Can Social Order Develop On Its Own?

In general, the majority of us have a limited capacity to initiate a significant transformation that alters people’s perspectives and behaviors. However, it becomes clear in Peter Blau’s book “Exchange and Power in Social Life” that everyone contributes to the creation of social order. In other words, it appears on its own without any outside help. Readers of Blau’s literature become aware that even though authorities may devise rules to establish the social order, it may be challenging to achieve unanimity or compliance if people disagree with these norms. Thus, the concept of social association serves as the basis for his argument and the solution to some of the social issues that may cause disunity in the society. In this paper, the emphasis of Peter Blau on the role of individual for social order finds its evidence both in theory and in practice.
The main argument of Peter Blau
The Nature of Social Order
The major argument of the book is that social processes in interpersonal associations become more complex and regulate structures of interconnected social relations in institutions to bring people together (Blau 112). The author asserts that new social forces emerge and determine how individuals within the entire society view things. The appearance of new social ideologies makes it difficult to determine how every person ought to act. Using the specific guidelines, Blau implies that since complex social structures have their roots in the simpler and primitive interactions, they give individuals the power to choose between what they feel is right for them and disregard what they feel wrong (114). Based on this, the author argues that individuals can create social order without external forces by acting in a way that attracts the others and according to the situation. If a person does not accept to relate with the others on beneficial terms, forcing to adhere to certain regulations may not work effectively.
Social Associations
Furthermore, the concept of social associations creates an impression that every person plays an important role in determining how the people live. The social argument shows that when several individuals take the power to create social order, it becomes difficult to address the requirement of every person. In this situation, the people in authority may come up with the conclusion that consider the wellness of the minority may cause more problems. Thus, the best approach is to include as many people as possible in order consider everyone’s interest before making the final judgment. Nevertheless, Blau states that individuals will give in to other suggestions if only they get something in exchange (113). Hence, social associations become fruitful when all parties take part in the association without force. Otherwise, a society may witness continuous conflicts, which are not good for individuals and the entire economy.
Individual Interest
Finally, Blau employs individual interest and social structure as the basic theoretical foundations of his argument. The key implication within his writing is that individual interest develops the urge to make associations with persons in the social structure. Thus, this argument increases the awareness that it is impossible to have social structures without individual interests that foster relationship between one person and the other. However, the individual interest should be neither malicious nor have wicked intentions.
Analysis of Blau’s argument
Due to Blau’s arguments, it is evident that social order can emerge spontaneously without any influence of the government. This statement reveals that individuals who have certain interests can take the initiative to come up with predictable systems that bring together more than a single person to make a change. Blau’s ideology of social associations yield beneficial interactions that satisfy every person and appears to generate testable implications. For example, individuals can manage to tolerate racism by participating in debates that shun persons who practice racism. This tool may also help to build good relationship among persons who belong to different races. The present American society, for example, does not consider a person’s race to be a determinant factor for superiority. The dramatic reduction in racial segregation cannot be attributed to stringent governmental policies but to the agreements individuals achieved to consider the act as being unethical. Therefore, the key assumption of Blau that links among the separate individuals is crucial for the society as the whole finds its evidence in the contemporary world. As the case of debates shows, the notion of social associations proves its potential to describe the social order more effectively.
The author’s argument that excising power without considering the majority’s opinion may lead to differences is concrete and readers should take the message seriously. The author claims that when leaders fail to engage in constructive talks to come up with suggestions that would benefit every person, power wrangles and further disarray are likely to occur (Blau 119). Correspondingly, nowadays it is common to witness scenarios in which leaders stand up against one another for failure to adopt an agreement that satisfies every person. According to Blau, leaders should develop contradicting opinions on how to make use of public funds in the circumstances when people have contradicting interests (115). However, the wrangles would not exist if all parties could come together and adopt a conclusion that would suit every member of the society. The author’s standpoint to resolve this conflict is that leaders should hold talks among themselves while considering their citizens’ opinions to adopt guidelines that would satisfy every person.
Finally, the concept of social associations is also relevant for the contemporary times because societies are becoming more democratic, thus giving individuals the choice to make personal decisions and to associate in groups. Currently, there are debates on the scenario whereby whatever happens is solely based on the decisions made by themselves, meaning acquiring more rights, choose the work conditions that fit them, and selecting the right leader who considers the plight of every person. In this case, emphasis on the individuals in decision-making reveals the potential of people to influence not only the current social order but also the future basis of interactions.
Blau argues that it is possible to adopt a social order without influence from external forces, the government in particular. The author implies that the primary factors determining how things ought to happen are the associations people make with each other and the exchanges they make to attain certain benefits. The argument passes the information that members of the public may revolt against bad leadership, especially when they feel they do not have the access to their fundamental rights. Blau passes the information that social order can occur spontaneously when individuals decide to work together to attain change. Finally, it is only wise for individuals to come up with conclusions that would benefit many people and not only a few to avoid misunderstandings that may worsen the condition. Because Blau’s assumptions find their evidence in the contemporary social processes, it is reasonable to state that this theory is concrete and generalizable.

Work Cited
Blau, Peter. Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1964.

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