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Introduction to sociology - Essay Example

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Date The Three Major Sociological Perspectives Sociological perspectives, also called sociological theories, can be defined as approaches that sociologists use to view the world, explain a certain phenomenon as well as understand our social world and our human behaviour…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper presents a thoughtful discussion on these three major sociological perspectives, their relations and their views on some societal aspects, marriage, homelessness, and crime. Structural functionalism is mainly associated with Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton, and Herbert Spencer. According to this theory, society is composed of interconnected sections that function interdependently and harmoniously to maintain state of equilibrium in the society. Each institution in the society plays a very significant role for the well being of the society. For instance, the family nurtures and socializes children into the society, the school facilitates the transmission of skills, knowledge and societal values and norms and impacts them on an individual. Additionally, learning institutions introduces an individual to the social world and informs them how to interact with others. Economy ensures the manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of commodities in the society whereas politics ensures that the rule and societal law is maintained and obeyed. Religion on the other hand, emphasizes on the relationship between individuals and the Supreme Being (Ferrante-Wallace 273). This theory mainly focuses on the interconnectedness of the society as well as how each part influences the existence of the other. For instance, the continuous participation of women in paid workforce has facilitated the formulation of policies that oppose discrimination at work place and sexual harassment. According to functionalists, the society is said to functional if all the elements in it contribute to the maintenance of social stability. It is considered dysfunctional if they interrupt the social stability. According Robert Merton, there are two categories of functions in the society, latent and manifest. Latent functions are unintended and hidden consequences whereas manifest functions are intended and recognizable consequences (Ferrante-Wallace 51). Social Conflict Perspective is closely related to the works of Karl Marx on capitalist economy. Marx and other conflict theorists view the society as composed of different interest groups that compete for power and the available resources. The major concern of the conflict theorist is to find out who benefits from the resources who gets hurt or who is disadvantaged (Ferrante-Wallace 34). They argue that the factor of inequality is inevitable in the society. Conflict forms part of the society (Ferrante-Wallace 209). Marx argues that the aspect of economic development is inevitable in all existing societies. The industrialization has come with the two dominant classes in the society, that is, the bourgeoisie, as the owners of the means of production and the proletariat, who are the workers to earn wages for their upkeep. These two classes do not share the same ideologies. According to Marx, the owners of the means of production exploit their subordinates, the workers, as they only reward them subsistence wages and are alienated from some resources that are only accessed by the bourgeoisie. Additionally, Marx argues that the rich use their power to take over some institutions in the society. Marx says that the religion is an “opiate of the masses”. This implies that it gives comfort to the poorly rewarded workers that they should not worry about the earthly reward as they will be heavily rewarded in heaven. Conflict theorists confide that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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