Cooperation in Sociology Definition, Meaning & Types with Examples

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 08:12 -- Umar Farooq

What is the Meaning of Cooperation?

The basic form of human contact and association in society is co-operation. This is the simplest of all social behaviors found in the most elementary forms of life. The importance of the concept is as clear to the student of sociology as of physical and chemical actions to a chemistry student. The customer co-operates with the shopkeeper, though for a short while, for business purposes. The patient with the doctor, the student with the, teacher, the child and her mother, husband and wife, the Imam and his followers, all co­operate together. This vast network of social relationship found in society is resting upon co-operation. Under the pursuit of common Interests, the people cooperate with one another and get themselves associated together. Hence co-operation is a basic necessity of life.

No society can develop its social organization and social system without co-operation. The whole machinery of social life is mov­ing on the wheels of cod-operation. We find co-operation in family, education, agriculture, industry, 'business and trade, political activi­ties of a party and a religious sect.

What does the word cooperation means, it means helping one another or sharing in one or more aspects of human social life. In our societies, we find a few important examples of co-operation. In the farms, the ru­ral community people co-operate with their neighbors in watering the crops, ploughing the fields and harvesting the crops. In urban community people, co-operate with one another even in presence of dissimilar social conditions. Such co-operation is found between the customers and shopkeepers, teachers and the students, the owners and the laborers, the doctor and the patients and so many different groups of people.

What is the Definition of Cooperation

F.E. Merrill: "cooperation is a form of social interaction wherein two or more persons work together to gain a common end."

Fairchild: "cooperation is the process by which the indi­viduals or groups combine their effort, in a more or less organized way for the attainment of common objective."

A.W. Green. "Cooperation is the continuous and com­mon endeavor of two or more persons to perform a task or to reach a goal that is commonly cherished,"

Types of Cooperation

There are two types of co-operation

1. Direct Cooperation

The task unable to be performed by an individual needs coop­eration of other people. Those things which are common to the peo­ple and they share in such things is called direct co-operation. It is the co-operation in which the participants have common interest. For example, playing, praying, studying and working together in a farm or road building and house building are the examples of direct so-operation. All the activities of social life in which interest of a group of people is involved falls in direct co-operation.

Examples of direct cooperation in societies

  1. In rural communities the people co-operate in carrying the ill person to the doctor.
  2. The people co-operate on marriage, birth, Eids and other occa­sions of celebration.
  3. In urban community people of a political party co-operate with one another in general walks of social life.
  4. In urban areas, the people of a religious sect co-operate with one another with special interest

2. Indirect Co-operation

People do unlike things for the achievement of similar goals. Division of labour and specialization in a complex society, create impersonality in human behaviour and the people of one category co-operate with the people of other categories. In this way, labour and the material products are exchanged to the satisfaction of mu­tual needs and this process involves co-operation among people. People belonging to various' castes and classes have to co-operate, sometimes, in face of common needs and a common situation con­fronting them.

Examples of Indirect Cooperation

  1. The owners of a mill and its workers co-operate with one an­other.
  2. The businessmen and the customers co-operate on the selling rates of the products.
  3. The exogamous system of marriage is a marriage between two families of different castes and Biradris, This system is grow­ing popular in urban social life.     .
  4. The people living in urban communities co-operate in different acts of social life even they belong to different professions, castes, classes, sects and political parties.
  5. Co-operation among the people of different professions is a nice example of this type. In this way, they fulfil the needs of one another. This type of co-operation is indirect