and to the society at large. Through encouraging regular and predictable behavior, groups
the foundation upon which society rests. Thus, a family, a village, a political party a trade union is all
social groups. These, it should be noted are different from social classes, status groups or crowds, which
not only lack structure but whose members are less aware or even unaware of the existence of the
group. These have been called quasi-groups or groupings. Nevertheless, the distinction between social
groups and quasi-groups is fluid and variable since quasi-groups very often give rise to social groups, as
for example, social classes give rise to political parties.
Social Aggregate
A social aggregate is a collection of people who are in the same place at the same time, but who
otherwise do not necessarily have anything in common, and who may not interact with each other.
A social aggregate is different from a social group, which refers to two or more people who interact
regularly and who have things in common, like a romantic couple, a family, friends, classmates, or
coworkers, among others. A social aggregate is also different from a social category, which refers to a
group of people defined by a shared social characteristic, like gender, race, ethnicity, nationality,
age, class, etc.
Every day we become part of social aggregates, like when we walk down a crowded sidewalk, eat in a
restaurant, ride public transit with other passengers, and shop in stores. The only thing that binds them
together is physical proximity.
A social category is a collection of people that have certain characteristics or traits in common, but
tend not to interact with each other on a regular basis. For example, teenagers is a social
category because they are all within a particular age range and share certain characteristics.
Factors That influence Groups
- Motivational base shared by individual
- Size of group
- Type of group goals
- Kind of group cohesion
Social Organization- is a process of bringing order and significance into human social life. It has its
in social interaction.
According to McGee (1977:132) there are certain identifying characteristics of social organizations:
- Differentiationin statuses and roles on the basis of sex, age and ability which may be observed in the
activities of different types of people.
- Recurrent connection between sets of activities and the repeated tendency for one type of social
activity to follow regularly after another.
- A system of norms and values govern the social activities.
- Control: some person control the behavior of others, and a system of sanctions maintain orderly
- Repeated activities and behavior.
Social structure is the organized set of social institutions and patterns of institutionalized
that together compose society. Social structure is both a product of social interaction, and directly
determines it. Social structures are not immediately visible to the untrained observer, however they are
always present and affect all dimensions of human experience in society. It also refers to independent
network of roles and the hierarchy of statuses which define the reciprocal expectations and the power
arrangement of the members of the social unit guided by norms.
Primary and Secondary Groups
Primary Group- is a small, intimate and less specialized group whose members engage in face-to- face
and emotion based interactions over extended period of time. ( family, close friends, work-related
class mates and church groups)
Secondary Groups are larger. Less intimate and more specialized groups whre members engage in
impersonal and objective-oriented relationship for a limited time. (example employees treat their
colleagues as secondary group since they know that they need to cooperate with one another to
achieve a certain goal.)
In-groups and Out-groups
A self-categorization theory it proposes that peoples appreciation of their group membership is
influenced by their perception towards people who are not members of their group.
An in-group is a group to which one belongs and with which one feels a sense of identity. An out-
is a group to which one does not belong and to which he or she may feel a sense of competitiveness or
Reference Group
A group to which an individual compares himself or herself. Such group strongly influence an individuals
behavior and social attitude. It is considered a source of role models since the individual uses it as a
standard for self-assessment.
Refers to the structure of relationships between social actors or groups. These are interconnections, ties
linkages between people, their groups, and the larger social institutions to which they all belong to.
Modern societies feature more expansive, diverse and overlapping social networks than primitive ones.
My Group As a mirror of Myself
From among the many groups that you have had, past and present choose one that you think provided you the
most memorable impacts. Describe the group in column A, then enumerate the imoacts it had on you as a social
A The Group B its lasting impact on me as a person
At the end of this module the student can:
- Explain the function of the family
- Define kinship, marriage and household
- Enumerate and explain the different forms of kinship by blood, kinship by marriage and kinship by rituals
- Discuss the different types of families
- Summarize recent changes in the family as an institution
What is your own idea of a family? Draw a picture or make a sketch that matches your definition. In your drawing,
be sure that you specify the members and the gender of the parents. Compare your work with your classmates
own drawing or sketches.
Kinship is one of the main organizing principles of society. It is one of the basic social institutions found in every
society. This institution establishes relationships between individuals and groups. People in all societies are bound
together by various kinds of bonds.
The most basic bonds are those based on marriage and reproduction. Kinship refers to these bonds, and all other
relationships resulting from them. Thus, the institution of kinship refers to a set of relationships and relatives
formed thereof, based on blood relationships (consanguineal), or marriage (affinal).
Types of Kinship
Kinship by blood
Consanguineal kinship or kinship based on blood is considered as the most basic and general form of
This relationshipis achieved bu birth or blood affinity.
Descent refers to a biological relationship. Societies recognize that children descend from paerents and thatthere
exists a biologicl relationship between parents and offspring.
Lineage refers to the line where ones ddescent is traced.
Symbols used by anthropologists to study patterns of descent and kin groups
Male Female
= Marriage Bond
Descent bond
Codescent bond
Unilineal Descent is a system of determining descent groups in which one belongs to one's
or mother's line, whereby one's descent is traced either exclusively through male ancestors
(patriline), or exclusively through female ancestors (matriline).
Bilateral Descent some societies trace their descent through the study of both parents ancestors.
In a baliteral descent, kinship is traced through both ancestral lines of the mother and father.
Kinship by Marriage
Affinal Kinship refers to type of relations developed when marriage occurs. When marriage takes
place new forms of social relations are developed.
Marriage- is an important social institution wherein two persons, eneter into family life. During this
process, the partners make a public, official and permanent declaration of their union as lifetime
Endogamy and Exogamy
Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific ethnic group, class, or social group, rejecting
others on such a basis as being unsuitable for marriage or for other close personal relationships.
Exogamy is the custom of marrying outside a community, clan, or tribe.
Monogamy and Polygamy
Monogamy- refers to the marriage of sexual partnering practice where the individual has only one
of female partner or mate.
Polygamy- refers to the practice of having more than one partner or sexual mate. It can be polygyny
man has multiple partner) or polyandry (a woman has multiple mate).
Family and the Household
The family is considered the basic unit of social organization. It is made up of group of individuals who
are linked together by marriage,blood relations, or adoption.
The best way to look for the definition of family is to look at the government census definition. For
example, the Census Bureau of Canada defines the family: Census family refers to a married couple and
the children, if any, of either or both spouses; a couple living common law and the children, if any, of
either or both partners; or, a lone parent of any marital status with at least one child living in the same
dwelling and that child or those children. All members of a particular census family live in the same
dwelling. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Children may be children by birth, marriage or
adoption regardless of their age or marital status as long as they live in the dwelling and do not have
their own spouse or child living in the dwelling. Grandchildren living with their grandparent(s) but with
no parents present also constitute a census family. (Source:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/concepts/definitions/c-r-fam-eng.htm, accessed August 11, 2014)
The United Nations (UN) uses the term nucleus family: A family nucleus is of one of the following types
(each of which must consist of persons living in the same household):
a. A married couple without children, b. A married couple with one or more unmarried children, c. A
father with one or more unmarried children or d. A mother with one or more unmarried children.
Couples living in consensual unions should be regarded as married couples.
(Source:http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sconcerns/fam/fammethods.htm#A3, accessed June
4, 2014)
Common in these definitions are the following elements: the biological component (with a child,
married), the functional component (takes care of the children and provides economic support), and the
residential component (living under one household or common residence). Whether the family is
universal, whether it has existed from the beginning in all forms of societies, will depend on the
definition of the family. But Friedrich Engels, who wrote The Origin of the Family, Private Property and
the State (1884), is right to argue that families do evolve in relation to the material and economic
conditions of societies. Families have never been static all throughout human evolution. All definitions
of the family will have to address three components: residential, biological, and functional roles. If one
defines the family simply as the nuclear family, meaning two adult couples with children, then this can
be challenged immediately by the case of kibbutz in Israel and the Nayar in India. If one defines the
family as taking care of the children, then it can be shown that in many societies, socialization is carried
by kinship groups and not the nuclear family. Another challenge to the nuclear definition of the family is
the emerging single-parent households, gay couples living together, and overseas families whose
members do not live regularly with the family. These examples may not contradict and discredit the
definition of the family, but they challenge the nature and functions of the family. The family as a basic
unit of society performs several important functions or roles for society: (1) for biological reproduction;
(2) as the primary agent of socialization of children; (3) as the institution for economic cooperation
through division of labor; and (4) to care for and nurture children to become responsible adults.
Different definitions of family according to Sociologists and Anthropologists
Sociologist and Anthropologist Definition of Family
George Peter Murdock Family is a social group that has the following
1. Share common residence
2. Presence of economic cooperation
3. Reproduce offspring
4. Includes adults of both sexes, wherein at
least two of whom uphold a socially
approved ofrm of sexual relationship.
