Sociology and Its Perspectives

In: Social Issues

Submitted By dloredomedina
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Sociology 101
Exam 1
Take home

Functionalist perspective emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. Functionalists believe that everything and everyone have a place and purpose in society. If an aspect of social life does not contribute to a society’s survival, the aspect will not be passed from one generation to the next. Sometimes the function may be considered manifest (obvious) and other times it may be considered latent, or less obvious. A manifest function of prison is to protect society from dangerous individuals. A latent function of prison would be to provide jobs to people in rural areas, who otherwise might be unemployed. They believe that society depends on these functions to serve its people, and has a macro view of sociology. Functionalist perspective has a macro view of sociology.
Conflict theory. Conflict sociologists see a world in continual struggle. The conflict perspective assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of tension between competing groups over power or the allocation of resources. Conflict theorists are interested in how society’s institutions such as family, government and religion may help to maintain the privileges of some and keep others in subservient position. For example, the rich vs. the poor conflict theory explains how the rich use their power to exploit groups with less power, in this case the poor. Their emphasis on social change and the redistribution of resources makes conflict theorists more radical and activists than functionalists. Conflict theory has a macro view of sociology.
Symbolic interactionism. Interactionist perspective studies all the micro aspects of sociology, whereas functionalists and conflict theorists both analyze large-scale patterns of behavior in a society. Interactionist perspective generalizes about everyday forms of…...

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