Compare and Contrast Two Social Science Views About the Ordering of Social Life.

Compare and contrast two social science views about the ordering of social life.

The way in which individuals form and maintain social lives with others and with the things around them is founded by social ordering; a concept defined as a set of linked social structures, social institutions and social practices which conserve, maintain and enforce ways of relating and behaving (Wikipedia, accessed on 25th June 2014). This essay will compare and contrast the theories of social ordering suggested by Goffman and Foucault, comparing and contrasting the different concepts of how social order is produced, reproduced and maintained. Both theorists are interested in the links between the individual and the social and seek ways of understanding how and why society interacts the way it does, however they explain these reasons in different ways. The first part of this essay will look at Goffman's view of social order, his concepts and how they help to structure and organise his claims and the second part will compare and contrast Goffman's views with those of Foucault, highlighting the similarities and differences between their claims and concepts. The third part of this essay will look at two examples of social ordering in practise and present the evidence supporting the theories put forward by both social scientists, using a modernist approach shown in the Buchanan model.and a flexible approach shown in the Monderman model.

Goffman's concepts of performances and interactional order focus very much on the behaviour of individuals in specific social contexts and how they interact in their everyday lives. In Goffman's view, social behaviour is 'dramaturgical' and he uses the metaphor of a theatrical play to explain his theory, with the claim that people perform roles in specific contexts with individuals behaving like characters in a play, trying to give their best possible performance (Taylor, S. 2009, p. 172). Social interaction and individual behaviour differs with...