5. Responsible for the socialization of infants
and children.
Kingsley Davis Family is a group of individuals wherein the
relationship is based on consanguinity and kinship.
Talcott Parsons Family is a factory that develops and produces
human personalities.
Bronislow Nalinowski Faily is an institution that passes down the cultural
traditions of a society to the next generations.
Assumptions of Major Sociological Perspective About Family
Theoretical Perspective
Assumptions about Family
Structural Functionalism Family is important because it performs different
roles for society
1. Agent of socialization
2. Provides emotional and practical support
for family members
3. Controls sexual activity and sexual
4. Provides family members with social
Conflict Theory Family is a cause of social inequality because it
strengthens economic inequality and allows the
continuity of patriarchy.
Symbolic Interactionist Theory The family members interaction can produce a
shared understanding of their situations.
Nuclear Family and Extended Family
The Problem of Defining The Family
Traditional definitions Filipinos are family-oriented. The anak-magulang complex and the kamag-anak
relationship are very important to Filipinos. Ama (father), ina (mother), and anak (children) are culturally
and emotionally significant to us Filipinos who treasure filial attachment not only to our immediate
family but also to our extended family (tiya and tiyuhin, inaanak, lolo, at lola). This family centeredness
supplies a basic sense of belonging, stability, and security. It is from our families that we Filipinos
naturally draw our sense of self-identity. This traditional view of the family leads many people to think
that the family is an indispensable unit or institution of society. Today, however, many experts who
the family raise doubts about its future. Consider the following statistics:
- Declining marriage rate and increasing rate of cohabitation There were 476,408 marriages
registered in 2011, down by 1.3 percent from 482,480 recorded in 2010, the NSO said in a report
posted on its website, adding that the number of registered marriages has been declining since
2009. (Source: http:// www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/03/28/924859/fewer-pinoys-gettingmarried,
accessed August 19, 2014)
- Increasing annulment rate in the Philippines The number of marriage annulment cases in the
Philippines has risen by 40 percent in the last decade with at least 22 cases filed every day, according
to a report by the Catholic bishops news agency. Citing data from the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG), CBCP News said the number of annulment cases had risen from 4,520 in 2001 to 8,282 in
- Increasing number of cases of domestic violence The 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey
(NDHS) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed that one in five women aged 15
49 has experienced physical violence since age 15; 14.4 percent of married women have experienced
physical abuse from their husbands; and more than one-third (37%) of separated or widowed
women have experienced physical violence, implying that domestic violence could be the reason for
separation or annulment.
Religion and the Search for Ultimate Meaning
At the end of this module, the students are expected to:
- discuss the significant role of religion in society;
- distinguish religion from other social institutions;
- define and explain the meaning of religion;
- explain the various religious groups;
- connect contemporary religious movements with globalization; and
- conduct participant observation (e.g., attend, describe, and reflect on a religious ritual of a different
The Nature of Religion and Its Meaning T
he English word religion is from the Latin verb religare, which means to tie or to bind fast. Religion is
a powerful institution that connects human beings, both as individuals and collectively, to a
transcendent reality. A scholar studying the importance of religion in world history and in the evolution
of humanity observes, The evidence proves that since the remote past religion has been a part of our
mental and emotional make-up. Even nonbelievers usually agree that the term homo religiosus
man] aptly describes the human experience. Men and women by their nature are religious, and efforts
to eliminate religion, as many social and political movements have done since the eighteenth century,
come up short. Religion has a pervasive effect and influence on the development of humanity, society,
culture, and the individual. However, many scholars in the early 20th century predicted the demise of
religion as a social phenomenon because of the advancement in science and the unprecedented
advancement in technology. As people rely more and more on scientific reason and method to explain
natural events and so-called miracles, supernatural occurrences, and mysteries, many critics of religion
such as Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and Karl Marx, the father of scientific socialism,
believed that religion will gradually disappear. This view is called secularization (from the Latin word
saeculum, which means worldly). Surprisingly, in the 21st century, religion seems to have grown
stronger, with no sign of abetting. Headlines in both local and international scenes contain news about
religious issues. Hence, one scholar on religious studies boldly concludes, The fact is that atheism and
rationalism no longer constitute (if they ever really did) the major challenge to Christian theology today.
That challenge comes not from the death of God but from the rebirth of the gods (and the
goddesses!) (Cox 2000, p. 9).
Some social scientists prefer a functional definition of religion that does not necessarily refer to the
belief in a supernatural being (god or force). In the functional definition, religion is anything that
provides an individual with the ultimate meaning that organizes his/her entire life and worldview. A
classic statement of this definition is given by the American scholar of religion, Milton Yinger, who
defines religion as a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with
the ultimate problems of human life (Yinger 1970, p. 7). In this definition, religion may also include
humanism, individualism, nationalism, and even socialism. Peter L. Berger (1973), a pioneer in sociology
of religion in the United States, singles out the problem of legitimation as a primary function of religion:
Religion legitimates social institutions by bestowing upon them an ultimately valid ontological status,
that is, by locating them within a sacred and cosmic frame of reference. The historical constructions of
human activity are viewed from a vantage point that, in its own self-definition, transcends both history
and man (p. 43).
In this view, religion provides the ultimate basis for social order. The separation between the sacred and
the profane or the unholy, for instance, is a reflection of the order of the cosmos. Religious myths
designate and consecrate certain spaces as sacred. Hence, holy places are considered as places for
worship and for connecting with the divine such as churches and burial grounds. Berger further adds
that religion provides an all-encompassing explanation for the negative experiences in this world. For
Berger, religion maintains the socially defined reality by legitimating marginal situations [i.e., sufferings,
pains, and miseries] in terms of an allencompassing sacred reality. This permits the individual who goes
through these situations to continue to exist in the world of his [sic] societynot as if nothing had
happened, which is psychologically difficult in the more extreme marginal situations, but in the
knowledge that even these events or experiences have a place within a universe that makes sense (p.
Types of Religious Organizations
Religion is necessarily social. Beliefs and rituals are usually shared by people belonging to a definite
religious community. While an individual may opt not to belong to or affiliate with an established
or religious tradition, that person is still religious and belongs to an individualistic or spiritualistic
interpretation of religion. In the age of global capitalism, more and more people tend to retreat into
their own private world and create their own individualized religion. But they do not create it from
scratch. They also borrow and pick from various religious traditions in the market of religion. Even the
practicing New Age believers who have their own distinctive personal beliefs are influenced by non-
Western religious traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and other beliefs. These people are called
believers. Those who belong to organized religious groups may belong to any of the following
(Furseth 2006, pp. 137ff):
The church is a religious organization that claims to possess the truth about salvation exclusively. A
classic example is the Roman Catholic Church. The church includes everybody or virtually everybody in a
society. Membership is by childbirth: new generations are born into the church and are formally
inducted through baptism. The church adapts to some extent to the fact that it must embrace everyone.
Unlike the sect, the church tends to be oriented toward compromises with the prevailing culture and the
political sphere. Hence, the church is relatively moderate in its demands on its members. In the
Philippines, the National Statistics Office estimates the Roman Catholics at about 74,211,896 in 2014
(http://web0.psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/2014%20PIF.pdf, accessed September 10, 2014). Being the
largest religious organization in the country, it is a very powerful institution as attested by the recent
controversy regarding the reproductive health bill.
The sect also perceives itself as a unique owner of the truth. However, it constitutes a minority in a
society. Recruitment takes place through conscious individual choice. A good example is the resurgence
of born again Christianity that recruits members by asking them to accept Jesus Christ in their lives.
Once an individual has joined, the sect requires a high level of commitment and activity. Members are
expected to support the teachings of the sect and to comply with its lifestyle, which may be strict and
ascetic. Life as a sect member constitutes a major contrast to the lives of people in society. Therefore,
the sect and the larger society may harbor mutual suspicions toward each other. Sects tend to depict
society as a place full of dangers and moral and religious decay. Sects often are breakaway groups from
the mainstream churches. An example of sect in the Philippines is the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC, or Church of
Christ) that has 2,251,941 members in 2014. The INC was established in 1914 by Felix Manalo, who
served as the first executive minister. As a sect, the Iglesia ni Cristo believes itself to be the one true
universal church. It preaches that all other Christian churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, are
In contrast to the church and sect, the denomination is oriented toward cooperation, at least as it
relates to other similar denominations. People join through individual and voluntary choice, although
most important form of recruitment in established denominations takes place through childbirth. The
demands for activity and compliance are moderate, and there is a relatively harmonious mutual
relationship between the denomination and the larger society. The liberal branches of Protestant groups
belong to this category. In the Philippines, the religious groups affiliated with the National Council of
Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) are usually tolerant of other forms of religious organizations. The
NCCP, founded in 1963, is composed of ten mainline Protestant and non-Non-Catholic denominations,
and ten service-oriented organizations in the Philippines. It is a member of the World Council of
Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia. These groups usually maintain dialogues and cooperative
programs with other religious groups (http:// nccphilippines.org/about-us/, accessed August 7, 2014).
