Social development

Social Development and Gender and Wealth Inequalities From the onset of sociology from 19th century onwards, sociologists have indulged in a task to comprehend how and why there was development in modern society as it is today. A segment into this understanding involved determining disparities between the modern society and the earlier simple societies (non-modern). In this essay I will mainly focus on the social development and its effects on both gender and wealth inequalities. Social development is the change in the social order of an environment which may include the likes of change in nature, social institutions, social relations and also behaviors. Gender inequality means that individuals – mostly women and girls – undergo barriers to participate in benefitting, accessing and controlling resources and rights. Wealth inequality mainly focuses on the unequal distribution of assets to individuals in a society.
One of the critical differences between modern and simple societies is the emphasis placed on both community and individuals themselves. In the modern society, there is community and group commitment which is especially noted in subcultures like Amish whereas in the simple societies they are the building block of social life. Modern society contrasts from the simple society in terms of its individualistic and impersonal nature. In simple society, there is adoption of close daily relations whereas in modern societies we have many close relationships where the person is barely known. The modern society therefore considers individualism more important than commitment to group and community. A sociologist by the name of Ferdinand Tönnies (1887 – 1963) characterized these modern and non-modern societies with German words Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft. Gemeinschaft meant human community and it was imperative from Tönnies idea that simple societies were characterized by a sense of community. This implied family, kin and community ties were prevalent. With social development, industrial growth and urbanization, Tönnies noted social ties weakening and becoming more impersonal and termed this disturbing effect as Gesellschaft (Tönnies, 1963). The latter sociologists distinguished societies on the basis of there economy type and technological advancements. It is in order to note that the distinguishment was based on useful schemes ranging from; Hunting and gathering, pastoral, horticultural, agricultural, and industrial (Nolan & Lenski, 2009).
Table 1. 1 Summary of Societal Development
Type of society
Key characteristics
Hunting and gathering
Composed of small, simple societies with hunting and gathering food the main activity. The societies were fairly egalitarian with all people having few in their possessions. The degree of gender and wealth inequality being very low.
Horticultural and pastoral
These societies are larger than the previous societies. Horticultural societies are involved in growing crops with simple tools, whereas pastoral societies basically raise livestock. Both the societies are wealthier than hunting and gathering societies and they also have more conflicts with a greater gender and wealth.
These societies are involved in growing large numbers of crops, adopting the usage of oxen, plows, and other devices. They are wealthier than the latter with higher conflict rates and greater gender and wealth inequality.
Here there is adoption of use of factories and machines. Being wealthier than agricultural societies they have a greater sense of individualism and a lower degree of gender and wealth inequality.
Adoption of service jobs and information technology is dominant. Higher education is highly emphasized in these societies for economic success.
The above table (Table 1. 1) exposes the major types of societies and the key characteristic summary of there social development and growth. Evidently, as the societies developed and grew large, the gender and wealth inequalities became greater with increase in competitive nature and even war with other societies. Postindustrial society gave a greater emphasis on the adoption of information technology and it is thereby termed as the information society (Hassan, 2008). With this, there is a greater rise in the unemployment and difficulties for people with lack of college education to find reliable jobs. This has concluded to a greater disparity between the “ haves” and “ have-nots” of the society (Wilson, 2009).
Works Cited
Hassan, R. (2008). The information society: Cyber dreams and digital nightmares. Malden, MA: Polity.
Nolan, P., & Lenski, G. (2009). Human societies: An introduction to macrosociology. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
Tönnies, F. (1963). Community and society. New York, NY: Harper and Row (Original work published 1887).
Wilson, W. J. (2009). The economic plight of inner-city black males. In E. Anderson (Ed.), Against the wall: Poor, young, black, and male (pp. 55–70). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.