theories of sociology

Topics: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Microsociology Pages: 4 (1195 words) Published: March 10, 2014



The purpose of this essay is to discuss the three basic theories of sociology. The three basic theories of sociology are functional, conflict, and symbolic interactionism. These theories are studied on the micro or macro level. The micro level is the sum of interactions between people and groups. The micro level analysis is based on small groups and individuals versus the macro level which is viewed on a larger scale and looks at society as a whole. In the functional theory members of society share a common interest of values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations. In the conflict theory there is a constant struggle between resources and it varies upon social changes. In the symbolic interactionism theory peoples behaviors are examined in their day to day interactions with each other.


In order to understand the classic theories of sociology we must be able to define what sociology means in full definition. Sociology is the study of how humans act in society and how the groups they belong to affect them as a person. Through my research, I have found the three classic theories of sociology are as follows 1) functional perspective, 2) conflict perspective, and 3) symbolic interactionist perspective. Now that we have listed the three classic theories we can take a deeper look at each perspective individually.

The functionalist perspective also known as the social-function theory is a stable and orderly system that is composed of members that share a common set of values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations. In the functionalist perspective society serves as a function and contributes to the stability of the society. The functionalist perspective is analyzed on the macro level. Societies develop social structures or institutions such as schools, churches, and government agencies. Institutions provide educational opportunities,...

References: Kendall, D. (2014). Sociology in our times. (9th ed.). Belmont: Cengage Learning.
Stolley, K. S. (2005). The basics of sociology. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
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