Topics: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Behavior Pages: 4 (1432 words) Published: November 7, 2013
Chapter One:
Each perspective uniquely explains society, social forces, and human behavior. “Functionalist perspectives are based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system” (16). They say that the majority of members share a common set of values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations (16). I believe that our society has to have certain people, things, and parts to function properly. This is where the functionalism would come in. We need one thing to keep the other things going. Each part that is contributed serves as a function and provides stability for the society. Our societies develop certain things or institutions to make the society stronger as a whole; helping the society survive and not fail. These institutions include the family, education, government, religion, and the economy. If anything bad were to happen to one of these institutions, all other parts would be affected and the system would no longer function properly (16). One criticism that functionalism faces is suicide. Sometimes people feel like that it wouldn’t matter, or no one would notice, that they were gone; so they kill themselves. The society needs to think of a way where everybody can feel like they are needed to keep the society stable.

Conflict perspectives is the “sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged and continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources” (17). People of this perspective view social life as a competition with social groups. The conflict perspective seems as if it is always focusing on the negative, conflicted nature of society. Many conflict theorists challenge the status quo, encourage social change, and believe rich and powerful people force social stability on the poor and the weak. “Mills believed that the most important decisions in the United States are made largely behind the scenes by the power elite – a small clique composed of top corporate, political, and military officials” (18). A major criticism of the...
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