Oana Cristina Merca Introduction to Sociological Themes and Perspectives The word “sociology” has its roots from the Latin “socius” which means “companion” and the Greek “ology” which means “the study of”. So basically, Sociology is one of the social sciences which aim is to explain human behaviour. Unlike Psychology, Sociology is much more concerned about social group’s behaviour including whole societies and even international and global groups. Of all the social sciences it is Sociology that most closely scrutinizes change and conflict in the wider society. The range of the discipline, and the importance of the arguments that are disputed within it, still make it the most exciting of the social sciences. However, it was not until the nineteenth century, as a consequence of industrial revolution, that we see a concern with society as a direct object of study. We could then determine, once and for all, what sort of social changes were possible. In its present form, Sociology embraces a range of different views concerning both what a social science should compromise, and what might be the proper subject-matter of Sociology in particular. The latter provides perhaps the best way of making sense of the discipline. This essay will explain, compare and contrast three of the main perspectives in Sociology: Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism. The founder of the Functionalism perspective was Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), whose theory was then further developed by Robert Merton (1910-2003). The Functionalist looks at society as a body where everything has a function. There are formal organizations as law, education, the family, the media, political system and informal social actions such as suicide, love, and crime. Altogether serve a function and have consequences on society. Crime is normal and found in...
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