Nature of Social Phenomena 

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Nature of Social Phenomena 

Many types of events happen in the world. All these phenomena can be broadly placed in two categories – Natural Phenomena and Social Phenomena. The control of natural events rests in the hands of nature. Natural phenomena are of physical and material nature. These can be inspected and tested by scientific method. Events that occur in contrast to natural events are called social events. These events are related to human beings and the cause of these events is also human.

Man has not yet achieved complete success in controlling human behavior. Sociologist does not even understand human behavior himself. That is why sociologists are completely incapable of making predictions by observing and examining social events by scientific method like natural phenomena. There is continuous development and progress of the society. The lifestyle and ethics of the people are changing. Simultaneously, social events are also increasing. The biggest problem today is how to apply the scientific method to social phenomena and how to apply this method to them. For the study of this fundamental problem, we have to critically discuss the nature of social phenomena and its types. Here it is necessary to know that what is the nature of social phenomenon? What are its features?



Some scholars say that the unique nature of social phenomena is a great obstacle in the way for sociology or sociology to develop as a true science. The reason for this is that the complexity, variability, subjectivity, etc. found in social events are hindrances in this. It is not possible for the scientific method to cross them. That is why it is also not possible for sociology to formulate real social laws. The main sources of these misconceptions are mainly two.

First – the tendency to distort the nature of social events and not to understand the power of science in relation to gaining control over its nature; And second – a misunderstanding of the true nature of the scientific law. Social phenomena have characteristics of complexity, diversity, subjectivity, etc., but these are not obstacles that science can never overcome. Sociology is a progressive science and along with its progress it is becoming easier for it to remove the obstacles. In the same way, it is also wrong to say that due to the strangeness of the nature of social phenomena, it is not possible to formulate true scientific laws. This type of misconception is because people do not understand the true nature of scientific law. Often we make the mistake of accepting principle and rule as one. Another misconception regarding the meaning of scientific law is that scientific law is an exact statement of uncontrolled behavior under all conditions. But in reality there is nothing like this scientific law.

Scientific law simply states how an event behaves under stated conditions. This type of statement or rule is also possible in relation to social events. Therefore, it is clear that there is no correlation between the nature of social phenomena and scientific study and law in such a way that the characteristics of the nature of social phenomena create or can create an insurmountable obstacle to scientific study or the formulation of scientific laws. To understand this subject more clearly, attention has to be paid to the characteristics of the nature of social phenomena.



Characteristics of the Nature of Social Phenomena 

The following are the characteristics of the nature of social phenomenon

Prejudices – Lack of partiality is found in material scholars, because man studies inanimate things. In other words, he s

tudies those things of which he is not a member. Social scientist cannot study social phenomenon by remaining neutral. The reason for this is that he is himself a member of the group and community he studies and has personal interest and attitude in relation to it. A sociologist cannot study family, community and institutions in isolation from them. The result of this is that he is not able to keep himself independent from the object of study.

Lack of controlled experiment The nature of social phenomenon is also characteristic that it cannot be tested controlled. A chemist can tell how many degrees of temperature will be required to dissolve 100 grams of sugar in half a kilo of water in the laboratory, but no sociologist can tell how much percentage of the family’s environment is polluted if the child will be a criminal.

Lack of prediction – The physicist can make predictions on the basis of his studies. for example . If the pan is kept on the flame, then it can be predicted how many minutes it will boil and become steam. If wax is thrown into the fire, it can be predicted that it will melt, but it cannot be predicted. what will be the consequences of abusing your neighbor.

Is it? Thus it is clear that social events cannot be measured, they cannot be used. Naps cannot be measured,

Complexity of social phenomenon An important characteristic of the nature of social phenomenon is its complexity. Society is a web of common relations. Society is constantly changing. Social events differ from place to place. Interactions happen in society. Due to this also the society remains dynamic. Each part of the society is very complex in itself. For example, the form of family in India is not there in America, Japan and England. The customs of marriage in northern India are not there in southern India. The consequence of this is that it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between these various social phenomena.

Lack of Universality – The nature of society is not only complex but it does not have the quality of universality. The culture, behaviour, customs and way of living differ from place to place. It is said about the dialect that it changes at ten miles. The same thing applies to society as well. Due to these differences, the quality of universality is found in human beings. In the absence of the quality of universality, the laws or principles of sociology cannot be universal. Thus, scientific neutrality is not found in sociology in the absence of the quality of universality.

Lack of objectivity – The third feature of social phenomena is that they can be known only symbolically. Their knowledge is not acquired in a tangible way. This is because social relations are intangible. They can neither be seen nor touched. They can only be experienced; For example, social processes, customs, traditions etc. These are the intrinsic characteristics of human society. For this reason there is a lack of neutrality in sociology.

Qualitative nature – The fourth characteristic of the nature of social phenomenon is that it can be measured on the basis of quality, not on the basis of quantity. Relationship between husband and wife, relationship between teacher and students, cooperation in family, these cannot be measured on the basis of quantity. By measuring the relationship between husband and wife, it cannot be said that 75 percent of the relations are good. Similarly, any social phenomenon cannot be measured on the basis of quantity, as the physics says. This also makes the use of the scientific method difficult in sociology.

Dynamic nature – Society is constantly changing. The society that is today was not there yesterday and what it is today will not be there tomorrow. Man is in the age of information revolution but he started his journey from hunter stage. This means that the society which is studied in sociology is constantly changing, dynamic. Due to this mobility, the rules of social society also change. They lack consistency and uniformity.




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