Three Theoretical Approaches

Topics: Sociology, Scientific method, Research Pages: 4 (778 words) Published: June 13, 2012
Outline the three theoretical approaches discussed in the text. What image is held of each? What core questions does each approach ask? Which of the three approaches strikes you as the most useful? Why? 

1. Structural-functional approach
* Sees society as complex system
* Promotes solidarity and stability
* Macro-level orientation
* Social structure
* Social functions
* Manifest functions
* Latent functions
* Social dysfunction
* What makes society tick
* Vision of society as stable and orderly
2. Social-conflict approach
* Sees society as an arena of inequality
* Generates conflict and change
* Macro-level orientation
* Highlights how class, race, ethnicity, gender, and age are linked to inequality in terms of money, power, education, and social prestige. * Reduce inequality
* Conflict analysis
* Gender-conflict approach
* Feminism
* Race-conflict approach
3. Symbolic-interaction approach
* Sees society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals * Micro-level orientation

1. Structural-functional approach
* Society is a system of interrelated parts that is relatively stable * Each part works to keep society operating in an orderly way * Members generally agree about what is morally right and morally wrong 2. Social-conflict approach

* Society is a system of social inequalities based on class (Marx), gender (feminism and gender-conflict approach), and race (race-conflict approach) * Society operates to benefit some categories of people and harm others. * Social inequality causes conflict that leads to social change 3. Symbolic-interaction approach

* Society is an ongoing process
* People interact countless settings using symbolic communications * The reality people experience is variable and changing

Core questions
1. Structural-functional approach
* How is society held together?...
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