Sociology and Development

Development Studies

Term Paper, 2011

31 Pages, Grade: A



Chapter One
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Purpose of the study

Chapter Two
Important concepts of sociology
2.1 Environmental Sociology
2.2. Sociology of education
2.3 culture
2.4 social networks
2.5. Race and ethnic relations
2.6. Health and illness
2.7. Family, gender and sexuality
2.8. Work and industry
2.9. Urban and Rural sociology
2.10. sociology and empowerment

Chapter Three
3.1. Social control
3.2. Positive functions
3.3. Negative sanctions
3.4. Theories of Deviance
3.4.1. Biological theories
3.4.2. Psychological theory
3.4.3. Sociological theory
3.4.4. Anomie theory
3.4.5. Differential Association theory
3.4.6. Labelling theory
3.5. Social Statification
3.5.1 social status
3.5.2. Occupation
3.5.3. Wealth and Income
3.5.4. Age
3.5.5. Gender
3.5.6. Caste
3.5.7. Slavery
3.5.8. Feudalism
3.6. social Mobility
3.6.1. Open and closed societies
3.6.2. Upward Social Mobility
3.6.3. Downward Social Mobility
3.6.4. Horizontal Social Mobility
3.6.5. Determinants of Upward social mobility
3.6.6. Determinants of Downward Social Mobility
3.6.7. Consequences of Social Mobility
3.7 The nature of groups
3.7.1. Theories of group formation Classical theory Balanced theory of group formation Social exchange theory Contagion theory
3.8. Social Structure
3.9 Social status
3.10 Impact of sociology to development

Chapter Four

Chapter Five


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Chapter One.

1.1 Introduction.

In order to cause development, it is very important to understand man and what affects him. Sociology is one of the factors that affect man and at the same time a cause of development. Co temporally sociology looks at the causes of and consequences of development and this needs thorough study through sociological concepts. Failure to attain democratization, economic growth or social welfare has a big bearing in losing focus to arriving at development. Globalization impacts on the development trends and the social cultural set up of different communities. This is reflected in the social network configurations that affect the allocation of resources, production and consumption patterns and attitude change which subsequently impacts on the economic growth. The scope for this research paper will be the following elements of sociology and how they impact on development; culture, environment, criminality, law and punishment, education, family, gender and sexuality, health and illness, knowledge and science, Race and ethnic relations, social networks, stratification, Urban and rural sociology.

Sociology is a complex process that covers almost all aspects of life and covers the ravages of war, terrorism, oppression and general infringement of human rights. Sociological issues are observed everywhere in form of oppression, injustice, gender and sex orientation. There are some views presented by scholars on sociological concepts and some of them are part of this paper.

1.2. Purpose of the study.

The course will enable introduce students/ managers/ people to;

- Develop skills of self awareness, self management, creativity, humility and resilience.
- Will enable them to elevate service to others above self interest, treating each other with respect, care and acting honestly and responsibly.

Chapter Two Important concepts in sociology.

Sociology is the empirical investigation of society. It studies the social structure through human activity and macroeconomic systems that are involved. Sociology studies disciplines that include social mobility, religion, secularization, social stratification, law, deviance and social class.

2.1 Environmental sociology.

Man is ever interacting with the environment. Societal and cultural factors cause environmental problems. Man’s endeavor to satisfy his needs and attaining his own position in society poses a threat to the environment. This is in a bid to obtain food, medicine, shelter and clothing. Obtaining these things is not enough. Man also needs to see himself in a certain position within society. Man’s economic behavior together with the social factors partly affects the environmental change.

Environmental sociology has its base on the modern environmental movement and ecology.

Environmental interactions are easily explained through environmental sociology that deals with human cultures. It explains the relationship between environment and society as explained by the interdependence between the two. Some social factors impact on the environment. Solutions to these problems should be sought to conserve the environment. For example man needs clean breathing air for a health life. Despite widespread about public smoking, people continue to smoke in public in most societies that is causing cancer to humans. There is a weak law implementation on smoking and this has created unhealthy environment.

After 1960, environmental problems paved way for modern environmental movement. The green warriors emerged across societies, resulting in a series of environment policy across many countries such as Europe and U.S in the 1970’s. this period was particularly called Environment Decade in the U.S. It created a lot awareness and compassion for the environment among the population.

