What Is Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Institution Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Sociology is the scientific study of human society and its origins, development, culture, organizations, and institutions. Sociology is an exciting and interesting field of study that analyzes and explains important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. Sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of love, racial and gender identity, family conflict to even religious faith. Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to see our social world. Sociology includes three major theoretical perspectives: the Functionalist perspective, the Conflict perspective, and the Symbolic interactionist perspective. Functionalist Perspective

The Functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton. According to functionalism, society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole. Each of the social institutions contributes important functions for society like family provides a context for reproducing, nurturing, and socializing children. Education offers a way to transmit a society’s skills, knowledge, and culture to its youth, politics provides a means of governing members of society, economics provides for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and religion provides moral guidance and an outlet for worship of a higher power. The functionalist perspective emphasizes the interconnectedness of society by focusing on how each part influences and is influenced by other parts. As a result of changes in technology, colleges are offering more technical programs, and many adults are returning to school to learn new skills that are required in the workplace. The increasing number of women in the workforce has contributed to the formulation of policies against sexual harassment and job discrimination. Functionalists use the terms...
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