Sociological Theoretical Paradigms

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Identify the three major sociological theoretical paradigms. For each, what are its core questions? Which one do you relate to best? How can you use this particular paradigm to explain your decision to attend college? What research method would you use, and how, to explore why adult students choose to return to college. 1. Structural-Functional Paradigm-Functionalist paradigm describes the elements in society that create social stability for the greatest number of people. This paradigm, like the Conflict paradigm, is very interested in the structure of society and how it impacts people's lives. However, Functionalism sees the social structure as creating equilibrium or balance. It also describes the various elements of society that maintain that balance. The core question: * What keeps society held together?

* What impacts society balance?
2. Social-Conflict Paradigm-The Conflict paradigm describes the inequalities that exist in all societies around the globe. Conflict is particularly interested in the inequalities that exist based on all of the various aspects of master status—race or ethnicity, sex or gender, age, religion, ability or disability, and socioeconomic status and is comprised of the combined effects of income, education, and occupation. The core question: * What separates people from one another in society?

* Why are people divided by social status?
3. Symbolic Paradigm-Symbolic Interactionism describes society as small groups of individuals interacting based on the various ways that people interpret their various cultural symbols such as spoken, written, and non-verbal language. Our behavior with and among other people (our interaction) is the result of our shared understanding of cultural symbols. This is a micro-level paradigm that describes small-scale processes and small-scale social systems; it is interested in individual behavior. The core question: * What are the effects of nonverbal cues taken wrong?

* How do...
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