Essay Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Institution, Society Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: December 16, 2014


Identify the four major sociological theoretical paradigms. For each, what are the key tenets? How does each explain how society works? "Functionalist Perspectives” also known as "Structural-Functional Paradigm”- “The sociological approach that views society as a stable, orderly system. According to this perspective, a society is composed of interrelated parts, each of which serves a function and (ideally) contributes to the overall stability of the society. Societies develop social structures, or institutions that persist because they play a part in helping society survive. These institutions include the family, education, government, religion, and the economy. If anything adverse happens to one of these institutions or parts, all other parts are affected and the system no longer functions properly. As Durkheim noted, rapid social change and a more specialized division of labor produce strains in society that lead to a breakdown in these traditional institutions and may result in social problems such as an increase in crime and suicide rates." “Conflict Perspectives”-- "According to conflict perspectives, groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources. Conflict may take the form of politics, litigation, negotiations, or family discussions about financial matters (Kendall, 01/2014, p. 25). "The conflict perspective is not one unified theory but rather encompasses several branches. One branch is the neo-Marxist approach, which views struggle between the classes as inevitable and as a prime source of social change. A second branch focuses on racial–ethnic inequalities and the continued exploitation of members of some racial–ethnic groups. A third branch is the feminist perspective, which focuses on gender issues (Kendall, 01/2014, p. 26). “Symbolic-Interaction Perspectives"—“Perspective based on the sociological approach that views society as the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups (Kendall,...
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