Higher and lower needs. What is the social role of the lower human needs?
The need is a state of the body's need, manifested in the individual's dependence on the objective conditions of existence and development.
Classification of needs
In psychological science it is customary to allocatethe needs of the lower and higher order. At the same time, the nature of a person's need is such that the emergence of a second category, as a rule, is impossible without satisfying the former.
For example, B.F. Lomov considered two main groups of needs:
The first group is aimed at material conditionsand vital means, as well as knowledge, communication, activities and recreation. Derived needs are divided into information, moral, aesthetic, etc.
In turn, V.G. Aseev, differentiating the needs of higher order, distinguished the following types:
- communicative (including the need for affiliation),
The theory of motivation A. Maslow
The most famous in psychological science is the hierarchy of needs of the American psychologist A. Maslow (the so-called Maslow pyramid, 1954).The author singles out five main stages: higher and lower needs:
- physiological (food, sleep, etc.),
- the need for security,
- the need for love and belonging,
- the need for recognition and respect,
- the need for self-expression.
Also in some sources, this hierarchy is presented in a more detailed form: between the 4 th and 5 th levels there are also cognitive and aesthetic needs.
Primary, lower human needs,manifest from birth. The higher ones are gradually formed, as the primary ones are satisfied, in the course of the development of the personality of the individual. Maslow believed that the structure and order of the formation of needs does not depend on the cultural conditions of development.
The role of lower needs in society
If the cultural differences, according to Maslow, are notinfluence the order of formation of human needs, then it is impossible to say about the specifics of the formation of the needs themselves. It's not just about higher needs, but about the lower ones too. What is the social role of lower needs?
Unmet need stimulatesactivity of the individual, forcing him to seek opportunities for its satisfaction. So, if a person is hungry, he will take action to get food (physiological need). For example, go to the store for groceries or go to a cafe, restaurant, etc. How will this affect social development? Choosing these or other products, the individual thereby increases the demand for them in the public market. If we multiply this activity by the number of all individuals in society who are potential consumers of food, then we get a full level of demand.
Thus, in response to a question about whichsocial role is played by lower needs, we note first of all the socio-economic function. It can be realized within the framework of another basic human need, namely, in safety. For example, if you pay for treatment or when you make insurance.
On the other hand, guided by the need forsecurity, a person can make a choice in favor of one or another candidate in political elections. For example, if a candidate promises certain benefits for certain categories of citizens or plans to allocate additional funds for combating crime, etc. In this case, considering the question of what social role the lower needs fulfill, we can talk about the socio-political function and and so forth.
"Cultural" transformation of needs
In turn, the British anthropologist B. Malinowski formulates the idea that a developed society creates "cultural" answers to the biological needs of the individual.What is the social role of lower needs, according to this theory? Being the main motivators of human activity, they simultaneously become the sources of social development.
Malinovsky singles out the so-called. instrumental cultural institutions (imperatives), which are certain ("cultural") activities: education, law, development, love, etc. All of them somehow become a source of realization of biological needs in society. A significant role in this case is assigned to social institutions - such as family, education, social control, economics, belief systems, etc.
The American anthropologist develops the idea that each individual need can pass through a certain cultural transformation in society. The source of this process are traditions.
Thus, culture, according to theoryMalinovsky, acts as a material and spiritual system that ensures the individual's existence and contributes to the satisfaction of his biological needs. On the other hand, culture itself is a consequence of the impact of these needs on the development process of the individual. Accordingly, speaking of the connection between biological needs and culture, we note the bilateral nature of this process.