In the two articles Social Change Among the Amish, and TheMcDonaldization of Society we can clearly understand the differencebetween a Gemeinschaft and a Gesellschaft. The term Gemeinschaftand Gesellschaft is used by Ferdinand Tonnies to analyze the two majorterms in society.
A Gemeinschaft is otherwise known as a “intimatecommunity. ” It is used to describe the traditional type of society inwhich everyone knows everyone else. While a Gesellschaft is what ismore common, Gemeinschaft’s do exist. A Gesellschaft is otherwiseknown as a “impersonal association. ” It is what we typically live in, it isemerging society with short-term relationships, individualaccomplishments, and self-interests that crowd out personal ties, familyconnections, and life-long friendships.
In the article Social Change Among the Amish out of a group ofselected Amish families 130 questionnaires and/or personal interviewswere obtained for the information in this article. The Gemeinschaftcommunity is clearly understood in this article about the Amish. TheAmish are a Gemeinschaft community living in a Gesellschaft society. The Amish people are polite and cordial but they are not to intrigued byoutsiders intruding on their land. The Amish lifestyle and religionpromotes voluntary isolation and has been a major obstacle for anyonewanting to collect data or research on the Amish community.
Thelifestyle of the Amish emphasizes “the importance of humility, modesty,strong obedience to God, and social conformity; they abhor pride, socialsnobbery, individualism, and winning through competition. Familybonds and their faith are the cornerstones of the Amish lifestyle. ” TheAmish are a perfect example of a Gemeinschaft community. The Amishhave a strong sense of social solidarity, some people argue the point thatthe Amish practice of solidarity is a major reason that they havesurvived as a model of the extended family of the past.
The Amish likemany Gemeinschaft communities feel that “social change” is evidentbut only if carefully controlled and monitored. “They work to preservetraditions of the past, emphasize the importance of humility and divineguidance in controlling their own destiny, and maintain a strongposture of serving God rather than the interests of humanity. ” Eventhough the Amish live in a offset community different than the rest ofthe world they do not live in a social “vacuum. ” They are constantlyaround a modernized world so they are constantly reminded andpressured to move toward modernization. Whether it is through plantershaving to borrow money for spring planting or married men having towork outside of the community to accommodate to the wishes of anon-Amish boss there are always under the pressure.
McDonaldization is a prime example of a Gesellschaft societybecause through rationalization you achieve McDonaldization. Rationalization is choosing the most efficient means to accomplishtasks. “The traditional ways of doing things-which may be inefficientbut which are also the source of huge satisfactions-are passing. Rationalizations threatens to engulf all of society, locking us all in whatWeber called an iron cage of rationality. ” Through rationalization welive in a highly efficient world that goes to extreme limits to accomplisheveryday tasks as quickly as possible.
“McDonaldization implies thesearch for maximum efficiency in increasingly numerous and diversesocial setting. ” McDonalds is the best at rationalizing everyday tasks toconform to our fast-paced lives. Through McDonalds the everyday taskof fast-food restaurants of driving to the restaurant, standing in line,ordering your food, picking the condiments that you want with yourmeal, eating in the uncomfortable tables and chairs, having to deal withannoying other people, and then driving back to your house. As you cansee restaurants can be just as inefficient as cooking at home. McDonaldshas condensed this inefficiency into one easy drive to the restaurant,through the drive-thru and back home within a time frame that youcould take a shower. Therefore eliminating quality time and a gooddecent meal at the table, where instead you are eating in the comfort ofyour car.
Diets and weight loss books and other miscellaneousparaphernalia are just another example of McDonaldization in thenation. Even in weight loss everyone is trying to find the most efficientway to lose weight and eat better. For those on a diet you have variousproducts on the market varying from slim-fast that can be consumed inseconds to weight-watchers which is a constant tallying of points! Thenation is a perfect demonstration of a Gesellschaft through the constantchanging of products to make life go quickly, easily, and at a fasterpace. Through a Gesellschaft relationships are destroyed with theimpersonal relations that we interface everyday at fast-food restaurants. Instead of having your dinner on a silver platter you feel like you areeating on a conveyor belt platter with the assembly line rushing you outthe door.
“The best that can be said about this experience is it isThrough a Gemeinschaft and a Gesellschaft you face difficultieswith either lifestyle you choose, but as you can see a majority of ournation live in a Gesellschaft. “The human craving for new and diverseexperiences is being limited, if not progressively destroyed, by thenational and international spread of fast-food restaurants. The cravingfor diversity is being supplanted by the desire for uniformity andpredictability. ” The problem of diversity is a problem with aGesellschaft while conformity is a fear with a Gemeinschaft. While aGesellschaft show’s the consequences of self-serving lifestyles,transience and rootlessness of this culture, and extreme emphasis uponcompetition, money, and careerism to determine one’s self worth.
While a Gemeinschaft abhors personal achievement over seeking God’swill. Family bonds and faith is what holds the Gemeinschaft together inThrough a Gemeinschaft of a Amish community to a Gesellschaftof a nation these articles show a exact picture image of both. As youcan tell a Gemeinschaft society is one that does not enjoy conformity,the norms, or living for personal growth and achievement. While aGesellschaft loves conformity, trying to be efficient, and anything forone’s self growth. The Amish are just a small Gemeinschaft in a giantBibliography:Gemeinschaft vs Gesellschaft Society* Tenth Edition DOWN TO EARTH SOCIOLOGY by James M.
Henslin Copyright 1999 All rights Reserved* Essentials of Sociology by James M. Henslin Copyright 2000, 1998, 1996 Allyn and Bacon All rights reerved