The Three Major Theoretical Perspectives In Sociology

1955 words - 8 pages

Introduction
Sociologists develop theories to explain and analyze society at different levels and from different perspectives. Sociologists study everything from the micro level of analysis of small social patterns to the “big picture” which is the macro level of analysis of large social patterns.
Sociologists employ three major theoretical perspectives in sociology today. They are the structural-functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactionism. The structural-functionalist perspective is done at a macro level and its focus is on the relationships between the parts of society. The Conflict perspective is done at a macro level and its main focus is on how the wealthy controls the poor and weak. Symbolic Interactionism is done at a micro and it focuses on the use of symbols and face to face interactions.

Structural-Functionalist Perspective
The structural-functionalist perspective looks at society as a complex system composed of various parts much like a living organism. Each aspect of society contributes to society's functioning as a whole. Social institutions play a key role in keeping a society stable. All societies need certain things to survive (Newman 2010).
Auguste Comte (Newman 2010) pointed out the need to keep society unified as many traditions were diminishing. He created the term sociology. Auguste Comte suggests that sociology is the product of a three-stage development.
Talcott Parson (Parsons 1951) sees society as a collection of systems within systems Parson determined that each individual has expectations of the other's action and reaction to his own behaviour, and that these expectations would be derived from the accepted norms and values of the society where they live. Emile Durkheim was concerned primarily with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern society when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed (Durkheim 1915, 1964). He also did studies on education, crime and suicide.
Sociologist Robert Merton (1957) divides human functions into two types. They are manifest functions and latent functions. Manifest functions are intended and the obvious consequences of activities. Latent functions are the unintended, sometimes unrecognized, consequences of actions. The manifest function of going to church is to worship as part of a religious community, but its latent function may be to meet people.
From the structural-functionalist perspective, if an aspect of a social life does not contribute to society’s survival it will eventually disappear (Durkheim 1915, 1964). This may be considered as dysfunctional. Dysfunctions are consequences of structural elements that produce changes in their environing social system. Dysfunctions can also be manifest or latent. Manifest dysfunctions are anticipated disruptions of social life. A manifest dysfunction of a festival might include disruptions of...

Find Another Essay On The Three Major Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology

Comparison of the Three Major Sociological Theories

1817 words - 7 pages SOCIOLOGY 303CLASSICAL THEORYComment on the three types of sociological theories, explain and argue, based onyour library or Internet research, which type of theory is the most appropriatetheory for sociology to adopt.The three general types of sociological theory are positivistic, interpretive andcritical theory. In determining which theory is the most appropriate for sociology toadopt, a basic understanding of each theory's strengths and

The Three Major Issues in the Advertising Campaign for Coca Cola Classic

5338 words - 21 pages The Three Major Issues in the Advertising Campaign for Coca Cola Classic The three major issues in this advertising campaign for Coca-Cola Classic are to increase the number of people who drink Coca-Cola Classic, make our advertising more creative, and to ultimately beat our competitors. Our target market can be explained in just one word, everyone. Since Coca-Cola Classic had been around for many years everyone has heard of it. It does not

The three major themes in the movie Excalibur are Magic,Power, and Fate

627 words - 3 pages The entire story of Excalibur is based on three things which intertwine with each other. Those three things are magic, power and fate. Excalibur would not exist with out the magic of the all-powerful Merlin; the town of Camelot would never been created with out the power and strength of Arthur and his men ; and furthermore with out fate Arthur would have never have pulled the sword from the stone. With out these three things to be the center

Changing perspectives essay on "Feliks Skrzynecki" and "Crossing the Red Sea", "Sky-high" "Three Weeks in Bali" "Remember the Titans"

1201 words - 5 pages How do the texts you have studied shape your understanding of changing perspectives?Change is a concept which can be understood as an alteration or modification in any or all facets of life. In the context of changing perspectives, it can be seen as a view which has been transformed. The texts studied this year, Peter Skrzynecki's "Feliks Skrzynecki" and "Crossing the Red Sea", "Sky-high" from the "BOS Changing", Alan Atkinson's account "Three

A Reflection On The Meaning Of Life From Three Perspectives

2521 words - 11 pages something else: They are all individuals who have been trying to find the meaning of life. In this essay I will reflect on the meaning of life as presented by these three philosophers. Let me first explain why I have chosen this approach. The meaning of life has been an interest to me for a long time. I am especially fascinated by the fact that there is no general definition of it. Every culture, yes even every individual has a different version

