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Contrast of Two Explanations of Social Disorder in Contemporary UK Society - Article Example

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The paper titled "Contrast of Two Explanations of Social Disorder in Contemporary UK Society" pertains to the contrasting viewpoints presented by the theories of Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault by citing real instances that support their theory. …
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Contrast of Two Explanations of Social Disorder in Contemporary UK Society
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Download file to see previous pages As the process of urbanization takes off and more people start residing in major cities, the fissures start to appear within the apparent harmonious co-existence. There are several reasons why disorderly conduct on part of individuals and groups takes place. Sociologists have proposed numerous theories explaining this phenomenon.

Erving Goffman was an astute observer of society, who immersed himself in the social environment which he was studying. He carefully observed and recorded the ways in which people’s behavior and interpersonal interactions are carried out in everyday life. He notes that “people perform their social roles and, as they do so, they produce social order through their actions and the regular practices they engage in. Often these ways of acting and interacting are unnoticed and only become apparent when they are breached or broken. Not all social life is cooperative, some are competitive and sometimes there is conflict, but generally, people are able to negotiate breaches and restore order” (Staples, et. Al., p.48). A prominent example of this theory in action is available to us from the works of Charles Dickens. His works are relevant to the discussion of contemporary Britain, for the process of modernization and urbanization of Britain was started during the author's lifetime, aspects of which are reflected in his writings. Dickens too immersed himself in the social environment that he was observing and brought out astute insights into the nature of London street-life. Moreover, Dickens chose characters from the lower strata of society for his stories, who are the most likely to engage in disorderly conduct (Alia & Bull, 2005, p.56)). In many ways, the nineteenth-century London street-life described by Dickens serves to validate the theory of Goffman and the latter view of social order and disorder.

It is no irony that as Britain’s empire expanded to all corners of the world in the nineteenth century, the city of London was taxed beyond its adequacy, subjecting itself to social disorder.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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