The concept of another form of religious organization, the cult, was introduced in 1932 by sociologist
Howard Becker. After reviewing the literature on cults, Gerry Lanuza (1999) provides a comprehensive
definition of a cult: a non-traditional form of religion, the doctrine of which is taken from diverse
sources, either from non-traditional sources or local narratives or an amalgamation of both, whose
members constitute either a loosely knit group or an exclusive group, which emphasizes the belief in the
divine element within the individual, and whose teachings are derived from either a real or legendary
figure, the purpose of which is to aid the individual in the full realization of his or her spiritual powers
and/or union with the Divine (p. 494). The label cult is often attached to a religious group that society
considers as deviant or non-traditional. Hence, the term cult is often used in a negative way. Cults are
often considered as deviant groups within society. In the 1960s, when a series of unusual religious
groups emerged to challenge the dominant religious institutions, the members were considered as
cultists. They were considered as brainwashed by their religious organizations. Brainwashing means
that cult members were forced to believe in the doctrine of the group by force. Cults include the
Moonies of the Unification Church, the Hare Krishna of the International Society for Krishna
Consciousness (ISKCON), the Church of Scientology, and the People of Jonestown (with its 911 deaths in
the jungles of British Guyana in 1978), Heavens Gate, Scientology, Dianetics, and others (see Demerath
III, 2003, p. 22).
Religion in the Age of Globalization
Secularization thesis reconsidered Peter L. Berger (1999) briefly summarized the thesis of secularism:
Modernization necessarily leads to a decline of religion, both in society and in the minds of
individuals (p. 2). Modernization drastically replaces tradition with science-based knowledge. And as
science dominates the entire cognitive fabric of society, it pushes the split between religion and other
institutions. Religion is reduced to just one of the many sources of ultimate meaning. Religion declines
because the previously accepted religious symbols, doctrines, and institutions lose their prestige and
significance, culminating in a society without religion. Hence, religious belief system weakens its hold on
society. To have a secular mind means that one believes that this world is all there is to reality. There
no heaven, no afterlife of any kind, and no Messiah (Ledewitz 2009, p. 1). This definition is
in the statement of Richard Dawkins, a contemporary biologist who wrote several books
criticizing religion: This brings me to the aspect of humanism that resonates most harmoniously for me.
We are on our own in the universe. Humanity can expect no help from outside, so our help, such as it is,
must come from our own resources. As individuals we should make the most of the short time we have,
for it is a privilege to be here. We should seize the opportunity presented by our good fortune and fill
our brief minds, before we die, with understanding of why, and where, we exist. (Source: Free Inquiry
no. 1 (Winter 1997):18.)
Or, in the statement of Edward Wilson, a pioneer in the study of sociobiology, who himself grew up as a
believer: I was raised a Southern Baptist in a religious environment that favored a literal interpretation
the Bible. But it happened that I also became fascinated by natural history at an early age, and, as a
biology concentrator at the University of Alabama, discovered evolutionI realized that something was
terribly wrong in this dissonance. The God depicted in Holy Scripture is variously benevolent, didactic,
loving, angry, and vengeful, but never tricky. As time passed, I learned that scientific materialism
vastly more of the tangible world, physical and biological, in precise and useful detail, than the Iron Age
theology and mysticism bequeathed us by the modern great religions ever dreamed. It offers an epic
view of the origin and meaning of humanity far greater, and I believe more noble, than conceived by all
the prophets of old combined. Its discoveries suggest that, like it or not, we are alone. We must measure
and judge ourselves, and we will decide our own destiny. (Source: Free Inquiry 18, no. 1 (Winter
With secularization, religious beliefs cannot compete with the intellectual credibility of both natural and
social science. Religious beliefs are made relative to ones private belief. It is sufficient to claim a
belief as true for me for it to be recognized as in some way valid. Yet scientific statements are
considered truths. The notion that the laws of gravity are a matter of private opinion, and therefore
might be believed or not, rather than scientifically accepted public truth, is dismissed as nonsense in
secular society
However, with the coming of globalization, there is a resurgence of religious movements, or new
religious movements as discussed earlier. This resurgence seems to challenge the thesis of
While statistics would show the rapid decline of church attendance and declining religious membership
in mainstream religion, it does not necessarily support secularization or the idea that once people begin
to live in a scientific and rational society, they will gradually shed off their religious beliefs just like in the
case of Wilson and Dawkins above. The rapid communication among people across time and space
promotes the spread of religious ideas across geographical boarders. As Peter Beyer (2006) points out,
People, considered now as loci of communication, carry their communicative orientations and habits,
their particularity, with them, but to a different social context. Migration is thereby a way of
universalizing various particulars, but also of particularizing universals as migrants generate adaptations
of what they carry with them, transfer these adaptations back to the place of origin and elsewhere, and
thus contribute to the transformation or at least pluralization of the original form (p. 59).
Religion as a social institution has a very powerful impact on society and the world. Basically, religion
provides the ultimate meaning to human beings quest for life meaning, the search for origin of the
world, and the justification for death and suffering. Today, religions, instead of dying because of
and technological advancement, are very much alive as shown in the cases of neo-pagan religions,
Islamic resurgence, Pentecostalism, charismatic groups, and born again Christianity. The revival of
religion is facilitated by the growing interconnection of different geographical regions through
globalization. Globalization is allowing religions to travel faster from one area to another. Indeed,
contributes in the globalization process since its creation.
Group yourselves with five members in each group. With the help and permission of your teacher, visit a
chapel, a mosque, or a church near your school. Request permission from the local priest or pastor that
you be allowed to observe their religious services. Show respect and observe proper behavior when you
attend a religious service. Record your observations after the services. Compare the religious services in
your church with the religious services you attended.
Education and Reproduction of Inequality
At the end of this lesson, the students are expected to:
- know what are the social functions of education is in society;
- appreciate the interaction between education and the social system;
- understand how education helps in reproducing social inequalities;
- promote primary education as a human right;
- evaluate how functions of education affect the lives of people in society; and
- appreciate the transformation of education in the era of globalization.
Which track did you choose under the K-12 program: technical-vocational or college track? Why? What
and who influenced your decision? Why? In your opinion, what is the primary consideration of students
in choosing a track? How about for parents?
Education and Social Reproduction
Education and perpetuation of inequalities
Another social institution that has pervasive influence in shaping the minds of the younger generation is
education. Education refers to the formal and informal process of transmitting the knowledge, beliefs
and skills from one generation to the next. However, it is not a simple process of transmission. It also
includes equipping the minds of the younger generation with the necessary critical skills to challenge
and change the existing knowledge system and practices. Therefore, education has a humanistic goal of
freeing the members of society from ignorance and false beliefs. Educational institutions are important
in reproducing the existing belief system and practices of a particular society. It accomplishes this goal
allotting to the individual learners the roles they need to fulfil as adult members of society. Horace
Mann, an American educational reformer, proposed that education could cure social ills. He believed
that education is the great equalizer by giving people the knowledge and technical skills to participate in
national development. Education is one of the most pervasive institutions that determine ones future
status. Hence, many people believe in education-based meritocracy or the belief that education is the
great equalizer and the key to succeed in life. Filipinos, for example, believe in the value of education
that they are willing to sacrifice everything just to finish college. If the functionalist analysis of education
as a social institution sees education as allocating social roles to the individuals and providing them with
skills to become useful members of society, the conflict theory of education looks at it differently.
Randall Collins, a neo-Weberian sociologist, for instance, argues that education functions as a filter to
perpetuate credentialism. Credentialism refers to the common practice of relying on earned
when hiring staff or assigning social status rather than on actual skills. Collins further argues that people
should be hired by employers not on the basis of educational qualifications, although this is also
necessary, but on the actual skills of the applicants. Many radical sociologists also challenge the
functional analysis of education. In 1968, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, both American economists,
published Schooling in Capitalist America. In this classic textbook on the sociology of education, Bowles
and Gintis argued that education is a tool for capitalism to equip the workers with the necessary skills so
they can be hired and exploited by the employers. The schools teach their students the values necessary
to be successful workers. In other words, education reproduces social and economic inequalities along
racial, gender, and class division of labor. Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, further advanced this
analysis and combined it with neo-Weberian analysis. Bourdieu, and his colleague Jean-Claude Passeron,
studying the French educational system, showed empirically how education is advantageous to middle
class children by teaching and rewarding behaviors that are generally expected from middle class
families. Middle class children possess relatively more cultural capital. Cultural capital is acquired in the
family from which one belongs. It is further reinforced in the academic market that hones students to
have the right styles and decorumaccent, dispositions, books, qualifications, dictionaries, artistic
preferences, etc. Having knowledge of high art, for example, will give the children of the middle class a
huge advantage in art and humanities classes. Inspired by Bourdieus analysis, many sociologists of
education argued that the school involvement of middle class parents also help in augmenting the
scholastic achievement of middle class children.
