Do you think our society lacks strong social cohesion as it replace personal relationships with insignificant possessions; focusing solely on their possessions and making solving real-world...

Do you think our society lacks strong social cohesion as it replace personal relationships with insignificant possessions; focusing solely on their possessions and making solving real-world problems infeasible? 

Asked on by ranger1980

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that this statement is exaggerated.  I also think that possessions are not really to blame for the decay that has happened in our social cohesiveness.

First of all, it is not completely clear that our society has become much less cohesive than it was in times past.  We had times when parts of our society were more cohesive.  However, at the same time, we had severe racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that made society less cohesive.  Today, we may not be as cohesive within segments of our population, but our population as a whole may well be more cohesive than it once was.  We seem to have solved some real world problems (like racial discrimination and, to some degree, arguments over gender roles) to a greater extent than we ever had before.

Second, if we accept the idea that our society has become less cohesive, it is still not clear that possessions and materialism are to blame.  Instead, it seems that our possessions allow us to focus more on our families.  In past times, children would go out and play with friends.  The father might hang out with his friends at a bar.  Today, our comfortable houses and our TVs, computers, and video games allow us to spend more time together with our families instead of being with unrelated individuals.  This reduces social cohesion outside the family, but it is not really because all we care about is our possessions.

We’ve answered 318,924 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question