Person, Individual, Personality - Sociology

Man, individual, person

The concepts & quot; man & quot ;, & quot; individual & quot ;, & quot; personality & quot; most often used as synonyms, but from a scientific point of view, there are serious differences between them.

Man is the most general concept denoting an abstract representative of the human race.

Individual is an isolated member of the social community: a representative of the people, class, society, group.

Individuality is a combination of a person's psychological characteristics, which make up his identity, difference from other people.

A person is a sociobiological individual, the highest step of living organisms on Earth, the result of a complex and long-term biological evolution, a prerequisite and subject of cultural evolution. The biological evolution of man lasted immeasurably longer than the cultural one - 2.5 million years. Biological development of a man was stopped 40,000 years ago. By this time, the fundamental features that still distinguish him from other animals have been formed: uprightness, a large brain, the presence of a second signal system, thinking, language and consciousness, a longer childhood, the mastery of tools of labor and fire (Figure 7.2)

All this served as a condition for the transition from biological evolution to cultural evolution. All human acquisitions in the last 40 thousand years are associated not with biology, but with culture and society. In other words, not with the natural, but with the artificial environment, the essence of which lies in the system of social relations. From this moment it can be said that in man as a biological being, his personality, and later through it grows personality. Genetically inherited traits, perhaps, are 30-40% in us, socially acquired ones - 60-70%.

Man is the result of biological and cultural evolution

Fig. 7.2. Man - the result of biological and cultural evolution

Human development can be represented as a process of replacing the biological principle by another, non-biological. Biologically, the human forefeet is not adapted to hold a spoon or pencil, to button up buttons or to touch the piano keys. They turn into sensitive instruments of the pianist only in the process of cultural evolution.

Socialization explains how a person from a biological being turns into a social being. It seems to reveal at an individual level what happened to society on the collective. After all, a person, growing up in a folded form, goes through the same stages that the society has gone through in 40 thousand years of its cultural evolution and what the human race has gone through in 2 million years of its biological evolution. No biological species has learned to & quot; coil & quot; stages of its development. Thanks to socialization, a weak human cub does not need to go through an infinitely long path of development.

A person is a sociobiological creature : he has two components - biological and social. As a biological being, a person has a body, hair, memory, thinking. All this gave him anthropogenesis. But a person is also a status characteristic, because there is such a thing as human rights, and where there are rights and responsibilities, there it is necessary to talk about status. The person is also prescribed status , as the state grants human rights from birth, whether good or bad, red or brunette, whether he has reached high office or not. Rights are defined by the Constitution and international sanctions, and there are many institutions and institutions on the protection of human rights.

At birth, the child is not yet a person. He is only an individual, a representative of the species, a product of phylogenetic and ontogenetic development. "The individual is also a sociological category, and in this capacity he is subordinate to society, is part of society, the atom of the social whole ... Absolutely different means a person. Personality is a category of spirit, not nature, and is not subordinated to nature and society. Personality is not at all part of nature and society ... On the contrary, society is a part of personality, only its social side. " Since personality is a product of cultural, not biological evolution, it can be assumed that it is society, and not nature, that exerts maximum influence on a person, in both directions: suppressing and developing it.

Historians have noticed: the higher the cultural level of society, the higher a person is valued as a person, and vice versa (Figure 7.3). Consequently, there is a direct relationship between the development of the individual and society. A democratic society protects the individual's civil rights, authoritarian suppression of personality.

The concept of personality makes sense only in the system of social relations formed by the status-role system. A person learns to fulfill social roles - the driver, the seller, the believer, the student, the husband, while mastering the cultural context of each role, adjusting the style of behavior, thinking, way of life. Formation of the personality occurs in the process of assimilation of life experience and value orientations, i.e. in the process of socialization. The formation of personality - the result of the interaction of man and society.

The higher the cultural level of society, the higher the person is valued as a person

Fig. 7.3. The higher the cultural level of society, the higher the person is valued as a person

The concept of personality - achieved characteristic ; not a social, but a spiritual substance. Personality is even less than individuality. The individual and individuality are subject to socio-psychological factors, for example, group pressure. We say: the group renders and subordinates the individual. But if he obeyed the group, he ceased to be a person, because the personality is what is done in spite of the group, the crowd, the collective, the masses. Although personality is not only and not so much a sociological characteristic as spiritual and moral, people become people through social and pedagogical mechanisms and practices, including upbringing.

When a sociologist views a person as an individual, he is interested in the manner of dressing, the style of behavior, the features of speech and other attributes of appearance. Acts expressing the moral beginning of the personality, it is almost not interested. On the contrary, it is actions that are interesting in a person. Personality accomplishments (for example, labor achievements, discoveries, creative successes) are interpreted by the sociologist primarily as acts, ie. premeditated and morally motivated behavioral acts. The ability to answer for one's actions is a sign of personality. The style of action, the manner of communication, the ways of expressing and achieving goals by themselves do not answer the question of why people exist, what meaningful aspirations are called for. The choice of the meaning of life, the mode of existence is the free expression of the will of man. Therefore, personality is a moral and moral choice. Its essence is manifested not simply in relations with other people, life goals, motives and ways of behavior, but in their quality, in what these relations, goals, motives and behavior are.

