Unit 1 Assignment 2
December 22, 2014
There are three theoretical perspectives in Sociology. They include the following: Symbolic Interactionism, Functional Analysis, and Conflict Theory. In this assignment, I will discuss the historical development of each of the theoretical perspectives and their founding sociologists.
Symbolic Interactionism is when a society attaches meaning. The theory looks at how an individual defines themselves and others. This theory had two founders: Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead. Symbols are thought to be the key to our sophistication that separates us from the animal kingdom. A symbol may be a relative or a mentor. Symbols give us direction and defines us and our relationship. Symbols are the essence of being Human. Without this Symbolic culture, we would not have laws, government, and our parents. We would not have boundaries and moral obligations.
The idea of Functional Analysis is that society consists of groups that work together to fulfill a given function. The founder is Robert Merton. He did not agree with the organic analogy. He did look at society as a whole that had smaller parts that work together. His references for Functions were beneficial consequences of an individuals actions. In doing so this keeps society in balance. His definition of Dysfunctions are consequences that harm society. He thought functions were either Manifest or Latent. A manifest function is supposed to help a part of the societal system. Latent functions are accidental consequence that actually helps a societal system adjust. Latent dysfunctions are when the accidental consequences cause harm to the system.
The Conflict Theory analyzes societal patterns on a large scale. This Theory suggests that the groups that make up our society are constantly struggling and fighting to gather and maintain scarce resources. Beneath this façade lies a groups’ constant battle for power. Karl Marx...
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