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Sphere social groups: the young, women, middle class, intellectuals

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2.13. Sphere social groups: youth, women, middle class

Sphere classes exist in many social groups, first of all in groups as permanent and universal as women, men, youth. (We will categorize as youth, or more precisely - younger generations, the population UNDER 40). Contiguous to them is such social group as middle class, which, though not as universal as women, men, and youth, shares a common sphere nature with them. What does this mean? It means that women, men, youth, middle class are belonged to all sphere classes: they are employed in all, without exception, spheres of social reproduction. This evident fact does not necessitate an additional proof: there is not a single sphere in which they are not employed. Here is o­ne more group - intellectuals; they are kindred to the previously mentioned groups because they constitute o­ne of sphere classes - informational. The common qualities described here enable o­ne to categorize these social groups as sphere o­nes by nature. The following table tentatively charts the sphere nature of these groups.

Humanitarian P1Information P2Organization P3Technical P4
WomenWomen P1Women P2Women PWomen P
MenMen P1Men P2Men P3Men P4
Youth (UNDER) 40 years)Youth P1Youth P2Youth P3Youth P4
The older generations (FROM 40 years)Older generations in P1Older generations in P2Older generations in P3Older generations in P4
Middle classMiddle class in P1Middle class in P2Middle class in P3Middle class in P4
Intellectuals-Intellectuals = P2--

The sphere nature of these groups means that they are just as interested in social harmony as sphere classes, albeit differently. We will call these groups "sphere social groups". They are kindred to sphere classes, inseparable from them, and are parts of them, their partners and high-priority forces, albeit in differing ways. For sphere classes, it takes decades to acquire priority, and this happens o­nly gradually. By social priority we mean a leading role in society played, over a stretch of its history, by o­ne or several social groups, which control most part of the society's resources.

Sphere classes' priority begins with the priority of o­ne of them – the informational or intellectual class. The information society in the making ensures intellectuals' priority, which are employed in information and informational services in all spheres. Importantly, we're talking here not of a single branch class, but of an entire sphere class, employed in information in all spheres and branches without exception. Sphere identification of intellectual class is the beginning and an example of the formation of similar identification in other sphere classes and the entire population. Information and infoservicing, just as the appropriate employment of intellectual class, are necessary pre-conditions for society's harmonization and re-distribution of priorities between social groups. Intellectual class, however, is not yet numerous and strong enough, while it is plain negligible in many countries. Together with this class, the information society stimulates an intensive formation of harmonizing social forces: sphere classes (intellectuals first of all), youth, women, middle strata.

Another historical fact of the establishment of sphere classes' priority is the priority of middle class in the most developed countries. Middle class' priority means harmonization, prosperity and stabilization/stability of appropriate societies through harmonization of the population's income, a majority of whom have middle-level incomes. This method of harmonization, however, is insufficient and limited: it is not at all in all countries that the majority of population belongs to middle class; besides, the method does not solve the problems of women and youth, who mostly belong to the "low" or "upper low" class. Middle class' priority does not lead to sphere identification among the population, which is indispensable for social harmonization.

The crucial change in social groups priority rankings will occur when the change affects the most important gender/age groups present in every society: women, men, younger and older generations. Until now, all the social shifts notwithstanding, the position of priority has been occupied by the social group of older men - from 40 o­n. Arguably, all throughout the human history, from patriarchy to the present, older men, controlling most of the resources: human, informational, organizational (first of all power and financial), material, have been dominating and occupying the position of social priority. Other social groups, first of all youth and women, have found themselves as resource-poor as can be, especially in the XXth century, in transition-period and developing countries. So, socially, women and youth are the most deprived social groups. They, therefore, are more than the others interested in social justice and harmonizing the position of ALL social groups.

Until now, it is older men who've been at the helm in traditional branch classes, which have always been forces of disharmony, and often of immense world-scale destruction, the most vivid example of which is the XXth century. In that century, ruling men instigated three world wars, dozens of revolutions, thousands of local wars, murdering and maiming hundreds of millions people. All totalitarian systems of the XXth century were created and were headed not by the women or the youth, and men of the older generations. There is no space here for facts and statistics, so we will formulate a hypothesis: The blame for all the crimes of the past, for world total disharmony lies with older man - the backbone of traditional branch classes -, who has been initiating and leading all destructive and disharmoniziring actions both worldwide and locally, and who has been drawing into these actions all the population, including women and the young. To harmonize the social world, therefore, social priority needs to be transferred from older men to other, harmonious, actors: sphere classes, youth, women, middle class. This transfer is beginning in information society at the end of the XXth - the start of the XXIst century.

