Comparing the major theoretical perspectives in
Also the conflict theory views the society held together by forceful forces or elements including the police and the military forces. This perspective is a macro-level approach most identified with the writings of German philosopher and sociologist Karl Marx —who saw society as being made up of individuals in different social classes who must compete for social, material, and political resources such as food and housing, employment, education, and leisure time.
In so doing, they rely heavily on symbols such as words and gestures to reach a shared understanding of their interaction. Coleman, J. Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method. Latent functions can be beneficial, neutral, or harmful.
Verbal conversations, in which spoken words serve as the predominant symbols, make this subjective interpretation especially evident. Their views taken together offer a fuller understanding of the phenomena than either approach can offer alone. Thus functionalism emphasizes the importance of social institutions such as the family, religion, and education for producing a stable society.
Criticism Research done from this perspective is often scrutinized because of the difficulty of remaining objective. Functionalism is a macro theory. The manifest function of attending a church or synagogue, for instance, is to worship as part of a religious community, but its latent function may be to help members learn to discern personal from institutional values. The rich would exploit the poor, demanding a lot of labor while giving out a little of payment, while peasants demand smooth, soft and easy labor with more favorable and conducive payments. As this interaction occurs, individuals negotiate their definitions of the situations in which they find themselves and socially construct the reality of these situations. German sociologist Georg Simmel — believed that conflict can help integrate and stabilize a society. Mechanical solidarity most commonly occurs in traditional, simple societies such as those in which everyone herds cattle or farms. It originated in the work of such 18th-century thinkers as the Italian economist Cesare Beccaria — and the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham — Its roots lie in the work in the early s of American sociologists, social psychologists, and philosophers who were interested in human consciousness and action. Lord of the flies. More recently, inequality based on gender or race has been explained in a similar manner and has identified institutionalized power structures that help to maintain inequality between groups. Finally, I will provide my own argument to the debate as whether the purpose of social research should Theoretical Perspectives Essay:. For example, during a financial recession with its high rates of unemployment and inflation, social programs are trimmed or cut.
In a healthy society, all parts work together to maintain stability, a state called dynamic equilibrium by later sociologists such as Parsons These sociologists examine how and why individuals interact and interpret the meanings of their interaction.
How does society limit individual aspirations? We look at these institutions in later chapters. Generally considered as gaining acceptance in the late s and early s, postmodern social theory is a micro-level approach that looks at small, local groups and individual reality.
Theoretical perspective in sociology
By emphasizing the contributions of social institutions such as the family and education to social stability, functionalist theory minimizes the ways in which these institutions contribute to social inequality. An example is the familiar symbol of shaking hands. Though their works are decades old they still are a major part of what sociology is today. Durkheim emphasized two related social mechanisms: socialization and social integration. Similar to the view of the conservative intellectuals from which it grew, functionalism is skeptical of rapid social change and other major social upheaval. In the United States and many other societies, shaking hands is a symbol of greeting and friendship. This central fact of capitalism, said Marx and Engels, eventually prompts the rise among workers of class consciousness, or an awareness of the reasons for their oppression.
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