Explain and interpret functionalist conflict and interactionist perspectives with reference to the work of key authors and appropriate research. The main focus of this essay is to explain in depth and interpret the meanings of three key approaches in sociology. The three perspectives that this essay will be explaining, with reference to the work of key authors and appropriate research, are functionalist, conflict and interactionist. Sociology is the systematic (or planned and organised) study of human groups and social life in modern society. It is particularly interested with the study or social institutions. (Browne, 2011) The beginnings of sociology originates in the late 1700s and early 1800s the time of the enlightenment, this was when people began to use science instead of religion to understand the social world. With the change of traditional ways that the French revolution and the mid-eighteenth-century industrial revolution in Europe brought with them, society began asking questions like what is human nature? Why is society the way it is? And how and why do societies change? (Giddens, 2009) One of the founding fathers of sociology and the person responsible for the term “sociology” was Auguste Comte he looked to create a science that explained social norms that applied to the social world just as natural science explained the laws of the physical world. (Fulcher and Scott, 2011) Another of the founding fathers who work with the same ideology as Auguste Comte, although he thought that Comte’s was vague, was Emile Durkheim, his take on sociology is called functionalism. Functionalists’ are very positive, hence the term positivism, they even see the good in prostitution, they see it as a positive as if a husband was to cheat on his wife, wouldn’t it be better for him to pay a prostitute for sex rather than have a love affair with another woman and leave his wife. (Cuff et al 2006) Functionalist study society on a macro scale, they look to generalise their...
References: Giddens, A. (2009) Sociology.6th edition. Cambridge: Polity Press
Browne, K. (2011) An introduction to sociology. 4th edition. Cambridge: Polity press
Cuff, E.C, Sharrock, W.W and Francis, D.W. (2006) Perspectives in sociology. 5th edition. Abingdon: Routledge
Haralambos, M, Holborn, M and Heald, R. (2004) Sociology: Themes and perspectives. 6th edition. London: Collins
Fulcher, J and Scott, J. (2011) Sociology. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University press
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