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The Human Prospect of Sociological Studies Essay

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Updated: Jun 28th, 2021

Today’s world is very complex, diverse, and dynamic; it is continually undergoing profound and multidimensional changes and transformations. Humanity is constantly deprived of outdated forms of social life and acquires new, more effective ones. However, this progress is not unambiguous as it is characterized by both upward and downward trends. Often there is trampling on the spot, moving in circles with a repetition of what has been done and a return to the ascending base.

In this regard, the problem of the direction of the movement, the development of society as a whole, or its spheres becomes particularly relevant. The question of the individual, his or her essence, and the social perspective associated with it occupies a central place in contemporary world social thought. When we talk about the human dimension of the social perspective, we mean the human being as a dimensional component of society. This concept is penetrating to varying degrees the entire social space, rather than being a standard measure, to which the entire social and scientific thought is accustomed.

Social reality, which acts as a manifestation of peculiar integrity of interaction between the cognitive and transformative activity of society, includes an essential component of social being – the human being. Man is the center of all components of the human prospect, which should be considered as an anthropo-socio-cultural phenomenon that determines the change of society. Man is the core but not in the sense of the creator of society and history, but above all in the existential, ontological sense.

In this case, the man himself is that socio-natural space, which sets the spatial, temporal, and qualitative parameters of society with its present existence. Therefore, in the study of the human prospect, the question inevitably arises: how and in what form does the human universe determine the prospect?

The need for food initially determined the economic and industrial structure of society. It is the basis on which branch spheres of human economic activity began to appear: agriculture with plant growing and animal breeding. Further on there were branches on the processing of agricultural production. All this logically generated (and generates) other social formations connected with the mentioned types of activity: ethnocultural, territorial communities, social, and professional groups. Receiver-sensory characteristics of a person – color vision, peculiarities of hearing determined (of course, along with other factors) social spheres of artistic and cultural activity (painting, music).

The structure of society in the form of groups and communities is also determined by the spatial limitations and the relative physical weakness of an individual human being, which inevitably encourages him or her to make contact and cooperate with others for survival. Proceeding from the latter, it is possible to assume that the political structures of society have long been defined by this attribute of people as spatially local living beings. At first, these were military and military-political associations. Now we have a complex set of socio-political structurization.

The other side of society’s determination concerns the influence of the biological properties of man on his behavior and character of social relations. The fact that the social in a person has arisen based on that is not disputed by anyone. At the same time, the biological itself does not decrease, does not take a reduced form in a person, as some authors believe, and exists in it always as biological.

Therefore, as long as the instincts and psycho-physiological mechanisms laid down by nature exist in the human being in the invariable form, human nature in its biological hypostasis is practically invariable. Consequently, there will always be an impact of this nature on a social perspective. When asked whether human nature has changed throughout several millennia of history, or whether human nature has remained virtually unchanged, the answer is that there is no evidence of human transformation. All changes can be understood as a selection process within the existing.

Of course, the human being is not only a biological phenomenon. Furthermore, one should never ignore the biological component of a human being. However, if the behavior of an animal is directly connected with the reaction to irritations and objects of the surrounding world, then this reaction in a human being is mediated by the models of consciousness. The social sciences are interested in studying the existence of social forms of behavior as transformed forms of biological behavior. It is quite possible that in the future, a person himself will change these mechanisms with the help of genetic or other technologies.

In the mechanisms of human adaptation to the external environment, internal genetically determined mechanisms are of great importance. According to Losos and Lenski, “One of the important attributes of humans is that we live in social groups that require a substantial level of cooperation” (3). The biological space of a person allows us to speak about almost absolute predetermination of a man’s destiny, in any case, of its significant aspects and stages, and often of separate social events and situations.

Age periods are simultaneously periods of the social formation of a person. Biophysiological characteristics of a person determine his or her excellent or poor adaptability to situations in the social environment. Different health and physical strength determine different social reactions of people.

The biological in a human being does not oppose the social, being one of the essential constructive elements of the social. If we consider the opposite influence – the social in man on the biological – there is noticeable socialization, humanization, and ennobling of purely biological processes and acts. The same instincts have become the biological basis in the formation of cultural-artistic and moral holistic space, which demonstrates the relationship of sexes, cooperation of people with different goals and interests, sending physiological acts (for example, the acceptance and preparation of food) in the highest moral, aesthetic forms and humane conditions, which are set by the norms of society.

The main distinguishing criterion of a person is the reason. In mind, the unity of biological and social is most clearly evident: the biological substrate of the brain with neurophysiological and regulatory and management social functions.

The same idea can be derived from King’s words when he labels negotiations, or in other words, reasoning, as a direct action of human beings (4). Bell Hooks, in her interview with George Yancy, declares humanization as the primary way of solving societal problems (“bell hooks: Buddhism, the Beats and Loving Blackness”). The social in the individual is also a critical element in the determination of the social perspective. Religion, morality, customs, traditions, legal laws, various kinds of social needs are the components that form a society.

Proceeding from the stated, it is possible to conclude that the human prospect is based on the anthropomorphism of a society. Man and society are, in a sense, homomorphic. The social perspective at both micro and macro-social levels is limited, firstly, by the natural constants of man, secondly, by his social constants, and, thirdly, by the social environment, the appearance and disappearance of social integrity. The historical, social perspective is determined by the same, but already about such macrosocial structures as states, civilizations, and humanity.

Work Cited

Losos, Jonathan B., and Richard E. Lenski. How Evolution Shapes Our Lives: Essays on Biology and Society, Princeton University Press, 2016.

King, Marting L. Birmingham Jail Treatise. 1963. Web.

Yancy, G., and Bell Hooks. “The New York Times. 2015. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Human Prospect of Sociological Studies." June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-human-prospect-of-sociological-studies/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Human Prospect of Sociological Studies'. 28 June.

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