Society is the 'subject' of the social sciences. Generally Speaking society is that complex social organization of human beings that share an identity inhabiting dynamic relationships and a distinctive culture. Members of a society identify themselves through that society and work together with other members to ensure that the rules, generally agreed upon by all members to govern how they relate to each other, are in place. Sociological perspectives are viewpoints from which we study and understand society and its varied mechanics and elements. There are varied sociological perspectives available to social scientists for the purpose of study. What sociological perspective is used depends on the theories and purposes of the one undertaking the study.
Functionalism, Conflict theory, and Social Interactionism are sociological perspectives that I believe can be used to study the social unit of the family. Functionalism looks at the family as if it was one mechanical entity with every member of the family taking on a role and a function affecting the whole. For example, the mother is the nurturer, support to the husband in terms of keeping the family together taking on household duties as well as economic duties; the father, traditionally is 'head' of the family whose primary function is to provide for the economic and financial needs of his wife and children; the children are dependent on their parents but take on an important role towards each other and to their parents. What these roles are vary according to the age of the children and their stage in life. In the elder years of their parents, the children are expected to become the nurture...
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... for status quo will change dependent on the sway of power at any given time. From this perspective, society is continually changing and power changes hands regularly due to competition.
Adams, Bert N. & R. A. Sydie (2001), Sociological Theory, Pine Forge Press.
Blumer, Herbert (1986), Symbolic interactionism: perspective and method, University of California Press.
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