The following table charts the shifts in social groups priority rankings in the XXIst century.

Young generations, UNDER 40 years (the youth)Priority since XX1st centuryPriority since XX1st century
Older generations, FROM 40 yearsPriority since XX1st centuryPriority up to the end of the 1st quarter of the XX1st century.

Note. The trend in priority rankings shift charted in the table is grounded in the modern processes: the numbers of women and the young in leading branches in all society's spheres are growing; this trend needs an appropriate factual verification and empirical exploration, which will be conducted in the future. But the tendency is clear: the social world of the past was mainly male and old, while the social world in the new century will be gradually getting harmoniously gender-balanced and primarily young, even though older generations will be growing in numbers. (Increase of a priority and number are not identical.) The historical task for men in the XXIst century consists in going beyond paying lip-service to women as the humankind's better half and helping them in deed to become the better half by ceding to them control over society at every level.

By no means does the suggested hypothesis belittle older men's great services, achievements, discoveries, oeuvres and good deeds. o­n the weighing-machine of history, however, destruction, aggression, violence by older men, and their domination and superiority, weigh out. Who, if not they, are responsible for the crimes of the past, for total disharmony? -Women? -No. -The young? -No. For women and the young have always been resource-poor and depending o­n older men; they've almost always been instruments of older men's will and executors of their orders. Until now, history needed disharmonious forces able to gain a particular end by any means. o­nly older men could fulfil this historical mission; o­nly they could assume the role of the social leader; o­nly they could have social priority. They fulfilled their historical mission bringing it to a logical closure - the real danger of the humankind's destruction as a result of either a nuclear war, or ecological disaster, or clash of civilizations, or international terrorism, etc. This global threats were brilliantly creating exactly by older men, rich and masterful, almost all-powerful. What the humankind is to do now? Wait for the decease, like a lamb being led to the slaughter, or change a social groups' priority rankings? The humankind have chosen the latter, although the global threats are certain to be persisting for long.

To which groups can and should the social priority be transferred in the informational civilization in the XXIst century? -To those who, being "closer" to information, are the forces of sphere harmony and prosperity, rather than of branch disharmony and destruction. Why are women and the young "closer" to information? Because, due to their humanitarian, age and/or psycho-physiological qualities, they have more talent for information technologies than older men, who are more disposed to authoritarian and violent solutions. Which social groups are the forces of harmony and universal prosperity? History has shown that it is not older men or branch classes. Therefore, youth, women, middle classes, intellectuals, who possess a common sphere nature and have sphere classes as common denominator, are the new century's forces of harmony and prosperity. So, o­nly sphere classes and groups can achieve social harmony; this is why, albeit with difficulty, they are gradually gaining social priority. In other words, in sphere classes, adult men, who are playing leading roles in all the branches, are starting to cede their priority to the young, women, the middle strata, and intellectuals. Being painful as it is for older men, this process does not belittle their significance or infringe o­n their rights or aspire to subordinate them to another master: what is replacing the domination by older men is not a different kind of domination, but rather harmony, justice, and equality of social groups.

In purely theoretical terms, we can establish an approximate "quota of harmony" for major, age/gender-based, sphere groups: it rests o­n an equal distribution of leadership positions among them and amounts to a quarter, 25%. What does this quota mean? It means that leadership positions should be evenly divided between men and women, between older and younger generations. Hence we have 25% as a kind of ideal. If the quota is divided among four spheres, it equals 6,25%. (We can compare with the sphere groups' harmony quota the current distribution of leadership positions among these groups in the world, separate trading o­ne kind of chauvinism or domination for another. It rejects both; it renounces them, champions a transition from them to social harmony, eliminating any chauvinism, domination, etc. It states a feasibility of and prognosticates a necessity for such a transition and the shift of social priorities. countries, spheres, branches, cities, and to find out how far they are from harmony.) In this harmony of sexes, generations, sphere classes, older men will occupy an appropriate position, which, obviously, will be worthier and fairer than the o­ne they've been occupying so far. So, TetraSociology cannot be accused of

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