Sociology of Security
Security as a subject of study in political science had become so entrenched that it couldn't be negotiated and on the other hand the emphasis on security providing as the government's specific duty was granted an obvious monopoly of politicians on the security: but after a while, attentions to platforms and contexts that realize security or vice versa insecurity, opened new perspectives to the experts of other sciences and they understand that security can be studied from many different areas and it can not be confined to certain areas. Sociology was a science that became pioneer in security discourse and stated several issues in this case.
Sociology of Security is still young and there is no consensus or scientific richness about it and because of severe disagreements some even believe that the security can be subject to political sociology or sociology of war. In this paper, we just scheme a viewpoint about sociology of security and adjourn don't review the other various opinions. Sociology of security is the scientific study of the relationships between community and security. It addresses the questions what understanding of security does society create and conversely, what society does security establish. In other words, sociology of security is the study of mutual interactions between security and the society that result in developing or production and reproduction of security in the society. So, in answer to the question "what is Sociology of Security", it can be discussed from two viewpoints : In describing the nature of Sociology of Security from first viewpoint it can be said: Sociology of Security addresses the "understanding of security", so it asks:
1 – What kind of understanding of security does the society provide? Security like any other basic needs such as food and clothing is public but may differ in terms of the social environment. So, as the dishes are so different in different parts of the world, security varies according to the different communities.
2 – Based on what elements does society formulate the security? Despite globalization, there are still many things in different geographical areas of social life, including home, those depend on weather conditions and availability of materials. Security is not free from this influence. The securitization procedure can have a unique style and technique based on the situations of each community.
3 - How does society organize the stable and fragile society? We can talk about sustainable security (ranging from climate to animal rights and so on) when all aspects of social life are included in security plans. Neglecting of social life such as inequality, humiliation and militarism, provides start point for the onset of insecurity and thus we are faced with a fragile security. It is clear that security programs and objectives in terms of resources and assets in the community are among these two general types.
4 - How much does the society want to institutionalize the security? Institutionalization of security means pursuit of ways to achieve and ensuring security in the long term and lifelong. But wars are evidence of the claim that all societies do not follow security institution.
5 - How do distinctions and differences between security and insecurity form and reproduce in society? Crime can vary from community to community. Similarly, definition of security and its difference from insecurity vary from community to community. In this brief we can see how much security theorists are unaware of scope, breadth, depth, and width of the security and have summarized it to the war, risks, struggles and conflicts, while Sociology of Security has the scientific study to determine what kind of security the societies make, according to diversities and differences between them.
On the other hand, because Sociology of Security is to study mutual interaction between society and security, in describing the nature of Sociology of Security from first viewpoint it can be said: Sociology of Security addresses the "understanding of security", so it asks:
1 – What kind of society does the security form? Societies can be divided into at least two general categories open and closed. Broad security leads to openness and free interactions and narrow security as it is companion with surveillance and control, directs the society to limited relationships.
2 - What are the benefits and barriers of security for the society? The security status effects directly or indirectly on growth and development of society. We can mention the opportunity of investment in society as its benefit that is heard a lot these days and as a problem we can mention excessive increasing cameras, which threaten citizen's privacy. Thus, security can bring positive or negative outcomes for the society.
3 - What type of interactions does security provide in different environments (urban / rural…) in various situations (parties / union...) in different groups (family / friends...)? The societies are based on interactions and relationships between individuals and groups. Security can direct interactions to convergence or cause pluralism and diversity of communication. Establishing security can disturb the balance between majority and minority. Also the strength and weakness of security can affect on partnership and cooperation.
4 – How does security use social forces such as classes of society? Security like any other social phenomenon requires work forces to realize itself. How to apply these forces vary from society to society, for example we can mention period of forced labor.
5 - What restrictions or barriers does security form for society? Society should determine some principles and rules to protect and preserve everything that is in the realm of security. It is clear that the size of restrictions impacts on social relations and situations.
With regard to the security role it is understood that security is not just limited to protection of society and has many other functions that some of them were mentioned. Political Science summarizes the necessity of security in "survival and protection" of this government, that person, this organization, that institution.... While the primary role of security is establishing social forms and different kinds of social life. So we can again conclude that the prospects political science have imagined a small world for security.
In the end it can be understood why the security discourse has resulted in negative and positive sides. In negative discourse, security escapes from risks and in positive discourse it seeks opportunities. The nature of security is gone in this escape and the pursuit. Sociology of Security causes multiple perspectives to be opened unto security and security is assessed from the viewpoint of different ethnicities, different social classes, religions, nationalities, age groups, gender groups, occupation groups.... and on the other hand, following this assessment, security is able to claim necessary mechanisms to realize itself.
Dr. Manijeh Navidnia ISA, no. 57