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Social Thoughts: Characteristics, Importance and Types

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A. What is Social Thought? 

Thought can be said as the product of person such as thinking, concept, point of view etc. of different conditions regarding to time, context, society, culture or conditions. But some of the thoughts, or point of view and thinking are related to the achievement of personal objectives these cannot be taken as social thoughts. These can be taken as personal thoughts only. Therefore, the thoughts concerned with different conditions of society of society produced with thinking are really the social thoughts. Which are highly related with social life. Means to say that such social thoughts are related to the social events, contexts and situations either this or that form. The more precisely we can say that social thoughts are emerged being highly related to the social conditions. All the members of all societies are unable to formulate social thoughts by considering the condition of society. Where the thinking able to analyze social condition could be included.

In the universe of living beings, human is only a supreme living being which can think about the society, essence can expose in the form of criticism. Therefore, it can be said that the emergence of social thought started with the emergence of organized settlement of human beings. The explanation of human thoughts are taken as an important while the members of the community started to think and behave about family, group and society. The thoughts emerged in each time and context are accepted or are to be accepted the historical aspect of social system. The emergence and development of different culture and civilization has been done in the process of historical development of human society. In the context of these, different thoughts are found as developed.

Also read: Theory of Origin of Anthropology and Development of Anthropological Theory 

Different scholars are developed different concepts regarding to the social thoughts. In this context, Bogardas said in his famous book 'Development of Social Thought' about social thought as; "Social thought is thinking about society and problem by one or few persons here and there in human history or at the present social thought is aimed at the solution of the social problems. It refers to experience that have being one our social problems"

As the conclusion of these definitions can be said that the source of social thought is society. The social thoughts emerge as in the process of solution of social problems. The thoughts which are not only related to the present condition or social structure but also to the historical setting of the events. The thoughts developed in the world are changed as the change of time.

The thoughts emerged in ancient and middle age related to society, caste system, religion, system of state, social relation etc. are changed accordingly with the change of time. To be emerged social thoughts; present events, social relations and events related to circumstances are also responsible. The thoughts developed by Gautam Buddha, socialist thought developed by Karl Marx or the thought of economic analysis developed by Keynes or others developed by social scientists are also related to the social events, structure of relationship, finance, political condition and the background of socio-culture. Social thoughts emerge because of the interaction between human brain and complexity of overall social system. The process of emerging such thoughts goes continue. Such thoughts not only reflect/represent the social condition but also the future of society regarding to some mandate or directions on the level of thoughts developed. For the justification of such thoughts; philosophy of thoughts are more prioritized than the essentially of the necessity of scientific facts. But the level of validity of thoughts doesn't remain as an universal.

Also read: Society and Culture from Evolutionary Perspective

B. Characteristics of Social Thoughts:

1. Emergence of social thought from social system:

The base of the origin of social thoughts is society. Social thought is the human concept and thinking emerged within the economic, social, political and cultural system of the society. The changeability of social system and complexity of the society affects to the development process of social thought. Because the social thoughts emerge being concerned with the subjects and aspects of the society and social events and context are the source of social thoughts.

Also read: Conflict Theory in Sociology: Causes, Characteristics, Strength, Weakness 

2. Related to Social Problem:

Most of the social thoughts are related to the hypothesis of prosperous and progressive thinking of the society. The thoughts are emerged because of the problems of the society and to face such problems because of which thoughts itself forwards a type of solution of such problems. Different thoughts put forward the different ways as their own ideas and point of view regarding to the problems and possible solutions of the society.

3. Social Thought is Sign to the Human Development:

The ideology movement or organization and activeness developed in the society always emphasize the development and change of the society. Especially the thoughts put forwarded for the progress or the freedom of the whole community and change of the community support to the development of the society.

