Cultural diversity is receiving recognition in most parts of the world as globalization brings people together. Organizations have different values, cultures, and responsibilities that make them distinct from others. Sociologically, cross-cultural comparison and social responsibility define the social understanding of freedom, individuality, progress, equality and social responsibility. This paper describes the sociological perspectives of cross-cultural comparison and social responsibility.
Freedom is the state of being free where an individual makes personal choices and pursues personal interests. It is liberty where there are exemptions of interference, external control, and regulation. According to John Rawls (1996) freedom is the widest liberty that a person has. Mill (2016) acknowledges that it is essential that there are restrictions on freedom to avoid some people causing harm to others. In sociology, freedom is of two types; positive and negative freedom (Mills, 2016).
Negative freedom is a kind of freedom where one is free to do everything that he or she wishes. In this case, there are no restrictions on actions and wishes. Berlin (2004) stated that negative freedom allows an individual in the society to be free; no one cautions or interferes with individuals activities. Individuals possessing negative freedom have the capacity of doing what they wish without a consideration of other peoples rights. Usually, this freedom leads to hurt of other people as there are no limitations and protection of their interests and rights.
Positive freedom originates from a persons desire for self-governing. This kind of freedom entails being a self-ruler and making decisions that support the well being of other people in the society. Positive freedom is the ability for a human to grow through flourishing, self-mastery, personal development, self-fulfillment, and self-realization. Positive freedom enables a person to become autonomous. A definite distinction between positive and negative freedom by Berlin (2004) is that positive freedom allows people to have control of their lives while negative freedom is a reflection of ones behaviors in the absence of constraints and barriers.
Progress is a learning and action path that enables an individual move in the direction of having bigger opportunities as well as reducing threats to the achievement of particular goals. It is a concept where there is an upward direction, and people tend to become better as there are increased opportunities for growth and development (Battler & Sorokin, 2013). Human-related progress tends to be broad since they have both short and long-term goals that they seek to achieve. Any time that humans attain a particular milestone, they set new targets, and their progress depends on their view of the successes.
Progress in sociology is the idea that societies could improve socially, economically and politically. Progress in the society takes place when there are constructive interactions between human beings through activism. It occurs when there is direct human action in social enterprise and natural aspects of socio-cultural evolution. Social progress concepts began in the 19th century through the introduction of the social theories by sociologists such as Herbert Spencer and Auguste Comte in social evolution (Battler & Sorokin, 2013). Progress remains a varying realm of various ideologies with different theories that explain how people, organizations, and governments can achieve progress.
Many indicators try explaining progress from various dimensions such as social, economic and political. A countrys progress becomes evident by having a favorable index in foundations of wellbeing, provision of basic human needs, the creation of opportunities for growth and relative performance with other countries. These aspects consider better health care, education, infrastructure and respect for human rights. In a progressive society, there is an increased personal mobility, equality, and privacy, independence, and availability of all kinds of goods and services.
Equality entails ensuring that every person has an equal opportunity to access or to make the best use of their talents and lives. Equality makes everyone believe that no one should live a poor life due to lack of opportunities despite the place of birth, believes and disability status (Stephen & Warner, 2014). Equality ensures that everybody gets a chance for personal growth and development whether it is in the workplace, sports, and governance amongst others. Historically, equality recognizes groups of people with particular characteristics such as disabilities, race, sexuality, and endured discrimination (Stephen & Warner, 2014).
In sociology, social equality confines equality as the belief that everyone in the society should have an equal opportunity in various aspects such as membership in organizations and clubs, employment, and no anyone should take advantage of other people. A classic example is when a firm seeks to recruit few people based on their knowledge and experience. Such aspects of an organization exist in a perfect world (Stephen & Warner, 2014). There are organizations which will recruit workers in consideration of personal traits such as race, originality, and disability for good. Such organizations live a real world that comprises people with different characteristics who need equal opportunities like other people.
Equality entails treating everyone in a manner where the outcomes of every person can be same. It consists of putting things in a way that ensures everyone achieves same. The following examples, illustrate what equality means. Putting screen readers on computers for the blind people, communicating a message in different ways such as the use of posters for each person to understand for diversity and by supporting everyone in his or her interests.
Individuality is the behavior or the quality of a person or something that distinguishes from a group of other people, particularly from the same population. The qualities that define a person are strongly marked such that a person becomes unique. In a society, it is impossible for one to part with his or her individuality and take that of another (Buss, 2016). In most of the societies, there are expectations that one has to conform to in such cases, it is an onerous task to maintain individuality. Always, there are kinds of people who must follow a particular group of people. Similarly, there is a group of people (individuals) who will spend most of their time alone, strive to make their way and become their own person.
Individuality in a society enables people to maintain their identity and embrace their decisions. It is vital in society as it dictates various aspects of people such as creative thinking, inventions, and innovations. Individuality enables people in the society to be different and portray unique values such as honesty, demeaning, cruelty, and loving amongst others (Buss, 2016). Individuality is a major component of the society since negative stereotypes and beliefs explain how individuality and being different from the society defines the character of a person.
Individuality seeks to distinguish a person from other people, and many people are cherishing it. Every person strives to stand out, become different and find him or herself. In the narrow perspective of the society, no one would like an association with the crowd as each person wants to be his/her self.
Social responsibility entails the idea that makes individuals, organizations, and businesses responsible for their actions. In sociology, it involves acting or developing relations that are transparent and positive in the manner in which they operate (Mulej, Dyck & Emira, 2014). Businesses tend to use various strategies to achieve in profit-making activities. As they seek to make profits, they may end up engaging in unethical behaviors and irresponsible for their activities. Social responsibility in the business environment attracts the attention of various organizations globally that seek to ensure business indulge in practices that protect the environment as well as the society.
Social responsibility means that the society functions while maintaining a duty of the best interest of the society. It guides individuals towards behaving ethically by demonstrating the acceptable behaviors. According to Mulej, Dyck, and Emira (2014), social responsibility promotes sustainability in the society in individual relations, practices, and protection of the environment. The sustainability comes from the need to achieve transparency and accountability for the long-term viability of the society and key components such as organizations.
Social responsibility means that organizations and individuals in society have to behave ethically and remain sensitive to the environmental, economic, social and cultural issues. Efforts geared towards the achievement of social responsibility helps governments, organizations, and societies gain a positive impact on societal development and huge contributions to the bottom-line of the results. Paying careful attention to the impacts of the environment and the society helps individuals and groups of people and organizations achieve sustainability.
The societal understanding of freedom, individuality, progress, equality and social responsibility dictates behaviors of the individuals. These sociological perspectives define the understanding of the above perspectives and the social expectations towards them. They help people behave in a particular manner and are instrumental in the overall societal values, cultures and social responsibility.
Battler, A., & Sorokin, P. V. (2013). Society: Progress and force: criteria and first principles.
Berlin, I. (2004). Liberty, Five Essays on Liberty: An Introduction. Oxford.
Buss, L. W. (2016). Evolution of individuality. Place of publication not identified: Princeton University Press.
Mill, J. S. (2016). On Liberty. Lanham: Dancing Unicorn Books.
Mulej, M., Dyck, R. G., & Emira, B. (2014). Social responsibility: Sustainability, education, and management. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
Rawls, J. (1996). Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Stephen, J. F., & Warner, S. D. (2014). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Incorporated.
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