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Presented by MD. Mahbubur Rahman Lecturer in GED Northern University Bangladesh E-mail: [email protected] Lecture- 2: Society and Social Class. Introduction.
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Association, interaction, interrelation, interconnection and interdependence all these are the first and foremost significant concepts of the universe. Association between living organisms or between living and nonliving organisms or their interdependence is the prerequisite and indispensable for the survival of both. And, society is the web of human association or relationship within living and nonliving organisms (physical environment).
Let’s now define the concept ‘society’, classify society from both Marxist and non-Marxist viewpoints, identify different social classes in the human history and finally, detect the type of Bangladeshi society compared to the historical societies in order to know of the socio-economic condition of the country.
The English word ‘society’ derived from the Latin word socius means "companion, associate, comrade or business partner." Notably, this association must be of human being rather than of lower animals or other living organisms as Aristotle said:
Man is a social animal. The person who doesn’t want to live in the society is either God or animal. So, society is the complex of organized associations and institutions with a community.
MacIver defined society as a “web of social relationship”.
Moris Ginsberg said, “A society is a collection of individuals united by certain relations or mode of behaviour which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from them in behaviour”.
Cambridge Advanced Dictionary defined society as “a large group of people who live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done.”
Since no single definition of society is universally applicable, we can conceptualize the term through the following characteristics:
1. Society consists of people
2. Mutual interaction and mutual awareness
3. Both common and multiple interests
4. Society is dynamic, not static
5. Each society has its own culture
6. Cooperation and division of labour.
7. Both likeness and difference
8. Both ‘we’ feeling and ‘they’ feeling
9. Society has the dominance over its members (Social Control)
10. Society has different parts like human organism.
Sociological typology of society has major two views:
1. Marxist View and
2. Non- Marxist view.
Marxist View: Marx tried to classify society in terms of mode of production or an economic base. To Marx, development of society tends to be economic in nature that is today known as historical materialism. Simply stated, since there are different modes of production in the history, different types of society and different social classes were noted.
Mode of Production may be defined through the following figure:
Marx, on the basis of mode of production, classified society into 6 categories and mentioned different social classes in those societies. To him, different types of society emerged as a result of class struggle as evident from the following figure:
Whereas capitalist economy is based on the private ownership of property and exploitation poor masses and communism does not support private ownership and class based society, Islam synthesize these two notions. It is Islam which, in one hand, acknowledges private ownership of property and, on the other hand, minimizes the gap between the rich and poor. Interestingly, though Islamic economy is based on that Shariah (Quran, Hadith, Izma & Qias) is older than Marxist and non-Marxist economic notions, there is a synthesis in Islamic economy.
Islam has set some standards, based on justice and practicality, for such economic systems to be established. These standards aim to prevent the enmity that often occurs between different socioeconomic sections. Actually, Islamic economy is neither Socialist nor Capitalist, but a third way with none of the drawbacks of the other two systems.
As a complete way of life, Islam has provided guidelines and rules for every sphere of life and society.
▶An Islamic economic system is not necessarily concerned with the precise amount of financial income and expenditure, imports and exports, and other economic statistics.
▶A society that implements Islamic laws and promotes Islamic manners will find that it brings together all the systems – social, economic, and so forth – that it deals with progress and also peaceful things.
▶In Islam, human behavior -whether in the economic area or others – is not value free; nor is it value neutral. It is connected with the ideological foundation of the faith.
Other Economic Aspects in Islam:
▶Property: The Qur\'an states that God is the sole owner of all matter in the heavens and the earth. Man, however, holds God\'s possessions in trust (amanat).
Islamic jurists have divided properties into three categories:
a) Public property- Public property in Islam refers to natural resources (forests, uncultivated land, water, mines, oceanic resources etc.) over which all humans have equal right.
b) State property- Unclaimed, unoccupied and heir less properties, including uncultivated land can be considered state property.
c) Private property- There is consensus amongst Islamic jurists and social scientists that Islam recognizes and upholds the individual\'s right to private ownership.
Islam accepts markets as the basic co-ordinating mechanism of the economic system.
It allows consumers to obtain desired goods, producers to sell their goods, at a mutually acceptable price.
The three necessary conditions of market-
a) Freedom of exchange (engage in trade, and rejects the contention that trade is forbidden.),
b) Private ownership and
c) Security of contract. The longest verse of the Qur\'an deals with commercial contracts involving immediate and future payments.
Islamic economic institutions, not just the Islamic bank but all those connected with Islamic banking operates on the basis of "zero interest."
For example, consider the practical reality of purchasing a vehicle from an Islamic bank under an allegedly "zero interest" loan.
▶Welfare: Social welfare, unemployment, public debt and globalization have been re-examined from the perspective of Islamic norms and values.
▶Popularity and availability: Today there are many financial institutions, even in the Western world, offering financial services and products in accordance with the rules of the Islamic finance. Like many countries of the western Europe initiated the Islamic banking system because of its continuous monitoring and handling about the money for using it properly .
Islamic development more comprehensive then other economic system, because it refers also hereafter and today’s world.
In Islam, allow all inter generation right on wealth.
▶Poverty issues in Islam:
Jakah can remove poverty, In developing countries it is difficult to remove poverty. To remove poverty have to create charity fund and to give free interest loan, but it is totally impossible because no developed country will give a single money without interest. So only jakah from the able persons can change the poverty situations from any country.