By social interaction is meant the mutual influences individuals and group have upon one another as they attempt to solve individual or collective problems and as they strive to reach individual or group goals.
Ethnic conflicts in India
Society can be viewed as a system of moral norms and defined laws which embody those norms. Society can also be viewed as a system in action. Moral norms and status comprise the static element in society, social interaction, the dynamic element. “As individuals and groups meet, as they strive as they attempt to solve both individual and collective problems which their society has to offer, their status and even their moral norms are to some extent changed.”
The social processes which are to be described below are merely the characteristic ways in which social internation occurs. However, in interaction in society is a very complex phenomenon and hence it cannot be identified with any one of the social processes.
There are four main social processes that are responsible for social interaction viz. conflict, competition, cooperation and assimilation.
Conflict is the deliberate attempt to oppose, resist, or coerce the will of another or others. The range of conflict is vast. It can range from the total destruction of the enemy of the deliberate life of an associate. Though normally violence is associated with conflict conflict can occur without i . Civil disobedience and non-violent satyagraha with which Gandhiji fought the British Imperialism are the best illustrations to the point.
It may seem that most human actions are bound to oppose the will of others to some extent, but any such action-becomes conflict only if there is a deliberate intention to oppose. When a candidate secures a job it implies that job is denied to others. But in the action of the successful candidate there is no deliberate intent to oppose, resist or coerce. Every individual and every group finds itself in one or more situation that it deems intolerable in some degree.
In most cases long before conflict corrupts into hostile action it has existed in latent from in social tension and dissatisfaction. Latent conflict becomes over conflict when an issue is declared and hostile action is taken. The horrible incidents in the aftermath of India’s partition in 1947 is a good illustration to the point.
Conflict is deplored in almost all times and places and yet occurs in all times and place Why? Because of the inevitable clash of will and purpose within groups and societies. The moral norms are conservable forces in society. They change very slowly and yet people want them to change quicker. Out of this arises the conflict. The history of society is the history of conflict.
Conflict is either corporate or personal. Corporate conflict occurs among the groups within a society or between two societies. One group tries to impose its will upon the other and the inevitable results is conflict. Within society we have ample examples of labour-management conflict. Inter- national conflict Global war is an example of corporate conflict. Even the cold war which rages in the United Nations is an example of corporate conflict.
Personal conflict which occurs within the group is usually disapproved by corporate conflict. Group as a whole has little to again from internal conflict. But like corporate conflict the personal conflict too is universal. Examples of personal conflict arising out of envy hostility are as numerous as the world’s population. Love and hate cause personal conflicts.
Competition is to akin conflict, but it is different from conflict in that it stop short of a deliberate attempt to thwart another’s will. In competition two or more parties strive for the same goal which none is prepared to share with the other? Avert conflict ends in doing same to destroy the adversary.
In competition two parties may be striving for something all cannot share but they do not strive for opposing others. Competition is always governed by moral norms; while much of conflict is not.
Competitions are obliged to use ‘gala tactics.’ However, it must be admitted that the line dividing competition from conflict is very thin. Competition is continuous in society and is found in virtually every activity and social shall be performed efficiently people fed the need of competition.
It differs in scope from one society to another, but it is found in every social Society can be viewed as a point 0f compromise between the twin demands for competition and security.
Cooperation is the continuous and common endeavour of two more person to perform a task or to reach a goal that is commonly cherished. Co-operation is always a group enterprise. There are three types of cooperation according to the differences in group organization and group attitudes.
Here the group and the individual virtually fuse. Different tasks may be assigned within hierarchy of authority, but that authority secures the willing compliance of voluntary obediency. A life in a monastery is a good example of this sort of cooperation.
Secondary cooperation is highly specialized and is a characteristic of modern society. Here every individual devotes only part of his life to the group which is held together with it.
In case of primary cooperation both the goal and the means are shared in common. This is not so in case of secondary cooparation. Business office or a factory is a good example of secondary cooperation.
Accommodation is another sort of cooperation which underlies a latent conflict. Such cooperation is loose and fragile. It is a form of ‘antagonistic cooperation.’ Labour management relations and temporary coalition of two political parties are the best illustration of accommodation. Cooperation is the most pervasive and continuous of the social process, competition less so, and a over-conflict least so. Least-cooperation is both a psychological and social necessity. Family is the beginning lesson in cooperation. All societies utilize conflict, competition and cooperation, but in varying and mixtures of the all three. These three processes are universal in all societies and groups. But another social process called assimilation is found only in large and complex societies.
Assimilation is a process of interpretation and fusion in which person and groups acquire the memories, sentiments and attitudes of other persons and groups and by sharing their experience and history, are incorporated when them in common culture life.
Such a process is limited by willingness on the part of the reviving group and by desire on the part of new arrivals to faster social participation. The existence of Jews in different countries before the creation of Israel shows how they tried to assimilate. In America, they became Americanized in outlook which is a result of the social process of assimilation.
In India a similar process of assimilation is going with the refugees who have crossed over to India after the partition of India sub-continent. However it should be remembered that assimilation does not mean erasing of all distinction. It displays unity in diversity. It essentially implies a policy of give and take.
In short without social interaction earned on by aforesaid processes, there would be no social or group life.