There are many ways in which social order is said to be made and re-made, each holding different theories of how and why this works. Stephanie Taylor is quoted as saying “Social order is the term to describe the unspoken rules of conduct in everyday life, or stable social situation in which connections are maintained without change or if change occurs it is in a predictable way” (Taylor, 2009). From the study materials in the ordered lives section I have come across a contrast in academic views on how social order is made and remade from two social scientist, that of Irving Goffman and that of Michel Foucault. Both have different visions on what is required to maintain order in social life and how it is remade if something rocks that everyday order. Although they have different views I found that some of the views they had, if not shared had similar aims to them. Throughout the course of this essay I will give an overview of each Goffman and Foucault’s theories and outline the comparison and contrasted views of both men on how social order is made and remade. I will use examples of the Monderman thesis and the Buchanan report on traffic control to highlight the key points by Goffman and Foucault.
Michel Foucault’s theory claimed that the people with authoritative knowledge, the experts, were the people that shaped and organised social order. Power he claimed, worked through different ways of thinking and understanding. Foucault claimed that social order was and is produced through the knowledge of power and discourse, which is a set of ideas, shared by some members of society and creates identity positions, presenting certain views on how society functions (Taylor, 2009, pg 185). These are what Foucault’s theory suggests shapes and disciplines social order and the people in it (Online activity 23).
Irving Goffman’s theory focused on interactional order, this shows how the functions and order of each and every individual person of society interact with each...