2.2 Sociology of education.

The sociology of education deals with the way how individual experiences affect education and its outcomes and how public institutions are managed. This implies education and what one goes through right from birth to death. It has social structures and schooling systems which have social structures that affect the education system in both developed and developing societies. In the education system a family is an important administrative and social unit where children are brought to earth and raised. It is where the first learning takes place. They learn language, language, culture and values before they switch on to formal schooling. This forms a social network between and a set of beliefs in a family and society. Education is a human endeavor to attain better understanding and social status and this enables the achievement of better equality and good welfare. It makes the young grow in a manner set by the education standards such that they become important citizens of the country both at the local and international level. It improves the productivity of the nationals and plays a big role of elevating the attitudes of the people.

The German National Educational Panel Study has a lot to learn with its panel study. It involves educational processes and individual competence from early childhood to late adulthood. A survey of a sample of 60000 and approximately 40000 from various social contexts such as parents and teachers and parents are being investigated to find out the effectivess of the education. It is reflecting transformation in education system and labor markets among different age groups.

NEPS invites all American sociologists to use its well-documented longitudinal data. The information is about educational processes, educational decisions, development of competences and returns to education throughout one’s life.

The framework and central theoretical basis for analyzing and interpreting the long term longitudinal data through educational social process include; education process in learning environment, competence development, returns in education, and social inequality in the life course.

In education systems like that of Uganda, it still deserves a lot to be desired in terms of skill acquisition and exposure. This implies that labor cannot effectively compete in the international labor market. In addition competence development is not well developed especially if the school products are not job creators and cannot adequately liberate society out of its common problems.

2.3 Culture.

Socially, culture of society has a big bearing on the development of communities. Cultural practices go with the attitude and the way people change towards certain programs and this affects development. Culture has visible attributes, of which artifacts are inclusive. Artifacts are physical things that have a particular symbolic importance for a given culture. These are important in a culture and have mystical properties and these include drums, hoes, spears and many other items deemed important in society. These have a special meaning in society and act as reminders of some events and functions.

Values and beliefs are another important component of culture in society. These overlap significantly with other components of culture. Examples include how the systems of morality can affect the cultural significance of a recreational pursuit like how religious systems can intertwine with systems of social organization such as the political environment.

Rituals in culture are important because they express and affirm the social bond of individuals’ social identity. Human interconnectedness, interpersonal trust and social cohesion creates a meaningful society existence.

Beliefs in religion help to create faith and traditional dogmatic force that makes the human race to have a reasonable comfortable position in the world. Beliefs and faith affirm that there are curable measures and stabilizing forces of the psychological gone outs, which creates joy, peace, and piece of mind. People’s beliefs, faith and understanding are experienced as an interactive process in a social system. Religious sociological preferences are free of choice and seen as a fundamental human right in most communities. It is however noted that religious identity is a problem in the mainstream culture. Nevertheless, a lot of socialization, learning, socio-economic reform is partly attributed to socialization of religion.

Analyzing the influence of religion on political life, such as participation in social movements, political lobbying, or impact of religion on public opinion is important for society transformation. It is important to note that this analysis is limited to democracies of Western Europe and North America while voting behavior to newer democracies of Eastern Europe and Asia. It is noted that there is a high correlation between religious group membership, beliefs and practices and the level of the political activity such as voting behavior.

There is a recent incident I experienced last month where we had gone for burial of a mother of a staff member in one of the villages in Kabale district. It so happened that it rained so heavily that most of the programs were cut so short. As usual we had turned in hundreds to mourn. When I interacted with one of the mourners after burial he told me that there was a complaint from the mourners. Their complaint was about heavy rains of the day which they claimed was as a result of a neighbor they claimed to be a witch. I expected such type of superstitions to have become extinct but I realized to be still alive. Superstitions in some cultures are dangerous and hinder development. A few years ago in my village there was a suspicion that the death of one of the villagers was caused by an old man. The village members rushed to the old man house picked him and lynched him.

Diversity, culture, religion and development are important aspects of society. Religion shapes attitudes, policies, practices and laws across the world.

Some beliefs and norms make people to resort to trust so much in traditional medicine men and fail to go to see trained medical personnel when they are sick. Some end up dying of curable sicknesses or getting damaged by the disease. For example there is always a misconception that evil spirits attack human beings causing sickness. This belief is with some particular families in society. Such people rarely visit health centers. They instead go to witch doctors for treatment. This kind of belief goes with many problems such as backwardness, and resisting progressive change.

