Sociological Perspectives and Theories

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Sociological Perspectives and Theories Sociologists try to explain how society orders itself but there are many different theories for this, which often conflict with one another. Some of these classic theories include Marxism, Functionalism, and Interactionism. There are also more modern or contemporary theories such as Feminism. Each sociological perspective has different beliefs. Marxists are concerned with the distribution of economic power and wealth. They believe that society is in conflict between two classes. Those classes are the Bourgeoisie; who own the means of production, i.e. land and the Proletariat; who sell labour to these owners for wages. The Proletariat are being exploited in order for the Bourgeoisie to gain economic and cultural power over them; Marxists believe this leads to antagonism, arguments and conflict between the two classes. An example of this could be in a factory. The manager owns the factory, which is a means of production, so he is a Bourgeoisie whereas the factory workers are the Proletariat because they work for the manager in exchange for wages. Functionalists argue that society is organised much like the Human Body. Everything must function correctly in order for society to work as a whole, just like every organ in the body must function correctly in order for the body to work as a whole. They believe that social institutions such as Police, NHS, Church, Schools, etc ensure that certain prerequisites are met and they must all work together to produce a healthy society. Those prerequisites are that people need to learn how to be part of society (socialisation), people need t... ... middle of paper ... ... a particular group to see how they interact with each other and what they do on a normal basis. For example, someone may observe a classroom, an encounter between doctor and patient, or the way people use public parks. Some observers actually participate in the group which they are observing, which depending on the situation, can either enhance or hinder the study. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bibliography BTEC National Care – Heinemann (M.Walsh, B.Stretch, N.Moonie, D.Hearne, E.Miller and D.Webb) Class Handouts --------------------------------------------------------------------- ¨ http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/DSS/Cooley/LKGLSSLF.HTML ¨ http://migreens.org/amberwaves/2001summ/feminism.htm

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