Each individual has a set of internal qualities, properties that make up its structure. Thinking, feelings, instincts, motor functions are given to him by nature. Creative abilities of thinking or stability of feelings are well studied today by psychologists, they do not touch the person by personality: they are an individual. Personality begins at a time when the scientist studies how society has reworked, into what it has turned the natural qualities of a person, so to say, their outer, ie social, being. The feeling of hunger is invested by nature, but the way to meet biological needs can be very different. One for the sake of a piece of bread will cross the corpse of a relative, the second will sacrifice his own life to feed the weak and feeble. In the first case, the individual behaves as a natural-instinctive being, and no more. In the second, we have the right to talk about a personality overcoming biological motives for the sake of spiritual values ​​and ideals. At the same time, both individuals who profess so different patterns of behavior live in a society, can occupy a sufficiently high position in it, fulfill prescribed roles, meet many social criteria, in other words, be a person in the traditional sociological sense. But how great is the distance between them!

So, man is the most common, generic notion. Individual , if it is a typical representative of a large social group: its class, people or profession - the essence specific concept. Personality - exclusively single concept, "piece item" (Figure 7.4).

Indeed, all-weather properties: uprightness, articulate speech or consciousness - are inherent in all people, and about 7 billion people. Features of the individual from a sociological point of view, i.e. as social-class or ethnic characteristics, are characteristic of a narrower population, namely a class or ethnic group. For psychologists, individuality can express something different, say, the unity of the unique properties of a particular person. It is subdivided into

Quantitative ratio of referents of three concepts:

Fig. 7.4. The quantitative ratio of the referents of the three concepts: "personality", "individual", "man"

knows the uniqueness of his psychophysiological structure (temperament type, physical and mental characteristics, intelligence, worldview, life experience). But all the individual characteristics - thinking, perception, behavior - by and large are not exclusive of this and only this being. The individual as a product of his time and his society is socially typical. Even dressing is very extravagant, not like everything, it is still not individual, for it follows fashion trends, and in this it is typical.

The category of a person testifies to the similarity of all two-legged creatures in some common for them all traits, about being attached to the genus and being inseparable from it. In the pride of lions or a flock of sparrows, there are no individualities, because no individual is able to disobey the laws of nature, to go against the instincts. Millions of years the same was a man. The instinctive program, common to all Australopithecus and Pithecanthropus, did not allow the individual to stand out. But as soon as it became possible for some people to do so, and to others - otherwise, there was an individuality, and with it - a great variety and uniqueness of the behavior, way of life, values ​​and worldview of people.

Thus, the concept of & quot; identity & quot; should be distinguished from the concepts & quot; individual & quot; (a person as a single representative of a whole - biological or social) and "individuality" (a set of traits that distinguish this individual from all others). Individuality can be spoken at different levels (biochemical, neurophysiological, psychological, etc.). Personality appears only with the emergence of consciousness and self-consciousness, but the process of its formation is completed only at the moral and moral level.

Immediately specify, in everyday usage or in other sciences individual can be treated differently. Natural scientists know that what is transmitted to a person at birth through the genetic channels of heredity is called psychophysical personality. The features of temperament, some congenital diseases, some growth, a tendency to fullness and some other properties are transmitted from the parents. Together with their own biological characteristics, they constitute our psychophysical individuality. As individuals, people differ from each other not only in morphological features (such as growth, corporal constitution and eye color), but also psychological properties (abilities, temperament, emotionality). Consequently, the individual is a biological organism, the bearer of general hereditary properties of the biological species (every person is born an individual).

If the individual is a single representative of the Homo sapiens species, then it is only a unit of the account; a particular person, a representative of the genus or species. But this unit is different from other units, the typical and unique in it somehow combined. So, for statistics, individuals are a successful unit of account, but none of us considers ourselves to be like others when it indicates their individuality. Thinking of others, we represent everyone as socially-typical , thinking of ourselves, we present ourselves as individually unique. Philosophers have found a suitable name for hypertrophied identity - individualism; type of outlook based on the opposition of an individual to society.

The word & quot; individual & quot; came into use in the XV century. and goes back to the medieval Latin individualis - indivisible (from dividere - to share). Its first use since the Renaissance was in 1840; to the English translation of the work of the French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville "Democracy in America". De Tocqueville notes that previous generations did not know the word "individualism" because previously there were no individuals as such, not belonging to the group, and that in modern societies people, on the contrary, tend to pay too much attention to their private interests, passing into the field of narrow individualism . The word & quot; individuality & quot; is associated with such characteristics as "bright", "original", "creative". Personality is said to be "strong", "independent", "energetic". Personality involves initiative, responsibility, enterprise, the ability to strictly control their behavior and subordinate it to meaningful purposes.

In the sociological literature, you can find other interpretations of the individual, in particular: the systemic quality of the individual, determined by its inclusion in social relations and manifested in joint activities and communication; subject of social relations and conscious activity.

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