Gemeinschaft vsGesellschaft

In the two articles Social Change Among the Amish, and The
McDonaldization of Society we can clearly understand the difference
between a Gemeinschaft and a Gesellschaft. The term Gemeinschaft
and Gesellschaft is used by Ferdinand Tonnies to analyze the two major
terms in society. A Gemeinschaft is otherwise known as a “intimate
community.” It is used to describe the traditional type of society in
which everyone knows everyone else. While a Gesellschaft is what is
more common, Gemeinschaft’s do exist. A Gesellschaft is otherwise
known as a “impersonal association.” It is what we typically live in, it is
emerging society with short-term relationships, individual
accomplishments, and self-interests that crowd out personal ties, family
connections, and life-long friendships.
In the article Social Change Among the Amish out of a group of
selected Amish families 130 questionnaires and/or personal interviews
were obtained for the information in this article. The Gemeinschaft
community is clearly understood in this article about the Amish. The
Amish are a Gemeinschaft community living in a Gesellschaft society.
The Amish people are polite and cordial but they are not to intrigued by
outsiders intruding on their land. The Amish lifestyle and religion
promotes voluntary isolation and has been a major obstacle for anyone
wanting to collect data or research on the Amish community. The
lifestyle of the Amish emphasizes “the importance of humility, modesty,
strong obedience to God, and social conformity; they abhor pride, social
snobbery, individualism, and winning through competition. Family
bonds and their faith are the cornerstones of the Amish lifestyle.” The
Amish are a perfect example of a Gemeinschaft community. The Amish
have a strong sense of social solidarity, some people argue the point that
the Amish practice of solidarity is a major reason that they have
survived as a model of the extended family of the past. The Amish like
many Gemeinschaft communities feel that “social change” is evident
but only if carefully controlled and monitored. “They work to preserve
traditions of the past, emphasize the importance of humility and divine
guidance in controlling their own destiny, and maintain a strong
posture of serving God rather than the interests of humanity.” Even
though the Amish live in a offset community different than the rest of
the world they do not live in a social “vacuum.” They are constantly
around a modernized world so they are constantly reminded and
pressured to move toward modernization. Whether it is through planters
having to borrow money for spring planting or married men having to
work outside of the community to accommodate to the wishes of a
non-Amish boss there are always under the pressure.
McDonaldization is a prime example of a Gesellschaft society
because through rationalization you achieve McDonaldization.
Rationalization is choosing the most efficient means to accomplish
tasks. “The traditional ways of doing things-which may be inefficient
but which are also the source of huge satisfactions-are passing.
Rationalizations threatens to engulf all of society, locking us all in what
Weber called an iron cage of rationality.” Through rationalization we
live in a highly efficient world that goes to extreme limits to accomplish
everyday tasks as quickly as possible. “McDonaldization implies the
search for maximum efficiency in increasingly numerous and diverse
social setting.” McDonalds is the best at rationalizing everyday tasks to
conform to our fast-paced lives. Through McDonalds the everyday task
of fast-food restaurants of driving to the restaurant, standing in line,
ordering your food, picking the condiments that you want with your
meal, eating in the uncomfortable tables and chairs, having to deal with
annoying other people, and then driving back to your house. As you can
see restaurants can be just as inefficient as cooking at home. McDonalds
has condensed this inefficiency into one easy drive to the restaurant,
through the drive-thru and back home within a time frame that you
could take a shower. Therefore eliminating quality time and a good
decent meal at the table, where instead you are eating in the comfort of
your car. Diets and weight loss books and other miscellaneous
paraphernalia are just another example of McDonaldization in the
nation. Even in weight loss everyone is trying to find the most efficient
way to lose weight and eat better. For those on a diet you have various
products on the market varying from slim-fast that can be consumed in
seconds to weight-watchers which is a constant tallying of points! The
nation is a perfect demonstration of a Gesellschaft through the constant
changing of products to make life go quickly, easily, and at a faster
pace. Through a Gesellschaft relationships are destroyed with the
impersonal relations that we interface everyday at fast-food restaurants.
Instead of having your dinner on a silver platter you feel like you are
eating on a conveyor belt platter with the assembly line rushing you out
the door. “The best that can be said about this experience is it is
Through a Gemeinschaft and a Gesellschaft you face difficulties
with either lifestyle you choose, but as you can see a majority of our
nation live in a Gesellschaft. “The human craving for new and diverse
experiences is being limited, if not progressively destroyed, by the
national and international spread of fast-food restaurants. The craving
for diversity is being supplanted by the desire for uniformity and
predictability.” The problem of diversity is a problem with a
Gesellschaft while conformity is a fear with a Gemeinschaft. While a
Gesellschaft show’s the consequences of self-serving lifestyles,
transience and rootlessness of this culture, and extreme emphasis upon
competition, money, and careerism to determine one’s self worth.
While a Gemeinschaft abhors personal achievement over seeking God’s
will. Family bonds and faith is what holds the Gemeinschaft together in
Through a Gemeinschaft of a Amish community to a Gesellschaft
of a nation these articles show a exact picture image of both. As you
can tell a Gemeinschaft society is one that does not enjoy conformity,
the norms, or living for personal growth and achievement. While a
Gesellschaft loves conformity, trying to be efficient, and anything for
one’s self growth. The Amish are just a small Gemeinschaft in a giant
Bibliography:
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