Education and economic development
For social scientists, education is seen as an important determinant of national development. Existing
studies confirm this consensus among social scientists. First, education provides basic knowledge and
skills that enhance the productivity of labor. Second, education contributes to new innovations that lead
to inventions, discoveries, and continuous upgrading of technologies. This is very true for the
development of knowledge economy. Knowledge economy is made possible through the massive
promotion of educational technologies that support the utilization of information. Third, education is an
effective instrument to spread and disseminate knowledge among different sectors of society
and Wobmann 2010, Vol. 2, p. 245). Such diffusion of knowledge can sustain the endless production of
new knowledge. For children with poorly educated parents, the effects of social deprivation manifest
early in life. Lack of education has adverse impact on the life course of individuals and their well-being.
More importantly, education serves as a human capital for society that produces skilled and learned
citizens. The benefits from education is summarized by Brewer, Hentschke, and Eide (2010):
Economic research has also found nonmonetary benefits, both private and public, associated with
educational attainment. Individuals who have invested in education and job training often have more
stability, improved health (e.g., exercise regularly, smoke less, and eat better), are more likely to receive
employer-provided health insurance and pension benefits, are more inclined to vote, and have generally
increased social and cultural capital that often enables upward mobility (p. 194).
Economists, in general, agree that investments in education can increase economic growth. Educational
reforms can provide new knowledge and re-tooling of existing skills of the people to expand labor
productivity. Education contributes to economic development not only by producing well-informed
citizens but also by amplifying human capital or the potential of the laborers to improve the quality of
their work. Statistically, earnings rise with education level and at an increasing rate in the immediate
post education years, continue to increase at a slower pace, and then flatten as individuals approach
retirement. Economic research has also found nonmonetary benefits, both private and public,
with educational attainment. Individuals who have invested in education and job training often have
more job stability, have improved health (e.g., exercise regularly, smoke less, and eat better), are more
likely to receive employer-provided health insurance and pension benefits, are more inclined to vote,
and have generally increased social and cultural capital that often enables upward mobility. Educational
improvements in all levels, through its effects on individual values and beliefs, create the foundations
a productive work force that can sustain economic growth. An educated citizenry is the bedrock for
modernization. In short, the greater the provision of schooling, the greater the stock of human capital in
society and the greater the increases in national productivity and economic growth.
Recognizing the importance of education in national development, the report of Jacques Delor to the
International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century, UNESCO entitled Learning, The
Treasure Within (1996) suggested, among other things, that each country should at least allocate 6% of
its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the annual budget for education.
Louis Althusser once argued that education had taken over the function of the Church and religion in
reproducing the capitalist social system. Education is a pervasive institution that shapes the minds of the
young generation. Education is a very powerful tool for allowing society to survive and persist through
generations, while also contributing to the reproduction of existing inequalities. Despite this, education
has a very strong impact on national development. By providing human and social capital, education
significantly contributes in economic development. Today, with the advent of globalization, education is
being streamlined to international standards, and many scholars are debating on the nature of this
internationalization of education.
Group Research
1. Given the basic problems of the Philippine educational system, such as shortages of classrooms,
teachers, textbooks, and facilities, and the low salary of teachers, what concrete solutions can
you suggest? Interview the teachers in your school and summarize their answers. Based on the
answers, what are the most common themes?
2. Many students drop out from schools because of economic reasons. Interview out-ofschool
youths in your barangay and summarize their answers. What stands out among the answers
given? Why?
3. Do a research on changing the academic calendar or moving the start of classes in our country.
You may interview students and teachers from schools that have changed their academic
calendars. List all the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a new academic calendar.
Among the advantages and disadvantages, which is the most convincing? Why
Economy, Society, and Cultural Change
After this module, the students are expected to:
- analyze economic organization and its impact on the lives of people in the society;
- examine stratification from the functionalist and conflict perspectives;
- identify characteristics of the systems of stratification;
- discuss the process of economic globalization and its consequences;
- suggest ways to address global inequalities;
- identify new challenges faced by human populations in contemporary societies;
- describe how human societies adapt to new challenges in the physical, social, and cultural
environment; and
- identify the social goals and the socially acceptable means of achieving these goals.
Divide the class into three groups. Then ask them to create a skit and present to class a dramatization of
the difference between a wealthy family (owner of a mall), middle class family (both parents are
professionals), and poor family (both parents are high school graduates). Focus on the behavior of the
families during dinner.
The Economy as Foundation of Social Life
The Importance of economic structure Karl Marx, the father of scientific socialism, famously stated in his
A Preface to a Critique of Political Economy the most controversial assertion in sociology:
In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are
indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production
correspond to a definite stage of development of their material forces of
production. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the
economic structure of societythe real foundation, on which rises a legal and
political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social
consciousness. The mode of production of material life determines the social,
political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men
that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that
determines their consciousness.
System of Stratification as Source of Inequalities
Some sociologists, however, extend the definition of class to include not only access to the means of
production like land, capital, and technologies but also to the prestige attached to ones social position.
Hence, some sociologists, writing along the Weberian tradition, use the term stratification. When
regularly recognized social differences (of wealth, color, religion, ethnicity or gender, for example)
become ranked in some hierarchical manner, sociologists talk about strata (Bruce and Yearly 2006, p.
290). Max Weber defined class a category of individuals who (1) have in common a specific causal
component of their life chances in so far as (2) this component is represented exclusively by economic
interests in the possession of goods and opportunities for income, and (3) it is represented under the
conditions of the commodity or labor market. He was close to Marxs view because he believed that
ownership of property is crucial to the definition of class. But Webers sociology distinguished status
from class as the two principal bases of social stratification. Where class referred to social differences
based on economic divisions and inequalities, status designated the differentiation of groups in the
communal sphere in terms of their social honor and social standing. For Weber and his followers,
status groups are differentiated less on the basis of wealth but by the kind of shared lifestyle they have.
It is well known that Weber saw class as only one aspect of the distribution of power in society. So,
a physician belongs to the middle class, being a member of a professional group of physicians also
having an elite status that gives a member social prestige. Caste Caste system as a system of social
stratification differs from class in its rigidity and in the basis of legitimation. It is also called a closed
system in contrast with the class system that is relatively open. Membership of castes is ascribed rather
than achieved, and social contact between castes is heavily constrained and ritualized. Unlike in the
system, in the caste system the positions of people are already determined at the moment they were
born. In his famous essay on The Future Results of British Rule in India, Karl Marx characterized the
Indian castes as the most decisive impediment to Indias progress and power. Marx correctly argued
that the caste system of India was based on the hereditary division of labor, which was inseparably
with the unchanging technological base and subsistence economy of the Indian village community.
Class system
As discussed earlier, under the class system, individuals are positioned according to their access to the
means of production and contribution to productive labor. People with higher income tend to have
children who also have higher income. Parents who can aff ord to send their children to better schools
are promoting the future advantage of their children. To talk about the class system is to talk about the
ways in which individuals from a defi nite family background can advance to a relatively better economic
position than their parents. In most class system, education has become the accepted means to advance
ones social mobility. Among Filipino families, education is considered as the ticket to success. This is
supported by the theory of education-based meritocracy proposed chiefl y by American sociologists
Daniel Bell in the 1960s. In this theory, education is supposed to be the great status equalizer. Education
provides much needed capital to climb the economic ladder. Hence, many Filipino families will sacrifi ce
anything for their children to fi nish a college degree. This practice is based on the belief that our society
is an open society that allows the movement of individuals from a lower class to a relatively higher
class. When people are allowed and are capable of moving from one stratum or class to another class, it
is called social mobility. According to Bruce and Yearley (2006), social mobility signifi es the movement
of people between positions in a system of social stratifi cation. In modern societies this means the
movement of people between social classes is defi ned by occupational scales. It may occur between
generations (as when a girl born into a working-class family achieves a middle-class occupation) or be
the ups-anddowns of an individual career (p. 283). Status and class In sociology, when the concept of
class is discussed, it is often diff erentiated from Webers notion of stratifi cation. According to Peter
Saunders (1990), the term stratification has been borrowed by sociologists from the science of
geology. Stratification, in geology refers to the accumulated strata of rock that form the earths surface.
In sociology, while strata do not constitute communities, according to Max Weber, status groups
normally are communities. Status refers to life chances that are determined by social honor or prestige.
People who belong to status groups usually form exclusive communities with clear boundaries. They
distinguish themselves from the outsiders by the use of the derogatory terms of us versus them.
