Multidimensionality: The strength of sociology

RK Rajeebsana
Psychologically speaking, one sided scheme of thought and unidimensional way of looking at ‘object’ is not a good culture of mind, both at the micro and macro level. This habit naturally forbids into seeing, the whole panorama of the scene. It creates limitation and boundaries, preventing the accommodative consideration of the varied facet of knowledges. Such perspective hinders from comprehensive analysis and understanding of a particular phenomenon. It is like a frog in the well, sitting in his own well and thinking that, the whole world is his little well.
At the micro level, a teacher being independent variables also needs to incline towards student, a dependent variable, in order to interpret each other symbolic meanings, to have a cordial relationship. A teacher cannot be a good teacher, if he fails to understand the minds of the students. As so, learning cannot be a one way process but it is always a two-way traffic, where the teacher and student learn and improve each other in a harmony and balance relationship. Any behaviour that contradict, this ‘definition of situation’, imbalance and distort the order relationship. This is a basic psychology which we need to bear in our mind to have a harmony and understandable relationship. And this trend of thought, equally applies to the society as well. Observing and looking at a particular phenomenon, limiting with particular ism, framework, disciplinary boundary, economic, political, and cultural not only preclude to delve into the real insight of the bigger picture but also creates a disciplinary conflicts of looking at ‘thing’.
To provide some of its facts and constraint; after the Second World War, there was an increasing dissatisfaction among the political scientist in USA with the traditional nature of political science being steeped in its highly normative prescription, viewing state as its star attraction and explaining it only in terms of political relation. It refutes to view the two- way relation between state and society and “the non- political area” that consequently overemphasize the importance of laws and institutions as the only means for comprehending political phenomena. This attitude of sticking to one way legalistic and institutional approach was becoming aware to the few political scientist in USA during the 1930s. This realization brought them to the conclusion that, the political question could be best answer only when, they were placed against the wider background of societal whole, treating politics as dependent variable. This realization led to the emergence of political sociology, a cross fertilization between sociology and political science abandoning the traditional one way approach of looking at political phenomena. Another instance was re-defining, the concept of economic development in terms of reduction of or elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment within the context of growing economy during the 1970s. Prior to the reconceptualization , economic development was pre-occupied with income growth, GNP/GDP of the country which necessarily did not have any link with the improvement in the quality of life such as life expectancy, literacy rate, birth rate, death rate and infant mortality rate. Despite achieving the growth target rate of GNP set by the UN, the masses could not be freed from the trap of poverty and unemployment in most of the countries. This led to the broadening of the concept of economic development from merely measuring in terms of economic growth and income of a particular country to incorporating personal intrinsic factor of the human development index. The re-examination of the concept of economic development has led to its broadening into the concept of social development that provide integrative view of the scope of development which embrace development in all its varied facets but not that part of development that emphasizes on financial and raw material allocation only in economic terms.
Between these extremes, lies the multidimensional science of society that embraces and welcomes every discipline of humanities, social sciences including the natural sciences, bringing into harmony without any bias and maintaining value neutrality. This social physics, by virtue of its own nature have intrinsic accommodative traits, incorporating, considering and mediating every perspective of other social sciences. Sociology, as a study of human social behaviour, does not limit itself in its territoriality and unidimensional approach. It is a branch of knowledges that know how to use the “verstehen” empathetic understanding, and to look from other disciplinary point of view, which enhances its virtue of accommodative nature bringing a harmony and inclusive interpretative conclusion.
The social psychology provides a way of embracing psychology and looking at the inter-relationship of individual and group behaviour. The sociology of development introduces to the path of economics, explaining society in terms of economic variables. The branch of political sociology allows to have close affinity with political science, analysing political variables placing against the wider background of society. The increasing behaviour of social deviance and crime in modern complex societies and its regulation and form of social control have made indispensable for the law to embraces the study of legal sociology making it more interdisciplinary in studying society and its cluster of institutions. The inter-dependency of sociology and history was enunciated by Weber’s views on historical sociology, shaping in part by the availability of, and his commitment to the study of, empirical historical data.
Sociology, being a study of society as a whole with its full-fledged paper on social research in studying the empirical world has still remain to be a dynamic discipline till date as it was 200 years before during its early emergence at the crucial point of varied revolution and social forces, turning the Comtian prediction “true” of sociology ultimately becoming the dominant science of society. (The writer is pursuing Sociology at Manipur University. He can be reached at [email protected])

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