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Similarities and Differences between Structural Functionalisms, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism - Essay Example

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This essay explores the similarities and differences between structural functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism as some of the sociological theories which try to explain the behaviors of a society from different angles…
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Similarities and Differences between Structural Functionalisms, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism
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Download file to see previous pages The present research has identified that structural functionalism is a macro level sociological theory which focuses on structures and institutions in a society on a large scale. It formulates its principles by viewing the society as a whole. All the elements or parts of the society are independent as well as interrelated, according to this theory. Individuals constitute families, and families constitute societies. However, individuals have different roles in the family and society. For example, an individual could be a son/daughter, husband/wife, or brother/sister in a family. On the other hand, the same individual could be a friend, leader, or professional in the society. Obama is the husband of Michel whereas he is the leader of all Americans. In other words, Obama is an independent person; at the same time, he is interrelated to many things in the society. Structural functionalism studies these independent and interrelated elements of people in the society. Karl Marx is one of the major contributors to the conflict theory. “Marx believed that he could study history and society scientifically and discern tendencies of history and the resulting outcome of social conflicts”. “Class, for Marx, is rooted in social relations of production, and cannot be referred in the first place to relations of distribution and consumption or their ideological reflections” (Slaughter). Marx’s conflict theory can be made clearer using the following example. Imagine the living standards of a manager and an ordinary worker working in the same company. The worker would definitely compare his standard of living with that of the manager. He may develop a feeling that irrespective of his hard work, the manager or the company is not delivering enough salary or incentives to him. Such a thought will create a sense of dissatisfaction in his/her mind, and he/she may join trade unions to fight for his/her rights. It should be noted that the objective of the organization or the manager is to derive the maximum out of the employee by giving him/her the least salary possible whereas that of the worker is to achieve maximum salary with minimum efforts. These two contrasting interests often lead towards conflicts. Like the structural functionalism theory, the conflict theory is a macro level theory. It focusses on institutions, structures, and hierarchies in the society. This theory argues that society consists of different interests groups competing for limited resources. It should be noted that the community resources are limited in number, but all the groups in the society are fighting for the control of limited resources. For example, America can accommodate only one government at a time. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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hprice added comment 1 year ago
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The structure is excellent, and the paper covers the topic pretty good. I only wonder why it is shared for free? Will you chance everybody who downloads it to kill? Many thanks from me too!
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tayyaba added comment 1 year ago
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I liked that you gave the definitions for each term, mentioned in the topic. Usually, when writing, we somehow omit the descriptions and start from listing the differences themselves. I didn’t know the differences between structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. I didn’t even know they could stand in one row for comparison, for they seemed to be the terms which are not related. Thanks for sharing!

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