This is exemplified in the caste system where high-class caste sets itself apart from the outcast. Whereas
Karl Marx defined class in relation to the ownership of the means of production or property, Weber
framed class in terms of life chances in the market. In the market, one can increase ones life chances or
economic opportunities by having more prestige or social honor. These prestige and honor are often not
acquired by merits but through birth to a status group. Being a member of a royal family, for instance, is
not acquired but inherited. Yet, like Marx, Weber believed that it is property or the lack of property
which are decisive in determining the individuals chances in competing in the marketplace. In
contemporary sociology, it is Pierre Bourdieu (19302002), a French sociologist, who dealt
with class inequalities by arguing that capital, in its classic Marxist usage, does not refer only to
economic assets but also includes cultural, symbolic, and social capital. Cultural capital refers to the
forms of knowledge, educational credentials, and artistic taste that a person acquires from family
background, which give them higher status in society. A physician has a higher cultural capital compared
with an ordinary office clerk. Parents provide their children with cultural capital by transmitting the
attitudes and knowledge needed to succeed in the current educational system. Middle class families
prefer to send their children to exclusive private schools so their children can acquire higher cultural
capital. Social capital refers to resources based on group membership, relationships, and networks of
influence and support. Bourdieu (1984) described social capital as the aggregate of the actual or
potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized
relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition. In traditional societies, for instance, individuals
are recruited in a bureaucracy on the basis of blood relations. In his book Distinction (1984), Bourdieu
refers to symbolic capital as the acquisition of a reputation for competence and an image of
respectability and honourability (p. 291). A celebrity has a higher symbolic capital than an ordinary
individual. She can utilize that symbolic capital to run for political office. These forms of capital
constitute the resources of a persons habitus, which refers to the personal psychological dispositions of
a person that are shaped by these forms of capital and family background, while also modifying them in
the light of engagement with the social world. Bourdieu defines the habitus as an acquired system of
generative schemes objectively adjusted to the particular conditions in which it is constituted
1977, p. 95). A person can combine these forms of capital and transform or activate them to gain
advantage in the social field. A middle class student, for instance, can hire a tutor for his/her subjects. A
middle class family can only do this because it has economic resources. In this example, a middle class
family converts economic resources to cultural and symbolic capital. In return, this conversion will serve
as an asset and resource for a middle class student in achieving better scholastic performance in school.
In the case of students coming from the lower class, the cultural and symbolic capitals they acquire from
college education are transformed into assets in applying for employment.
What does politics mean? Why does politics bear a negative connotation especially when used by
well known politicians, celebrities, and media practitioners? What is the relationship between
power and politics? Where does power lie? Who wields power? Who seizes power? What does it
mean to be political? What does it take to be politicized? What are the possible ways in which
politics and empowerment can mean something meaningful and fruitful for the majority?
Politics and Social Organization
All known societies are organized in ways that facilitate and maintain the everyday life and culture
of different social groups. This means that the morality made up of norms, mores, and folkways that
people live by are part of an organized system of ways of doing and mixing are ways of living in a
world where each individual needs to mix with other people. In other words, there are rules,
unwritten or written, that guide peoples ways of socializing. This way of inhabiting the world is
conceptualized as social relations. Power is a nominal term or another word we use to refer to
social relations. This means that the rules for relating socially are observed depending on ones
position in society. This is why all social relations are power relations. This why politics is not even
a choice that those who can get into. Politics is part and parcel of social life. It shapes the way
live and die.
Since people are not similarly situated in society, they will wield power in different ways forming a
hierarchy of social relations wherein some groups wield power over another. Individuals,
on the social groups to which they belong, would exercise power or the lack of power on the basis
their life chances. Life chances are determined by ones social origins, primarily ones economic
class. Take the social organization of class for example, an individual who comes from the economic
elite of a given society will most likely to wield power over an individual who comes from the
dispossessed class. This social relation between two people, one is rich, the other is poor, is a
relation of power, and it is the kind of relation that makes up politics.
The dominant type politics of any given society therefore is a reflection of a societys social
organization. In a society where only one percent of the population monopolizes wealth, and the
rest are engaged in hard labor and/or bare survival, the dominant form of politics will be that of the
rich using all its resources (which translates to political power) to maintain a system that will keep
the majority in their places, that is, a life of material and moral poverty, and poor health.
Forms of Legitimacy
In the scientific study of politics, there are typically three types of legitimacy or kinds of legitimate
rule. But first, what does it mean to be legitimate? Legitimacy means the recognition, acceptance,
and support for an existing form of rule or government as right and proper. A legitimate
government is one which has a recognized, accepted, and supported sphere of influence by the
majority. A popular consent of the governed is the basic condition for legitimate authority.
German Sociologist Max Weber identifies 3 types of legitimacy which concretizes the same in its
various concrete forms:
1. Traditional legitimacy (TL)
TL is the kind of moral authority that keeps society together by virtue of custom and habit.
This type of legitimacy emphasizes the authority of tradition by virtue of its historical
practice by a particular group. This form of rule is understood as historically accepted by its
practitioners: This is how we have always done things. Governments or forms of rule that
are based on traditional legitimacy are historically continuous such as monarchies and the
traditional legitimacy of customary law that govern tribal societies.
2. Charismatic Legitimacy (CL)
In his book Charisma and Institution Building, Weber studies the transition of power from
one regime to another through the seizure of power or revolution. He studies a dimension of
regime change or revolution focusing on a charismatic leader. He argues that seizure of
power is often initiated by a leader who questions traditional authority, brings together and
leads followers to oust the old regime and bring forth a new one. Fidel Castro of Cubas 1959
revolution, Mao Zedong of the 1949 Chinese Revolution, Vladimir Lenin of the 1917 October
Russian Revolution. Other examples of charismatic leaders in world history are Zapata,
Khomeini, and Mandela. The charismatic leader is often regarded as endowed with
exceptional powers and superhuman qualities. Charisma is the quality of political leaders
whose individual characteristics set him apart from ordinary people. Weber, however,
highlights that the charismatic leaders authority over her followers can only be maintained
and reinforced when solidified in political institutions. This means that as a quality of a
leader, charisma must itself undergo institutionalization, the most effective of which are
formal bureaucracies or modern governments that have replaced the traditional and
hereditary rule of monarchs.
3. Rational-legal legitimacy (RLL)
Authority in this context derives from formal procedures of institutions. This is a type of
legitimacy that is based on a governments capacity to use public interest as the rationale for
establishing and enforcing law and order. Rational-legal legitimacy is therefore the basis of
power and leadership of a government that pledges to abide the law and wins consent from
the people through public trust. Modern states or governments premised on representative
or participative democracies are examples of the kind of authority that is derived from
rational-legal legitimacy. Betrayal of trust and culpable violation of the constitution by a
government official strips him or her of rational-legal authority. This explains the
phenomenon of presidents leaving their office due to public clamor and/or people power.
Power and Authority
From the examples above it is now easier to understand the connection between power and
authority. First, bear in mind that power is a nominal term for social relations, and thus exists as a
given in all societies and forms of social interaction. Authority, on the other hand is a by-product of
power or how social relations are organized in a given social setting. Authority is conferred to a
person or a group of people whose position in society matches a societys mode of constituting
political authority in a given historical period. For example, in the feudal epoch, kings, monarchs,
and bishops of the church were authority figures of authority because they had control over the
major economic resource of feudal societyland. In the era of modernity, politicians are figures
who must exhibit a dedication to protect law and order. They are usually recruited from the
intellegenstia or the educated class as law and order are presumed to be products of a
organization based on knowledge-production of contemporary societies.
Political conflicts take place when power is not wielded properly or in the right way. Conflicts
happen when authority is deemed as ineffective that constituents or followers can no longer put
their confidence in an authority figure. The authority figure then in the form of a government or a
politician is challenged by another power group in society. If this competing group manages well in
exposing and opposing an existing government authority, the latter gradually loses its/his or her
mandate or legitimacy. Depending on the critical mass that the opposition is able to muster,
governments may be dislodged or continue to rule but no longer with moral and intellectual
leadership that makes government to people relation smooth and effective.
Political conflicts are one of the consequences of challenges posed against an existing authority or
government. What this reveals about power and authority is the fact that they do not reside in
exclusively in the political leader. The greatest mistake of the king is his assumption that he is king
because of his crown. He therefore assumes that there is essentially powerful about his crown. The
truth about the kings crown is the same truth about power and authority. The king is king because
the people recognize the power of his crown. In other words, the people relates to the crown in a
particular way. It is a symbol of power for them. Whoever wears the crown is a worthy figure of this
symbol of the authority that the people confer to the crown. The king is not king because of his
crown, he is king because the people recognizes his crown. Without the peoples consent to a
particular form of social relation or power, for example one entity controlling over another,
authority cannot be established. In the end, especially in modern democracies and dictatorial
regimes, authority resides in and depends on the continued recognition of the people and not in the
inherent power of the political leader. The reason that politics bears a negative connotation is due
the historical practice of authority itself. The social relation between leader and the people is one
that is skewed to reinforcing the privilege of the former than promoting the interest of the latter.
