Co-operation is one of the most fundamental and associative process of social life. No society can exist without this. It is the root of human life. The term cooperation is the product of two Latin words i.e. ‘C o’meaning ‘together’ and ‘operari’ meaning ‘To work’ Hence co-operation means ‘.joint work’ of working together . In other words, co-operation literary means working together for the achievement of common goal or goals.
“Co-operation” says A.W. Green is the continuous and common endeavor of two or more persons to perform of a task or to reach a goal that is commonly cherished”. Fair Child writes, “Co-operation is the process by which individuals or groups combine their effort, in a more or less organised way for the attainment of common objective”. Herrill and Eldredge says, ” co-operation is a form of social interaction wherein two or more persons work together to gain a common end”.
Thus, co-operation is a process of social interaction which takes place between two or more individuals or groups for the achievement of common cherished goal or goals. Co- operation involves reciprocity, common goal, awareness about the consequences of co-operation, the spirit of working together, sharing the result and the required efficiency and skill. C.H Cooley also enlisted some elements of co-operation. They are common goal, rationality, self control and the capacity to organise etc. Thus, the main characteristics of co-operation are as follows:
1. It is an associative process of social interaction, is a conscious process.
3. It is a personal process in which the parties personally meet and work together.
4. It is a continuous process.
5. It is a universal process.
6. It has mainly two elements i.e. common end and organised efforts.
Types of Co-operation:
Different sociologists have classified co-operation into various types MacIver has classified in to two types i.e. direct and indirect co-operation. A.W.Gren has classified in into three types: They are (I) Primary; (ii) Secondary and (iii) Tertiary co-operation. Some other sociologist classified co-operation by taking into account the nature and size of the cooperating groups, forms of relationship involved in the co-operation and the system of regulating behaviors etc. Thus taking into account the above considerations, co-operation can be classified into the following types:
1. Direct Co-operation:
It is just opposite of direct co-operation. Here, the people do different work towards a common goal. In other words, the objective is common but every individual performs a specialised and differentiated function to achieve the end. This type of co-operation is prominent in modern city and industrial society, more particularly in large organisations where there is lack of personal tie or intimacy. This sort of co-operation is also seen in the organistion where the behaviors of the individuals are regulated by customs, tradition, and moored folk-ways or by law.
2. Indirect Co-operation:
It is that type of co-operation in which people directly co-operate with each other by doing a similar cavity to achieve common goal or goals. This type of co-operation is either due to the intimacy or closeness or due to small group tie because the face to face situation is itself a stimulus to the performance of the work. The contribution of the family members towards bringing up and rearing of children, house building, playing together, worshipping together, tilling the field together etc. are the examples of direct co-operation.
3. Primary Co-operation:
It is that type of co-operation in which there is no selfish interest and there is an identity of ends between those who co-operate. Blood relation, mutual obligation are the bases of primary co-operation. This type of co-operation is generally found in primary and small groups like the family, neighborhood and small communities. In the family and within the kin groups sharing each other’s happiness and sorrows.
4. Secondary Co-Operation:
It is that type of co-operation in which individuals co-operate with each other for the achievement of their selfish interest. That is why this type of co-operation. Is very much present in secondary groups. It is also found among the members of large economic, political and religious organisations.In these organisations although the people are not fully known to each other still they co-operate each other. This type of co-operation is seen in trade Union, in industry and in government.
5. Tertiary co-operation:
This type of co-operation is intended to meet a particular situation in spite of mutual disliking. In other words, such co-operation is the result of certain compelling circumstances. In such type of co-operation the attitudes of the co-operating parties are purely opportunistic and selfish. Political parties of different ideologies may work together or co-operate each other to defeat their rival, a third party, is an example of tertiary co-operation.
6. Directed Co-operation:
This type of co-operation is found in such organisations where the co-operation is demanded and the individual has to co-operate under the framework of written or oral laws. The modern bureaucratic co-operation is the best example of directed co-operation.
7. Un-directed Co-operation:
This type of Co-operation is automatic, spontaneous unplanned or un directive by nature rather the manifestation of human nature. Various types of help we render in our day-to-day-life, helping a blind to cross the road, helping the driver by pushing a motor car out of the mud etc. are the examples of un-directed co-operation.
ROLE OF CO-OPERATION
As an associative social process, co-operation plays significant role in the social life. Kropotkin termed co-operation as mutual aid and viewed that human life is difficult to survive without co-operation.
History has witnessed the value of co-operation. Egyptian’s pyramids the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and other such site signifies the end result of co-operation. In modern society, progress in the field of science and technology, art and literature, agriculture and industry, transportation and communication, trade and commerce etc. would not have been possible in the absence of co-operation.
Human being cannot able to lead a happy and comfortable life without co-operation. What to speak of human being, co-operation is exhibited by some animals like ant, monkeys, tiger, elephants etc. Hence co-operation is the foundation to the living animals and so also to human society. Society exists because of co-operation. It is both a psychological and social necessity for human beings; they cannot lead a solitary life.
Social unity and integration depends upon co-operation. It is the co-operation which mitigates the mutual differences, mental conflicts and inspires people to render possible help to maintain solidarity.
In the family co-operation is indispensable. Without co-operation between husband and wife, happy conjugal life will be a dream. Procreation, up-bringing, protection to newly born child will be impossible. This signifies the role of co-operation to family life.
In the field of production & distribution of goods and services, everybody realises the value of co-operation. In modern times, even to produce the smallest article like (pin) we require the co-operation of a series of workers.
Co-operation is needed to the human being for the satisfaction of his innumerable wants both existed and derived. Further, co-operation is the urgent need of the modern world. Its utility is felt both by the small groups and communities. It has contributed a lot to sort out the ways and means to settle international problems and disputes. Without it the world might not existed at least peacefully. Hence, co-operation is essential in every sphere of individual and social life.