Theoretical perspectives in Sociology - Essay Example

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Theoretical Perspective in Sociology Science had been normally equated with the situation of the laboratory making natural sciences popular. However, with the resurgence of the many branches of social sciences, it eventually acknowledged other studies outside the premise of the contrived laboratory as science of which an example is sociology…
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Download file to see previous pages Whether the study is conducted outside the laboratory, the same systematic method is applied. The study of behavior among children for example has to be subjected to scientific investigation so that it will not merely be hearsay or wistful thinking. Other social sciences employ theories to explain certain phenomena. In sociology, the behavior, interaction, and other social issues are studied using the structural functionalism approach, conflict or symbolic interactionism theories. Structural functionalism theory compares society with that of the human body composed of structures or parts with its corresponding function to maintain the equilibrium and health of the organism. Holding to the same concept, the society is viewed by the functionalist to be composed of family, school, church, and other agencies for its survival. The fulfillment of their own function although differs may bring stability. Furthermore, functionalist theory considers that social conflict is occasional and temporary. In times where one structure becomes dysfunctional, the others are affected as well. However, it may get back to function again. For instance, even if the church loss its power at times in cultivating values to its members that might result to immorality, it will not be permanent. Time will always come the church will find strategies to ameliorate what was compromised. Apart from this, functionalist considers the occurrence of social change as a need of the society. While the main focus of functionalism is the normal state of the society through its cooperating groups, the conflict perspective refutes it as it views society as not in any way harmonious. Proponents of conflict theory believe that society is being held together by dominant groups. As a result, conflicts are unavoidable and continue to occur to the extent of disguising it with law enforcement. The struggle for power and wealth is what is continuous because the rich desires for more and the powerful few do all means to stay in power. For this reason, the behavior of the competing sectors is expressed in terms of struggle and tension. Although, the most common form is through violent means, not all the time that such method is applied. At times, it could be through negotiation, normal competition or disputes. Conflict theory is expected to present the nature of man through the study of the relationship of tension and inequality with those who competes (Schaefer, 18). Symbolic interactionism is focused on the interaction of people within their environment either in a bigger group setting or small groups. Although, the main target is the interaction, contributors of this theory believed that there are outside factors that initiates the interaction. This includes objects, symbols and language to which meanings are attached. Interaction is deemed impossible with the absence of language and a consensus meaning of objects that people commonly use in their everyday life. For instance, in the Philippines some minority group interacts because of head beads. Such object to them represents something else. To them, the beads connote wealth and a symbol of social status thus they wear it all day long. Interestingly, the wearing of the beads had influenced the next generation on how they define themselves, other people and the situation. Symbolic interac ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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