Theoretically, there is nothing essentially wrong with authority. But the history of governance since
the emergence of the state has only reflected the use and abuse of power of the economic elite or
the ruling class. The authority to run governments and thus, shape the everyday lives of people has
yet to be practiced by the majority of the laboring majority. The ajoritys participation in politics is
only encouraged and maximized by political leaders to activate the electoral process. The majoritys
active participation and intervention in policies that affect their lives is yet to be constructed and
realized. This is the challenge of true and participative democracy: a state for, by, and of the people.
State Power
What is a State?
Some see a "state" as an ancient institution, going back to Rome, Greece and before, and theorized
by Plato, Aristotle and other classical philosophers. Others insist on the unique features of the
modern state, with its extensive rule of law, citizenship rights, and broad economic and social
responsibilities. A state is more than a government; that is clear. Governments change, but states
endure. A state is the means of rule over a defined or "sovereign" territory. It is comprised of an
executive, a bureaucracy, courts and other institutions. But, above all, a state levies taxes and
operates a military and police force. States distribute and re-distribute resources and wealth, so
lobbyists, politicians and revolutionaries seek in their own way to influence or even to get hold of
the levers of state power. States exist in a variety of sizes, ranging from enormous China to tiny
Andorra. Some claim a long lineage, while others are of modern construction. In all but the short
term, states are in flux. They expand and contract as military and political fortunes change. Some,
like Poland, even disappear and re-appear later. Or they may be divided up (sometimes peacefully)
by communities that prefer to go their separate ways (Czechoslovakia). Others, such as Iraq, may be
occupied or run as a colony or protectorate. States can also "fail" - their governing institutions
collapse due to civil war and internal strife (as in Somalia) or because the state has little authority
outside the capital city (Afghanistan). While globalization and regional integration (like the
European Union) challenge the state's powers, the state is still the dominant arena of domestic
politics as well as the primary actor in international relations.
Some states occupy a unique status in the international community of states, due to a very small
population or very small land area, but usually both.Microstates, or small states and territories
(SSTs) are sovereign state and enjoy a disproportionately large influence in the United Nations
General Assembly thanks to the one state, one vote rule. Experimental States, such as Sealand,
Freedom Ship, Cyber Yugoslavia are among the hundreds of experimental states that people have
founded in order to avoid taxation, feel independent, or to create a tourist attraction.
State and Class
Class as a social relation generally refers to the dominant/ruling class and the dominated/ruled.
There are various signifiers of class, namely, status, lifestyle, distinction, etc. but in the last instance,
what determines class is its economic basis. Social class in modern as well as in feudal societies is
based on the relationship between property ownership and dispossession. Those who own
property or the means of production that is productive of value are in the position to rule the ones
who surrender their labor by tilling the land or selling their labor power as a worker in a factory in
exchange for wages.
Classes in society are a result of the accumulation of wealth by the ruling class and the rendering of
labor by the ruled. The accumulation of wealth is not a result of natural development of societies. A
social scientific analysis of class formation has to account for the fact that the same phenomenon
did not occur through peaceful gradual differentiation. Rather, class formation and the current
global class structure is the result of violent invasion and subjugation.
Recall how the Squirearchy (English ruling class) was made up of the Normans or the successful
conquerors, whose subject class were the defeated English Saxons. In the same manner, the
dominant class of the Frankish state (which would later evolved into France and the Holy Roman
Empire) were the Frankish and Burgundian conquerors whose subject populations were the
descendants of the conquered Romanized Celts.
These historical accounts belie the assumption that classes are a product of natural development.
What is then the connection between class and state? It must be clarified in the outset that the State
is not a human aggregation or a collection of various groups of people that may possibly come to be,
or happen as it should be. The State is the sum total of advantages, privileges, dominating positions
that are concretized by surplus economic power that operates in society, and is monopolized by a
few dominant groups and institutions.
Russian philosopher and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin succinctly articulates the relationship
between State and Class: The State is the instrument of class rule. This means that in every society,
the economically dominant social class takes over the State and rules. State power, therefore, is the
rule of one class over the rest of society. Under global capitalism, the State is an instrument for the
advantages, interests, and privileges of the capitalist class. In socialist states such as the Soviet
Union and China before their systems reverted back to capitalism, the state power was seized
through a proletarian (working class) revolution so that state became the instrument of proletarian
rule. Today, Cuba and Venezuela are holding fast to the proletarian orientation of state power or
class rule. Cuba won the revolution against its local ruling elites and colonizer United States in
Venezuelas socialist construction began with Hugo Chavez emerging as a leader through popular
vote in 1998.
In South America, different States have recently converged to form what is now known as ALBA:
ALBA-TCP is the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our AmericaPeoples Trade Treaty (1).
Established on December 14, 2004 for the development of cooperation and the economical,
commercial and productive integration with special emphasis on the social dimension, ALBA-TCP
was first launched in a Summit held in Havana, Cuba through the subscription of the Joint
Declaration for the establishment of the ALBA and the Agreement for the implementation of the
Alliance, by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and the President
the Council of State of Cuba, Fidel Castro.
Currently, the ALBA-TCP members are: Venezuela (December 14, 2004) Cuba (December 14, 2004)
Bolivia (April 29, 2006), Nicaragua (January 10, 2007)Dominica (January 26, 2008) Ecuador (June
24, 2009) Antigua & Barbuda( June 24, 2009) Saint Vincent & The Grenadines (June 24, 2009) Saint
Lucia (July 30, 2013).
In 2006, merely two years after ALABAs founding, and with Bolivia joining in, it scaled new heights
through the proposal of the Peoples Trade Treaties. TCP constitutes instruments of trade that
promote solidarity and complementary exchanges among member countries whose goal is to carry
out a plan of economic development that will benefit the people. This formation is in stark
opposition to the Free-Trade Area (FTA) whose neoliberal mandate is to promote the profit-driven
logic of transnational corporations.
As a complementary economic zone, ALBA-TCP seeks to expand and consolidate the Latin American
and Caribbean (Petrocaribe) trade integration from a progressive standpoint. From South America
and the Caribbean basin, member states have been promoting an economic integration that is based
on humanist principles of justice and solidarity. The starting point for which is the existing
conditions of hunger and poverty in the region.
On account of the long history of colonialism and imperialist plunder external forces that have
historically brought together the peoples of this region to struggle for national sovereignty and
dignity the world has witnessed counter-hegemonic ruptures from tyranny and exploitation in
the great revolutions led by Bolivar, Marti, Sucre, OHiggins, and the more contemporary victories
and struggles led by Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
In its 2004-2014 Management Report, it is made known that:
The nine Member States of ALBA-PTA are inhabited by some more than 74 million people, 47.7%
of which forms part of the labor force 1. It spreads over three million square kilometers in the
aggregate, including the exclusive economic zones, 49.5% of which comprises forests and 6.73%
covers plowlands. The latter number surpasses the average of 1% in the whole Latin American and
Caribbean region.
As opposed to the FTA that promotes the privatization of the basic services of water, education,
health, transport, communications and energy, the PTT promotes and strengthens the role of the
State in these essential services that allow for the full compliance with human rights.
For 10 years now, ALBA has been keen on identifying new economic actors in redefining a growing
commercial presence.
Source: http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/01/01/albas-alternative/#sthash.ja1q6Af4.dpuf
Origins of the Philippine Modern State
Modern Principalia: A continuity of leadership recruitment from a tiny minority of elite
families and, inspite of democratic elections, members of these families get elected
and again. Dante Simbulan
In a very important work on the analysis of the Philipine State entitled The Modern Principalia: The
Historical Evolution of the Philippine Ruling Oligarchy, Simbulan traces the historical evolution of
the Philippine ruling oligarchy, or the few who run and rule this country, and how.
The ruling elite or the plutocracy refers to any given societys economic and political elite. In this
context, the melding of economic and political power is decisive in the formation of the Philippine
State and the different regimes or governments that have historically made it up. In an ideal world,
governance only requires political acumen or the ability to wield political capital effectively. But the
history of colonialism and neo-colonialism has shaped the confluence of economic and political
power in shaping the life of a nation.
Each province in the Philippines is almost always ruled by political dynasties that rule not only
political life, they also shape and control ordinary peoples economic and social life.
How are political dynasties maintained? Simbulan keenly observes that power is concentrated to a
few land-owning families. These families hold on power is transferred from one generation to the
next, from grandfather to son or daughter, to wife or husband, brothers or sisters and on to their
grandchildren. Political power for this economically dominant class is a curious case of heredity.
The process of naturalization of political power, which appears as though it is imprinted in each
family members genes, is part and parcel of the elites mechanisms to monopolize, maintain, and
accumulate economic power through political power. While political power finds its base on
economic power, it also reinforces the latter, giving the Congress and the Senate, and even local
governments a flavor of family enterprise that extends to their relatives and business associates.
