Sociological Theories and Family
Sociological Theories and Family
Sociological theories are important in understanding how the society operates. In addition, the theories help one understand how people in society relate with each other. The theories have helped understand various social issues in the society and made it easy to develop solutions to the problems. There are different theories that are used to explain how the society operates and how people interact with each other. Examples of the theories include functionalism theories and conflict theory, and interactionism theory. The theories have helped examine different institutions in society and how they operate. The theories named above impact families in many different ways. The theories affect the functioning of the family and interaction of family members. Sociology and family go hand in hand and a family can not true be whole without understanding each other first.
Social conflict theory is a social theory developed by Karl Marxist. The social conflict theory states that conflict helps us strive and makes us stronger. It also argues that people in society have different amount of material resources and non-material resources. This has led to the creation of two social classes in the society. That is the poor and the wealthy. Conflict theories stress on social, political and material inequality of social group. Conflict theory is the opposite of functionalism.
The advocates of conflict believe that resentment and hostility are common in the society. Resentments and hostility causes people in society to conflict. Moreover, the advocates believe that power differences between different social classes. Different people in society have different power and this causes conflict between different classes. People who have more power oppress those who do not have any power and results in social conflict.
The conflict theory was developed to show the shortcomings of the structural functionalism theory. The advocates of functionalism theory argue that society focuses on stability instead of social change. They also believe that society is not in constant conflict like the proponents of the conflict theory. The difference between conflict theory and structural functionalism theory has made conflict theory an ideal theory that can used to explain social change in the society. There are three assumptions of the conflict theory.
First, the conflict theory assumes that competition over scarce resources is common in all social relationships. Competition is a feature of all human relationships instead of consensus. Second, the conflict theory assumes that inequalities in different things like power and reward are common in all social structures. Groups and people who benefit from a certain structure struggle to ensure the structure is well maintained. For example, people who benefit from power struggle to see that they maintain their positions. Third, the conflict theory assumes that change in the society occurs due to conflict between different groups having different interests. Though conflict is effective in explaining conflicts and changes in the society, it has limitations.
Conflict theory impacts the family institution in different ways. The conflict theory has impacted relationships in family. Like other institutions in the society, the family institution is not stable as the members have constant conflicts. Members in a family have regular conflicts that result from limited resources, power and difference in interests. Conflict has been applied to families to show that families are not harmonious. Families are not stable as they struggle to deal with differences among family members, change and conflict.
Advocates of conflict theory believe that conflicts are normal in the family institution. They claim that the family dynamics can be comprehended by identifying the sources of conflicts and power in the family and then developing solutions to problems...
References: Crossman A. 2012, About.com, Functionalist Theory, an overview. Received from http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Functionalist-Theory.htm
Nelson L. 1998, Herbert Blumers Symbolic Interactionism. Received from http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta- discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Nelson.htm
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