Human beings are stimulated by their natural drives which may include Drive to acquire, bond, learn, defend and feel, etc. All these drives or stimuli produce some actions. When men have the desire to acquire material or immaterial things like a car or a house, they need to interact with any other member or group of people in a society. Likewise, for desire or need to bound or when they want to be loved and feel valued in their relationships with others, they need other people, to satisfy their curiosity they want to learn, to defend or for their physical protection, they want security from dear ones, society or a nation-state. All these needs of individuals in society produce some action. Every individual or member of society is connected to each other through their needs and actions which bound them to stay interdependent and rely on each other. These actions are basically the results of various desires of human survival. Of necessity, our ancient ancestors had numerous survival skills, including foraging, hunting, herding, and building shelters. In the last few millennia of human existence on this earth, we have learned specialized roles to live. In this era, we are computer operators and nuclear physicists, bloggers and plumbers, but a few of us are still having the generic skill sets that were once an essential requirement for survival. It is a fact that archaic societies were not that much interdependent as compare to the modern age societies. In modern societies, members and groups are interdependent in a uniquely modern way. Nowadays all the members are not farming or building houses or making semiconductors. Instead, our complex social systems are based on the division of labour and the exchange of goods and services to meet human needs. Now a day’s all the members and groups are bound by their actions. They affect, directly or indirectly, one another’s lives by their actions which they take for fulfilling their needs.
2.1) Debate on structure vs. agencies
In theoretical rapports structure and agency explains the degree to which the people in the society has the capacity to live as an individual and how these external factors influence one’s individuality (Bunge, 2017). Structure defines the way in which the society is systematized, and the agency explains the individual actions and behaviours within that societal structure, the societal structure is stratified in terms of social classes (lower class, middle class and upper class in addition to this there is a working-class). So this classification creates tension in the society within equal power acquisition by the influential citizens and they try to oppress the subordinate or lower class. Sociologist’s theories regarding structure and agency are controversial like Gidden said that when agency system is implemented, it allows individuals actions to formulate society around them, while on the other hand, the structure theory proponents say that individual’s actions and principle of life should be structured and controlled by the social bodies, rules, and norms (Jack, 2017). They believe that an individual is not born for isolation, every member needs to interact and live within the social network that makes the need of educating the young’s about the social structure and its influence on their conduct (James et al. 2019). Hence while living in society, no individual is entirely free in their activities, they have a limited number of options according to the particular society they are living in (Lamb et al. 2017).
At the same time, these two theories have some limitations according to Conger a family’s socioeconomic eminence gives prediction about the newborn life if the social legacy of that family is conservative in adopting new skills and knowledge then that child will be deprived of gaining that (Green, 2016). While considering the other side of the picture, Gladwell stated that if any of the individuals take a step forward to change any norm that is obsolete and society also feels the need for change then that individual can be a problem solver for the whole society (Gladwell, 2019).
2.2) Socialization and influence of it on an individual’s development
Sociologists and anthropologists refer to a term ‘Socialization’ which according to them incorporates the continuing process through which individual receives and disseminate customs, norms, social values, and ideologies to develop the abilities that are helpful to cope up with society’s expectations and trends. With this stance, we came up with a proposition that socialization is the continuity of social and cultural values. According to Cooley, an individual’s growth depends on his interpersonal connections and how that person is being perceived by others because some of the individuals focus on the perceptions of others about them and try to contour themselves accordingly (Cooley, 2017). Further, Mead formulated a theory named as Social Behaviorism that enables to explain how an individual personality is developed by the social experience, and his main focus was ‘self’; he endures the research with the outcome that self-awareness and self-perception about the matters related to life makes the person able to develop a significant personality. According to him, social behaviorism is the emergence of self and mind from the process of communication between self and the society. He has introduced the concept of ‘pragmatism’ which focuses on problem-solving through practical elucidations rather than on ideologies (Barrett, 2019). Neurologists named Freud proposed the idea of psychoanalysis by stating that psyche of human beings can be alienated into three parts; Id this deals with the impulsive and unconscious acts to seek instant indulgence and pleasure, second one is Ego that focuses on reality to seek pleasure from the realistic ways that may benefit the individual in long-term, third one is Super-Ego it focuses on perfection through predetermined societal structure (Peterson & Phillips, 2018). According to Freud, human’s habits develop or enhance through socialization, which are the frequent behaviour and essential part of people’s personality. However, human’s personality is the result of socialization interacting with his/her inner psychological components.
Another theory that puts light on cognitive development in Piaget’s theory that deals with the nature and growth of human intelligence. He stated that in reality continuous change is vigorous which needs transformation and states, here transformation means all comportments of changes experienced by a person and states emphases on the conditions that person will be encountered during the transformation process (Ghazi et al. 2016).