Why do they get elected? Does winning elections any indicator of the peoples will? A quick
rundown of the news during election period since the establishment of the Philippine government,
electoral fraud and violence would dominate the headlines. The electoral process is a superficial
indicator of the majoritys choice. The Hello Garci Scandal that involved former President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo allegedly rigging the elections of 2004, and the Ampatuan Massacre that
58 victims in a mass grave in Maguindanao in 2009 are symptomatic of the electoral and political
crisis in the country. Elections are largely a result of the methods of manipulation used on the
electorate identified by Simbulan as follows:
1. widespread use of bribery
2. vote buying by politicians using taxpayers money
3. hiring journalists and other media people as the as polticians public relations agents
Polticians wanton use of the 3 Gs, that is, guns,goons, and gold is no longer an expose about the
Philippine electoral system.
In such conditions, can there be genuine democracy? A democracy is the rule of, by, and for the
people or the majority. What actually exists when a plutocracy runs the political, social, and
economic life of the country is not a democracy but an oligarchy or the rule of the few. According to
Simbulan, oligarchy is made up of plutocrats of wealthy people, whose source of power is not the
sovereign will of the people as the Constitution states but mainly the possession of wealth.
Following the aforementioned definition of democracy and actually existing governance in
Philippine society, Simbulans argument that ours is a democracy without substance can be
supported. In addition, this kind of democracy that operates like an oligarchy, Simbulan avers is a
faade conveniently used by the elite to disguise their control of power. Hence, the Philippine
Oligarchy that presents itself as a democracy is, as Simbulan established, composed of families who
have monopolized political power since the nation-state was formed.
Senator Juan Sumulong of the wealthy Sumulong clan had this to say in a Senate speech made in
1935:the majority and minority parties represent almost exclusively the intelligentsia and what
would call the Philippine plutocracy, and that the needy classes have no representation in these
and for these reasons they have no voice nor vote, even only as minorities, in the formulation of
governmental policies
image from http://retrato.com.ph/retratoimages/Midsize/PP/PP00546a.jpg
The Modern Principalia in Philippine History
The principalia is a product of Spanish colonialism that morphed into the modern principalia all
throughout American colonialism and neo-colonialism, up to the institution of the modern
Philippine State.
Caciquism is a system of rule introduced by the Spanish colonizers who ruled the Philippines from
1571-1898. While leaders of barangays and datus already existed in the social organization of the
various regions in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao before Spanish colonial rule, these sophisticated
system of organization was used by the Spanish colonizers against the colonized.
The Spanish colonizers introduced caciquism or the rule of the cacique or chief through local
leaders like the datos and cabezas de barangay. In other words, local chiefs were recruited to the
Spanish colonial government as local collaborators. They were compensated through the
encomienda system, or land grants to local caciques. The caciques then started to preserve and
reinforce power through getting more land which allowed them to make their constituents, the
people, dependent on them. This newly formed local elite group also served as tax collectors who
extorted money from the locals, partly for their use and part of it to be surrendered to their Spanish
In the Bonifacio-led 1896 Katipunan Revolution, the principalia played a counter-intuitive role. The
1896 Revolution was inspired by the reform movement initiated by the ilustrados, they are
intellectual segment of the principalia who are alienated from the practices and interests of this
elite group. They are the young intellectuals who studied in Europe amidst the Philippines
colonization of Spain. Their exposure to the literature on the Enlightenment and the different
revolutions in the West, foremost of which is the French Revolution, these alienated young
intellectuals would come home to the country to become propagandists of the reform movement
against Spanish colonialism. From this movement, the revolutionary Katipunan was born and
eventually won the revolution against Spanish colonialism.
During the United States colonization of the Philippines, the campaign to pacify revolutionary
forces ensued. The principalia during this period was comprised of pro-American upper
class Filipinos, who in December 12, 1900, came together, all 125 of them, to organize the
Federalista Party. As part of the pacification campaign, local Filipino elites were also appointed by
Americans in different positions in the bureaucracy culminating in the Commonwealth period. This
period marked the institutionalization of the modern principalia as pillars in the establishment of
state institutions in the so-called post-colonial period. This segment of the principalia has its roots
from the land-owning principalia that collaborated with Spanish colonizers.
This is how the modern principalia became the local ruling elite that occupy seats in local
government units, Congress, Senate, and the Malacanang Palace. Contemporary Philippine
politicians preference for foreign investors, partnerships with big business, and US military forces
is a disposition that has its historical roots in the making of the modern principalia which now
comprise the Modern Philippine State. The phenomenon of making profits out of ones seat in
government or what is known as bureaucrat capitalism is a logical trajectory of governance that
was instituted during colonial rule, and whose substance and bases (economic power based on
land, and later on, entanglement with foreign interests) have yet to be eliminated to make
Philippine politics a practice of genuine democracy.
Branches and Functions of State Power
The Philippine Government
The Philippines is a republic with a presidential form of government wherein power is equally
divided among its three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.
One basic corollary in a presidential system of government is the principle of separation of powers
wherein legislation belongs to Congress, execution to the Executive, and settlement of legal
controversies to the Judiciary.
The Legislative branch is authorized to make laws, alter, and repeal them through the power vested
in the Philippine Congress. This institution is divided into the Senate and the House of
The Executive branch is composed of the President and the Vice President who are elected by direct
popular vote and serve a term of six years. The Constitution grants the President authority to
appoint his Cabinet. These departments form a large portion of the countrys bureaucracy.
The Judicial branch holds the power to settle controversies involving rights that are legally
demandable and enforceable. This branch determines whether or not there has been a grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part and instrumentality of the
government. It is made up of a Supreme Court and lower courts.
The Constitution expressly grants the Supreme Court the power of Judicial Review as the power to
declare a treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation,
instruction, ordinance or regulation unconstitutional.
Source: The Philippine Gazette http://www.gov.ph/about/gov/
What is a State?
The Idolatry of the state by Franz Oppenheimer
Dante Simbulan. 2005. Modern Princiaplia:The Historical Evolution of the Philippine Ruling
Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Possible class exercises:
Trip to the Senate, Congress, Malacanang
Invite a progressive parliamentarian to talk about the Partylist system: from teachers,
farmers, workers, women sector to explain the legal parliamentarian struggle
Workshop: What is Good Governance for me? What are the important social services to be
delivered by government? How do we ensure our right to social services? How to achieve
Good Governance? (group discussion and group presentation)
Debate: Should we abolish the pork barrel system?
Culture and Society in the Globalizing World
At the end of this lesson, the students are expected to:
explain the changes brought about by modernization while being critical of the Westerndominated
definition of modernization;
identify the changes that culture undergoes during the period of globalization;
critically examine the Westernizing influence of globalization on local nonWestern cultures;
discuss the positive ways by which globalization is able to widen the cultural horizons of
people around the world
List down the things you use daily, from food, shampoo to school supplies, music, and TV programs.
Identify each item whether it is imported or not. How did you get to know about these products? Do you
believe that Filipinos have neo-colonial consciousness, that is, they prefer imported products rather
local ones? Prove your point.
Culture and Social Change Modernization and cultural change
Culture is an important ingredient in the life of a group of people. While early social scientists argue that
society evolves and develops primarily due to social and economic factors, many scholars also point out
to the significant role played by cultural forces like religion. Max Weber, a German sociologist, in his
classic work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, provided an interesting analysis that
showed how capitalism in the West could have not developed were it not for the push given by Calvinist
ethics. Calvinists are followers of John Calvin. (1509 1564), an influential French theologian and pastor
during the Protestant Reformation. According to Weber, Calvinism shaped the work ethics of
entrepreneurs and capitalists during the early part of capitalist industrialization. Calvinism created
anxiety among the believers that could only be relieved through hardwork, total devotion to work,
avoidance of idleness, and renunciation of worldly pleasures. Furthermore, Calvinist doctrine of
predestination (i.e., the doctrine that teaches that God already preordained some people to be saved),
led its members to equate prosperity in this world with salvation. Hence, the cultural ethos generated
the teachings of Calvinism supplied the work ethic necessary for capital accumulation during the
incipient growth of capitalism. Webers culturalist theory of the emergence of capitalism in the West
became one of the pillars for the development of modernization theory. In the 1960s, many social
scientists, governments, and policy makers believed in the theory of modernization. According to this
view, based on evolutionary theory of culture, all societies undergo a process of change in the direction
of greater complexity and progress. The Western model of development is often held up as the
showcase on how non-Western societies or backward societies can catch up with Western
The earliest formulation of modernization theory is proposed by Walt Rostow. Walt Rostow (1916
an American economist and political theorist, proposed five stages of development. The first stage is
known as the traditional society which is associated with the country that has not yet developed.