Also read: Society and Culture from Diffusionist Perspective

4. Social thought are differ from its Time, context and society:

The influencing factors to the social thoughts are society, time and context. The thought is emerged being the base of these. The social complexity develops according to the level of society time and context. In the context of this, social thoughts start to develop. Caste, language culture, politics, economy etc. of the society are all the sources of thoughts and ideology.

Also Read: Cultural Ecology: Relationship between Culture and Environment 

5. Social thoughts is Based on Social Experience:

The thought formulates being the base of society and its standing mode, social, cultural and economic processes of it and the base of impacts of these processes especially what and how are the socio cultural and economic impacts. Suppose, because of the gender discrimination in the society the thoughts related to gender equity can be emerged.

6. Social thought is an Abstract Statement Based on Assumption:

Each social thought formulates on the basis of logic. These are all abstract. In social thought, we find the deep in thought and explanatory nature. There are no any special experimental causes to justify the social thoughts. But there remains possibility of the form of theory if social thought reflects and explains the social reality.

Also read: History of Origin of Sociology and Development of Sociological Theories

C. Importance of Social Thought:

The importance of social thought can be summarized in the following points as:

1. Good Direction to Society:

Social thoughts are always based on the socio cultural processes and experience of social reality. Therefore, such thoughts always guide to society by it thought and ideology always guide to the society. Social thought and ideology always guides to the society to transform personal or the understanding of the members of society, condition or values from the level of traditional values, behave and activities to the change of modern time.

2. User of social thoughts in personal life:

The ideology of thought becomes very useful not only for the progress of the community by applying behaviors, thoughts and activities in an organized form of each person but also for the personal promotion and progress. Today we can find several evidences as change of way of life by the study of philosophy of philosophers. The meaning of it is that philosophy of philosophers. The meaning of it is that philosophy impacts to the personal and social life.

3. Based of Development of Theory:

Social thought helps to formulate the theory. The thoughts and philosophy developed being the base of social complexity sign to the social reality. But the task of search of cause effect relation of such social realities can be done by staying within specific theoretical model. For example, the development of several theories is being possible within the Socialist Philosophy of Karl Marx. The theories which are developed today as of sociological theories these were all based on or were influenced by different social thought. The thoughts can strike to the prevalent conservative believe and bad norms and values of the society. The such scientific thoughts may contribute to the development of concept in the process of facts to develop theory and after a long course of time this may get the theoretical value.

Also Read: Society and Culture from Structural Functionalist Perspective

4. Reflection of Society:

Each social thought reflects the condition of society. Either today we study about ancient thoughts or about the modern social thoughts, these all thoughts and philosophy reflect the condition of contemporary society. To understand about what were the characteristics of which society or which society why and how came in this period of time and how was in past etc. can be understood by the help of thoughts developed in different period of time and context.

5. Useful to understand Social Reality:

Each social thought developed in each period of time stimulates to the emergence of another thought. This process helps to understand the social reality. The interaction of thought and delivery of it widens the consciousness of men. This also helps to understand the social reality.

D. Types of Social Thought:

It is very difficult to confine in certain points as the types of social thoughts but Bogardus has also mentioned in major three types, these are as:

1. Individual social thought:

Individual social thought is such thought of person in the society which is delivered with limited objectives. This thought remains as highly influenced by narrow personal selfishness. Individual thought influences to the selfishness of few people of the community.

2. Collective social thought:

The thought emerged being concerned with the condition of overall aspect of the society is called collective thought. This thought emphasizes the progresses, freedom and development of the community and delivers the thoughts for the tackle of social problems. The philosophy of thought has been emerged from this thought for the against of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, injustice etc. aspects of the society.

3. Scientific social thought:

Scientific thought is that type of thought based on each social events, behave, process, problems etc. and the explanation of cause effect of such aspects which is based on the more realistic analysis. Within this the following thoughts are included:
  1. Religious thought
  2. Social thought
  3. Psychological thought
  4. Philosophic thought
 In the society, the thought formulates based on social events, change and attitude. This types of thoughts may be organized or unorganized both nature.

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