Compare and contrast roles in simple and complex societies.
Roles refer to the prescribed behavior of a person based on their status in society. It helps in the prediction of behavior and helps in maintaining stability and interaction.
Simple societies are traditional societies in which people live a life without much advancement and scientific machines and tools. Roles are simple societies are based on one’s age, sex, gender, and kinship pattern. Complex societies are advanced in nature and roles are based on merit, talent, and ideas of society.
In simple societies, roles are divided based on one’s sex. Men are involved in doing hard manual work like hunting and making weapons while women are given the role of taking care of the family and children and cooking for all. The roles are based on one’s age which means men when they attain a certain age have to perform roles like killing animals to prove their manhood. While girls have to follow their role and get married and bear children. Some roles are based on kinship in which parents look after their children and when the parents get old, the children treat them with respect.
In complex societies, there is a division of people based on their ranks and strata. The king, nobles, priests, commoners, and slaves have different roles, and they maintain a rigid system. The Indian caste system maintains a fixed role and occupational status in society. Also based on one’s skills and specialization, the roles are allocated in society. It helps in maintaining stability and systematic functioning of society.