Majority of the people are engaged in subsistence agriculture and more investments are channelled to
services or activities, such as military and religion. The second stage is called the precondition for takeoff
in which the economy undergoes a process of change for building up of conditions for growth and
takes off. It is characterized by the massive development of mining industries, increase in capital use in
agriculture, the necessity of external funding and some growth in savings and investments. The third
stage is called the take-off stage of development which is sometimes called the economic take-off. It is
characterized by dynamic economic growth which is due to sharp stimulus of economic, political, or
technological in nature. The fourth stage after the take-off stage is the drive to maturity which is
concerned with the extension of modern technology over other sectors of the economy or society. Drive
to maturity stage refers to the period when a country has affectively applied the range of modern
technology to the bulk of its resources. Finally, the fifth and final stage is called the age of high mass
consumption where the leading sectors in the society shift toward durable consumers goods and
services. This is called industrialization.
In this view, underdeveloped societies, which are in the first stage, must be able to go through the five
stages in order to be on par with the developed economies of the world. Concomitant with this view is
the assumption that the problem of underdevelopment has to do with the backward culture of the
people. Therefore, they prescribe the introduction of Western ways of knowing and coping with social
change so that people in traditional societies can develop into modern societies. This is called cultural
change through Westernization. In this view culture from the West must be assimilated to non-Western
world through the process of cultural borrowing or diffusion. Diffusion is the appearance of elements of
one peoples culture or practices in another; it was first mentioned by Edward B. Tylor in Primitive
Culture (Morris 2012, p. 76). Impact of modernization on culture and its discontent Modernization
theory as an explanation of social change promotes Western cultural values, such as individualism and
rationalism, and does not only introduce new technologies from the West. People can only accept and
adapt to new technologies if they have corresponding changes in their cultural values and attitudes. This
is the gist of cultural modernization. People must be willing to embrace change no matter how
destructive it is to the traditional way of life. This destructive and anti-tradition rhetoric of
theory has generated a lot of controversy among its supporters and detractors. Modernization of culture
promotes individualism, consumerism, and the reliance on science as the right attitude to explain the
world. These radical shifts tend to be unwelcome among the older generation that still value the old
ways of looking and interpreting the world. But policy makers and governments in developing countries
tell their people that modernization, like birth, is a painful process. It is inevitable, therefore, it has to be
embraced unconditionally.
Globalization and Culture
Cultural homogenization and its critics Globalization is the process whereby spaces between nations
become porous because of the accelerated phase of diffusion of information, people, capital, and goods.
Immersed in computer-mediated technologies, peoples relationships and forms of interaction around
the world increasingly have become unconstrained by geography and are no longer necessarily local or
national in nature. Roland Robertson (1992) defines globalization as the compression of the world and
the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole (p. 8). Globalization process intensifies the
consciousness of the people that cultures are intricately linked on the global scale. This is globalityas
opposed to globalism that equates globalization with simple spread of Western-style liberal
democracy and unhampered market forces of capitalism. With globalization has come the idea of a
world culture, that is, the universality of particular cultural traits, whose spread is a consequence of
globalization. Cultural universalism refers to cultural elements, such as the Internet, fast food from
McDonalds, and Nike sneakers. Technological objects such as iPhone and Android are known
the world although many people do not possess them. Scientific ideas have the same status. This
parallels the idea of a world polity, that is, the world as a single social system exemplified by
multinational corporations and the United Nations (Rosman, Rubel, and Weisgrau, 2009, p. 23). World
culture, as many critics of global homogenization assert, is nothing but the dominance of the largest
corporations in the world such as retail-oriented Walmart, an American giant corporation. These giant
corporations are spreading the values of consumerism around the world. Fear of consumerism leads
many sociologists to invent new words to characterize this corporate process of homogenization of the
world like Coca-Colonization by Kuisel, (1993), McDonaldization by Ritzer (2008), Disneydization
Bryman (2004), and Wal- Martization by author (YYYY). The newest is Starbuckization prompted by
the phenomenal spread of Starbucks worldwide (Ritzer 2010, p. 36). The spread of consumer culture in a
globalized world is aptly described by Zygmunt Bauman (2011):
Ours is a consumers society, in which culture, in common with the rest of the world experienced by
consumers, manifests itself as a repository of goods intended for consumption, all competing for the
unbearably fleeting and distracted attention of potential clients, all trying to hold that attention for
than just the blink of an eye (p. 14).
This kind of cultural homogenization is called grobalization which is defined as the imperialistic
ambitions of nations, corporations, organizations, and the like and their desire, indeed need, to impose
themselves on various geographic areas throughout the world (Ritzer 2011, p. 172). According to Ritzer
(2011), the sociologist who popularized McDonaldization, grobalization involves a variety of
three of which capitalism, Americanization, as well as McDonaldization are not only
central driving forces in grobalization, but also of great significance in the worldwide spread of
nothingness (p. 172). By globalization of nothingness, Ritzer refers to those cultural items that spread
from the rich countries to the rest of the world, cultural items that are devoid of any substance or
content. Hence, they can easily be assimilated to local cultures. The best example given by Ritzer on
globalization of nothingness are the malls. The structure of the malls can easily be adapted and
transported to other localities yet allowing for local choice of goods, services, and commodities to be
served and displayed. Malls are nothing because they can contain anything yet without any defining
content. Among Filipinos who live in urban centers, malls have become both a regular place for
relaxation, shopping, and a nightmare. It is a nightmare for commuters who have to endure heavy traffic
jams especially during holidays and Christmas season. Malls have created a culture of malling. The
practice of malling includes a range of activities such as window-shopping and people-watching, as well
as sampling the food courts and going to the movies. Malls have eclipsed the parks and museums, even
the churches, as places that Filipino families frequently visit. Interestingly, two of the top five biggest
malls in Asia are found in the Philippines, namely, the SM Mall of Asia and the SM North EDSA (located
Quezon City). The SM Mega mall located in Mandaluyong City, has daily foot traffic of 800,000 people,
talling 292,000,000 people a year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_
Other scholars from neo-Marxist tradition still insist on the continuation of Lenins famous analysis of
imperialism as the highest stage of monopoly capitalism. According to Lenin, the leader of the Russian
Bolshevik Revolution, imperialism is the last stage of capitalism where corporations merge to form large
monopolies. David Harvey (2003), an American social geographer, argues that the new imperialism is
different from the earlier imperialism described by Lenin in that the new imperialism uses new
technologies to consolidate its reach and power. Unlike Hart and Negris Empire, however, Harvey
that the new imperialism is still dominated by the United States as a world power.
Cultural heterogenization as hybridization
As globalization intensifies cultures become hybridized. Hybridization denotes a wide register of
identity, cross-over, pick-n-mix, boundary- crossing experiences and styles, matching a world of
migration and transnational families, intensive intercultural communication, everyday multiculturalism
and erosion of boundaries. In optimistic takes on hybridity, hybrids were conceived as lubricants in the
clashes of culture; they were the negotiators who would secure a future free of xenophobia
(Papastergiadis 1997, p. 261). A Filipino-American, for example, may find himself or herself in Seoul,
South Korea watching American soap opera dubbed in Korean language while eating Mediterranean
food. Hybridity has always been with us. But the pace of mixing accelerates and its scope widens in the
wake of major structural changes, such as new technologies that enable new phases of intercultural
contact. Scholars who support cultural heterogenization does not deny that there is some truth in claims
as to global cultural homogenization, that is, the whole world becoming culturally similar in some
ways. But this is not the whole story, for forms of cultural heterogenizationthings becoming more
culturally complexare also part of, and are produced by, globalization processes (Back, et al. 2012, p.
122). People do frame their thinkingespecially thinking about themselves and who they arewithin
global frames of reference. They are compelled to see themselves as just one part of a much greater
global whole. In this view, cultural globalization is ambivalent: it can either encourage a cosmopolitan
consciousness and open attitude towards the wider world and all the diff erent cultures and groups
within it, or it can involve the creation of negative feelings towards people from other cultures, involving
racist and ethnocentric attitudes. Eric Hobsbawm (1982) puts this analysis in good light: somewhere
the road between the globally uniform coke-can and the roadside refreshment stand in Ukraine or
Bangladesh, the supermarket in Athens or in Djkarta, globalization stops being uniform and adjusts to
local differences, such as language, local culture or... local politics (p. 2, as quoted in Back 2012, p. 122).
1. Cultural differences are often expressed in the generation gap. List all the things that you and
your parents share and believe together (religion, education, and family values) as well as those
that you disagree with (music, clothing, and love relationships,). How will you explain these
differences based on the lesson?
2. List the things you think are good about traditional Filipino values (example: resiliency,
kasipagan, and family ties). List also those traditional values that you think should be discarded
(example: ningas kugon, family ties, and mamaya na habit). Explain your answer.