Similarities and Differences between Societies
Societies are dependent upon the trends and policies put forward by the governments at one side and by the impacts of the economics on the other side. The dictation for the transition of societies into one form to another originates from the domestic and international mode of trade. Countries are divided into different types of societies based on their cultural and social precedence in addition to issues that prevail according to the dependence on certain economical aspects. This paper will analyze three major types of societies that have prevailed in recent decades. The analysis will include similarities and differences between these societies and how these societal aspects emphasize role of humans in the future.
Post-Industrial Society is a society in which the economy becomes dependent upon the service. This critically means that the economy is dependent upon the services that are provided by different people in different walks of like. According to George Ritzer (2007) the service based economy is transited from the manufacturing based economy. Different aspects of manufacturing based economy become useless over time because of certain trends which created changing in the whole system. In Post-Industrial Society, the service provisions are preferred as they provide more and better opportunities as the conventional jobs become less. Daniel Bell (1974) described this concept with conviction and was the first to analyze what actually was happening during this transitional period. He stated (1974) that because of privatization and globalization that is becoming a trend, the shifting will increase over time because it provides so much promise to the dwellers of the society. He also depicted (1974) that only two countries are industrialized which are USSR and USA and because of their influence in the world, their transition from manufacturing based economy towards service based economy will shape various other societies in the world as well. Though the difference between their politics and culture are there, however, they both will prevail in the modern societies effectively.
According to George Ritzer (2007) a post-industrial society observed certain changes as it moved away from industrial society. He described that in this society more emphasis is given upon providing personal knowledge as service. The skills that someone has learnt over time are used individually for a better financial prospect. The person is not reluctant to work for the manufacturing plant like that of the garments but rather prefers selling hamburgers. The education with theory plays an important role and research activities increases. The practical knowledge sometimes is not even required as the manufacturing or other types of jobs are outsourced. This society also seek to assess the role of modern technology, better equipments for monitoring purposes are made such as to observe natural threats like twisters and earthquakes and artificial threats like uncontrolled generation of nuclear power and such other disasters. The freelance jobs become very common because it provides ease and offers more. The occupations preference also changes as computer programmers and electrical engineers become more and more popular. One important aspect of this society is its advancement in innovative technology. The emphasis is always put upon on how to create easiness for the people. The innovations like mobile technology and internet are the backbone of this society which has been transited from the space knowledge, now limited to certain government departments.
Veneris also studied the work of Bell during the 1980s and had much of the same opinion as Bell about the post-industrial society. However, according to him (1990) the term post-industrialism is something that misguides. In fact, he stated (1984), that by using this term this whole new concept of society becomes limited. He stated (1984) that post-industrial society just describes that it is the time after the industrial society but vanishes the fact that it offers much more.
The post-industrial society therefore emphasize on the services to mankind. The governments look to enhance the way of living to the people. They facilitate by allowing people to get better educational and health facilities. The security, information exchange and other facts makes this society a best place for the people as they always get what they desire. Their rights are always intact and they are sure to get them.
Information Society is considered as close to the post-industrial society. Information society is purely dependent on the information exchange through various modes and impacts greatly to shape the political and cultural aspects. Like post-industrial society, information society also originated after the Second World War, though the principle advancement that is seen information society was never in the past as it is currently now. In information society, the use of information is considered as the mode of generating capital. The use, manipulation, integration, diffusion and distribution of information are considered as the main aspects of this society.
Renowned economist Fritz Machlup was the first one to propose the sign of information society in his work in 1962. His work critically determines that information society is the man’s greatest achievement and something very uncommon as it is rated right after the human evolution in the biological aspects. Fritz (1962) explained that knowledge is the way to go for the future. His statistics about the USA GNP stated that in 1959, around 29% of the GNP was produced in the knowledge industry. According to him (1962) there are five basic sectors of this knowledge society which include mass media, information technologies, education, information services and research and development. For any society to be termed as information society, according to him, must enclose these five basic sectors. Peter (1969) on the other hand states the post-industrial society and information society are merely same as both of them are majorly used as a service. He also described that the manufacturing and industrial period for the generation of capitalism has shifted towards the generation of capitalism due to information services. Considering his studies, the today’s world dramatically applies what he predicted. The information society of today reveals that whether these are private companies, small and large, or the governmental departments all are dependent upon how the information is exchanged from one place to another. The political and cultural aspects present today clearly define the importance of information exchange methods. Alain (1971), however, emphasized more on the cultural and societal aspects. She states (1971) that because of the end of the industrial society, things have become a lot more different as they might have been predicted. The needs, values and representations have changed considerably.