2.3) Group formation
Public sector organizations are the institutions that manage and implement the policies formed under the supervision of government bodies to attain their goals. Like any other organization, the public services workforce is trying to deal with the emerging work dynamics, and such transformation has increased the need for teamwork. Here the example of “National Audit Office UK” has been taken which is responsible for auditing all government departments and agencies. While evaluating their organizational culture and structure some of the problems have been identified like there is a dearth of consensus among them because of the existence of grouping among them, as they belong to different backgrounds and have different social values it was found that the people with the same ethnicity, race, gender, position in organization and demographics form a group that in some cases are neglected by the organization management and some have prioritized rights and enjoys superior level in organization (nao.org.uk, 2020).
• It is observed that almost 88% per cent workforce in NAO is white, and only 12% are from other ethnic groups. So this 12% feels the difference as that 88% forms a social group with the same values and works under one group and the minorities are left isolated, and this creates a difference in wages rates on the basis of ethnicity. According to Ashenfelter, when due to ethnicity discrimination in the workplace occurs that results in the low productivity of the leftover group (Greene & Shenoy, 2019).
• Talking about racial discrimination, the line manager uses different strategies for bullying the employees on racial inequality. According to a recent report, the government is making policies and amendments in the “Race Relations Amendment Act, 2000” (nus.org.uk, 2020).
• NAO has revised its strategy regarding the organizational structure by focusing on cross-staff collaboration among all members of the team regardless of their groupings. In this way, the isolated group would be able to share their knowledge and expertise in technology, and this step will ultimately create a friendly environment in the organization.
• To ensure equality in income in all groups, the company has announced an increase of pay on a yearly basis just on the performance of an individual, not on any other factor.
• NAO is now more committed to having a diverse workforce that shows the assortment of varied populations, so they making policies to secure the rights of an already existing diverse workforce and encouraging new ones too so the ratio can be equal (parliament.uk, 2017).
• The implications of the Sub-cultural theory by critical thinkers like “Thrasher” and “Cohen” argued for a group mindset which will explain the tendencies of a certain group to be more prone to social crimes and offenses. The explanation of the causation is often varied but sociologists as “P. Cohen” is of this opinion that economic disparity and social oppression can explain such behaviours. He linked this sub-cultural theory to Marxism. The order of the society allows a struggle for equilibrium in all fronts. If the existence and formation of sub-cultural groups can justify the abundance or criminal activities then the formation of the counter group is only natural. The other group being the law enforcement agencies and Police. Thus this theory helps us to have another perspective into the rationale behind group formation.
3.1) Structural theory’s critical analysis
Since the 19th century, human societies have been defined as structures. The British philosopher named Herbert Spencer connotes the term society as the structure compromising of inter-reliant parts similar to the anatomy of the human body. According to him, government, family, education, religion, the economy, and healthcare are the social institutions or belief patterns of humans which shape the structure of a society.
Emile Durkheim applied the theory of Spencer for explaining how a society survive and change over time. He believed that, a society is a very complex system of interdependent and interrelated parts which act together for maintaining stability, and that society is grasped together by common languages, symbols and values (Gorski, 2017). According to him, for studying the society and its structure, people should look beyond individuals to the factors of society like morals, laws, customs, religious beliefs, rituals, fashions, and values, which all act for governing social life. Each of these facts serves one or multiple functions within the society (Karim, 2016). For instance, one function of the law of a society may be for protecting society from crime or violence, while the other is for punishing offensive or criminal activities, while some other for preserving public health.
However, the structural process of the modern society is not same as it was for the traditional society because of the changing need and demand of the people. For instance, in early time, people’s basic need was food, safety and shelter. Then people added health and entertainment and in modern era the structure of a society is highly depends on the class, status and economy. Stuart Hall has described some core factors or characteristics which are totally different from the characteristics of the traditional structure of society. Some of the characteristics are:
• People now mainly believe on secularism more than religion.
• Money system and economy have become a huge part of people’s life and the society (Kerbo, 2017).
• Political control has increased due to time.
• Relations between a woman and man have changed and people in this modern age are more self concern than before.
• The rise of rationalist and scientific approach towards this world.
So, it can be understood that the formation of modern society is hugely depend on the science, political impact, economy, etc. When explaining a range of individuals, then it is important to understand that conflicts will defiantly exist within the people of a group or society because according to Karl Marx, a society is the combination of individuals who all have different beliefs and backgrounds (Lock & Heere, 2017).
