Sociology: Study of Human Social Relationships and Institutions

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What is sociology?
Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology's subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Unifying the study of these diverse subjects of study is sociology's purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures. Structuralist theories

Structuralist are interested in describing and understanding the main social institutions e.g. •Family
Education system
Health services
Political institutions
Religious groups
They are concerned with how these institutions relate to each other and how they determine individual behaviour. Functionalism
It is a sociological approach which sees the social institutions of the society as working in harmony with each other, making specific and clear contributions towards the smooth running of the society. Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917)

French sociologists, often referred to as the Father of Sociology, helped to establish Sociology, as a scientific discipline. Durkheim was one of the first people to explain the existence and quality of different parts of a society by reference to what function they served in keeping the society healthy and balanced – a position that would come to be known as functionalism. Durkheim also insisted that society was more than the sum of its parts. Talcott Parsons (1902 – 1979)

He was for many years best known sociologist in the United States and indeed one of the best known in the world. He produced a general theoretical system for the analysis of society that came to be called structural functionalism. He attempted to derive from the work of his predecessors a single “action theory” based on the assumptions that human...
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