Q. To what extent are shared values important for social order? [8 marks]
Ans. In every society, there are norms, values and culture which are collectively followed by people and the existence of which maintain the social equilibrium in society. ''Shared Values'' are when all members of a specific society, have the same ideas about what is right and what is wrong. This leads to a more organized legal system, and conformation to these values leads to a greater degree of social order to be maintained in the society. What would life be like without shared values? People would fall into conflict with one another, which would lead to anarchy and chaos and the state would be something different from peace. For example, it is considered wrong in Britain to murder someone. Now, this idea is shared by all the members of the society, all of them Share this value. There are some disruptive groups in society who don't have the same values and they don't consider murder to be a big deal. They go about killing people, whenever they want, committing criminal acts. This leads to social disorder and these disruptive elements need to be dealt with, by social control agencies like the Police, legal system and Prisons.
Due to only a small fraction of the population, who don't share the same value as the rest, there is crime, deviance and a need for social control to maintain social order. The extent to which social order will be disrupted when there is even greater diversity of values can be imagined now. Shared values help to maintain peace, and prevent chaos, anarchy, confusion and help society pace into the future peacefully.
But ''Shared values'' are not the only thing that are important for social order. There are even bigger factors at play, to maintain social order. Socialization is the key element that shapes an individuals behavior according to the norms, values and beliefs of society. Family, being the place where an individual undergoes Primary Socialization is most important in shaping the individuals future. The extent to which the individual will conform to the rules of society, in the future, is dependent upon the Socialization he receives from Family and the Education system. These institutions also act as agencies of informal social control, and by bring up the individual in a controlled setting, they shape him to be acceptable in the society in the future. So, a good socialization, means the individual will conform to societies norms, and will not indulge in deviant or criminal behavior and this will maintain social order. An inadequate socialization, might result in a criminal being created. Another important factor for the maintenance of social order are the formal social control agencies. Not everyone in society has the same values, not everyone receives adequate socialization and not everyone's behavior is acceptable by society. Social Control agencies like the Police and Legal System force individuals to conform to social norms, by using penalties like imprisonment and persecution. This helps to maintain social order by force.
So, it can be finalized that ''Shared Values'' are of course, very important in maintaining social order, but Socialization and Social control agencies also maintain social order in society.