Thus far we have explored the idea of "society" as a form of social organisation based around certain rules and relationships. In this section, therefore, we need to explore the basis of this organisation in terms of the concept of social order. That is, we need to understand how and why human behaviour is socially organised.
In this respect, we know, through the systematic observation of the social world, that we can establish patterns to peoples behaviour. Human behaviour is not simply individualistic (that is, behaviour that makes no reference to the behaviour of others). It is, on the contrary other-regarding our behaviour is conditioned by the behaviour of others.
Given that we are all unique, thinking, beings, the existence of patterned behaviour clearly suggests that something must cause these patterns to occur. In simple terms, something must effectively make people co-operate - to form, in short, reasonably orderly forms of social organisation.
There are a number of theories we could use to explain this situation (for example, people who are religious might explain the cause as being that of a god or gods), but we are going to look at only two main theories, one sociological and one rejected by sociologists.