Dorothy Lee Individual Autonomy And Social Structure Summary

Decent Essays
In “Individual Autonomy and Social Structure”, Dorothy Lee discusses different types of cultures within a given society. Lee states that “the principle of personal autonomy is supported by the cultural framework.”(Lee, 5). Lee examines the differences between the individual autonomy of non-western societies and the autonomy of western societies in order to better the society we live in. The reading gave Lee’s point of view on how different societies deal with their conflicts. The conflict between the social structure in western society and individual autonomy is the key social problem that Lee is addressing. Individual autonomy is understood by one’s capacity to decide for them self, to be one’s own person, and the ability to determine their own actions. Individual autonomy is a large principle in western society, as individuals are free to make their own decisions, without being restricted by societies norms. In the article, Lee describes that personal autonomy can lead to lawlessness and chaos in our western culture. Dorothy Lee talks about individual autonomy and the social structure in western culture, and how it is very difficult to comply these two areas in order for them to work in accordance to one another. Lee uses child rearing as a cultural example to demonstrate a resolution between individual autonomy and social structure. “In every society, we find some organized social unit, but not everywhere does the social unit provide freedom to the individual or the
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