Reaction Paper #2
Sociology is a theoretical perspective based on the assumption that culture, social structure, statuses and roles exist in our world. Introduction to Sociology (H. Tischler pp.23) highlights the fact that scientists need a set of working assumptions to guide them in their professional activities. In this regard, Sociologists have developed frameworks for questions that produce and guide research (paradigms). In this context, three main paradigms are functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. However, in this reaction paper, I will focus on the functionalism perspective. The text states that functionalism views society as a system of highly interrelated structures that function together harmoniously and from this perspective, society is quite stable and self-regulating. However, it can be posited that functionalism constitutes one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology and has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim. He was particularly interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable. In my opinion, this perspective of societal stability is quite utopian. Unlike the peace and tranquility that was evident at the time of creation when Adam and Eve roamed the earth, this is not the case in today’s society. In our world today, society is far more complex and instability abounds in almost every corner of our globe. In addition to this, many people in society are not at peace with themselves. So how can they interact and live in peace and harmony with those around them? There can be no denying that inter alia, discrimination, perpetuation of injustice by one group over another, inequalities of all types and structural violence continue to prevent the peace and stability that functionalism embraces. Furthermore, in a world that has so many ills and flaws; beneficial change is required and indeed necessary to correct the referenced ills of society. However, this perspective is not uniform globally and does not adequately encourage people to take an active role in changing their society for their benefit. Instead, it encourages many to be mere followers in blind obedience. This perspective clearly does not cater for the realities of society. In conclusion, one can reasonably conclude that theoretical perspectives are important because they allow one to critically assess various aspects of the society in a multiplicity of ways while allowing us the freedom to analyze and compare what is observed to that of the given perspectives. Functionalism in particular gives the appearance of what constitutes the ideal tranquil society rather than what really exists. Indeed, we would be happier and live better lives if the society in which we live were harmonious, orderly, stable, and self-regulating with minimal forms of conflict.
Tischler, H. L. (6th Edition pp.23-24). Introduction to Sociology. Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
Bibliography: Tischler, H. L. (6th Edition pp.23-24). Introduction to Sociology. Harcourt Brace College Publishers.