Buchanan Monderman's Approaches Compare And Contrast Buchanan Thesis

Length: 6 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Sociology Type: Thesis Paper: #14630917 Related Topics: Contrast, Urban Sociology, Comparison, Comparative
Excerpt from Thesis :

¶ … Buchanan Monderman's Approaches

Compare and Contrast Buchanan and Monderman's approaches to the production of social order in public spaces

In this paper we are examining the role of social spaces in society. This is accomplished by comparing the views of Buchanan with Monderman. Once this takes place, is when we can see how different structures are utilized to create a change within society.

Over the last several decades, the attitudes and perceptions about social order have been continually changing. Part of the reason for this, is because there has been a change in the beliefs of society. As these shifts have meant that the ideas about how people should be interacting with each other in public places is different. To deal with the challenges various urban designers have implemented a number of theories. The problem is that each approach has its own unique attributes that will have an impact on the way these views are shaping society. To fully understand how this is taking place requires carefully examining the different theories on the subject. This will be accomplished by conducting a detailed review of the ideas presented by Buchanan and Monderman. Once this occurs, is when we can offer specific insights that will help everyone to see how these transformations are happening.

Buchanan's Ideas on Social Order

For any society, having some kind of social order will determine the values and beliefs of the nation. This is because social attitudes will play an important role in determining how various laws are applied and interpreted. Over the course of time, this can lead to distinctions about how everyone is living their daily lives. As, this is creating a set of social norms based upon the various guidelines that have been established.

Buchanan takes these ideas one step further by looking at the long-term impact of liberalism from a more critical view. This is accomplished through carefully studying the impact of these ideas on minorities and the effect that they will have on these groups. What he found was that these kinds of structures are creating a number of challenges for society. Most notably: the right to enforce existing laws, the ability to create new institutions and the effect on individual rights. The right to enforce existing laws is when the state has the ability to control the actions of the general public by going after those individuals who are in violation of the law. This supposed to severe as a deterrent against future criminal activities. (Buchanan 2003, pp. 231 -- 240)

The ability to create new institutions is when the state is focused on creating alternative entities that will have an impact on the course of our lives. This means that they could establish new governmental organizations that will have responsibility for determining how everyone will react. This is because they are implementing a host of different procedures that must be followed when receiving the any assistance from them. Over the course of time, this will create a change in attitudes about what is happening. This is the point that there will be a shift in the thoughts and ideas of those who are using them. Once this occurs, is when there will be a change in the thinking and mindset for an individual. (Buchanan 2003, pp. 231 -- 240)

For example, let's suppose that the Ministry of Health imposed a series of strict new guidelines on what services available to the public and who was eligible for them. This creates a change in thinking, as most people will automatically begin following these procedures without questioning them. Once this occurs, is when they will automatically shift their attitudes and ideas about society and their role within it. This is important, because it is showing how these kinds of subtle changes will automatically lead to a transformation in thinking patterns over the long-term. (Buchanan 2003, pp. 231 -- 240)

The way that this has an impact on individual rights, is each person is willing to give up more of their personal freedom. This is because any kind of new regulations will subtly push someone to embrace these shifts. Those who are not following these basic guidelines will feel social pressure to change from other (i.e. friends / family). While at the same time, there are different legal aspects that will force everyone to comply. This is important, because it is showing how the individual will be given a choice in


(Buchanan 2003, pp. 231 -- 240)

As a result, Buchanan believes that these different tools are being utilized to encourage someone to adapt to a host of changes. Once this occurs, it means that society will undergo a transformation. This is when a new social norm is established and everyone is able to deal with a variety of issues. (Buchanan 2003, pp. 231 -- 240)

Monderman's Ideas on Social Order

What Monderman found is that social order can have an impact upon the way that people are interacting with each other. The way that this is accomplished is through having everyone working closely with each other. The basic idea from using this kind of approach is that this will help to improve the ability of the community to interact with each other on a host of different situations. (McNichol 2004)

The way that this is achieved is to create social structures that will have the members of the general public continually coming into contact with one another. This means that there must be designs incorporated into public works projects that will change the focus of society. To do this, means that there must be structures created that will subtly force everyone to embrace these kinds of changes. (McNichol 2004)

For example, recently Monderman was interested in reducing congestion inside many urban centers. What he determined was: that when stops signs are used and the roads are widened is when there are lower amounts of social interaction. The reason why, is because the larger spaces are encouraging everyone to be more isolated from one another. Once this takes place, is when there is a negative shift in social relations. (McNichol 2004)

However, when these spaces and symbols have been reduced is when there is an improvement in social interaction. The reason why is because, the traffic signs and signals are encouraging someone to focus on the road and not those around them. This creates beliefs that anyone who is walking should move out of their way. When you reduce the length of the road and make drivers slowdown (through installing tighter curves) this improve social relations. This is because everyone is interacting with each other inside tighter amounts of space. For the drivers on the road this makes them more aware of what is happening around them and the safety of others. While those who are walking will be able to have less safety issues and lower amounts of fatalities. This is important, because it is showing how this basic approach is leading to a transformation within society itself. Over the long-term, this helps to improve social relations inside the community and how everyone is seeing their role within the various social structures. (McNichol 2004) To corroborate these findings, Staples (2009) found that this will have an effect on social order and the way that everyone are reaching out with one another. This is when there is a transformation in how society evolves. (Staples 2009, pp. 35 -- 39)

When you compare the two approaches with one another, it is clear that there are a number of similarities and differences. As far as similarities is concerned, both ideas are establishing a new pattern for understanding what is happening and how this impacting the way that everyone is interacting with each other on a regular basis. This is creating transformation about the way social structures are created and the role that they are playing in everyone's lives. (McNichol 2004)

The biggest differences between the two are that Buchanan is focused on actual structures that are designed to encourage compliance. This is accomplished by having everyone concentrate on how peer groups and the enforcement of these new ideas will create a change in attitudes. While Monderman is focused on creating structures that will encourage compliance. The way that this takes place is to establish communities and facilities that will have everyone interacting with other on a regular basis. This will help to improve unity inside a host of urban areas. Once this occurs, is when there will be a change in attitudes and ideas about how to deal with these issues. (McNichol 2004)

How these Views Compare to Goffman and Foucault

Goffman found that the social order is determined based upon a number of different factors to include: coordination and power. Coordination is when everyone is working together to create a new set of social norms that must be embraced…

Sources Used in Documents:


Buchanan, A, 2003, States Nations and Borders, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

McNichol, M, 2011, Roads Gone Wild, Wired. Available from: <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/traffic.html> [8 Dec. 2011].

Staples, M, 2009, Learning Companion 2, Open University, Malta.

Taylor, S, 2009, Making Social Lives, Open University, Malta.
Harvard Format. http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/380/49275/Harvard%20LibGuide%20-%20All%20Examples%20PDF.pdf

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