Family and Applying the Three Lenses of Sociology

1738 words - 7 pages personal of small groups. Though it may be a very small group of compatible people, but there are still procedures in place that oversee the function of the family, and it generates behaviors within the group which makes the small society unique from other societies. Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the structural perspective, the symbolic interactionist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives

Critically asses three major causes of the First World War

2378 words - 10 pages reduced much of the flexibility of the old balance of power in Europe, and that which had existed under the Bismarckian system of old.These alliances also meant that what might previously have been minor conflicts now had the very real possibility of escalating into full-scale conflicts that would rapidly involve the major powers in Europe, thus dragging the whole of Europe into war."The alliances created an excessively rigid diplomatic framework

The Three Major Factors Fueling International Technological Growth

1342 words - 5 pages The Three Major Factors Fueling International Technological Growth According to Matthew and Kleiner (2008) the three major factors fueling international technological growth are the internet, telecommunications, and e-commerce. The internet has the capability to generate international market expansion and future international growth for firms. It has evolved into a mechanism that can be used to capture new international market opportunities

Discussion of Theoretical Perspectives in Danby, S. (1996). Constituting social membership: Two readings of talk in an early childhood classroom. Language and Education, 10(2&3), 151-170.

1654 words - 7 pages , early childhood teachers would be able to see and work with gender differently if they have the flexibility to shift among different theoretical perspectives relating to gender and use new ones when existing perspectives become obsolete. This would be one of the major challenges for early childhood teachers if they were to see gender as an essential component of child learning and development.ReferencesAlloway, N. (1995). Foundation Stones: the

The Biological and Psychoanalytical Perspectives in Psychology

2019 words - 8 pages influenced psychology today (Glassman and Hadad 2013). The psychoanalytical approach is more theoretical in terms of the unconscious forces and the psychosexual stages of development as they are not empirically supported and cannot be falsifiable so may not be taken as seriously in modern day psychology. Works Cited 1- William E. Glassman and Marilyn Hadad 2013 approaches to psychology sixth edition London/US McGraw Hill 2- Morton Hunt 2007 The

Perspectives in the Realm of Psychology

1756 words - 7 pages their unconscious mind; Then, Sigmund Freud’s theories or therapy, rather, diverged into other types of therapies such as Biological Psychology or Cognitive Psychology. No doubt, there are various perspectives, both strong and weak, in the field of Psychology using different techniques on different types of behavior to search for the accurate answer. To begin, the psychodynamic approach to aiding human behavior appears to have many advantages

Similar Essays

Theoretical Perspectives In Sociology. Explain What Theoretical Perspectives Are. Name And Explain The Three Major Sociological Theoretical Perspectives And Give Examples.

1312 words - 5 pages external factors influencing them, should be observed. There are several theoretical perspectives in sociology that are used to understand social relationships and behaviors. The three theoretical perspectives discussed here are symbolic interactionism, functional analysis, and conflict theory.Symbolic interactionism is a microsociological theoretical approach that examines small-scale patterns of social interaction. Interactionists focus on how

Understanding The Function Of Markets Through Different Theoretical Perspectives

2439 words - 10 pages Understanding the Function of Markets Through Different Theoretical Perspectives The aim of this essay is to answer the 2 parts of the provided question. In the first part I will discuss the different markets models and how those different models describe the way markets function. While the second part will discuss how and why markets are limited and failure cases happens. An example case of a market failure is to be

Discuss The Various Theoretical Perspectives On Aggression, Including The Research Supporting And Refuting These Perspectives.

2954 words - 12 pages . They are reinforced when the victims do what they want. Moreover, aggression can strengthen or maintain self-esteem if they receive favorable response after performing such behaviour.Although the major motivation of instrumental aggression is economic gain - not intently harming anyone, they may find it necessary to use violence if there is someone or something interfering with the perpetrator's objective. In that sense, even though a robbery

D.<Tab/>Making Reference To Theoretical Perspectives With Which You Are Familiar, Discuss The Construction Of Race And Ethnicity In Literary Texts Othello And My Beautiful Laundrette

2198 words - 9 pages Rachel, and of course Omar and Johnny, the relationship between Omar and Johnny perhaps the less likely of the three, as Johnny is an ex National Front member. During the text their relationship is tested due to an ‘inversion of roles’ (Hill: 211) as;Omar, according to his cousin Tania (Rita Wolf), treats Johnny ‘like a servant’ and he relishes the way in which he can get his own back for being kicked around at school by making