Sociologists develop theories to explain and analyze society at different levels and from different perspectives. Sociologists study everything from the micro level of analysis of small social patterns to the “big picture” which is the macro level of analysis of large social patterns.
Sociologists employ three major theoretical perspectives in sociology today. They are the structural-functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactionism. The structural-functionalist perspective is done at a macro level and its focus is on the relationships between the parts of society. The Conflict perspective is done at a macro level and its main focus is on how the wealthy controls the poor and weak. Symbolic Interactionism is done at a micro and it focuses on the use of symbols and face to face interactions.
The structural-functionalist perspective looks at society as a complex system composed of various parts much like a living organism. Each aspect of society contributes to society's functioning as a whole. Social institutions play a key role in keeping a society stable. All societies need certain things to survive (Newman 2010).
Auguste Comte (Newman 2010) pointed out the need to keep society unified as many traditions were diminishing. He created the term sociology. Auguste Comte suggests that sociology is the product of a three-stage development.
Talcott Parson (Parsons 1951) sees society as a collection of systems within systems Parson determined that each individual has expectations of the other's action and reaction to his own behaviour, and that these expectations would be derived from the accepted norms and values of th...
... middle of paper ...
...analyzing a social issue because neither of the perspectives solely addresses all the possibly circumstances of an issue.
Durkheim, Emile. 1915. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life: A Study in Religious Sociology. Translated by Joseph Ward Swain. New York: Macmillan.
Goffman, E. 1959. The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, NY: Double Day
Parsons, Talcott. 1951. The Social System. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Newman, David N.2010. Sociology: exploring the architecture of everyday life.
Mead, G. H. 1934. Mind, self and society and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Merton, Robert K. 1957. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press.
Mills, C. W. 1956. The power elite. New York Oxford University Press.
Weber, M. 1947. The theory of social and economic organization. New York: Free Press.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The theoretical works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber still influence sociological theory. Though their works are decades old they still are a major part of what sociology is today. Though their theories can seem very different, there are some similarities. To become a great sociologist one most learn and understands how to use all sociological perspectives. To do this one must understand and use the different theoretical perspectives created by Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Karl Marx theoretical perspective on conflict is by far one the most interesting theories in sociology.... [tags: Sociology Essays]
1667 words (4.8 pages)
- “Origins of sociological thinking can be traced to the scientific revolution in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century” (Kendall 11). In this time, great store was put on one’s possession of critical reasoning and experiences. In France the Enlightenment was dominated by a group called philosophes; these men believed that human society could be improved through scientific discoveries (Kendall 11). In France during this time period women were excluded from public life, but some women were able to influence the philosophes by participating in a “salon” which is much like an open house which encouraged discussion and debates.... [tags: Sociology]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- Symbolic Interactionism In the field of sociology, sociologists use many different theories to base their ideas and observations on; however, the three major theories that are used are symbolic interactionism, functional analysis, and conflict theory. It is these three theories that will be the focus of this paper. To begin with, we will start with symbolic interactionism. Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead developed symbolic interactionism. In order to understand what this theory is all about though, we will look at the definition.... [tags: Sociology Essays]
1216 words (3.5 pages)
- Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology INTRODUCTION In this assignment I will be describing the five major schools of psychological research. These are Behaviorism, Biological, Cognitive, Humanist and Psychoanalytical. I will then attempt to evaluate the pros, cons and practical applications of the Behaviorist and Psychodynamic approaches. BEHAVIORISM The earliest origins of behaviorism can be stemmed from the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). He believed that the human being is born as a 'tabula rasa'.... [tags: Psychology Papers]
2417 words (6.9 pages)
- Sociaologist have alway attacked problems and anylized social issues that occur over long periods of time or short period of times. These ocurences usually show a trend or a pathway rather to how it has led up to a certain point of an issue occurring, or just a trend in the interaction of different groups, ethnicities, race, and culture. These anylizations differ from issue to issue, such as a micro level analysis of small social patterns to a macro level analysis of large social patterns. The foundation of sociology is based on three theoretical perspectives which are, the conflict theory, functionalism, and lastly symbolic interactionism.... [tags: Sociology, ]
433 words (1.2 pages)
- 1. Compare and Contrast the three perspectives in Sociology. Functionalism- A theoretical perspective, associated with Emile Durkheim, based on an analogy between social systems and organic systems. The character of a society's various institutions must be understood in terms of the function each performs in enabling the smooth running of society as a whole. Stable and made of intellectual social structures that work in harmony. Against change and believes changes reinforces the death of society.... [tags: Sociology Essays]
1858 words (5.3 pages)
- There are many sociological theories to explain and describe how different groups and cultures fit into society and the effect that they have on it. I will be addressing two theoretical perspectives in this paper: pluralism theories, and psychological theories. I will also discuss my knowledge of the racial and ethnic identities of my parents, grandparents, and myself. Furthermore, I will explain how the theoretical perspectives relate to one another in accordance with my racial and ethnic identity.... [tags: Sociology]
931 words (2.7 pages)
- Some people behavior is normal while most of their manners are learnt. When a child comes in the world they are slowly mold into a social being and learn social ways of acting and feeling in society. There existence in society becomes unfeasible without this route. This process of molding and shaping the individuality of an infant is known as socialization. In general socialization is a social training by which every society lay down its own ways and means of giving social training to new born infant to adulthood members so that they may develop their own identity.... [tags: Sociology ]
841 words (2.4 pages)
- Introduction Since the reading movements of the 1980’s and 1990’s, many different theoretical perspectives on teaching reading have been proposed. This paper will examine and discuss major themes, issues, and influences derived from theoretical perspectives on reading instruction that have been proposed since the 1980’s. This paper will also examine four articles related to themes and issues taken from the State University library about reading instruction. The author will relay these articles from the library; to current classroom and personal experiences.... [tags: Education ]
1766 words (5 pages)
- The five major theoretical perspectives in psychology are biological, learning, cognitive, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives. Each one of these perspectives searches for answers about behavior through different techniques and through looking for answers to different kinds of questions. Due to the different approaches, each perspective form their own assumptions and explanations. Some perspectives are widely accepted while others struggle for acceptance. Biological perspective "The premise behind the biological perspective in psychology is that all actions, feelings, and thoughts are associated with bodily events." Biological psychologists examine how all of the electrical impuls... [tags: Psychology Perspective essays research papers]
1046 words (3 pages)