Emile Durkheim has discussed the contemporary sociological structure that the society is comprised of parts that are interdependent on each other and their interdependency creates a demand for the structure according to the conducts of groups and their members. He believed that individual behaviour is always enforced by external factors (Gorski, 2017). Like Durkhem, Murdock also agrees on this concept in his book Social Structure identifies the comparison, classification, and correlation of various features of society (Karim, 2016). To better analyze the structural impact on groups and individuals the Identity and Social Identity Theory explains this in an enhanced way: Michael et al. proposed that identity and social identity theory are two comparable views that show the dynamics of socially raised self between a person’s behaviour and structure. Identity theory defines an individual’s behaviour in different roles, and Social theory identifies the group dealings and inter-group interactions and the impact of social structure on groups (Lock & Heere, 2017). When talking about the group of people, there exist conflicts among them this aspect was addressed by Karl Marx, as society is the combination of people of different social backgrounds and eventually they are competing for political, social, economic and household resources (Kerbo, 2017). It is clearly seen on governmental, religious and educational levels that there is inherited inequality because of inadequate social structures, as some of the group of individuals in society have better approach to resources because of their superior power and class status while other lack of competing with them because of being part of deprived group of society. This whole structure is based on a simple understanding that the lower class gets their due share in terms of economic and social independence. But Marxism alos warns of a scenario where this balance is disturbed by the over prioritization of industrialists. The “Proletarian Revolution” prophesised at the end of such social misbalance is not only a struggle of securing better economic advantage but also social advantages as well. Thus by the end of all social theories the priority of social equality is stressed time and time again. The entire political and social conflicts rise from this rationale and goes to show the most basic needs of human beings as social animals for social structure predates economic structure.
3.2) Social construct
Sociology has always critiqued the conceptualization of race, ethnicity and gender and sexuality by dividing them into two typical groups’ minority and majority, and they ultimately suffer social, economic and political inequalities and stratification. According to sociologists, race means significant physical differences; ethnicity refers to shared languages, beliefs, and lineage. Individuals come across class, race, gender and sexuality differences on the basis of social locations, like individuals having the same race experience race contrarily that depends upon their position as the professional, managerial, working or unemployed class (asanet.org, 2020).
Generally, these factors and their impact can be seen in workplaces like as compared to the middle class lower working class are more inclined towards economic threats because of their class, cognition and identity, are less likely to have access to better opportunities because of educational background. The government should focus on making policies that encounter the deprived segment of society and motivate social cohesion. Talking about social class there are two characteristics of prejudice, and one deals with the individual attitudes towards the lower or unemployed class and the other deals with the individual’s attitude towards the other social groups who belong to the same class. It is witnessed from UK that with the changing economic conditions the people think that these diversified class of workers should not be given any welfare benefits because of their poverty, as the upper-class shows racism for this class and are neither ready to provide these minorities equal economic benefits nor they want them to have a sustainable social position in society.
Further studies and reports have identified that social inequalities occur in society due to bad governance of state and uncontrolled political authorities which create the circumstances of cosmopolitanism and racism just for their own political benefits, the minorities are deprived of current resource existential. The existence of these social constructs is not tangible and physically quantifiable. Similar to the “Social Contract theory” of “Rousseau”, the components of the society allows for intangible values and demarcations which cannot be explained otherwise. The formation of these contracts can explain the constructs of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity as they are formed for the social members by the social members. The common agreement on its existence and acknowledge makes it possible.
3.3) Social change and its analysis
Social change means that any significant or prominent alteration in the behaviours and cultural values and traditions, here alteration refers to changes in extreme social values (snhu.edu, 2020).
Here to develop a deep understanding of this change the example of Tipperary Country Council has been taken that was established in 2014 by the merger of two councils of different regions north and south. It was the first local government reform in order to have a cost-effective program. This merger was a significant challenge for the higher authorities because, before the merger they did not have much coordination with each other, they had nothing in common at that time they just share the same ruling authority as it was a public service organization. This however was not the case for the citizen who habited the northern and southern Ireland. They faced a significant change in their social identity. Yet the benefits of the merger have been ralised well beforehand in the grounds of economic, political and social shared benefit (ipa.ie, 2015). This goes to show that this merger bridged the social gap that might have existed before the merger. There are other incidents which have seen drastic changes in the modern social interpretations, for instance the 9/11 terrorist attack in the USA. The social changes instigates by these events are the aftermath of a potential political conflict which is instigated by malicious intentions. The merger of the “Tipperary Country” was on a formative ground which goes to show the power of positive economic and social attitude which is not influenced by any extraneous influencer but comes as a natural resolution to a common conflict.
It complements the construction of social orders to begin with. The company after modifying its policies ends up settling all cultural disputes (thejournal.ie, 2020).
