the an individual within social structures, that also allows

the minds of individuals and its pre-established ways of acting or
thinking. (Speer, 2017) However, there is a social structure that consists of
norms that are passed through institutions which can shape individuals. One of
the major concepts of the structural perspective is social control. Social control is
a widely used concept in sociology that refers to the various of methods used
to bring defiant members of society back in line. Physical violence is the
oldest form of social control; the other methods are extensions of it.

Self awareness seems to play
a large role in social control as it affects each individual’s essential
self-definition. German sociologists labeled another type of social control as
the “sphere of the intimate” (Berger, 1963, p.77) because the factors that
construct it is in one’s own biography. The way individuals view themselves and
the elements of their self-image reflect this form of social control as it
ensues individuals to return to their location. The significance of the term
“location” of an individual can be explained by understanding social
stratification. Social stratification is simply a system of ranking within
every society; however, it is one of the most complex theory of sociological
thought. All the elements in the theory of social stratification result in
understanding social location to be the position of an individual within social
structures, that also allows individuals to locate oneself with regard to the
many forces that constrain and coerce one. (Speer, 2017) (Berger, 1963, p.78)

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Marx’s Conflict Theory is
also associated with the Structural Perspective theory through the concept of a
class system within social stratification, which is the way classes of society
are divided based on possession of wealth. (Speer, 2017) Berger defines the
class system to be “the most important type of stratification in contemporary
Western society as it is defined as one’s general position in society is
basically determined by economic criteria.” (p.79) Marx perceived individual’s
actions, shaped by society, would generate the tensions developed between
different groups and become the conflict. This conflict causes a competitive
system to develop within societies, resulting in economic self interest rather
than operating for the benefit of the collective.

            On the other hand, Emile Durkheim’s theory
of Solidarity argues that the tensions which arise from the capitalistic
competitive system can be subdued by persuading individuals with the concept of
benefiting from the collective. The feeling of inclusion is a necessary factor
in this theory as it provides individuals with the sense of being a part of
something greater, advocating for the collective as “being a part of something greater.” While
each society’s division of labor evolves throughout the years, inclusion and
some form of stratification was concluded to be necessary.

South Korea’s economic
growth juxtaposes Durkheim’s theory of Solidarity, Marx’s Conflict Theory, and
Berger’s understandings of the Structuralist Perspective. Due to Korean
society’s group-oriented traditions, Durkheim’s theory of Solidarity based on
similarity is proven to be effective. While individual selfish tendencies are inevitable, solidarity
helps regulate these tendencies by teaching the standards of societal norms
while thinking of the collective to be the standard “state of mind’. Social
control can relate to this theory as mechanisms of persuasion, ridicule,
gossip, and opprobrium can be applicable to the various groups individuals are
apart of. The “compact groups in which they are personally known and to which
they are tied by feelings of personal loyalty” (Berger, 1963, p.71) all
practice social control while simultaneously implementing solidarity.

While the ideals of the
collective are true, Marx’s Conflict Theory is also applicable to the social
hierarchies within the South Korean society. The change of the economic and
social structure throughout the years did develop Korea overall; however, this
induced the gap between each class’ standard of living to widen as well. The
competitive capitalistic views led to the widening between classes as it causes
those who fail to advance to fall while the opponent moves up, which will later
affect their offspring’s life chances, as one’s class position will most likely determine
the level of education their children are likely to receive. Although there are some social norms that already
exist in society before birth, educational institutions also shape individuals
with another secondary set of norms and values through subjects such as
history. Education is an essential part of Korean culture as it determines the
fate that individuals can expect because of the competitiveness of its society.

However,
this does not mean there are no chances of success if an individual comes from
the lower-middle class, but rather can be compared to “having to operate with a
statistical handicap.” (Berger, 1963, p.79) Since Korean culture still honors
the Confucian tradition of the vertical class structure, it is deemed as a
difficult society to live in. An example of the vertical class structure in
Korean society is the phenomenon referred to as “Gab” and “Eul,” “Gab” refers to
being the one who has the power while “Eul” is the powerless laborer. Because
of social hierarchical traditions such as this, the nickname of “Hell Joseon”
was created. “Hell Joseon” is a phrase that is
used to to compare living in Korea to being in hell. This phrase was built by
the Korean citizens as they felt that the level of inequality they faced was
not only due to natural evils, but social as well. The frustrations of being a
job seeker resulted in people blaming the Korean government and Korean society
to be a challenging place to live in, due to the lack and limitations of job
opportunities corresponding with the low wages workers receive. Another example
of social control implemented into the Korean workforce is the simple tradition
of “hweshik” which directly translates to “company dinner.” This is a company
in which everyone in the office is expected to attend and the frequency of
these occurrences depends on one’s boss and job. Since the drinking culture in
South Korea has a strong influence, it is considered fundamental in their
business culture. Alcohol is used as outlet for Korean citizens to relieve
their stress as well as strengthen relationships between other coworker, while
companies use this as an opportunity to “encourage” their employees to become
more productive at work. Despite the positive purposes of hweshiks, employees
are expected to cater to their boss during the dinner as social hierarchy is
still maintained even outside of the four walls of the office building. An
employee’s social performance at the dinner could be used as leverage for a
potential way to finesse their position in the company and be seen as a
favorable candidate for promotions, whereas a lack of attendance could be a
detriment.

the minds of individuals and its pre-established ways of acting or
thinking. (Speer, 2017) However, there is a social structure that consists of
norms that are passed through institutions which can shape individuals. One of
the major concepts of the structural perspective is social control. Social control is
a widely used concept in sociology that refers to the various of methods used
to bring defiant members of society back in line. Physical violence is the
oldest form of social control; the other methods are extensions of it.

