Man is a social animal. He lives in social groups, in communities and in societies. Human life and society almost go together. Man cannot live as a man without society. Society is more than our environment. It is within us as well as around us. Man who did not live in society was either a God or a beast. Man is really a social animal. In order to clear about the relationship between the individual and society, it is better to know the nature of man and how he became social.
In the first place, man is social by nature. His nature is such that he cannot live without society. Human qualities like the capacity to learn, play etc. are developed in society only. Thus, Aristotle said, “Man is a social animal and cannot live without society’. Eminent sociologists like Maclver and others cited a number of case-studies like Kasper Hauser, who was an unlucky young man isolated from all kinds of human contacts when he was a small boy. He lived in the forest of Numemberg till he was seventeen. He was brought from the forest in 1928; at that time he couldn’t talk and after sometime he died.
The case of Amla and Kamla:
Amla and Kamla, two Hindu children are discovered in a wolf’s den in 1928; at that time Amla was two years old and Kamla was eight. After their discovery Amla died and Kamla did not talk, walk and respond but after some careful training she could speak, eat, drink etc. The human nature was completely missing when she was in forest but she became a human after living in a society.
The case of Anna:
Anna, an illegitimate American child, was placed in a room when she was six months old and was released after five years. After that she could not speak and was completely indifferent to people around her. But after some careful training like Kamla, she rapidly developed human qualities. She died in 1942 but proved that the human and society are closely related. Without society man’s nature can’t develop.
In the second place, necessity makes a man social. Man lives in society to fulfill his necessity. Man cannot live without food, water, light etc. and cannot satisfy his sex desire. Every man wishes to be loved by others and these needs can be satisfied only within the framework of society.
Helplessness of child:
Human child is born helpless. He cannot do anything without other’s co-operation. He takes a long time to mature and be self-dependent. His self comes into being when he takes the role of others such as friends, teachers etc. Thus, it proves that self can come into being only in society.
Man is not like the animals in the jungle. Society is necessary for him not only for the existence but also for a good life. Thus, man is a social animal. There is intimate relationship that exists between the individual and society. Both individual and society are interrelated and interdependent.