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“ The thought that it is ( or may be ) ‘good to be entirely ‘ is an innovation of the modern West. ” Discuss.

The perceptual experience that it is ‘good to be alone’ can be said to be more of an innovation of the modern West than other countries of the universe which emphasis corporate communities. This is because the West, through economic and societal constructions ; encourages independency and individuality accordingly doing less integrating between people in society, it has hence become a norm for people to be ‘alone’ . Despite this statement there is still a strong sense of Bolshevism within the modern West and it is seen as indispensable for a sense of community and a connexion with others to set up one’s individuality.

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What causes the deficiency of integrating between people in the modern West is the huge sum of differences that construct single individuality. Whether a individual sees their ethnicity, gender, or faith as specifying them it has become an of import western impression that everyone is different and alone from one another ; therefore they must protect this single individuality. This is done so through recent Torahs such as the human rights act and the information protection act both put in topographic point in 1998 which protect peoples’ rights, freedom, and individuality. We need household and society to set up where we come from and our ain single individualities. Janet Carsten looks into the difference in affinity between Langkawi villagers of Malaysia and a sample of adoptive Scots interviewees. Carsten found that the Langkawi villagers appeared to be rather unafraid in cognizing who they were, in comparing to the Scots interviewees who seemed to be less certain, therefore explicating their journeys to happen their birth family. Carsten claims that these journeys were of “self-discovery” , to set up where they came from and perchance make some kind of relationship with their biological household ; she besides notes that there is far much more involvement in western society, of happening out who our ascendants were and explicating household trees than the people of Langkawi express. Mentioning to the discussed statement, this reiterates the point that despite the West enthusing the necessities of individuality and independency, it is neither good nor desirable to be entirely when it comes to kinship or community as these constructions are indispensable to derive penetration of our individuality.

To discourse the given statement to the full we must foremost understand what precisely the construct of ‘being alone’ agencies. In modern-day western society it is by and large considered O.K. to be independent or entirely in the sense that people do non necessitate to settle down, marry, have childs, or all of the above. However, it is non socially acceptable to be ‘lonely’ or ‘isolated’ , footings which are besides associated with being entirely. This suggests that the construct of ‘being alone’ is a societal concept which changes over clip and different countries. In some instances your gender can impact what it means to be entirely, for illustration it was non ever acceptable, as it is today, for adult females to be ‘independent’ . In the 18Thursdaycentury it was considered uneven and out of the norm in the for people to non get married and be ‘alone’ in fact, the term for adult females who did non get married or were widowed and did non remarry, were coined the derogative term ‘spinster’ . The old maid was really much an castaway in society, frequently pitied and avoided. At least 25 % of adult females were old maids in the 18Thursdaycentury, this was due to a figure of alterations, such as population lessening due to migration, rise in cost of matrimony, and the fact that blue misss did non get married outside of their category. Unmarried or widowed adult females were often drawn to perpetrate condemnable discourtesies in order to prolong wealth and maintain themselves outside of the household. Within the kingdom of the household, hubbies were traditionally the staff of life victors who provided for their households, and for old maids this income was non-existent. Because of the construction of society holding a predominately male work force, there were few occupations available for adult females ; one of the chief labors that adult females were required for was fabrics, nevertheless this frequently became unstable pay depending on its necessity of production. Additionally, wellness conditions were far worse than that of today’s society, this meant that the impact of contractions such as arthritis and neglecting seeing of a adult female nearing her 40’s lead to her traveling hungry. The transmutation of society over clip has led to a lessening in stigma of single, individual adult females, and the encouragement of independency and pick, turn outing that in today’s western society there is a difference between being individual and being entirely.

These old negative positions of single adult females besides exist in some non-western states. For illustration Rozario ( 1986 ) makes the point that in the rural parts of Bangladesh, Bengali adult females who are non married by their mid-twentiess will be considered ‘unmarriageable’ and believed to of non gone through the transmutation of going a adult female ( C. Allerton, ch1, pp5 ) . Catherine Allerton explains how similar negative positions are expressed in Taiwan, where it is believed that the shades of adult females who die immature and holding non married, do bad fortune upon their households until they are given an official position of being a female parent or a married woman by being married to a life adult male. Despite this, Allerton examines the construct of matrimony in the Indonesian small town Manggarai, happening that there is less of a stigma attached to adult females non get marrieding and that in fact many adult females choose non to get married as the procedure tends to infringe on their freedom. Allerton discovered that the entreaty of staying single foliages immature adult females with more control over their lives, money, the fruits of their labor and are non at hazard of stoping up in an unhappy matrimony ( as Manggarai adult females are non allowed to take their partners for themselves ) . Under these fortunes the immature adult females of the Manggarai small town who recognised the negative intensions that might come with matrimony, may see that it is good to be entirely in footings of staying independent.

Arranged matrimony in some non-western parts of the universe reasserts the fact that there is still a present twenty-four hours stigma attached to non happening person to settle down with. In some state of affairss it is a concern non merely for the person but for the whole household ; this is because in some topographic points the dowery system still exists where land or ownerships are traded for the matrimony of a boy or girl into their spouse’s household. Previously in European states where the monarchy existed, and presently in some non-European states, matrimony was considered a affair of royal diplomatic negotiations to seal peace and or understandings of confederation with other states. For illustration Henry VIII arranged for his girl Mary to get married the King of Spain when she became of age, this was so he had the security in cognizing that he would hold his support against the Gallic. In fact for many royals it was considered an indispensable undertaking for the sovereign of reign to get a hubby or married woman in order to make more inheritors.

