Community and society are the most common unions of social groups in the study of Sociology. A community is a social group united by affective bonds. It is a group of people who organize themselves under the same set of rules and rules and who live together, in an intimate and private way. The community is marked by primary contacts.
A community is defined by basically four characteristics:
- It has territorial or geographical limits.
- It is a relatively small unit.
- It is characterized by common values, ideas and customs.
- It consists of people who are connected by affective and emotional relationships.
Communities are usually formed by groups of family, friends, neighbors or co-workers who have a high degree of intimacy with each other.
Sociologists often distinguish society from community . The term society refers to the totality of social relations between people. The fundamental difference between community and society is that a society is an association that is not characterized by affective ties or by the sharing of values and ideas. While a community is linked by a natural collective will, in society the artificial and deliberate will predominates.
Some sociologists use the concept of corporate society to designate modern societies. In a corporate society, there is a clear division of labor and social roles. Relationships are superficial and impersonal – basically instrumental. Rather than having a firm social cohesion, which is the fundamental characteristic of a community society, integration in society is weak.
In a corporate society, individualism predominates. Each individual has his own thoughts, his artistic affinities, his own beliefs. In corporate society, people care about the “me”, not the “us”.
Due to industrial and technological advances and globalization, community communities are ceasing to exist, being replaced by corporate societies. This reality is evidenced by the growth of cities, the breakdown of family structure, the weakening of traditions and the expansion of bureaucratic power.
Individualism in Brazil
In Brazil, there are approximately 4 million people who live alone. Nowadays, people marry less, marry older and divorce more. The number of singles and divorcees in Brazil is increasing. About 150 thousand people get divorced annually in Brazil.
The phenomenon of the person living alone is more frequent in large cities than in the countryside, where community life is more valued.
The educational background of most people who choose a solitary life is above average: many of them are professionally successful and, in general, live comfortably. In the poor neighborhoods of the periphery, there is a greater feeling of mutual help. In poorer neighborhoods, even in societal societies, it is customary to preserve the old values of yesteryear: life revolves around the family and the neighborhood; in many cases, neighbors are treated almost as if they were family members.
In the wealthier neighborhoods, the culture of individualism grows. This is due to the culture of consumption and competition. People seek to satisfy only their needs and desires and there is therefore little cooperation between them. When individual satisfaction is above all, it is practically impossible to create strong bonds between the members of a society.
Citizenship is the possibility that everyone has to fulfill their duties and exercise their rights guaranteed by law. According to sociologist Herbert de Souza, Betinho, “a citizen is an individual who is aware of his rights and duties and actively participates in all issues of society”. A citizen must be aware of his power; he needs to exercise his citizenship.
Citizen is the individual who enjoys the rights guaranteed by the State and who effectively participates in the society in which he lives. In Brazil, citizens’ social rights are established, among others, in Article 6 of the Constitution:
“[…] education, health, work, housing, leisure, security, social security, maternity and child protection, assistance to the destitute are social rights, in the form of the Constitution.”
The Constitution guarantees citizenship, but exercising it does not just mean having rights; it also means fulfilling a series of duties for the common good. Citizenship is exercised in several ways. To exercise citizenship is to watch over public property, to claim the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, to be able to practice any religion freely, to be able to express yourself publicly without fear of being arrested. Citizenship is the right to apply and to vote for whoever you prefer. But exercising citizenship also means respecting the rights of others. Being a citizen means respecting and complying with laws and social norms. It is to respect the public domain. It is thinking about society as a whole. The word citizenship has several meanings, but it essentially means the right to live with dignity, freedom and responsibility.
Children’s living conditions are indicative of a country’s level of development. They also serve as an indicator of the country’s future. Another way to assess the degree of citizenship in a country is the treatment given to the elderly. Children and the elderly are those most in need of help and protection. A society that does not respect and value them reveals that it is unable to honor the principles of citizenship and human rights.
The concept of citizenship
In the early modern age, not all members of a society were considered citizens. Citizen , as the etymology of the word suggests, indicates an inhabitant of the city. In the past, there was a clear separation between the city man and the country man.
But the concept of citizenship precedes the Modern Age. It originated in ancient Greece and Rome. Ancient Greece was made up of autonomous city-states, known as polis . In some of them, there was direct democracy – the citizens themselves participated directly in government decisions. However, slaves and foreigners were not considered citizens.
With the end of the Roman Empire, the concept of citizenship in Europe temporarily ceased to exist. In the Middle Ages, there were no citizens. There were feudal lords, vassals, subjects and members of the clergy.
