Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft essay

Ferdinand Tönnies introduced the theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in the 19th century. According to this theory people interact on the basis of reciprocal relations.  These relations are created to the advantage of all participants of the communication process. The term Gemeinschaft is used in the meaning of community, while Gesellschaft stands for association. Communication is different in these two types of communities. In Gemeinschaft people are driven by the principles of collectivism. In Gesellschaft type of society people are driven by competitiveness and egoism. As states Tonnies, “Members of Gemeinschaft bodies follow collective sentiment. But with the onset of industrialism, the mutualism to be found in Gemeinschaft  gives way to the competitiveness of Gesellschaft  society in which relationships are fragmented, self-motivated and egocentric” (Tönnies, 1925, p. 129).

He also explains that Gemeinschaft society can be described like a more developed society. “If a future society based on the Gaian principles of interdependence, mutuality and interrelatedness is to be achieved, a reemergence of some form of Gemeinschaft is essential” (Tönnies, 1925, p. 89). Collective consciousness is one of distinguishing features of the Gemeinschaft community. In this type of community people are driven by the wish of common good and never hurt other members of community. Gemeinschaft community reflects the type of relations, peculiar to pre-industrial society. This type of community is created and supported by the individual will of its members. “The very existence of Gemeinschaft rests in the consciousness of belonging together and the affirmation of the condition of mutual dependence”(Tönnies, 1925, p. 67)

Gesellschaft model reflects relations, peculiar to the industrial society. These relations are based on instrumental and purposeful use of people by each other. This society is based on rational reasons and people of this community are directed by principles of individualism, in contrast to mutual understanding and sharing feelings, peculiar to Gemeinschaft community. In Geselleshaft community “reference is only to the objective fact of a unity based on common traits and activities and other external phenomena” (Tonnies, 1925, p. 67).

Despite all the advantages, presented by the Gemeinschaft community, teens, who go through the period of becoming of their personalities may want to enjoy the merits, provided by the Gesellschaft community. Egocentrism of the teenagers can find good realizations in the structure of Geselleshaft community. In this community teens would be able to express their desire to be independent. In addition, they would enjoy all benefits of the industrial society. The authority of the strong leader would be necessary in order to persuade teens to follow the path of mutual understanding and sharing common values, in order to save the Gemeinschaft community. There are several ways, in which modern leader can influence people. Different leadership theories reflect different approaches to the leadership. There are eight major groups of leadership theories. The first group, called Great Man theories is based on the idea that leadership capacities are inherent. Great leaders are born and leadership qualities can not be developed through the life. Trait theories have much in common with Great Man theories. This group of theories states that leadership is guaranteed by the number of born qualities and capacities. This kind of theories center of traits, which usually make a good leader. Trait theories have weak points, since not all people, who possess qualities, necessary to become great leaders, become these leaders. This makes the main difficulty with the use of trait theories. Third group of leadership theories or Contingency theories centers of the environment, as the main source of information  about the necessary style of leadership. According to these theories different situations require different styles of leadership and good leaders are those, who can give a response to the needs created by the environment. Situational theories, which make the forth group of leadership theories, state that good leaders should choose the course of their actions according to the situational variable. Behavioral theories of leadership center on the idea that leadership qualities can be developed. These theories give number of methods, which help to develop these leadership qualities. According to Behavioral theories of leadership people can become leaders through learning. Another group of leadership theories is called Participative theories. This group of theories is based   on the assumption that good leaders can provide good participating of all members of the group in the process. According to Participative theories good leaders possess qualities, which encourage other people to participate in the group activity and help the members of the group to feel committed to the common goal. Participation of all members in the decision-making is very important in these theories. Management theories make another group of leadership theories. Management or Transactional theories empathize the role of the leader as a supervisor and organizer.

According to these theories leaders are responsible for the successful performance of all members of the group.

These theories turn to the system of reward and punishment as the main stimuli of the successful performance of the leader. These theories are especially popular in business management. The last group of leadership theories is called Relationship theories. Relationship or Transformational theories center on the relations between the leader and his or her followers. These type of leaders can inspire people by showing them an importance of the task and also an important role of each individual in fulfilling this task. This leadership theory has two focuses. First of all it stresses common goals of the community but at the same time it focuses on the successful performance of each separate individual. Each person is treated with respect and honor and the leader makes everything possible in order to create necessary conditions for each member of the community in order to help to discover his potential.

Different leadership theories apply for different situations. In our case I believe that two leadership theories will be the most appropriate. Participative theory will be appropriate because it stresses an importance of personal input of each individual into the life of the community. The Gemeinschaft community also stresses on the importance of personal involvement of each member of the group. Another type of the theories, which would perform successfully in our situation is transformational theories. These theories would be the most successful in our case to my mind.

They provide both- successful cooperation of the community members and opportunities for personal growth and self-realization.

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