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Sociology is the systematic study that analyzes social behavior of human groups. It

encompasses a compelling enterprise, with a subject matter ranging from the analysis of

passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide

social processes. Lawson and Garrod define sociology as Sociology is the study of

individuals in groups and social formations in a systematic way, which grew out of the search

for understanding associated with the industrial and scientific revolutions of the 18th and

19th centuries. It is now an established discipline in post-16 education and has offered

generations of students insights into the social world they inhabit. Often accused by the right

of being left-wing, it includes individuals of every political opinion who are united by a

commitment to search for knowledge and understanding through providing evidence for the

theories and insights they offer.

The traditional foci of sociology include culture, social class, social stratification, social

mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. The analysis of the patterns acquired by

the social interactions pertaining to a societal segment, considered as a self contained entity,

refers to sociology. Sociology or social philosophy incorporates two levels. The

macrosociology deals with the social structures in society on an expansive level. Examples of

macrosociology include social classes and the relations of groups to one other.

Microsociology focuses smaller scale analysis of the processes and patterns of social


The social patterns refer to the theoretical perspectives of any self-contained societal

segment. The systems of controlled mechanism that prevail in any paradigm of society

pertain to social patterns of that segment.

The essay argues to accentuate the implication of sociology in determining social causes of

human behavior. Every paradigm of societal segment upholds an assortment of norms


determined by thousands of years of social interactions and perceptions of the humans

pertaining to that paradigm. The system of dowry prevalent in the Asian subcontinent

segment of civilization is evidence of fact that societal segments are independent entities that

uphold autonomous customs and behaviors.

Dowry refers to the custom by which a man receives property from his wife or her family at

the time of his marriage. Broadly speaking, dowry encompasses gifts and valuables received

in marriage by the bridegroom and his relatives. It is paramount to mention that the money

and gifts encompassing dowry do not terminate at the time of the wedding and the tradition

continues throughout life. Viewing the cultural justification behind the custom includes the

well-wishing of the daughters family for her, securing her a good treatment among the alien

kinship group. Lavish hospitality and goods are offered in an attempt to build a good

relationship with the bride-grooms family and to avoid any hostile treatment that may be

incur to the daughter owing to her being a lower gender. Why is the norm upheld? It has

been passed along as a tradition for thousands of generations and is still prevalent in the

societies in spite of the legal ramifications against it.

Which group is the custom pertaining to? It is mainly associated with the Hindu population of

India, but is prevalent among Pakistan and Bangladesh as well, owing to the fact that customs

established by a course of centuries cannot be terminated within a short span. Contradictory

to the implications caused by the norm, that includes a financial pressure on brides family,

the role by which it is established is quite different. It is given as a means to provide the bride

with a comfortable lifestyle and as part of blessings for the bride and groom.

Each custom symbolizes the values and morality of that paradigm. Many people give and

take dowry only because their parents and ancestors had been practicing it. Supporters of the

custom of dowry maintain that the practice generates solidarity and cohesiveness among

people.Social stratification also has a deep interconnection with the custom. People belonging

to a higher class with the ability to provide a grand dowry are viewed respectably among the

masses and generally the brides are thought to enjoy a better position in her new home.

Another social pattern prevalent in the same societal segment is the gender discrimination

imposed by the employment sector. In Asian cultures, the established role of woman is to

tend to the children and the house. The process of globalization and the new financial

pressures have coaxed women to take up jobs in the employment sector. But the norms and

traditions upheld for thousands of years have been a constant hindering. Culturally speaking,

the female is viewed as a weaker or more vulnerable gender. This culture has roots in the

gender inequality maintained within Asian civilization.

The Asian civilizations maintain the norms that accentuate the place of woman in household.

Although the level of education has seen a rise, mostly employment associated with the

education is unaccepted socially. Although the social stratification has a great implication on

this tradition as the suppression of female population is almost negligible in the upper class.

Females belonging to a high social class can enroll in top management posts and any

employment sector they wish to participate in. There is a substantial level of gender equality

and freedom for women in the upper class. The norm is specifically prevalent within the

lower and middle class. The role of custom is to ensure social protection of women and

maintain a gender gap. Consequently, women with the same credentials as their fellow

employees are underpaid for discouragement.


1. Lawson, T. Garrod, J (1996). The Complete A-Z Sociology Handbook: Complete A-Z

Handbooks, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996. Print.