Essay on Sociological Perspectives On Social Life

Essay on Sociological Perspectives On Social Life

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In sociology, several theories provide broad perspectives that help to explain the different aspects of social life. A theory in a sociological sense, is a way to explain social interactions and to create testable concepts about society. Today sociologists explore about three different sociological perspectives which include the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These three outlooks, offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society effects people and how people effect society. The perspectives help to stress the broader social contexts by examining an individual based on their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age, education, etc. and comparing these social positions to their behavior in society. Each perspective distinctly develops an idea on society, social influences, and human behavior.
According to the functionalist perspective, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society’s functioning as a whole. Structural functionalists aim to explain the nature of social stability and the relationship between the numerous structures in society by examining the function of each to determine how it contributes to society as a whole. A major structure in society, that structural functionalists analyze is gender. Gender as we know is the state of being either male or female. However, from a sociological view, gender is a concept that determines how society manages each sex group as well as the set of behaviors associated with each sex. Structural functionalists believe that differentiating and categorizing between gender leads to stability in society. Functionalists see gender roles as a necessity to establish the differen...


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...ked in the 1950’s, but does not hold true today. Gender roles are continuously changing and the concept of hegemonic masculinity may diminish, especially with the rise of feminism happening. Symbolic interactionism examines individuals’ believing in similar meanings, symbols, or behaviors. Although functionalism and interactionism have several differences, both theories are successful in grouping individuals together, by some sort of similarity. Symbolic interactionism and functionalism assign society’s association on communication, institutions, and societal norms. Interactionism attributes to humans’ interpretations of meanings, whereas functionalists emphasize the functions that a played a role on the individual. When these two sociological perspectives come together or are looked at separately a sociologist is able to understand how our society functions.

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