When we look to societies in non-western corporate states it is apparent there is a strong sense of importance placed upon affinity. This is particularly so when it comes to the aged as their kids are frequently depended on to look after them in their old age. This strikes a comparing in the attention that we have for our senior civilians as a western civilization. In the West we have strategies put in topographic point such as pensions, retirement places, and public assistance for our aged civilians, nevertheless there is small societal duty to look after and care for them. It is considered more than socially acceptable to set our aged relations in attention places, than to look after them ourselves. Once we get older it is sometimes inevitable to ‘be alone’ .

Harmonizing to Marx, individuality and self-interestedness in the West is progressively encouraged by the capitalist construction of society. With respects to the discussed statement, the thought that it is good to be entirely would be, in Marx’s eyes, a hegemonic arm used by the governing category in order to keep false consciousness, maintaining the labor alienated from one another in the manner of production with the illusory sense that being narcissistic and self-interested will go up them to higher ranks of employment, which Marx argues will necessarily non be allowed to go on.

The western transmutation to modernness brought about a assortment of new theoretical prospective of society including the constitution of feminism. From prospective of extremist difference women’s rightists, it is good to be entirely but non needfully in the sense of individuality. Some utmost strands of extremist feminism promote segregation where they believe that males and females should populate wholly individually from each other and even travel as far to pattern political sapphism. This theory is based on the belief that females are necessarily unequal due to their biological differences to males and so must populate individually in order to populate every bit. From this point of view of adult females ‘being alone’ or separate from work forces, is a really much modern western look which may merely be able to be expressed sparsely in the West, this is because women’s heterosexualism frequently conflicts with the extremes of political sapphism, in add-on to western society doing it about virtually impossible to be wholly separate from work forces unless to populate in lone parturiency. Furthermore, to be separate from work forces in many non-European states would be most hard where it is the rigorous norm for adult females to be married and have kids, or are even considered subsidiary to work forces.

From a different theoretical position, most functionalists would reason against the thought that it is ‘good to be alone’ but agree it is a western innovation. A premier illustration of this point would be Durkheim’s take on western individuality ; “Individualism must be fought tooth and nail” . Durkheim claims that individuality is destructive and capable of sabotaging societal solidarity due to its encouragement of people to believe for themselves instead than the corporate. He besides states that it undermines authoritive constructions because the single becomes powerful plenty to judge their ain behavior, this will so do a diminution in faith because individuality becomes greater than it. However, Durkheim does come to the apprehension that by supporting the rights of the person, defends the involvements of society and that some grade of individuality is good in forestalling a rise of lawlessness, although believes that individuality will accordingly take to segregation and anomalousness in society. With this in head it is to some extent evident that there is a grade of withdrawal from one-another in modern western society, nevertheless Durkheim describes a dated 18Thursdaycentury society which conditions since have changed. Today’s western society shows there is still a widespread of spiritual beliefs and patterns which suggests there is still a step of collectiveness. In most spiritual patterns it is indispensable for there to be a community where people interact and worship aboard one another. Additionally, the western collectiveness is able to widen to 3rd universe states through the agencies of charity and assistance to assist their civilians.

In decision, it can be said that to be entirely is clearly a modern-day western innovation ; nevertheless the extent to how far it is good and under what fortunes is debateable. Basic human needs require raising and socialization which are given by the household and society, it is besides apparent that without these constructions, it becomes hard to set up what the western civilization holds as such a nucleus value ; single individuality. In other countries of the universe, it is clear that there is an even greater accent on the importance of affinity and the collectiveness of societies to map. It is difficult to nail what being entirely precisely means as it is a societal concept with positive and negative intensions. On one manus it is good to be entirely, hold our ain personal infinite, privateness, independency, and be individualistic in a really much individualistic modern western society. Although on the other manus it proposes that it means to be lonely, missing friends and household, or being isolated/alienated. We assume that the thought of it being ‘good to be alone’ is a modern western concept because it recites the cautiousness that the West has to protect our ain individualities, which has become ever-growingly of import as the population rises and clip moves frontward.


Hufton, O. ( 1984 ) . Womans without work forces: Widows and old maids in Britain and France in the 18th century.Journal of Family History.Volume 9, issue 4, pp. 355-377. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: // accountid=9630

Allerton, C, ( 2007 ) “ What Does It intend To Be Entirely? ”Questions of Anthropologypp.1-27, Oxford, NY: Iceberg

Carsten, J ( 2007 ) Edited By Rita Astuti, Jonathan Parry And Charles Stafford. Pages: 384 Publisher: Bloomsbury UK A & A ; C Black

Marx, K. , Elster, J. , ( 1986 ) “ Exploitation ” from Elster, J,Karl Marx: a readerpp.121-167, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

E. Durkheim, ( 1973 ) “ Individualism and the Intellectuals ” from Bellah, Robert Neelly,Emile Durkheim on Morality and Societypp.43-57, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Levy, A. ( 2009 ) “Lesbian State, When Gay Women Took To The Road” published in the New Yorker, retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

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