Notes on the Role of Competition in Social life

Competition plays an important role in our social life. It performs a number of functions in society.

Positive Functions:

1. Assignment of Statuses to individuals:

The role and status of the individuals in each society is determined by competition. Competition determines who is to perform what function and assigns individuals their respective place in the social system. Social status and competition are always associated. Some people compete with others to retain their status and others compete to enhance their status.

2. Source of Motivation:

Competition is a source of motivation for the individuals. It stimulates people to obtain recognition or to win some kind of prize in society. People work hard to achieve their goals. Competition increases individual efficiency.

3. Contributes to Socio-Economic Progress:

Healthy and fair competition is considered essential for human welfare. It is a symbol of social and economic progress. All kinds of progress are possible due to the competitive spirit of the people. Competition leads to scientific discoveries and inventions.

4. Provides for New Experience:

Ogburn and Nimkoff have pointed out that competition provides the individuals better opportunities to satisfy their desires for new experience and better recognition.

5. Competition and Social mobility:

As far as the individual is concerned, competition implies mobility and freedom. The spirit of competition helps the individual to improve his Social Status.

Negative Functions:

H.T.Mazumdar has mentioned the following negative functions of competition:

1. Competition may lead to neurosis through frustration.

2. It may lead to monopoly. Unlimited competition in the capitalist economy gives rise to monopoly.

3. It may lead to conflict. Unfair competition throws the real needs of the people into neglect and causes a great deal of wastage in the economic field. It may create emotional disturbances and develop unfriendly attitude among the persons or groups towards one another.