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Photo 1 (by Micheal on 25-11-2011) Photo 2 (by Micheal on 25-11-2011

Photograph 1, 2, 3 and 4 were taken at a function where Allen and Martin were tying a knot as husband and wife. Photo 1 is a day before at the give away ceremony and the bride and the groom are performing the rituals at the function. In photograph 2, the father of the girl is officially handing over the daughter to the father of the boy, that is why this is called a give-away function. This ritual is performed only when bride price is first paid.

2.4 Social networks

This is the interconnectedness and interdependence of individuals or groups of people tied by aspects that include friendship, sex relations, financial relationships, or relations of beliefs such as religion. Social networks are observed at all spheres of life for example from the family level, community level, national level and global networks. Social networks are important in seeking solutions to common problems across the world. It is always said that two heads are better than one. Individuals and groups forge solutions to the common problems in commerce, health, education, for economic growth and development.

Society is made up of human beings with social relations. With the recent globalization and transformation of society, Societies need to be independently handled with a lot of care since cultures in some societies may not necessarily fit in other cultures. What looks respectable in one society may be unrespectable in another even within the same ethnic group. For example, whereas it is normal for the Bakiiga to eat mutton, it is a taboo to do the same in the Hima tribe. It is therefore prudent the causes of these differences of such phenomena through research. Though there is a tendency for cultures to claim supremacy over other cultures, there are underlying social factors behind every culture. There has been conflict in the endeavor to integrate the components of social relations of a particular society in different communities. Variations in norms and culture are normal even though this can be a limiting factor to progress of certain programs.

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Photo 3 (by Micheal on 25-11-2011). Photo 4 by Micheal on 25-11-2011

Photograph 3 was shows the way people feel when they dine together. It is a luncheon at the wedding party. It shows a social network where the groom and the brides parents come together as a sign of unity. This is because the two families have now come together through the relationship of their children.

Photograph 4 was taken at the same function on 25th November 2011. The type of dressing shows the accepted culture of long dresses especially at a function where old women are initiating young married into African marriage Culture.

To note is the costs involved in such functions. Expenses on food, clothing, drinks, and hiring venues.

2.5 Race and Ethnic relations

Social, political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society are analyzed. Complex social processes between different ethnic groups such as racism are tackled under this branch of sociology.

Ethnicity is a shared nationality, or cultural heritage of a group of people. Ethnic groups may be categorized on the basis of religious beliefs and practices, language, forms of artistic expression such as music, dance and drama, forms of family structures and roles of family members and national origin.

Race refers to a category of people who share distinct physical characteristics that are deemed socially significant. These groups can be distinguished on the basis body size, skin color or outside appearance and outfit. Culturally, race categorizes people basing on biological differences. Two people with the same racial identity may have different ethnicities for example, a black American and a black Jamaican have different cultural or ethnic background. On the other hand two people with the same ethnic background may have the same races.

When two or more races interact good or bad reaction may occur. These reactions may include segregation, assimilation, genocide, pluralism, amalgamation, expulsion or population transfer and acculturation. An example is the Rwanda genocide of 1994 between the Tutsi’s and Hutu’s where more than 800,000 people were butchered. Although no all patterns of interaction between racial and ethnic groups are destructive, author and Mayan Shaman Martin Pretchtel reminds us that “Every human on this earth, whether from Africa, Asia, Europe or the Americas has ancestors whose stories, rituals, ingenuity, language and life ways were taken away, enslaved, banned, exploited, twisted or destroyed…”. (Jensen 2001 : 13).

2.6. Health and illness

It is through this aspect of sociology that addresses public concerns such as illness, disease, disability and age.

In our school environment, the school has adopted programs to enable the students lead a healthy life and to make them good citizens. One of the most active clubs (PIASCY) has done a good job in achieving this goal. Staff works very hard to secure the students from getting HIV and AIDS. Students are prepared on how they can care for the HIV victims and this has become part of the school culture. Students participate in talk shows where AIDS issues and growing as responsible youth is major debate. Students themselves design a talking compound where the environment is decorated with a lot of meaningful messages. Some of these messages include the following:


Excerpt out of 31 pages


Sociology and Development
Development Studies
( Atlantic International University )  (BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS)
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ISBN (Book)
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sociology, development, studies
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DOCTOR Akampurira Abraham (Author), 2011, Sociology and Development, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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