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Marx, Durkheim

By tiffanigwynn1983 Oct 31, 2013 305 Words

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a French sociologist who helped establish sociology by arguing that society had to be studied on its own terms that understanding individual psychology was insufficient. Durkheim believed that societies are held together by shared values, which change over time as societies become bigger and more complex. Functionalism, theory sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. This theory looks at society based on a macro level and closely looks at how social structures shape society. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its basic elements for example it’s norms, customs, traditions and institutions. This theory tends to ignore the disparities between the people in society, and all the inequalities. Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German sociologist who agreed with Marx that people often fight to protect their own interests, but he agreed with Durkheim that what people consider their interests often are determined by socialization and shared values. He believed society is becoming more rationalized and bureaucratic over time. Symbolic interactionism is a theory based more on a micro level, this theory attempts to focus on individual human behavior. Why people do things the way they do. Social Action is examined as theorist tried to describe what inhibits social action, and explain why it is important. Max Weber specifically spoke a lot about individual power over other people, the government, and in economics. In his theory he broke down class struggle and bureaucracy. Each of the three theorists had their own ways of thinking and explanations of how the world worked. Their contributions defined the enlightenment period as they used reason and logic which was outside the tradition. Their views have become world renown and have shaped many ways of interpreting the social structure of many modern societies.

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