Keeping to the text, it is quite obvious that both post-industrial and information society are identical to each other. The time period of both the societies is critically the same, though the period for post-industrial society began right after the Second World War and information society developed into an intriguing form in the late twentieth century. The post-industrial society emphasize that the society is groomed through the service sector. The economical aspects involve that better services should be provided to citizens. The life quality should be enhanced and they must acknowledge that they are very important part of the society. The cultural and social aspects determine that people are more knowledgeable and they exactly have the understanding to deal with issues. The human rights organizations are there to protect their rights as well. The manufacturing society, however, lacked these important aspects of the society. With post-industrial society intact, it becomes quite evident that capitalism has become more private. Globalization has increased and this has allowed much more intrusions into different sectors which previously were governed by the governments. As for information society, it plays an important role for the provision of services to the people. Like post-industrial society, the emphasis is to provide effective mode of communication. The services like GSM and internet have made this society far more approached than ever before. Though in information society, the capitalism is based on how the services are being given to the people. Various countries have established a strong infrastructure that works in conjunction with both the societies. Nevertheless it is safe to state in the light of the theories and statements forwarded by Bell (1974) for post-industrial society and Fritz (1962) and Peter (1969) for information society that they both play their part in the provision of the services.
Network Society is considered as a wired society where different types of societies are combined through modern age of networking and telecommunication. The analysis describe that network society is a relatively new society but has a strong dependence on the information society. Jan van Dijk was the first one to organize the network societal aspects as he put forward his work in 1991. There are many theories that are present to work out the exact meaning of this society. Network society is actually the bonding of different societies in order to create trade, job and economical growth. The sociology study determines that all major communities require that they interact with each other. Historical perspectives describe that humans have travelled thousands of kilometers in order to trade and collect capital. The same situation is applied in the network society where the main emphasis is done to connect different societies in a much easier way. Like the information society, network society is dependent upon the communication between two societies. In fact all the societies when communicate with other, transfer information that is useful for each other.
Berry Wellman (2001) put forward his analysis of the network theory by describing the need and representations of human values as they try to bond with other groups. According to him (2001), it is the natural tendency of any society to come close to other for mutual benefits. He also emphasized upon the term networked individualism. Wellman stated (2001) that a network society is based on community, work and organization. Roxanne Hiltz (1978) predicted that the computer supported communication will become an important aspect for the progress of the societies in the future. Her analysis were pretty correct understanding the fact that internet was not invented until then.
Van Dijk (1991) stated that internet plays an important role for the development of this society. The social networking, business prospects, interpersonal and organizational skills are dependent upon the internet. No matter how the world may see it, internet will be the sole mode of communication in recent years and soon whole world will be connected to each other. One important aspect which Van Dijk declared was the fact that during this network society and its becoming of age, the social and cultural backgrounds might be of secondary value. Though differences in culture, religions and societal values are evident, but because of this networked society all these differences will lead to nothing harmful. Since the globalization trends are evident and many organizations described this as the social killing of the weaker culture society, network society will play an important role in keeping the distinguished facts between the societies alive. Thus forwarding a point that network society will be very less harmful to what globalization depicts but clearly more useful what globalization offers. As we look around internet, we find different social networking websites on the internet namely; Facebook, My Space and Orkut which have millions of members logging on each day to communicate with friends, family members and business networking. Therefore networking society has played an important role in shaping the current societal form in many countries.
As we move along with the discussion of these societies, it is very evident that the post-industrial society is full of variety and meanings. Though post-industrial society mainly represents a society which is transited from industrial revolution age, it points out towards much broader term. The post-industrial society encloses different cultures, different societies and different religions in which the identical aspect is the conclusion towards better economical growth. The economical groom that has been shifted from industrial age has made it possible for the mankind to look towards far more different and innovative approaches and consequently observe changes in their cultures and societies. All three societies that have been discussed above conclude towards the same term, post-industrial society, which deals with the provision of services towards the people. Though the form of understanding of all three societies is different, but they all move towards the same point of origination. Information society looks towards information exchange between different societies to make them closer to each other in order to learn more. The network society is based on the wired media technology where people come close to each other to form bonds and relationships. The post-industrial society has seen advancements in the field of science and technology, and these changes have allowed the formation of the two other societies. Therefore, even if we don’t want to differentiate these societies, they somehow focus on the same issue.
Capitalist countries are the major developer of the post-industrial society. As discussed previously, USSR and USA were predicted as the only industrial states, they have been able to create different ways to boom economies. Russia, former USSR, follows the collectivity approach towards its financial benefits as being the biggest communist state. USA on the other hand prevailed through democracy and dictating values of making decision towards its citizen. Both are different in terms of politics but both are evident developers of post WWII societies. Today western countries, including Western Europe as well, are the part of the post-industrial society where they have developed their infrastructure based on the information exchange principle and have brought societies closer through media. The race towards technology has made it lot easier for others to follow as well. The information age is becoming a global trend where each and every one of us is connected to each other and somehow is dependent on other for the purpose of strengthening economy and becoming more progressive. The research in science and technology is the other aspect that has made it easy for others to play their part in the success of these societies. Nevertheless, no one can predict the future, but it feels that these societies will continue to grow rapidly.