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Characteristics of Traditional Societies

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In “Characteristics of Traditional Societies”, the writer describes eight characteristics of values and beliefs for traditional societies. The beliefs that they have are different than modern societies. Some are the exact opposite. It shows how different these societies are and why they behave in some ways. An example of the difference between modern society and traditional society is that traditional societies do not believe in progress. “What is missing is the idea that progress is usually (or always) good or desirable and a veritable duty or obligation of man. What is also missing is the idea that history shows that progress is a fact” (41). Traditional societies lack the need for progress. This society does not believe that progress helps people and can improve their way of life. Modern societies strongly believe in the need for progress. Modern societies always strive to become stronger, better and more advanced. They believe that evolution helps society. People evolve to better suit their environment. Modern societies believe changes are good, and change helps a society grow. Traditional societies do not believe in that; they are missing that belief.

I disagree with the author of “No More Moon June: Love’s Out”. I believe that to be in a marriage two people have to love each other romantically and passionately. They have to have prior experiences together. Without love, a marriage would not work out happily. The two people would be miserable for the rest of their lives or they would get a divorce. I think that the reason for most divorces id that people do not know how to work out their problems with each other. They do not know how to communicate clearly. Also, they do not want to face their problems. Most people in modern societies hide their problems and blame others. They find it easier just to leave their troubles behind. Arranged marriages are horrible. People have to live with someone else that they never meet. They have to learn to love a stranger. It is also scary-you never know who you will end up with until it is too late. How can two people who never met each other get married? It just does not seem right. Not all arranged marriages work out, just like how not all love marriages work out.

In traditional societies, marriages last because they want to satisfy the group. In “Characteristics of Traditional Societies”, the author states, “The group is more important than the individual. Individuals identify almost exclusively with their family, clan or caste; they do not see themselves as having an independent destiny apart from the group”(42). This is why arranged marriages work so well in traditional societies. People do not feel that they are important individually, they are only concerned about they well being of the group. If the marriage fails, they would be ruining the group, which is considered a horrible thing to do. It is also unheard of to do. They care more about pleasing the whole family instead of themselves. Modern societies are the opposite; people care more about the individual than the group. This is why divorce is more acceptable. Modern societies feel, that is you are not happy in a marriage then you should not worry about what happens to the family as long as you are satisfied. Also, modern societies feel that families can function still if they are divorced. There would only be a single parent raising the family instead of two.

Excerpt from Readings in Global History by Anthony Snyder and Sherri West 2001 2nd edition

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