Sociological Theories

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There are three primary sociological theories that are discussed in the first chapter of our textbook. These three theories are the Structural Functionalist, the Conflict Theorists, and the Symbolic Interactionists. The first theory is structural functionalism. Within this theory there was sociologist that had beliefs in how this theory could be viewed. Auguste Comte, called the father of sociology, believed that societies have different stages of development that coincide with what they believe in. His perception of positivism is that there is nothing that cannot be studied accurately if the right methods are employed (Vissing, 2011). Comte and Emile Durkheim were credited with the creation of the structural-functionalist theory. This theory focuses on social structures and the existence to fulfill some specific function (Vissing, 2011). They view society as functioning best when there is agreement about the social values and norms. In other words, functionalist did not want to rock the boat. Other theorist that contributed to this theory, are Herbert Spence, Max Weber, Talcott Parsons, and Vilfredo Parento.

The second theory is Conflict. Conflict theorists focus on social inequality and group conflict. Conflict theories are perspectives in social science which emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group. These theorists feel that most social problems emerge because our society is divided into those who have wealth, prestige, and power, and those who don't. According to Karl Marx society was divided into two classes of people: the bourgeoisie, the rich and elite capitalist class, and the proletariats, the underpaid working class. To Marx, most social problems were created because the wealthy focused on their acquisition of profit and power, which came about through actions of other people. In order to keep workers in their place and enhance the chances of their own economic and social benefits, Marx felt that the...
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