3.4) Modern issues and the public service
Homelessness in the UK and public services:
According to the recent report in UK, almost 320,000 people are homeless right now as per last year data there is increase of 4 %in the rate of homelessness that connotes that 36 individuals are facing this issue each day out of this percentage almost 135,000 are children who are homeless and temporarily living in some impermanent accommodations that depict the highest figure so far in the history of UK. The UK is facing this issue because of the increase in the number of immigrants from the surrounding areas and even from the other countries (theguardian.com, 2020).
The government has analyzed the reason behind this issue that there are 825 homes for 1000 families, so this makes a large number of people homeless due to the housing market compression. Some other reasons are stagnating salaries they cannot afford a home in the limited and inadequate resources. The housing market is also facing a downfall because of reduced cost benefits for constructing houses. To address this issue, the government has announced a budget of £100 million for special programs for homeless people. They are also taking steps to promote factory-built homes, so the process of productivity can be accelerated. The government is also promoting investment in this area so the people will make more houses for the gain of rentals and providing subsidies to such sectors that are willing to construct houses for the needy (england.shelter.org.uk, 2020).
Such responsibilities invariably falls on the shoulder of government organisations as GPA (Government Property Agency) which regulates the purchase, use and reformation of government properties in UK. These are the primary factions which allows for a more optimized and organized form of facilitation issue rising from the population factors (gov.uk, 2020).
Population growth management and government:
The UK is facing a rapid increase in population for the last few years, and according to recent census reports, it has gone beyond 66.4 million. With the increase in population, their need for health care has increased; they need cost-effective and sustained health care facilities. It is also affecting the economic condition of the country as the chances of employment are limited, but the demand is becoming more and more in addition to that government cannot provide an equitable level of education. So now, the government is promoting family planning through its Accelerated Family Planning Program that ensures the availability of birth control programs to every female of the region (Weaver, 2019). The rapid growth in population rate has caused major issues to public services regarding the availability of social care system economy has experienced a shortfall of £160 million in the budget of social care, so population control is the essential requirement to manage all these gaps (theguardian.com, 2020).
The responsibility of these health related policing is bound with the activities of NHS and their innate need to set a national health care bench mark. The government is linked with the operations of NHS closely and allows for timely interventions and allowance. The prospect of joint venture is a way to fight dire medial situations of the present while preparing for the future. The prospect is thus to maximize the resources and make the implementation reaching to the whole population (theguardian.com, 2020).
4.0) Evaluation of the connection of social change and structure and impact on the public service
Social change is ubiquitous as it is an unavoidable phenomenon that shows the alteration in the pattern of society through the modification of norms, interactions, and values. There are a number of factors that bring this change like ideology, political, economic, culture or change in population. The change that has been brought by the government is mostly a reformed one that initiates a planned and complete agenda to help society achieve its goals and adopt social change through developmental ventures, the promulgation of legislations and endowment of social amenities. In the 20th century, the current social problem that has been seen in the society due to cultural and structural difference were poverty, education, incompletion of degrees, social care system, health facilities for children, increasing population growth and homelessness. All these issues are creating a deprived society as the population is increasing the number of minorities is also increasing and government fails to provide them with the basic right of employment as they increase in number their employment rates that are creating poor economic conditions. The public services are now making policies to utilize the taxation amount for the betterment of these individuals as they are trying to provide them with housing facilities at reasonable rates, promoting welfare benefits for the homeless people. Social changes as political influence, economic priority and also the formation of different social groups are timely events. The government of most of the developed countries functions on a reflexive policy. The management is there to form and allow for consistent change which will serve the greater social benefit. The UK likewise has managed to change its public policies to better utilize its resources. In the modern context the most important requirement of the organisation is to maximize its effectiveness with efficiency. The government understands these priorities and thus onw can see the formation of “JESIP” as an inevitable outcome. The joint infrastructure of JESIP allows the government to be more inductive of its resources strategically, allowing for maximum effect. This benchmarks only one of such initiatives but in reality it speaks volumes on the perception of the Government.
This study has highlighted the concept of society, the structural and cultural changes within society and how these changes influence the behaviour of individuals or groups or society as a whole. According to researchers, an infant is also affected by the social norms and values and how he grows in the societal constructs. In addition to these contemporary issues at the workplace, specifically in public service, the organization has been discussed in the context of UK societal structure and the government policies and regulations to eradicate these issues. The impact of structural and cultural change has been discussed with reference to contemporary issues prevailing in this society and the role of government to cater to these issues. As the population is facing the problem of homelessness and rapid uncontrolled growth in population rate that creates a challenging situation for the public service authorities. The societal construct of the UK is explained in this paper and how it has been pretentious by the social, economic and political forces. Poor government policies and its effect on social issues like lack of employment opportunities, inadequate supply of food and education facilities to a specified class of people. We have concluded from this study that social changes and the formation of social structures have a direct impact on the performance of individuals and the group as a whole.
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