The concept of citizenship became important again due to the American Revolution (Independence from the United States, 1776) and the French Revolution (1789). The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen , approved in France on August 26, 1789 by the National Constituent Assembly, guaranteed everyone the right to citizenship, justice, equality, freedom and fraternity. The Declaration served as an inspiration for individuals and groups in different parts of the world. The concept of citizenship has become more valued. Over time, all members of truly democratic and modern societies have come to be considered citizens.
In political terms, citizenship means active commitment and the exercise of rights. The true citizen is one who actively participates in community and corporate life. If citizenship is not exercised fully and effectively, there is no way to guarantee the preservation of democracy and human rights. The serious political and social problems can be overcome with the full exercise of citizenship. It is not just up to the government to try to resolve them.
Education is, therefore, fundamental to the process of citizenship. It is extremely important that individuals in a society learn about their rights and duties. Citizenship needs to be taught in homes, schools, churches and through the media.
The concept of citizenship is only realized in practice. Through education, all individuals must learn about the importance of citizenship, about respect for others and the law, and about the importance of voting, freedom and their own academic and professional training.
Citizenship is linked to the concept of human rights , a precious achievement of humanity that was formally recognized with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , approved in 1948 by the United Nations. This occurred shortly after World War II, where millions of people were killed, tortured and exterminated. The Holocaust – the extermination of six million Jews – and the other atrocities perpetrated during World War II were the culmination of human barbarism. The purpose of the establishment of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to promote peace, freedom and prosperity in the world. Unfortunately, this did not happen.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights consists of 30 Articles:
– Article I states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
– Article II states that all human beings have the same rights, regardless of race, sex, religion or any other factor. Intolerance, prejudice and discrimination are unacceptable.
– Article III states that every human being has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
– Article IV prohibits slavery and the slave trade in all its forms.
– Article V prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading torture, treatment or punishment.
– Article VI states that every human being has the right, everywhere, to be recognized as a person before the law.
– Article VII states that everyone is equal before the law and has equal protection of the law.
– Article VIII states that justice must guarantee the rights of all.
– Article IX prohibits anyone from being arbitrarily arrested, detained or exiled.
– Article X states that every human being has the right, in full equality, to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial court.
– Article XI declares that all human beings are innocent until proven otherwise. No one can be found immediately guilty.
– Article XII guarantees the right to privacy, both in your private life and in correspondence.
– Article XIII states that every citizen has the right to mobility and the right to leave any country, including his own.
– Article XIV states that every human being who has not committed a crime and is a victim of persecution, has the right to seek asylum in other countries.
– Article XV states that every human being has the right to a nationality, in addition to the guarantee of being able to change nationality.
– Article XVI states that everyone has the right to choose who he wants to marry to start a family. If the marriage is imposed, it can be annulled.
– Article XVII states that everyone has the right to property and that no one will be arbitrarily deprived of it.
– Article XVIII states that every human being has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. No religion can be imposed.
– Article XIX states that every human being has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. (This right is not respected in many countries where the regime is dictatorial. In Brazil, during the Military Regime, this right was not respected, as there was censorship).
– Article XX states that every human being has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. At the same time, no one can be compelled to be part of an association.
– Article XXI states that every human being has the right to run for public office. This article also guarantees free access to public service and the right to vote, which is, in fact, the greatest expression of a democracy.
– Article XXII states that every citizen must be given the possibility of personal fulfillment, both in the economic and social / cultural spheres.
– Article XXIII states that every human being has the right to work and that everyone should be paid in a fair and satisfactory way, so that everyone can support their family and live in a dignified manner. This article also guarantees the right to organize unions.
– Article XXIV states that every human being has the right to rest and leisure, and that there should be a reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic paid holidays.
– Article XXV deals with the right to live a dignified life. Every human being must have a standard of living that ensures health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and essential social services. This Article also states that motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
– Article XXVI states that every human being has the right to education, which must be free of charge, at least in elementary and fundamental degrees. Teachers and educators must transmit not only knowledge, but also ethical and moral values.
– Article XXVII states that every human being has the right to cultural freedom, in addition to guaranteeing the protection of moral and material interests arising from his productions.
– Article XXVIII states that every human being has the right to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration can be realized.
– Article XXIX states that every human being has freedom and rights ensured; but it must also have its obligations.
– Article XXX, which is the last article, requests that no person or nation use any article of the Declaration to destroy any right or freedom established by it.