Sociology Essay Theoretical Perspectives

Topics: Sociology, Conflict theory, Marxism Pages: 4 (1173 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Explain two sociological theories and the relationship between social factors and health.

“Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social beings. The scope of sociology is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes. (Livesey 2005).

During the nineteenth century changes in science and technology opened the minds of people to wonder if there could be a scientific reason for everything we do and that the wider scientific knowledge could give an explanation as to the problems encountered throughout human life. Auguste Comte was born in 1798; he was a philosopher during the French revolution. It is believed that though he did not discover the concept of sociology, he made an influence in the area with his work and is said to have inspired work of Karl Marx. Karl Marx is known for his studies in politics, economics and society; these are known as the one group - Marxism. Modern sociologists have three views: the symbolic perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives give theorists the opportunity to explain how society influences people or doesn't influence. Each perspective has a different view of society, social forces, and human behaviour. The symbolic interactionism perspective enables sociologists to study activities of everyday life, what these mean to individuals, and how we interact with each other in society, the theory is based on the view that individuals live their lives according to their own beliefs which are developed through social interaction. The functionalist perspective, also named functionalism focuses on society being interdependent and how this keeps society functioning as one. Functionalism does not encourage change in individuals’ lives or social environment as the...

References: * Livesey, C Lawson, T (2005). As sociology for AQA. London: Hodder Education. p1
* Michael Marmot, Fair Society, Healthy Lives - Marmot Review, 2010.
* National obesity observatory. (2010). About obesity. Available: Last accessed 11th Jan 2013
* Ritzer, G (2004). Sociological theory. 6th ed. New york: McGraw-Hill. p334
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