Self awareness seems to play
a large role in social control as it affects each individual’s essential
self-definition. German sociologists labeled another type of social control as
the “sphere of the intimate” (Berger, 1963, p.77) because the factors that
construct it is in one’s own biography. The way individuals view themselves and
the elements of their self-image reflect this form of social control as it
ensues individuals to return to their location. The significance of the term
“location” of an individual can be explained by understanding social
stratification. Social stratification is simply a system of ranking within
every society; however, it is one of the most complex theory of sociological
thought. All the elements in the theory of social stratification result in
understanding social location to be the position of an individual within social
structures, that also allows individuals to locate oneself with regard to the
many forces that constrain and coerce one. (Speer, 2017) (Berger, 1963, p.78)

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For You For Only $13.90/page!


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Marx’s Conflict Theory is
also associated with the Structural Perspective theory through the concept of a
class system within social stratification, which is the way classes of society
are divided based on possession of wealth. (Speer, 2017) Berger defines the
class system to be “the most important type of stratification in contemporary
Western society as it is defined as one’s general position in society is
basically determined by economic criteria.” (p.79) Marx perceived individual’s
actions, shaped by society, would generate the tensions developed between
different groups and become the conflict. This conflict causes a competitive
system to develop within societies, resulting in economic self interest rather
than operating for the benefit of the collective.

            On the other hand, Emile Durkheim’s theory
of Solidarity argues that the tensions which arise from the capitalistic
competitive system can be subdued by persuading individuals with the concept of
benefiting from the collective. The feeling of inclusion is a necessary factor
in this theory as it provides individuals with the sense of being a part of
something greater, advocating for the collective as “being a part of something greater.” While
each society’s division of labor evolves throughout the years, inclusion and
some form of stratification was concluded to be necessary.

South Korea’s economic
growth juxtaposes Durkheim’s theory of Solidarity, Marx’s Conflict Theory, and
Berger’s understandings of the Structuralist Perspective. Due to Korean
society’s group-oriented traditions, Durkheim’s theory of Solidarity based on
similarity is proven to be effective. While individual selfish tendencies are inevitable, solidarity
helps regulate these tendencies by teaching the standards of societal norms
while thinking of the collective to be the standard “state of mind’. Social
control can relate to this theory as mechanisms of persuasion, ridicule,
gossip, and opprobrium can be applicable to the various groups individuals are
apart of. The “compact groups in which they are personally known and to which
they are tied by feelings of personal loyalty” (Berger, 1963, p.71) all
practice social control while simultaneously implementing solidarity.

While the ideals of the
collective are true, Marx’s Conflict Theory is also applicable to the social
hierarchies within the South Korean society. The change of the economic and
social structure throughout the years did develop Korea overall; however, this
induced the gap between each class’ standard of living to widen as well. The
competitive capitalistic views led to the widening between classes as it causes
those who fail to advance to fall while the opponent moves up, which will later
affect their offspring’s life chances, as one’s class position will most likely determine
the level of education their children are likely to receive. Although there are some social norms that already
exist in society before birth, educational institutions also shape individuals
with another secondary set of norms and values through subjects such as
history. Education is an essential part of Korean culture as it determines the
fate that individuals can expect because of the competitiveness of its society.

However,
this does not mean there are no chances of success if an individual comes from
the lower-middle class, but rather can be compared to “having to operate with a
statistical handicap.” (Berger, 1963, p.79) Since Korean culture still honors
the Confucian tradition of the vertical class structure, it is deemed as a
difficult society to live in. An example of the vertical class structure in
Korean society is the phenomenon referred to as “Gab” and “Eul,” “Gab” refers to
being the one who has the power while “Eul” is the powerless laborer. Because
of social hierarchical traditions such as this, the nickname of “Hell Joseon”
was created. “Hell Joseon” is a phrase that is
used to to compare living in Korea to being in hell. This phrase was built by
the Korean citizens as they felt that the level of inequality they faced was
not only due to natural evils, but social as well. The frustrations of being a
job seeker resulted in people blaming the Korean government and Korean society
to be a challenging place to live in, due to the lack and limitations of job
opportunities corresponding with the low wages workers receive. Another example
of social control implemented into the Korean workforce is the simple tradition
of “hweshik” which directly translates to “company dinner.” This is a company
in which everyone in the office is expected to attend and the frequency of
these occurrences depends on one’s boss and job. Since the drinking culture in
South Korea has a strong influence, it is considered fundamental in their
business culture. Alcohol is used as outlet for Korean citizens to relieve
their stress as well as strengthen relationships between other coworker, while
companies use this as an opportunity to “encourage” their employees to become
more productive at work. Despite the positive purposes of hweshiks, employees
are expected to cater to their boss during the dinner as social hierarchy is
still maintained even outside of the four walls of the office building. An
employee’s social performance at the dinner could be used as leverage for a
potential way to finesse their position in the company and be seen as a
favorable candidate for promotions, whereas a lack of attendance could be a
detriment.

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