Three major Sociology theories

Topics: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Social solidarity Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: January 21, 2014

There are three major sociology theories known as functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionist perspective. Symbolic interactionism is the use of symbols and is face-to-face interaction. Functionalism has to do with relationships between the parts of society and how the aspects of society are adaptive. The last, conflict theory is the competition of scarce resources and how the elite control the poor and week.

The symbolic interactionist perspective which is known as symbolic interactionism directs sociologist to consider the symbols and details of everyday life, what these symbols mean, and how people interact with each other(1). George H. Mead Introduced this perspective to American sociology in the 1920s. According to this theory people attach meaning to symbols. An example of symbols are wedding bands, vows of life-long commitment, a white bridal dress, a wedding cake, a church ceremony, and flowers and music. These are all examples of symbols explain in the theory. Symbolic interactionist may miss the larger issue of society by focusing too closely on the “trees.” An example would be focusing too strongly on the size of the diamond in the wedding ring rather than the “forest,” which would be the quality of marriage.

The functionalist perspective, known as functionalism, is when each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society’s functioning as a whole. This was brought to sociology by Emile Durkheim. The government, or state, provides the education for the children in the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, or cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. Durkheim suggested that social consensus takes two different forms, mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity is a form of social...
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