Three sociological perspectives

Topics: Sociology, Social stratification, Marxism Pages: 1 (271 words) Published: September 14, 2014
The Three Major Sociological Perspectives:
Tools for Analyzing Society
Perspective
Level of
Analysis
Central Assumptions about Society
View of the Individual
Central
Concepts
Critique
Functionalism
Macro
Society is a system of interrelated and interdependent parts. Society is naturally balanced and stable.
Each part of society functions to maintain society’s stability. Cultural consensus exists and leads to social order.
Ideology supports the system.
People are shaped by society to perform roles with important functions. Through socialization a cultural consensus is created.
Organic model
Manifest functions
Latent functions
Dysfunctions
Equilibrium
Called “sunshine sociology.”
Supports the status quo and thus inequality.
Doesn’t deal with issues of power and conflict.
Overstates the social consensus in modern diverse societies. Conflict Theory
Macro
Competition between groups for resources results in a stratified society. Change is the normal outcome of competition.
Dominant groups oppress and exploit subordinate groups.
Ideology supports the dominant group’s position.
People are shaped by their position in the stratification system. Access to resources is determined by a person’s position in the system. Conflict & Competition
Dominant & Subordinate groups
Scarce resources/3Ps
Structural Inequality
Owners & workers
Class conflict
Class consciousness

Impossible utopian model of equality.
Understates cooperation and ongoing functioning of society.
Symbolic
Interactionism
Micro
Society is the product of people creating symbols during interactions. Behavior/Interaction is both the creator of and response to symbols. Ideologies are social constructed symbolic systems.
People are shaped by the meanings they create and the groups to which they belong. Identity is socially constructed.
Symbols
Worldview
Ideology
Social constructionism
Too focused on micro issues.
Understates the impact of social structures...
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